András Toma: The Last POW's Return Home

In a small village in Hungary called Csatalja, a young man named András Toma was born on February 5, 1925. As the world was about to enter a great war, András, aged 18, was called to serve his country. He joined the Hungarian army, ready to defend his nation. But fate had other plans for young András. In the fall of 1944, András was captured by the Soviet Red Army while fighting near the Bug River in Nazi-occupied Poland

András's identity became a mystery. In the chaos of war, nobody could understand the language or recognize the dialect. This tragic turn of events led to a serious misunderstanding. András was mistaken for a Russian deserter, and with no way to tell his story or defend himself, he was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Russia.

For more than half a century, András lived in the shadow of his true self. His past was a locked door for which there seemed to be no key. The door to András's story was finally unlocked in 2000, when a linguist, Karol Moravčík, visited the hospital. The expert recognized that András spoke Hungarian, not Russian.

With this revelation, efforts were made to trace his roots, and it was confirmed that he was indeed a Hungarian soldier, long lost to the tides of war and time. András Toma was finally able to return to his homeland, more than 55 years after his capture.

Upon his return, András was welcomed as a hero. He was the last World War II POW to come home. His story touched the hearts of many, a moving reminder of the lasting impact of war on individual lives. András was reunited with his surviving family members and lived out the rest of his days in the country he once set out to protect. He passed away in 2004, leaving behind a legacy of courage and the undying hope of the human spirit.