Hungarian-Jews

Hungarian Jews from Carpathian Ruthenia (today, mostly in Ukraine) depart from railway stock cars at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and are processed; those deemed young and healthy enough for work will be selected for internment at the camp as laborers, while the elderly, children, women with young children, the weak and disabled will be sent to the gas chamber. Auschwitz concentration camp, Auschwitz (Oświęcim), Poland. May 1944.

As the fall of the Germans got closer and more certain, more and more people tried to put some distance between themselves and the Arrow Cross Party, the Hungarian variant of Nazism. This phenomenon has its roots in human nature. In general, people believed the slogans of the Arrow Cross press about a Jewish-Bolshevik-Plutocrat front- which seemed to prove that the Jews were the most powerful people on earth: at one and the same time they held in their hands, through their diabolical cleverness and their web of contacts, the Western capitalist countries and Russian Bolshevism. Consequently, whichever of these groups reached Budapest first - the Western capitalists or the Russian communists - their first move would surely be to punish or reward people for their mistreatment of the Jews at a time of crisis. So a trend began - one might even say a secret movement - aimed at providing people with suitable alibis. Everyone tried to exonerate himself in advance. People lined up witnesses and contacts designed to show how they had sabotaged the regime, and how many Jews, and particularly how many Jewish possessions, they had saved. Rumor had it that some people began to visit the ghetto, and look up the occasional Jewish neighbor. Wags called this sudden enlightenment ‘alibi-baba’. The term really described a characteristic lament in all humankind: a tendency to turn towards the party in power. It was precisely the opportunists who now believed that the Jewish sun was rising.

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Maskerado: Dancing Around Death in Nazi Hungary, Tivadar Soros

A Jewish couple is photographed in the Budapest Ghetto after the arrival of the Soviet Army in Hungary. The ghetto was created on 29 November 1944  by the fascist Hungarian government, led by Ferenc Szálasi. It was surrounded by a high fence and stone wall that was guarded so that contraband could not be sneaked in, and people could not get out. The ghetto lasted for less than three months, until the capitulation of Hungarian and German troops in Budapest on 13 February 1945 following the Battle of Budapest. More than half of those that were forced into the ghetto in 1944 were sent to concentration camps, starting almost immediately from the establishment of the ghetto. From occupation to liberation, the Jewish population of Budapest was reduced from 200,000 to 70,000 in the ghetto. Budapest, Hungary. February 1945. Image taken by Yevgeny Khaldei.

Hungarian Jews, recent arrivals at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, who were not selected for interment and labor, are moved onward to the gas chamber for execution. The elderly, women with young children, children, the ill or disabled and “surplus” individuals were routinely singled out for immediate extermination upon arrival after selections to separate the healthy and able-bodied from those deemed unfit for work. Auschwitz concentration camp, concentration camp, Auschwitz (Polish: Oświęcim), Małopolska Voivodeship, Poland. May 1944.


Pécs (Hungary) (AFP) - Hungary bean 70th anniversary commemorations of the Holocaust on Wednesday amid boycotts and protests by Jewish groups which accuse the government of whitewashing the country’s role in the mass deportations of Jews in 1944. Marking the day when Hungarian Jews were first placed in ghettoes in 1944, ceremonies were held around the country as part of “Holocaust 2014”, a programme of events organised by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government. In Budapest, President Janos Ader and Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics lit candles at a monument by the Danube commemorating the thousands of Jews shot into the water in 1944-1945 by the Hungarian fascist Arrow Cross militia. A ceremony was also to be held at Budapest’s Holocaust Museum, with trees planted and candles lit to remember the 600,000 Hungarian Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
Source: AFP

Hungarian Jews from Carpathian Ruthenia (today, mostly in Ukraine) arrive by train at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The first transports of Jews from Axis ally Hungary to Auschwitz began in early May 1944 and continued even as Soviet troops approached. It is estimated that from an original population of 861,000 people considered Jewish inside the borders of Hungary between 1941 and 1944, about 255,000 survived; a survival rate of just 29.6%. Auschwitz concentration camp, Auschwitz (Polish: Oświęcim), Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland. May 1944.   

Hungarian and German soldiers round up Jews in Budapest for deportation. From the start of German occupation in 1944, Jews and Gypsies (Roma) were deported to the Auschwitz-Birkinau concentration camp with complete cooperation of Hungary’s fascist leader Ferenc Szálasi of the Arrow Cross party. By the end of the war, the death toll was between 450,000 and 606,000 Hungarian Jews and an estimated and 28,000 Hungarian Gypsies. When the war ended, Szálasi was captured by American troops and returned to Hungary. He was tried by the People’s Tribunal in Budapest in open sessions and sentenced to death for war crimes and high treason and was hanged on 12 March 1946. Budapest, Hungary. October 1944.

Gerda Taro (1910 - 1937) and Robert Capa (1913 - 1954) were two war photographers, partners in work and life. Capa meets Taro in Paris and together they start selling their photographs to famous newspaper under Capa’s pseudonym (his real name was Endre Friedmann, he was an Hungarian Jew). They cover the Spanish Civil War in 1936: here Capa takes his most famous photograph, the Falling Soldier, becoming known worldwide. Taro dies in 1937: a tank hits the car she was on and she fells off. Capa keeps on working, covering WWII and making history. He dies in 1954 while he was in Indochina covering the war, stepping on a landmine. 

Alt-J dedicated a song to their love story. 

10 great hungarian jew writers who saved the hungarian literature:

Istvan orkeny
Antal szerb
Geza csath
Janos pilinszky
Sandor marai
Frigyes karinthy
Ferenc molnar
Miklos radnoti
Jeno rejto
Pal kiralyhegyi

Justice Delayed and Denied

The ongoing trial in Germany of the former concentration camp guard, Oskar Groning, charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder of primarily Hungarian Jews in Auschwitz is significant for many reasons. One, however, has largely been overlooked in the press: such a trial is so exceptional and rare.

Germany’s post-Holocaust democratic record and commitment to protecting the human rights of its citizens is widely known and rightfully commended. Further, in the areas of reparative justice for survivors of the Holocaust, Holocaust and human rights education, and in confronting its Nazi past through public commemoration and probing and difficult examination of its history Germany has been at the forefront of such efforts: generally open, engaged, and dedicated to learning from its past.

But less acknowledged is Germany’s abysmal record at judicial accountability for Nazis. Thousands of members of the SS, many of whom were complicit in genocide and/or participated directly in it, like Groning, lived peacefully for decades after the end of the Holocaust. Some are still alive today, their crimes never prosecuted. Only a tiny, insignificant number were brought to justice.

Groning’s trial at the age of 93 is a reminder of modern democratic Germany’s failure to prosecute and punish perpetrators of genocide and their accomplices. It illustrates the complex and sometimes contradictory record of Germany’s accounting with its past. On this most fundamental matter of holding its citizens accountable for their crimes Germany’s record is one of extreme ambivalence and overwhelming denial of justice. This is a failure of both morality and international human rights law which requires criminal accountability for perpetrators of genocide and their accomplices. It has enabled impunity for thousands of perpetrators of the Holocaust and has caused continued suffering to their surviving victims.

At a recent conference on anti-Semitism Germany’s Justice Minister, Heiko Maas, acknowledged these failures. Commenting on a commission created in 2012 to investigate how Germany dealt with its Nazi past in the initial decades after the Holocaust he stated, “Among other things, the purpose of the commission will be to find out why Germany’s system allowed so many Nazi criminals to go free.” He further acknowledged, “Even though we realized that the results won’t be flattering for the German justice system, we want the historical truth to finally come to light.”
Maas also expressed concern that parts of the contemporary German criminal code were authored by Nazi jurists.

For this effort the German Ministry of Justice should be commended. Although a research study cannot correct the massive injustice of failing to prosecute and punish genocide perpetrators and their accomplices it will enable Germany to honestly confront its post-Holocaust legacy.

The conclusions of the study will provide Germany with the information needed to reflect upon how and why such injustice was allowed and sustained for decades and to ensure better mechanisms for human rights accountability now and in the future in the German legal system. It will also enable a necessary public discussion of how this failure to prosecute and punish can be addressed at such a late date.


Link to the Commission: http://www.uwk-bmj.org/

from UK - The Huffington Post http://ift.tt/1ISSBcq
- Bonsoni