A Brief Summary of the History of the Holocaust in Hungary  
  Hungary, which was a satellite state of Nazi Germany, had a Jewish population of 725,007 in 1941. The majority of these Jews (401,000) lived in Trianon Hungary, with the others residing in the territories acquired by Hungary during the years 1938-1941: Felvidek from Czechoslovakia in November 1938 – 67,000; Carpathian Ruthenia from Czechoslovakia in November 1939 – 78,000; Northern Transylvania from Romania in August 1940 – 164,000; and Delvidek from Yugoslavia in April 1941 – 14,000.

Anti-Jewish discrimination in Hungary, which began in the 1920’s with the institution of a quota on the number of Jewish students in Hungarian universities intensified following the Anschluss (union of Germany and Austria in March 1938) with the passage in May 1938 of a law limiting the participation of Jews in professions and the economy to 20%. A year later, this figure was reduced to 6% for the economy and a definition of Jews in racial terms was formulated.

In 1939 the Hungarian government introduced the “Munkaszolgalat,” a forced labor service for Jewish men of military age, who were put to work primarily on war-related projects, many close to the front. Almost 42,000 Hungarian Jews died in these units prior to the Nazi occupation of Hungary on March 19, 1944. More than 18,000 additional Jews were murdered prior to that date, most of whom (17,000) were foreign Jews living in Hungary who were rounded up by the government in July and August 1941 and deported to Kamentz-Podolsk, where the SS murdered them, together with local Polish Jews. More than thousand Jews were killed in Novi Sad and other places in the Delvidek region in January and February 1942 by Hungarian military and gendarmeries units. German demands that Hungary deport its Jews to the death camps were, at this point, however, rejected.

This situation was drastically altered when Germany occupied the country on March 19, 1944 and installed a pro-Nazi government, which immediately passed numerous anti-Jewish decrees and paved the way for the mass deportation of Hungarian Jewry. The first measures were the Aryanization of Jewish property and the ghettoization of the Jewish population in the provinces, which already began in mid-April in Carpathian Ruthenia and northeastern Hungary. The ghettoes only existed for a relatively brief period, as their primary purpose was to facilitate the deportation of the Jews to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, which commenced on May 15 and ended on July 9, 1944. During that period 437,402 Jews were deported from 55 major ghettoes and concentration centers in 147 freight trains. Most were immediately murdered shortly after arrival at Birkenau.

By the time that the Regent Miklos Horthy finally stopped the deportations, the only Jews left in Hungary were those in Budapest, who starting in June 1944 had been forced to live in special buildings marked by a yellow star. Their situation severely deteriorated following the ascension to power on October 15, 1944 of the fascist Arrow Cross party, which unleashed a wave of terror against the Jews. Thousands were force-marched to the vicinity of Vienna to build fortifications, while many others were kidnapped and murdered by Arrow Cross gangs. In early December, almost 70,000 Jews were ordered to move into a ghetto established in the Jewish section of Budapest, where thousands died as a result of the horrendous conditions of disease, starvation, and cold.

In all, 564,500 Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, of whom 63,000 were killed prior to the Nazi occupation. Of those who perished after March 19, 1944, 267,800 were from Trianon Hungary (85,500 from Budapest and 182,300 from the provinces) and 233,700 were from the areas annexed by Hungary from Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia during the years 1938-1941