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Paths to Fatelessness
Paths to Fatelessness

Author(s): György Csepeli, Gergő Prazsák
Subject(s): History
Published by: Institutul National pentru Studierea Holocaustului din Romania ELIE WIESEL
Keywords: Discrimination; ghettoization; deportation; eyewitness report; psychological space of persecution

Summary/Abstract: In the year 1944, the Hungarian Jewry became the target of the German intent of annihilation. More than 400,000 Jews living in the countryside were deported to Auschwitz and to other camps throughout Germany. 60,000 Hungarian male Jews served in the Hungarian Army as subjects of “labor service”. Most of the Jews living in Budapest survived. Right after the collapse of the Third Reich, tens of thousands of former deportees returned to Hungary. Many Jews had returned from the “labor service”. More than 100,000 survived living in Budapest. After the liberation, 6,000 survivors were interviewed orally by the interv iewers recruited by the Deportáltakat Gondozó Bizottság (DEGOB). The texts of the interv iews were immediately written down and archived. The texts, however, disappeared for decades. After 1989, the texts unexpectedly resurfaced and have been made available for research. Now the database formed by the digitalized texts in both Hungarian and English can be assessed on the website Three paths were identified during the Holocaust. One was the path leading to Auschwitz. The second path was the so-called “labor service”, that was established for Jewish males serving in the Hungarian Army. Most Jews living and hiding in Budapest were not deported. They survived in one of the two Budapest ghettos at the end of 1944 and in early 1945. In the presentation we will demonstrate the different strategies of survival of those who were deported to Auschwitz, with a special emphasis on the internal and external factors hindering or facilitating the escape from annihilation.

  • Issue Year: VII/2015
  • Issue No: 08
  • Page Range: 81-95
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: English