76 YEARS FROM THE HOLOCAUST OF JEWS FROM THE NORTHERN TRANSYLVANIA
Every year, starting in 2001, the Holocaust Remembrance Day was commemorated in Hungary on April 16, recalling that in 1944 the encampment in ghettos of Hungarian Jews began on this day.
Three quarters of a century ago, more precisely in May and June 1944, one of the most tragic and shameful episodes in human history took place: the ghettoization of the entire Jewish population on the territory of Fascist Hungary and the deportation to Auschwitz- Birkenau had 424,000 people who had no other “guilt” than they were of another religion and ethnic origin. Of these, 165,000 were Jews from Northern Transylvania. To know what happened then, it is mandatory to read an essential document prepared by the most authorized source: Yad Vashem. It is called “HOLOCAUST IN NORTHERN TRANSILVANIA”.
In 36 pages, everything is said about the tragic fate of the Jews of northern Transylvania, transferred after 1940, following the Vienna “arbitration” imposed by Hitler and Mussolini, under the control of Horthy’s Hungary. The enforcement of anti-Semitic policies and laws and the marginalization of the Jews, their ghettoization by the Hungarian fascist government of Döme Sztoyai, constitutionally appointed by Horthy on March 22, 1944, and the realization – with the unreserved contribution of the Hungarian army and gendarmerie – of the “final solution” are exposed. As stated, the deportation mission was coordinated by the SS commando of about 100 persons led by SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Adolf Eichmann and implemented by the Hungarian authorities.
The material elaborated at Yad Vashem also reveals that “the preliminary document regarding the assembly, ghettoization, concentration and deportation of the Jews was secretly adopted on April 7 by the Hungarian Council of Ministers: Decree number 6163/1944, under the signature of Lászlo Baky. (…) The Ministry of Interior prepared the directives for the implementation of the decree three days before the issuance of the ultra-secret decree.”
The historian Nicholas M. Nagy Talavera, himself deported to Auschwitz by the Hungarian authorities, shows on page 265 of the book “The history of fascism in Hungary and Romania”, published in 1996 at the Hasefer Publishing House of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania: “The Hungarian Council of Ministers decided, on April 7, to “cleanse the territory of the Jewish country” (…) even though this measure had already been decided five weeks before the deportations began. The pretext for mass deportation to Auschwitz was the approach of the Red Army. German militaries, for safety reasons, demanded the removal of Jews from rural areas and their concentration in city ghettos. This concentration happened in an absolutely inhuman way – the overcrowding, lack of sanitary conditions and accommodation, very soon caused the outbreak of typhus and other contagious diseases. After that, the Hungarians “begged” the Germans to “take over” the Jews. The fatal request was sent on April 20 at 4:00 p.m. Eichmann agreed. With the help of the gendarmerie and the Hungarian administration, this action was completed at such a speed that, until the end of the period May 15-July 1, the only remaining Jews in Hungary were in Budapest. The entire action was the work of only 8 German officers, 40 SS personnel, assisted by 20,000 Hungarian gendarmes.”
Nagy Talavera’s conclusion is ruthless: SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Adolf Eichmann received all possible help in fulfilling his plan to exterminate the Jews in Hungary. “During the trial in Jerusalem, he said: “Hungary was the only country for which we were not fast enough. They handed over their Jews to us as if they had rejected sour beer.” (op.cit. p. 261).
The false arguments that the Hungarian authorities were forced(!) by the German army to proceed with the ghettoization and deportation of the Jews are also dismantled by the speech given on March 31, 1944 by Endre László, Undersecretary of State at the Hungarian Royal Interior Ministry, at the national radio station in Budapest: “(…) It is not true that the Jewish problem in Hungary has appeared on the agenda as a result of the world political situation. The unanimity of the Hungarian society, defending racial purity, has been asking for a resolution to the Jewish problem for almost 25 years. Hungarian anti-Semitism is not a fashionable policy, it is not a copy or imitation of current political ideas and trends. (…) We can express our unwavering conviction as follows: for the Hungarian race, Jewishness is not a desirable element, neither morally, spiritually nor physically. Aware of this, we must look for that solution that excludes and completely eliminates Jewishness from Hungarian life.” The text was translated from the book “Vadirat a nacizmus ellen” (Inquiry Against Nazism), published in Budapest in 1958.
As for Regent Miklós Horthy, as shown in the Yad Vashem document, cited above, he was the one who, on March 22, 1944, constitutionally appointed the Hungarian fascist government of Döme Sztoyai, which, two weeks later, issued the decree on the assembly, ghettoization, concentration and deportation of the Jews. About the psychology of Horthy, who, after Hitler’s German army occupied Hungary on March 19, 1994, declared that it was his duty “to remain on the ship’s deck”, is significant the letter he wrote in October 1940 to the former Prime-Minister Teleki: “I have been an anti-Semite all my life and have never maintained personal relations with the Jews; I was the one who openly preached anti-Semitism in Europe.” The text can be found in the book Horthy Titkos Iratai – Horthy’s Secret Documents – pages 261-62.
The ordeal of the ghettoization and deportation of the 165,000 Jews from northern Transylvania by the Hungarian authorities is widely described by Randolpf L. Braham in his book “Genocide and Retribution” – pages 101 – 123.
Among the ghettoized and sent to Auschwitz were the Jews from Târgu-Mureș. As the historians Ioan Ranca and Vasile Ciubăncan show in the ” Road to Holocaust ” (pp. 76-79), in the morning of May 3, 1944, the teams formed by police, gendarmes, town hall officials, pre-militaries and Fascist party members went to Jewish homes, confiscated valuables, assembled the Jewish population, transporting them to the brick factory, near the cattle fair, in the eastern area of the municipality, where the concentration camp was established.
In two days, all the 5,964 Jews from the municipality of Târgu Mureş were gathered and in the following days, those from the rural localities from the related areas were brought, about 970 people. In the crowded spaces, only about 2,500 people were camped; the others had to remain under the open sky, in a rainy and cold weather. On May 27 and 30, two transports of 3,183 and 3,203 persons departed from Târgu-Mureș to Auschwitz. Only a tenth returned…
Historian Randolph L. Braham writes in A Magyar Holocaust, vol.2, p. 24, ed. Gondolat 1988: “In the course of the ghettoization and deportation, the Hungarian gendarmerie acted with particular cruelty. Without its contribution, the Germans could not have implemented the “final solution” program in Hungary. The fanaticism of the anti-Jewish campaign of the Hungarian fascists was practically unparalleled in the part of Europe occupied by Germany. There is a great deal of truth in what, in a moment of sincerity, Wisliceny told Freudiger: “It is obvious that Hungarians are the descendants of the Huns: without them we would never have done it.”
The horrors committed by the Hungarian fascist gendarmerie on the occasion of concentration in ghettos or camps, its brutality and savagery, became famous. “During May-July 1944, when the ghettoization and deportation of the Jews from Hungary took place, Swiss and Swedish newspapers published extensive reports from Kosice, Nyiregyháza, Mukacevo, Szekesfehervár, Oradea, etc. Important publications such as the conservative “Neue Züricher Zeitung” and “Die Nation” described the events under the title “The Journal of Horrors”. “Gazette de Lausanne” presented one editorial after another, describing the details and the end of an article, signed by the editor Georges Rigassi, specifying: “Here is what the noble and Christian Hungarian nation did with the Jews.” “Journal de Genève” wrote a series of violent articles. The embassies of the neutral countries in Budapest vehemently protested, especially the Swedes, the Swiss and above all the Vatican representatives”, can be read on page 272 in Nagy Talavera’s book “The History of Fascism in Hungary and Romania ”. If, after this series of quotes from well-known authors, there is still any doubt about those who are responsible for the Holocaust in Hungary, go to:
In his book “Churchill and the Jews”, 1900 – 1948, Michael J. Cohen, prof. at Bar-Ilan University, 2003, 2nd edition, revised, Routledge Publishing House, p. 355, presents two letters about what happened to the Jews in Hungary. Discovered by the author, in Churchill’s private archive, the letters reinforce the message sent by British Prime Minister Churchill to Foreign Minister Anthony Eden on July 7 and 11, 1944: “There is no doubt in my mind that we are in the presence of one of the greatest and most horrible crime ever committed. ”
There remains only one question: If the Allies knew of this immense and horrific crime, why were not the railway bombarded, as they were used by the death trains, which once they left Hungary, were delivering daily prey to the furnaces in Auschwitz?