Jewish Council Protests Anti-Jewish Measures in Northeastern Hungary

(April 27, 1944)


In the Name of the Central Council of Hungarian Jews, we take courage to reveal with great respect before Your Honor the extremely grave and critical situation of the Jewish population of the northeastern parts of the country in the wake of the measures adopted by the authorities.

According to the information we have received, the Jews of the northeastern territories of the country, namely in the counties of Ung, Ugosca, Bereg, Maramaros, Abauj-Torna, Zemplen, and Szabolcs, have in the past few days been taken irrespective of age or sex into the country seats or some of the larger district seats, where they are partly placed under the open sky and partly crowded in the outskirts of the cities, cut off from the rest of the world.

Among other things, the following information reached us:

Ung County . The Jews of Ung County were transported on the 16th to Ungvar, where they were placed in a brick factory and in a lumber yard. The Jews of Ungvar were taken to these same places on the 21st, the 22nd, and 23rd. Both the Jews of Ungvar and those transported from the country to Ungvar were allowed to take only 30 Pengos, food for fourteen days, a change of underwear, the clothes they wore, and bedding. They had to leave the rest of their personal property in their homes. The number of Jews currently crowded in the brick factory and in the lumber yard is estimated at 20,000, who are camped outdoors, exposed to the vicissitudes of the weather. Their daily nourishment is only one deciliter of soup. Bringing in food is prohibited. There is a water shortage in the area.

Of course, under such conditions there cannot be proper attention to the feeling and health care of the great masses.

2. Szabolcs County . The situation is similar in Szabolcs County, from whose territory the Jews were taken to Nyiregyhaza. According to the information received by us, these were allowed to take along food for two days, 30 Pengos, and 50 kg. of luggage.

The people transported to Nyiregyhaza were placed in private houses, but in view of the large number of people taken there they were crowded into apartments well beyond the latter's capacity. The feeding and nursing of the sick is here impossible.

Abauj-Torna County . The Jews of Abauj-Torna County, like a considerable number of Jews of Kassa, were crowded together in the waterless brick factory of Kassa, where the most elementary needs for living could not be satisfied.

Bereg County . A similar procedure was followed for the Jews of Bereg County, where all valuables including wedding bands as well as all money above 1 Pengo were taken from the evacuated persons.

Maramaros County. The Jews living in this county were crowded together in Maramarossziget and some of the larger communities; in Maramarossziget, a considerable portion of the Jewish intelligentsia, about 140 people, were put into a small synagogue where they were kept without food or water for days.

From the above information, it can be seen that the great masses of the Jews from the northeastern part of the country - several hundred thousand - have come into this most dangerous situation for reasons beyond their control; because of their huge number and the breif period of time left, suitable provisions could not be made for their accommodation, sanitary arrangements, feeding, and medical and pharmaceutical care of the sick. Under these conditions it is to be feared that, in the absence of food, proper housing, and care for the sick, hunger will set in, contagious diseases will break out, and pregnant women, infants, children, the sick and aged will perish on a large scale.

For this reason we respectfully ask you to take measures so that the evacuated persons will receive suitable accommodation and food.

Our other respectful request is that you make if possible for our representatives to be deployed in the field, so that they will be able to help, in unison with the authorities and the local Jewish leadership, in the determination of the necessary measures.

In view of the great importance and urgency of the matter, we would respectfully ask Your Honor for quick action.

Please be assured, Your Honor, of our sincere respect.

Source: From: R. Braham, "The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary," Vol. I, New York, 1981, pp. 607-608.


Source: Yad Vashem - Eclipse of Humanity