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Nazi Deportation of Hungarian Jews at the Expense of Losing the War. Lisa Armstrong St. Thomas Aquinas High School Overland Park, KS. The Holocaust.

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Nazi deportation of hungarian jews at the expense of losing the war l.jpg

Nazi Deportation of Hungarian Jews at the Expense of Losing the War

Lisa Armstrong

St. Thomas Aquinas High School

Overland Park, KS

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The Holocaust

  • The Holocaust refers to a specific genocidal event in twentieth-century history: the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945.

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Nazis Transform Germany into a “Racial State”

  • Nuremberg Laws passed in Germany to revoke Jewish citizenship and rights beginning in 1933

  • Nazis begin the war against Jews

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Expanding the Racial Campaigns

  • March 1938: Germany occupies Austria

  • March 1939: Germany occupies Czechoslovakia

  • September 1939: Germany invades Poland

  • Jews of Poland put into ghettos

  • June 1941: Germany invades Russia

  • Einsatzgruppen: Mobile Killing Squads

  • Feb. 1942: Auschwitz opens

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Hungary before WWII

  • Modern Hungary est. 1918

  • One of Germany’s most loyal allies

  • Antisemitic government

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Antisemitism in Hungary

  • Prewar: Pogroms, restrictions from attending universities, eliminations from public service

  • 1938: Anti-Jewish laws passed

  • 1941: Exiled 17,000 “stateless Jews”—those who were not used as slave laborers were executed by Nazi Einsatzgruppen

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Hungary during WWII

  • 1938: Ally of Germany in taking over Czechoslovakia

  • 1941: Aided Germany in the invasion of Russia

  • 1943: Hitler upset with Hungary’s seeming “neutrality” in the war, and for not doing more to “eliminate” their Jews (Dawidowicz 379).

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German Occupation of Hungary

  • March, 1944: Hitler declares occupation

  • SS and Reich leader Edmund Veesenmeyer rules Hungarian government

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Arrow Cross Party

  • Antisemitic Hungarian

  • Intimidated and harrassed Jews

  • 1944 ordered remaining Jews of Budapest into ghetto

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Intimidation by Nazi forces

  • Gestapo moved into Hungarian towns

  • Listed all wealthy individuals

  • Took leaders into custody

  • Threatened to shoot leaders if the wealthy wouldn’t pay (Gilbert 662).

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A synagogue used as a warehouse for the belongings of deported Jews. Szeged ghetto, Hungary, 1944.

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  • Adolf Eichmann

  • 10 March 1944: meeting at Mauthausen concentration camp to plan the deportation of 750,000 Jews of Hungary

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  • Principal means for transporting troops, munitions, supplies & raw materials (Hilberg)

  • Daily usage for military and industrial purposes

  • YET, freight trains also used for deportations of Jews

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First Deportations

  • March 19, 1944: Nazis occupy Hungary

  • 200 Jewish doctors and lawyers from Budapest deported to Mauthausen

  • Nazis sent 12,000 Hungarian Jews a day to Auschwitz

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  • By June 7, 290,000 Jews from Carpathia & Transylvania (where Elie Wiesel is from) had been deported

  • By July 7, over 437,000 Hungarian Jews had been deported to Auschwitz. (Dawidowicz)

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Slave Labor

  • Thousands were also sent to the border with Austria to be deployed at digging fortification trenches.

  • 100,000 Hungarian Jews were brought to German Labor Camps because “Hitler allowed Himmler and Speer to bring some Jews into Germany to add to the labor force needed for military production” (Bergman 212).

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  • By the end of July 1944, the only Jewish community left in Hungary was that of Budapest, the capital.

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The Last Days

  • Academy Award winning documentary

  • Personal accounts of five Hungarian Jews who survived

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Night by Elie Wiesel

  • Nonfiction

  • Sighet, in the region of Transylvania, Hungary

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World Response

Listening to London news--1942, 1943--progress of Allies

Russian army making progress--1944

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Gradual reduction of rights

Einsatzgruppen--Moshe’s reports

Ghetto experience

“liquidation” of the ghetto

train ride to Birkenau

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Dehumanization in the camps

Bystanders watching them leave the ghetto

Bystanders watching them on the death march

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The Final Solution

Death camp--Birkenau

concentration camps--Auschwitz, Buna, Gleiwitz, Buchenwald

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Raoul Wallenberg

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Better Late than Never

  • Arrived in Budapest in July of 1944

  • Agent of American War Refugee Board

  • Swedish Government

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Swedish Passports

  • 250,000 Jews remained in Hungary

  • Holders under the protection of Swedish legation until emigration to Sweden

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Swedish Housing

  • Nazis wouldn’t allow Jews to cross Germany into Sweden

  • Wallenberg purchased or rented 32 buildings in Budapest

  • Housed at least 20,000 Jews awaiting “emigration” to Sweden

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Protection of “Sealed Ghetto”

  • Wallenberg saved 70,000 Jews by demanding that German commander prevent eminent murders

  • Convinced commander that he would be hung when the Russians came

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Wallenberg the Hero

  • He gave us the sense that we were still human beings. My mother and I were among thousands taken one night to stay at a brick factory outside Budapest. There was no food, no water, no sanitation facilities, no light. Then Wallenberg appeared and said he would try to return with passports, or “safety passes,” as we called them and would also try to get medical attention and sanitation facilities. Soon afterward, some doctors and nurses came from the Jewish Hospital. The point about Wallenberg is that he came himself. He talked to us and showed us that one human being cared about what was happening to us (Facing History 409).

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Elie Wiesel on Wallenberg:

  • “Sadly, tragically, Raoul Wallenberg belonged to a small minority. And his mission started late, much too late, at a time when, except for those in the Hungarian capital, there were no more Jews left to be saved. Why had he not been sent earlier? Why had other diplomats not been dispatched to other cities on similar rescue operations? What would have happened if, in 1943, neutral nations had offered protection to the Jews of Warsaw, if great powers had offered citizenship to the Jews of Paris and Amsterdam?”

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How would you answer Wiesel’s questions?

Would such an effort have stopped fate or even reversed it?

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  • Bergen, Doris. War and Genocide.

  • Chamberlain, Scott. The Last Days: A Study Guide. Shoah Foundation. Los Angeles 1999-2000.

  • Dawidowicz, Lucy S. The War Against the Jews 1933-1945. Bantam Books. New York 1975.

  • Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behavior. Brookline, Mass. 1994.

  • Gilbert, Martin. The Macmillan Atlas of the Holocaust. Da Capo Press. New York 1982.

  • Gilbert, Martin. The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War. Holt, Rinehart & Winston. New York 1985.

  • Hilberg, Raul. Destruction of the European Jews.

  • Wiesel, Elie. Night. Bantam Books. New York 1960.

  • Wiesel, Elie. Memoirs: All Rivers Run to the Sea. Shocken Books. New York, 1995.

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