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The Holocaust

The Fate of the Jews Across Europe

Murder of Hungarian Jewry

Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, Jews waiting in a grove near gas chamber #4 prior to their murder, May 1944 Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, Jews waiting in a grove near gas chamber #4 prior to their murder, May 1944
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The Fascist elements in Hungary enjoyed broad popular support and Miklos Horthy’s dictatorial government concluded an alliance with Nazi Germany. Antisemitic legislation was passed and more than 100,000 Jewish men were mobilized for forced labor, in which approximately 40,000 perished.

When Hungary joined the war against the Allies, nearly 20,000 Jews from Kamenetz-Podolsk who held Polish or Soviet citizenship were turned over to the Germans and murdered. However, the extermination phase in Hungary only began later, after the Nazi invasion in March 1944. Until then Horthy refused to succumb to Hitler’s pressure to hand over the Jews. At this time there were more than 800,000 Jews living in Hungary, as a result of annexations of regions from Slovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia. In May 1944 the deportations to Auschwitz began. In just eight weeks, some 424,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. After October 1944, when the Arrow Cross party came to power, thousands of Jews from Budapest were murdered on the banks of the Danube and tens of thousands were marched hundreds of miles towards the Austrian border. In all, some 565,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered.