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.


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.

An elderly Hungarian Jewish woman, previously interned at either the Tét or Berehovo Ghetto, arrives by cattle car at Auschwitz II, also known as Birkenau extermination camp. Too old and infirmed to work, she would have undoubtedly been sent to the gas chambers following selections. Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, Auschwitz (Polish: Oświęcim), Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland. May 1944.
Hungary remembers Holocaust amid boycotts, protests

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, 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.

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.

The monument above is located at Szabadság tér and is meant to be a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust during WWII. It was erected in 2014 and has been the source of much contention.

The “tribute” consists of an aggressive looking eagle with a tag on its talon inscribed with 1944, representing the year that Hungary lost its sovereignty to Nazi Germany, and Archangel Gabriel (the angel of innocence), representing the innocence of Hungary. The inscription over the eagle says “A német megszállás áldozatainak emlékműve” which translates to “The memorial to the victims of the German occupation”.

The suggestion that the Hungarian government was not (at least partially) to blame for what happened to Hungarian Jews falsifies history. In actuality, Hungary allied with Germany as early as 1938, and by the time WWII officially started, the local government had already begun implementing anti-Jewish legislation. For a few years, the Hungarian-Germany alliance worked to the benefit of both parties, with Hungary gaining much of the land it had lost in WWI. In 1941, when Hungary indicated interest in leaving the alliance, Hitler gave the country two options: be occupied completely or fully cooperate with Nazi Germany. The Hungarian government chose the latter and Hungary’s leader at the time, Miklos Horthy, was allowed to stay in office. The official persecution of the Jewish community started then and Germany began its attempt to make the country “Judenrein” - cleansed of Jewish presence.

In total, more than 560, 000 Hungarians Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Thousands were forced into ghettos then eventually sent on trains to concentration camps (mainly Auschwitz) and thousands of others were shot dead into the Danube River.

Local Hungarian citizens have surrounded the insincere monument with candles, flowers, pictures, and handwritten stories of their loved ones lost in the Holocaust. Their hope is to provide a more genuine and historically accurate memorial.

Budapest, Hungary

I left Vienna and arrived in Budapest in just 4 hours! I met David, an old friend who was a Hungarian exchange student at my high school, and we set out for a drink and some traditional goulash soup! We spent the night catching up and running away from the rain that soon began to fall. The next day I went on two amazing walking tours of the city. The first one was a general tour that covered the main sites like the massive basilica, the castle, and all of the other monuments. The afternoon tour was of the Jewish quarter. I heard about all of the ghastly persecutions and massacres of the Hungarian Jews, but also about their huge contributions to Budapest and the large role they played in Hungarian history. I met up with David and his girlfriend again later that night and we hung out with some of his friends on the Elizabeth Square, one of the only places in the city where police turn a blind eye to drinking in public. 

The next day combined a lot of different emotions. I began the day visiting the House of Terror, a museum dedicated to showing the worst times in Hungarian history, the times when the Nazis invaded and thousands were murdered, then when the Soviet Union came in and enslaved many more in Gulags, and other terrifying events. I spent two hours in the museum, choking back tears the whole way through as I watched the survivors recount the horrors on video. As I stepped outside a huge weight lifted from my chest and I continued on my way to the baths.

 Hungary was once part of the Ottoman Empire, so there are a few Turkish traditions that still remain. One of them is the public bath house. I went to the most famous one located in a huge park, and was culturally enlightened by the end of it all. It is not a well known fact, but I don’t really enjoy swimming or being in water, so spending two hours alone in the bath house was quite an experience. I went from sauna to hot tub, to freezing pool, to room temperature pool, to extremely hot steam room, to less hot steam room, and so forth. So many bathing options and so many old men in speedos. Never the less, I emerged relaxed and cleansed. That night I went on a pub crawl with some fellow hostel stayers! We drank carbonated vodka shots and explored the pubruins of Budapest. A few years ago some young men with an entrepreneurial spirit and a very hipster vibe decided to open bars in old buildings that were no long suited for living. The bars were a huge hit and now extremely popular amongst the tourists. 

The next morning I packed my things and got on a bus to Prague! 

Italian-A-Day Giorgio Perlasca (1910-1992) is an unsung Italian hero of WWII. On the run from arrest after defecting from the Fascist army, Perlasca used his status as a veteran of the Spanish War to gain political asylum at the Spanish Embassy in Hungary. He quickly adopted the name “Jorge” and used his position at the embassy to smuggle over 3,000 Jews out of Hungary at great personal risk. After the war ended, Perlasca returned to Italy and did not reveal his actions to anyone, including his family. His story did not emerge until 1987, when a group of Hungarian Jews whom Perlasca had saved finally found him after searching for years, revealing all that he had done in Budapest. Perlasca has received high honors from Italy, Spain, Hungary, the United States, and the State of Israel for his bravery. #ItalianADay #WWII #NIAF [Photo Courtesy of PadovaOggi​] by niafitalianamerican

anonymous asked:

I don't know why that person thinks Misha Collins is "obviously" not Jewish at all. His great-grandfather Edward Krushnic was certainly Jewish, the son of Ida, a Hungarian Jew, and Joseph Krushnic, a Russian Jew (both listed as speaking "Yiddish" or "Jewish" on US censuses).

IDK, ask them. Misha himself isn’t Jewish by any account, I think.