It was March 19th, 1944, a quiet, sunny Sunday morning, when our good neighbours came running to call us into their apartment and listen to the radio. It was playing military music, which was usually the forbearer of bad news. Horthy, the leader of Hungary, made the announcement: the Hungarian government had ceased all military activity against the Soviet Union, and Hungary was asking for a separate peace from the Allies.
Peace! We celebrated, thinking that this was the end of our suffering and oppression.
But by that afternoon, the music had changed. To German military marches. Our neighbours’ radios were playing the music loud enough that we could hear it clearly through our open window. We looked at each other, pale and trembling. The almost panic-filled voice of the announcer came on the air saying that further announcements could be expected any minute. We knew then and there that there would be no peace. It turned out that the attempt had failed. Germany had invaded Hungary.