Feketehalmy-Czeydner, Ferenc (born Franz Zeidner).

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Feketehalmy-Czeydner, Ferenc (born Franz Zeidner) on 22-11-1890 in Piski, Hungary  from the family of ethnic Germans (people’s Germans).to the shop owner Gustav Tsaydnera; Ferenc in his early years took his father’s name, but after the First World War he changed his name to Feketegolm-Chadner.

From 1904 to 1907 he was on the K.u.K. artillery Theresian military academy in Traiskirchen. After this, Zeidner was transferred to the K.u.K. Technical Militäirakademie Mödling sent. On 18-08-1910 Zeidner was posted as Hadnagy (Second Lieutenant) to the Feldhaubitz Regiment Georg V. König von Grossbritannien und Irland, Kaiser von Inde Nr. 12.

From June 22-06-15 to 01-03-1917 he was on the K.u.K. Kriegschule Belgrad (free translation: Imperial and Royal Military School Belgrade). After this Zeidner was placed as Generalstabsoffizier (free translation: Generale Staffofficier) in the K.u.K. II. Commando Corps.

In the First World War he was deployed as an artillery and General Staff officer. Zeidner was promoted to (Százados) (Captain) on 01-09-1917. After the outbreak of the First World War, he was wounded first on the Russian and later on the Italian front. After his recovery he served until the end of the war.

InterwarIn 1919 Ferenc enlisted in the re-established Royal Hungarian Army. From 11-04-1920 to 01-10-1920, Feketehalmy-Czeydner served in the 1st section of the Ministry of Defense. He then became a teacher of tactics at the Magyar Királyi Honvéd Ludovika Akadémia (Ludovika Academy) in Pest. In 1921 Feketehalmy-Czeydner was deployed as General Staff Officer in the Ia./Gemischten Brigade 7. in Miskolc.

From 1922 to 1925 Feketehalmy-Czeydner worked in the Honved Ministerium (Ministry of Defense). He then studied from 01-01-1924 to 15-05-1925 at the University of Paris. On 01-05-1925 Ferenc was promoted to Õrnagy (Major). From 01-05-1925, Feketehalmy-Czeydner was again deployed to the Ludovika Academy in Pest. He worked at the academy until 01-11-1925 as a tactics teacher. Feketehalmy-Czeydner was transferred on 01-05-1929 to the training department of the k.u. Honvédministerium (free translation: Royal Ministry of Defence). After this he was promoted to Alezredes (Lieutenant Colonel).

On 01-11-1929, Feketehalmy-Czeydner was appointed Chief of Department VI-4 in the Royal Hungarian Ministry of Defence. After which he was deployed as deputy chief in the VI-1 division, and at the same time he was appointed Chief of Staff of the General Staff of Aviation in the Royal Ministry of Defence.

From 01-04-1938 to 15-01-1939, Feketehalmy-Czeydner was Chief of the aviation office in the Royal Ministry of Defence. On 11-11-1935, he was promoted to Ezredes (Colonel). On 01-11-1939, Ference was appointed commander of the new 6. gyalogdandár (6th Infantry Brigade). A year later, Feketehalmy-Czeydner was promoted to Vezérörnagy (Brigadier General).

This was followed by his appointment as Chief of Staff of the General Staff of the 1. magyar hadsereg (free translation: 1st Hungarian Army) on 01-03-1940, a position he held until  31-07-1941.

On 01-11-1941, he was appointed commander of the 5th Army Corps in Szeged. In November of the following year, Feketehalmy-Czeydner was promoted to Altábornagy (Field Marshal Lieutenant).

On 21-12-1941, Feketehalmy-Czeydner was hospitalized in Mátraháza. He had been diagnosed with cancer of his vocal cords.

In January 1942, the troops under the command of Feketehalmy-Czeydner carried out a large-scale retaliatory attack in Batschka (Bačka), which had been annexed by the Kingdom of Hungary since April 1941. The action was ordered by Hungarian Chief of Staff Ferenc Szombathelyi, following the killing of several Hungarian gendarmes and soldiers, and acts of sabotage by Yugoslav partisans.

Novi Sad’s blood sparked protests in Hungary led by the chairman of the Small Farmers’ Party, Endre Bajcsy-Zsilinszky. As a re sult, Feketehalmy retired on 01-12-1942, but went unpunished.

The Novi Sad massacre was a war crime committed against the people of Novi Sad by the Axis powers. 1246 local civilians (mainly Jews or Serbs) were killed from 21 to 23 January 1942 by Hungarian units commanded by General Ferenc Feketehalmy-Czeydner. The bodies were then thrown into the Danube. According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s investigation, 15 perpetrators from the Royal Hungarian Army and Gendarmerie, including captain Sándor Képíró, were involved in the massacre.

Already during the Second World War (January 1944) Képíró,was found guilty by a Hungarian military court together with 13 others as instigator of the Novi Sad massacre  Those convicted received 10 to 15 years in prison. But later that year, German troops invaded Hungary and released Képíró.

On 14-09-2009, Sándor Képíró was brought back to trial, but he had to be released due to lack of evidence.In July 2011 he was acquitted of war crimes. He had been charged with the murder of Serb civilians in Novi Sad on 23-01-1942. He was also alleged to have been complicit in the murder of thirty people on the banks of the Danube. Képíró said he had indeed taken part in the acts of war in Serbia, but indicated that he was not aware of the killings. Képíró died, aged 97, in 03-09-2011. Budapest, Hungary.

In September 1943, when Hungary was already negotiating a separate peace with the Allies, a case was brought against the responsible officers. On 14-12-1943, the trial of three policemen and twelve Honvéds was opened. Feketehalmy-Czeydner was sentenced to 15 years in prison, while seven co-defendants received sentences of more than ten years. He fled to Vienna on 15-01-1944 with three other convicts. And applied for political asylum. An extradition request from the Hungarian government was not honored by Adolf Hitler.

On 01-03-1944, Feketehalmy-Czeydner enlisted in the Waffen-SS. He was given the rank of an SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant in the Waffen-SS. And was placed in the SS-Führungshauptamt.

From 23-03-1944 to 26-05-1944 he was admitted to the SS-Lazarett Wien XIII/110, after which he went to the Kurlazarett Semmering for further recovery.

On 01-07-1944, Feketehalmy-Czeydner was appointed Deputy Kommandierender General of the II SS Panzer Corps . under command of SS-Obergruppenführer Wilhelm “Willi”  Bittrich  

After the coup in Hungary, Ferenc returned to Hungary on 16-10-1944. On 01-11-1944, Feketehalmy-Czeydner was appointed Deputy Honvedminister (Minister of Defense).

On 30-10-1944, he was promoted to Vezérezredes (Generaloberst). This was followed by his promotion on 01-11-1944 to Waffen-SS-Obergruppenführer and General in the Waffen-SS. In March 1945 he was charged with the construction of the XVII SS Corps, but this unit only existed on paper.

Death and burial ground of Feketehalmy-Czeydner, Ferenc (born Franz Zeidner).

  On 07-04-1945 Feketehalmy-Czeydner returned to the SS-Lazarett Wien XIII/110, and stayed there until 10-05-1945.

In May 1945 Feketehalmy-Czeydner became an American prisoner of war, who delivered him back to Hungary. In January 1946 he was extradited to Yugoslavia by the Hungarian authorities, together with four other Hungarian soldiers. On 21-03-1946, Feketehalmy-Czeydner was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death. On 04-11-1946, age 55, he was hanged in Žabalj.

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