Béla Botond

Béla Botond

Béla Botond was born on April 24, 1911, and after graduating from the Ludovika Academy, he was made an infantry lieutenant in 1933. In 1939 he changed his name from Bruder.

As a sports teacher and at the Jute Officer Training School, he was adored by his subordinates. He was promoted to lieutenant at the Ludovika Academy in 1933, his first unit was the 4th Battalion of Cyclists, where he became a non-commissioned officer of the 1st Company. From 01.10.1936 he was assigned to the 1st Infantry Regiment as a student of the "Toldi Miklós" School of the Honvéd Sport Teacher and Fencing Master. After graduation, he served at the "Kinizsi Pál" Defence Training and Education Institute for NCOs in Jutasi as a non-commissioned officer, sports officer and from 1939 also as a teacher. In 1941, he was admitted to the War College for training General Staff Officers, from 19.07.1942 to 20.08.1942 he was the commander of the 7th and 9th companies of the 13th Infantry Regiment fighting in the Don Bend, the deputy commander of the 13th/III Battalion and commander of the machine gun company, 1942.He served as the Liaison Officer to the Commander of the 19th Light Division until 05.09.1942, where his service was recognised with the Iron Cross II Class and the Governor's Commendation. From 01.10.1943 he served as a General Staff Probationary Officer with the 10th Infantry Division, from 15.03.1944 he was transferred to the Staff Group of General Staff Officers.

On 7 November 1944, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the 10th Infantry Division, before which he had been the Division's Chief Quartermaster (Ic) in charge of the Division's material supply.

He covered for several of his subordinates from the Arrow Cross. On one occasion, he slapped a party officer who called him "brother".

On 14 January, Colonel Sándor András, commander of the 10th Division, held a military assembly at the division's battle station in the Hitelbank on József Nádor Square. He explained that the Germans had lost the war, the provisional national government had been formed in Debrecen and the organisation of the new Hungarian Home Army had begun. He did not talk about their own plans, but this was obvious from the situation. He and his commander left for their quarters and the next day both surrendered to the Soviet troops. Botond is also in the Soviet newsreel of the siege of Budapest. Shortly afterwards, he was transported to Debrecen, where he was appointed Chief of Staff of the newly formed 6th Infantry Division. However, the NKVD arrested and deported him. Although several people intervened on his behalf, including Major General Oszkár Variházy, the Soviets were not impressed. It should be added that there was no realistic basis for his deportation. Botond learned Russian in captivity. He was released from captivity on 3 December 1950. He was interned until 1953, after which he was banned from Budapest. He was only allowed to do manual labour and died in Budapest on 8 June 1990. The reasons for his imprisonment remain unknown to this day, and it is remarkable that there is not even a trace of any communication as to why he was imprisoned.