The government of Hungary took part in Hitler's war reluctantly, but the people fought it to the end as if it were theirs as well.
On October 15, 1944, Regent Horthy made an announcement over the radio which stunned the nation and electrified the dissenters. The Regent stated that he had served notice on the German Ambassador of his intention to conclude a preliminary armistice with the "former enemies" and to cease hostilities.
A writer described the reaction of the people on the streets of Budapest:
I rush along the boulevard expecting to see exalted masses celebrating their liberty . . . for it is a day to celebrate, that of armistice, of peace. "Hurrah for separate peace" I shout into the faces of those I meet, but they are infuriated and gnashing their teeth rather than being in the intoxication of enthusiasm. A few shout with me, with an expression of doubt on their faces . . . And this mood predominates, there being very few who dare celebrate openly . . . the great majority, the "real" Budapest, is uncertain and mistrustful.
A reporter recorded the reaction of the people in the industrial town of Pecs in Transdanubia. They listened mutely to the Regent's proclamation. It was followed by the Russian General Malinowski's appeal to the Hungarian soldiers to surrender. Afterwards the British Broadcasting Corporation cut in, advising the soldiers to join Tito's Partisans just over the border. But the bewilderment was soon over. General Vörös, the Minister of War, stated there was