Admiral Miklos Horthy was once the last Commander-in-Chief of the Austro-Hungarian Naval Fleet, and then a regent of the Kingdom of Hungary during the years between World Wars I and II.
One of the most famous Hungarian statesmans – Admiral Miklos Horthy – died on this day. He was regent of the Kingdom of Hungary for years and throughout most of World War II. He was conservative and a right-wing politician who, at first, collaborated with Hitler. However, Horthy never fully accepted the bestial temper of the Nazis and eventually terminated relations with the Führer. Because of that, the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944 and appointed the pro-Nazi government of Ferenc Szálasi and his fascist Arrow Cross Party (Nyilaskeresztes Párt). Horthy was overthrown and imprisoned in Bavaria, where he remained until the end of World War II.
After the war, Americans did not charge Horthy for war crimes. He continued to live freely in Bavaria. He could not, of course, return to Hungary because communists had taken over the country in the meantime. Horthy moved to Portugal in 1950 to the seaside town of Estoril, known as a tourist destination with beaches. Estoril is actually located in a suburb of Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, on the Atlantic coast.
It is interesting that in Horthy’s time, Estoril was a gathering place of exiled European leaders and monarchs. Namely, in the vicinity of Estoril, besides Admiral Horthy, also lived Umberto II, the King of Italy in exile, Carol II of Romania, and the King of Spain, Juan Carlos (at that time he was still a boy). It was also in this town that former Portuguese dictator Salazar built a summerhouse. Admiral Miklos Horthy died in Estoril precisely on this day, at the old age of 88. Afterwards, after the fall of communism in that country, his remains were transferred to his native Hungary.