István Horthy

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István Horthy
Vitéz nagybányai Horthy István repülő főhadnagy.jpg
Born István Horthy de Nagybánya
(1904-09-12)12 September 1904
Died 20 August 1942(1942-08-20) (aged 37)
  • Deputy Regent of Hungary (1942)
Political party

István Horthy de Nagybánya (12 September 1904, Pula – 20 August 1942, Aleksejevka) Hungarian: Vitéz[1] nagybányai Horthy István) was Hungarian Regent Admiral Miklós Horthy's eldest son, a politician, and, during World War II, a fighter pilot.


In his youth, István Horthy and his younger brother Miklós Jr. were active members of a Catholic Scout troop of the Hungarian Scout Association (Magyar Cserkészszövetség), although he was a Protestant.[2] Horthy graduated as a mechanical engineer in 1928. He went to the United States for one year and worked in the Ford factory in Detroit, Michigan.

Returning to the Kingdom of Hungary, he worked in MÁVAG's locomotive factory in this occupation. On the forefront of the designer team, he took part in the development of many great projects, such as the Locomotive 424. Between 1934 and 1938, Horthy was director of the company and after 1938 he became its general manager. In 1940, he married Countess Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai. He strenuously confronted Nazism, and often made his criticism public. In January 1942, his father appointed him Deputy Regent, and for some time, the "small regent" enjoyed massive popularity in Hungary. Shortly thereafter, István was sent to the Eastern Front. His humanity, and his disagreement in the "Jewish Question" appears even here, too – a quote from one of his letters, which he sent to his father from Kiev: "[...] Yet another sad topic: the Jewish companies, as I hear, -there 20 or 30 000 [men]-, are at the mercy of the sadist's passions, in every regard; the stomach of man gets ache [looking at this]; it is abhorrent, that in the 20th century, it happens at us, too... [...] I fear, we will pay for this very dearly once. (Is it possible to take them home to work there?) Otherwise, in spring, only a few will be alive. [...]"[3]

Flight Lieutenant István Horthy died in Russia, shortly after his arrival.[4] Serving as a fighter pilot with 1/1 Fighter Squadron of the Royal Hungarian Air Force, he was killed in an unexplained airplane crash over the front in his MÁVAG Héja ("Hawk"), V.421, a Hungarian fighter based on the Reggiane Re.2000, when it crashed shortly after takeoff from an air field near Ilovskoye.

His only son, Sharif István Horthy, is a successful engineer.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vitéz" refers to a Hungarian knightly order founded by Miklós Horthy ("Vitézi Rend"); literally, "vitéz" means "valiant".
  2. ^ John S. Wilson: Scouting Round the World, first edition, London, Blandford Press, 1959, 81.
  3. ^ Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai: Becsület és kötelesség, part I. Budapest, Európa press, 2001.
  4. ^ Time Magazine, Monday, 31 August 1941, Milestones