Budapest Ghetto

Question:

What date was the Budapest Ghetto established. I think it was shut down on January 20, 1945, but don't know when they started it.

Harry W. Mazal OBE Responds:

I am one of the persons in the Holocaust History Project that responds to questions from our readers. It is possible that you will receive other responses from my colleagues.

According to the:

Encyclopedia of the Holocaust Vol. 2 Israel Gutman - Editor-in-Chief c. 1990, Macmillan Publishing ISBN 0-02-546705-4 (set)

Page: 700:

"Although the decree for the ghettoization of the Jews was published only on April 28 [1944 - HWM], the Jews of Carpathian Ruthenia and northeastern Hungary were ordered into ghettos on April 16, the first day of Passover."

Page 701:

"The ghettos were short-lived, lasting only from two to six weeks. In addition to suffering from the horrible conditions including the lack of food and adequate sanitary facilities, the Jews, especially those perceived as well-off, were subjected to barbaric treatment by police and gendarmes searching for 'hidden wealth' "

Page 702:

"(...Edmund Veesenmayer, the German Plenipotentiary in Hungary, cited the number of deportees as 437402.) They were deported between May 15 and July 9, 1944 from 55 major ghettos and concentration camps."

I hope that this answers your question.

Harry W. Mazal OBE

Question:

The German Social Security Authorities have refused me a pension for work in Budapest gettho on ground of the following: I escaped the Ghetto November 1944,whereas the ghetto was established only this month. I remember the ghetto existed already June 1944. I would be very grateful if you could clarify this difference.

Harry W. Mazal OBE Responds:

I am one of the persons in the Holocaust History Project that replies to questions from our readers. It is possible that some of my colleagues will also try to answer your question.

The most authoritative source for information on the Holocaust is the collection of books written by Randolf Braham. These include:

The Destruction of Hungarian Jewry
Volumes I and II The Tragedy of Hungarian Jewry
Studies on the Holocaust in Hungary The Nazi's Last Victims
The Wartime System of Labor in Hungary
The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary Volumes I and II
The Nazi's Last Victims: The Holocaust in Hungary

I will research your question in these books, but give you the titles in case you are near a university library where you can complement my research with your own.

You should also send an e-mail asking for information to:

"Jewish Museum and Archives of Hungary" (address deleted)

They are housed in the main synagogue in Budapest. Their collection of documents and information is extremely detailed. Any statement made by them concerning the establishment of the ghetto will be very useful - and probably legal - in a court of law.

Yours sincerely,

Shana Tova

Harry W. Mazal OBE

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