The Canadian agent who walked out of a Hungarian prison disguised as a Pole

Posted on Dec 2, 2015

Name: Andy Durovecz
Alias: Andy Daniels

Andy Durovecz was one of the eight Hungarian-Canadians who trained at Camp X, and was a journalist in his civilian life. He entered the European theatre in October of 1944, under the alias Andy Daniels.

He was part of the team assigned to a mission in Budapest, but they had missed their landing zones and had to split up and hide. Durovecz managed to make his way to a safehouse, but nearly failed to produce the passcode to get in. At the last moment, the woman who lived there sensed he was in trouble and let him in. He remained there for awhile, forming a friendship with her.

Some time later, Durovecz was arrested while trying to continue on his way to Budapest. He was interrogated first by the Hungarians, then by the Gestapo, who ‘gave him many a beating’. Believing him to be either an agent of Russians or the British, they grilled him for intelligence about troop strengths and movements, but he divulged nothing useful.

He was then moved to Zugliget prison, where he succeeded in a daring escape. Pretending to be a Pole, he used forged papers and walked right past the guards and out of the gate. It was becoming clear at this time that the end of the war was near, and so rather than take his chances trying to slip out of Budapest, he remained there in hiding until the Russians liberated the city in the winter of 1945. Durovecz was then evacuated to England, and was back in Canada by June.

Several years after the war, he’d attempted to return to the house where he’d sought refuge during the war, he wanted dearly to pay his respects. Sadly, he was told the woman who had helped him was later arrested by the Gestapo for harbouring a fugitive, and she was never heard from again.

He also returned to what was left of Camp X in the 70’s, and shared detailed and invaluable accounts of his training and time in in the war. Andy Durovecz passed away in 1998, but not before writing his memoir, My Secret Mission, in 1996.

Canadian Media Fund