György Harnóczy

György Harnóczy

György Harnóczy was born on 18 December 1915 in Budapest, his father was an architect. He began his actual service in 1939, when he graduated from the Reserve Officers' School, before which he worked as an accountant.

He took part in the fighting in Don in the Fast Corps and later in the 1st Armoured Division. In 1941 he received the Governor's Commendation with Swords. On 1 December 1942 he was transferred to the professional ranks. In 1943, he received retraining as a tank radio operator.

In October 1944, he served in the armoured reconnaissance platoon, and on 22 November he was sent to the front near Rákoscsaba. He first became a company commander in the 1st Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion, and from the beginning of January 1945, after Captain László Domonkos, the previous commander, had to leave due to injury, he took command of the whole battalion. The unit was no longer involved in combat, and the last known location of the battalion office was in Ráday Street on 11 January 1945. On 9 February 1945, he claimed to have transferred his 'unit' to the Soviet troops. His battalion, which was numbered 4, was organised in Kelenvölgy on 10 February.

On 7 August 1945 he was arrested on a denunciation. He was accused of making inflammatory speeches during the siege, of punishing a soldier by sending him out and, after a mass escape in his unit in early January 1945, of holding a medical lieutenant responsible for having civilian clothes among his belongings. He was also charged with having personally visited the Weiss Manfréd Works in Csepel on 28 November 1944 to ensure that the defective 'Wraith', also known as the Salasi Valve, supplied to his battalion was ready for use - a weapon he used with the greatest passion. Unfortunately, only the prosecution documents have survived from the proceedings, and all we know from them is that Harnóczy was acquitted of the charges on 16 October 1944. In any case, the charges were weak, because neither the use of the Szálasi pipe-valve nor any remarks about civilian clothes could constitute a crime. However, several witness statements were preserved in his defence file, which contained highly incriminating evidence against him: According to his subordinates, he was disliked because of his aggressive and loud behaviour, he demanded unconditional loyalty to the Germans between November and December 1944, he behaved rudely with his subordinates and was also in contact with the Arrow Cross, and he threatened an escaped soldier with nine hours' restraint on 9 January 1945, even though the soldier was suffering from severe Bazedov's disease and the execution of the restraint could have caused his death (the sentence was sabotaged by his subordinates). The battalion doctor and clerk were among the witnesses.

He served as the Regimental Intercommunication Platoon Commander of the 1st Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division until 1 August 1946, when he was discharged. He was able to find employment as an accountant.

He was stripped of his rank in 1957 on the grounds that he "had previously been in contact with a hostile group" and was unreliable.