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Approaching Regions in East-Central-Europe

Final Report Grant 2012-275
The relationship between the historical churches and the Jewish community in Czechoslovakia and Hungary from 1920 until the Holocaust


Grant No: 2012-275 – Final Report
The relationship between the historical churches and the Jewish community in Czechoslovakia and Hungary from 1920 until the Holocaust
‘History only exists if we know about it, if we talk about it.’1

Work hypothesis and historical context (summary of the relevant literature) The research assumed as its starting point that despite the considerable Holocaust literature, the investigation of the responsibility of the so-termed ‘historical’ churches (Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran) and the social part they played in the anti-Semitism evolving between the two World Wars has not been researched properly to date .2 The lack of elaboration is certainly also due to the fact that lacking basic research the history of those churches in the 19th and 20th centuries is not really known either in Hungary or in Slovakia. For instance, histories of church parishes based on historical sources are missing. On the other hand, no works discussing the relationship of religion and politics in depth and comprehensively have been published since 1990, either.3 The comparison of the two countries – Hungary and Slovakia – is mainly justified by the fact that their histories have been strongly intertwined. Their territory had been part of the same union of states (Austro-Hungarian Monarchy) before World War I; they shared all historic events affecting the Carpathian basin in the 20th century, being members practically always of the same alliances (Hitler’s Germany, Soviet and EU -NATO); and churches have been material factors of politics and identity in their societies. In the period when the two countries belonged together (approximately in the 1880s) a conviction permeating and defining Catholic (Christian) discourse appeared, according to which the economic and cultural dominance of the Jewry was u ndoubtedly ‘the essence of the ‛Jewish question’ in Hungary. 4 From that, it is logically concluded that the question had to be ‘answered’ or had to be ‘solved’, which perfectly matched the social picture of Europe defining the second part and the end of the 19th century. On the other hand, it is also important that the Christian institutions in the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy, particularly the Catholic Church, clearly opposed modernity, liberalism and democracy which features were identified with freemasonry and the Jewish community. The same tradition was inherited in practice by

Géza Komoróczy: Holocaust. A pernye beleég a bőrünkbe. [Soot burns into our skin.] (Osiris pocket library), Osiris, Budapest, 2000, 134. 2 Similarly the anti-Semitism of certain Hungarian social-professional categories (e.g., civil servants, physicians, engineers, university professors, and the gendarmerie!), or the part played by them in the Holocaust have not been investigated properly. 3 A good example is the works of mainstream Hungarian historian Ignác Romsics: Magyarország története a XX. században, [The history of Hungary in the 20th century], Osiris Kiadó, Budapest, 1999; Idem: „A 20. századi Magyarország” [Hungary in the 20th century] , in Ignác Romsics (chief ed.): Magyarország története, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 2010; Idem: A 20. század rövid története [The short history of 20th century], Rubicon-Ház, Budapest, 2011. 4 László T. László: Egyház and Állam Magyarországon 1919–1945 [Church and State in Hungary], Szent István Társulat, Budapest, 2005, 277. 2

the church institutions (Catholic, Reformed or Lutheran) of the Slovak territories becoming part of Czechoslovakia in some form, which justifies a comparative historical study in itself. After World War I, the history of Hungary and Slovakia (as part of Czechoslovakia) can be said to ‘diverge’ moving along different ways of development. This, naturally, created a new situation for the Jewish community of Hungarian language and culture taken over by Czechoslovakia. It had to re-establish itself in its relationship both to the new state and to the national minority Hungarians.5 At the same time, the (Hungarian and Slovak) Christian churches and any political formations based on the Christian ideology and keeping a kind of alliance with them were forced to establish a certain form of behaviour. In 1918/1920, the Hungarian society had to face at the same time the partition of the historical, ‘national’ space and an appearance of a need and efforts for modernisation. In the midst of existential (economic-social) uncertainty and the dissolution of the traditional values, Horthy, in fact, re-established ‘order’. He retained the idea of the historical orders and feudalism (in 1930, e.g., the Hungarian aristocracy possessing all power consisted of 526 families), strengthened the Christian social ideology, on the other hand, he expanded the previous notion of the nation, which had been in fact a notion of the nobility, to the whole of the population. It was necessary because the Hungarian ‘nation’, in fact, struggled with problems of national and social identity. The combination of blood (national) and spirit (Christian), in fact, resulted in an organic national ideology, in which national and religious myths had been intertwined. (It is extremely interesting that a similar process occurred in Romania on the extreme right: Vasgárda/Garda de Fier [Iron Guard] ). In fact, the uncertainties of the “petite bourgeoisie” and the middle strata of the society were hidden behind the process in Hungary, while the ratio of people of Jewish descent was significant among the middle and high bourgeoisie. The national injuries and the racist idea of the nation, in fact, downgraded the actual social problems and simply re-classified them as the ‘Jewish question’! It had been all the more possible because the national-Christian ideology regarded everything considered left-wing, liberal or democratic to be un-national and un-Christian, which was mainly represented and controlled by atheists who had been mostly Jewish or of Jewish descent also by the opinion of the church.’ The lack of political schooling of the masses, the lack of democratic traditions and experience and mainly the ideological insecurity and susceptibility of certain groups of the intelligentsia can be mentioned among the subjective causes why the Christian national ideology could gain wide acceptance.’ 6 The Hungarian national concept of the Horthy regime was ab ovo based on racism. That is proved by the law numerus clausus in 1920 (Act XXV/1920), which also applied to converts in the practice of the Hungarian College of Physicians and which was considered a correct interpretation by Kunó Klebelsberg, Minister of Education in 1927. Previously, however, an aide-mémoire of the Hungarian government addressed to the League of Nations had made it clear that ‘legislators’ interpretation emphasised that the Hungarian State regarded Jews converted into the Christian faith Jewish rather than Christian even if their documents displayed Christian as their religion. It did not acknowledge the legitimacy and legal

See e.g., Ungár Joób: „A magyar zsidóság” [Hungarian Jewry], in Borsody István (ed.): Magyarok Csehszlovákiában [Hungarians in Czechoslovakia], 1918–1938, Az Ország Útja kiadása, Budapest, 1938; Igazságot a felvidéki zsidóságnak! [Justice to the Jewry of the Uplands], Pesti Lloyd, Budapest, 1939; Kovács Éva: „Választói magatartás mint a nemzeti identitás mutatója Kassán a két világháború között” [Voters’ behaviour as an indicator of national identity in Kassa between the two World Wars], Regio 1993/4, 77–106. 6 Jenő Gergely, Katolikus egyház, magyar társadalom [The Catholic Church and the Hungarian society] 1890– 1986, Budapest, 1989, 100. 3

consequences of conversion, therefore, in the end, the rights and restrictions applying to Jews also applied to Jews converted to the Christian faith. That interpretation based the definition of Jewry on birth and descent overruling in this way the principles of emancipation relating to religious conversion. In that way it was declared that the principle of legal equality of citizens in court was not valid t o Jews.’7 On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that the law of numerus clausus successfully diverted the attention of the society from other laws, such as the introduction of caning for punishment (Act XXVI/1920), or the expansion of the Governor’ s competence (Act XVII/1920). We can say that ‘2 September 1920 was a turning point in the history both for the Hungarian majority society and the Jewry living in the country. On that day, a responsible minister of the Hungarian Government, István Haller, Minister of Religion and Public Education declared in Parliament the whole of the Hungarian Jewry rootless un-national elements. He emphasised that Jews were unsuitable to discharge the most basic duty of university graduate intellectuals, i.e., to play the part of the Hungarian national intelligentsia. Haller declared all that on a racist basis as an unquestionable axiom.’8 ‘For large social groups, anti-Semitism was easily adjusted to the ultra-nationalist line of the new state, which aimed at the recovery of the broken up and crippled values of the Hungarian society to establish in that way a form of modernity that would suit Hungarians. Horthy did not even try to shape Hungary into a ‛gardening state’, that was left to Ferenc Szálasi and his Arrow Cross movement.’9 The Christian churches did nothing to oppose that radical political and social change of direction in Hungary. On the contrary, they supported and justified it practically to the end. In fact, they have not recognised or become aware of it to the present day that in the period of the Communist state administration, they had to pay an extremely high price of that behaviour (by losing their moral credibility, which affected them to the present day)! By rendering the Jewry considered ‘unable to assimilate’ as demonic, the political administration succeeded to create a new image of an enemy to replace the national minorities (e.g., Romanians) of the earlier period, and to include the Hungarian speaking population into the Nation while in so doing none of its social problems had to be taken care of. National identity and reality were in focus of politics (the Jewry at home or national minority Hungarians outside the borders in the neighbouring countries, the ‘succession states’ of the Monarchy); meanwhile it was never clearly identified what the Hungarian nation actually was. The dilemma of exclusion (of the Jews) and inclusion (Hungarian national minorities) could not be resolved at the same time. It had not been intellectually processed and elaborated. Not to mention that in the 1930s, the Hungarian extreme right characterised by social radicalism and national Christianity combined the anti-capitalism and anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, neither the liberals nor the social democrats recognised how serious the

Mária Kovács M., Liberalizmus, radikalizmus, antiszemitizmus, [Liberalism, radicalism and anti-Semitism] h. n. [Budapest], 2001, 78. 8 Kinga Frojimovics, ‛Mételyes már közéletünk, és fojtó-fullajtó lett levegője’. A numerus clausus magyarországi rabbik templomi beszédeiben” [Hungarian rabbis’ statements in the temple], in Molnár Judit (ed.): Jogfosztás – 90 éve. Tanulmányok a numerus claususról [Declaration of rights – 90 years. Studies on numerus clausus], Nonprofit Társadalomkutató Egyesület, Budapest, 2011, 233. 9 Griffin Roger, „Politikai vagy ontológiai bizonytalanság? A modernitás szerepe a magyar antiszemitizmus megerősödésében a 20. század eleji Európában” [Political or ontological uncertainty? The role of modernity in the strengthening of Hungarian anti-Semitism in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century], in Molnár Judit, op. cit., 24. 4

situation was: they considered anti-Semitism as a passing feature (‘storm in a glass of water’); and although they could witness its institutionalisation they did not dare to criticise it. ‘They thought anti-Semitism was just a pretext for their political opponents to drive the attention away from the tensions and crucial contradictions of contemporary Hungarian society.’ 10 All that time the government party and the extreme right w ing had no other ‘message’ to society than anti-Judaism. That ‘message’, however, was influential and by 1941 it had become a set of ideas explaining everything (foreign and domestic policy, economic and social problems). Its effectiveness was reinforced by its aiming to create a ‘racially Hungarian’ bourgeoisie and promising a ‘change of elite’. That basically meant an abolishment of Jewish emancipation (a return to the state of affairs before 1867) so that the economic and cultural part played by Jews in the Hungarian society could be taken over by the members of a ‘Christian-national middle class’ with popular roots. In practice it meant that a ‘racially Hungarian’ could gain positions as a result of his origin – i.e. irrespective of his knowledge or performance! – (‘change of the guard’), and then it could expropriate others’ (Jews’) possessions unpunished. In this ‘social change of the guard’ both the Catholic organisations (People’s Colleges of the National Council of Catholic Lads’ Societies), and the social organisations of the Reformed Church (National Federation of Christian Youth Associations, Soli Deo Gloria movement) played a part. At the same time, as the possibility of losing the war got closer and closer, the more the fear and anguish from an unknown future became dominant in the Hungarian society, which accelerated anti-Semitism and an aptness to aggression. All that is frighteningly similar to what is happening in Hungary today. In the light of the Hungarian social and political development, there is a statement that should be noted. It says: ‘After World War I the racially confident Hungarian ruling elite injured in its self-esteem considered the Jewry as an ethnic rather a religious minority. That ethic-based definition, however, contradicted to the self-image of the Jewish community who still considered themselves Hungarians of the Moses faith. The leaders of the Hungarian Jewish community, which was unwilling to acknowledge the basic change in the ideology of the Hungarian elite, had been living in a dream world since the beginning of the 1920s, which had been very far from political realities.’ 11 The paths of Slovakia, which had become an independent state as a result of the Munich Decision representing the end of Czechoslovakia for the first time in its history, and Hungary, were defined by the European geo-political situation driving in the direction of the next World War. As a result, those paths had closed up on each other very quickly and had been parallel from 1938. It was all the more so because certain parts of what is Slovakia today had belonged to Hungary in that period. It also meant that the church organisations and institutions of both territories had been organic parts of the church institutions in Hungary. In addition to all that, the political and social events of the two countries were also connected by their behaviour to Jewry; and the fact that in both countries and in almost all spheres of life, the Christian churches played an important part. For instance, in Slovakia a Catholic priest (Tiso) controlled the country (in fact a puppet state of Hitler), while in Hungary, the church elite represented an organic part of the political and economic elite of the Horthy regime (church leaders sat in legislation and in county and city municipalities) and the Catholic church itself was one of the legitimate basis of the regime. According to Jenő Gergely: ‘The part played in society by the Catholic church, its economical positions and its participation in
10 11

János Pelle, A gyűlölet vetése [The seeds of hate], Budapest, 2001, 92. Jehuda Don, A magyarországi zsidóság társadalom- and gazdaságtörténete a 19–20. században. Tanulmányok. [The social and economic history of Hungarian Jewry in the 19th – 20th centuries] (Hungaria Judaica, 18), MTA Judaisztikai Kutatóközpont – Élet and Irodalom, Budapest, 2006, 189. 5

state power unambiguously proved that it represented an organic part of the administration. It identified with its political mentality and political actions. The church, in fact, identified itself with power, which had become more comprehensive in the Horthy era than ever before. That could be the reason why the Catholic church did not legally declare any parties of the counterrevolutionary Hungary bearing the name Christian ‘Catholic’. In that way, it did not clearly make a commitment to any direction so as not to hinder ‘adjustment’ t o the government and to power. (…) there hardly was any area of the Hungarian civil society, state, economy or public life where the Catholic church did not play a part in some form. In that way the church had become a consolidating factor, a power maintaining the regime, and as a result, it enjoyed both the blessings and odium of participation in power. That odium had become a real burden when the power was dissolved, and the civil system was condemned to fall.’ 12 To sum up, it has been found that in the period between the two World Wars, the problems of the Jewish community both in their political and social sense were organically related to the issues of national identity, the building of the nation and the idea of modernisation both in Slovakia and in Hungary; as well as to the part played by Christianity as an ideological basis and religious institutions as political and social forces. The issue and the research are topical because they speak about processes and mechanisms that are still active. In Slovakia, the Hungarian national minority plays the part of a different entity the majority must relate to for building its national identity. On the other hand, the Jewry has retained the same role in Hungary to the present day. Furthermore, the political public discourse today is more and more forcing the Roma population into the same role.

Chronology of events in Hungary, i.e. the historical framework of the study (with particular attention to the professional literature and the problems waiting to be researched) In Hungary, according to research to date, the following periods can be accepted: 1) 1938 – 19 March, 1944: Acts and Decrees restricting the Jewry. In that period, thugs wearing the uniform of the Arrow Cross Party turned up at masses and religious festivals from time to time. Szálasi remained a practicing Catholic to the end and participated annually at the spiritual retreats termed Manresa controlled by the Jesuits. 2) 19 March, 1944 – 6-9 July / 15 October: German occupation and deportations; permanent intimidation of the Budapest Jewry. 3) 15 October, 1944 – March 1945: Arrow Cross Party takeover and terror. The most decisive Hungarian events of the period from 1937/1938 to 1944/1945 – when anti-Semitism radicalised and public opinion was transformed (in total 267 decrees restricting the Jewish community were published) and their church implications were the following: January 1937: In his encyclical letter at Lent Prince Primate Serédi said anti-Communism was mandatory for Catholics. 23 May, 1937: The beginning of a dual jubilee in Hungary (until 3 December, 1938): Eucharistic jubilee and St. Steven Jubilee (on the 900th anniversary of the death of St. Steven). 5 March, 1938: Kálmán Darányi announced a one -billion-Pengő rearmament programme a nd

Jenő Gergely, Katolikus egyház, magyar társadalom 1890–1986 [Catholic Church, Hungarian society], Budapest, 1989, 55 & 73. 6

the solution of the ‘Jewish question’ at Győr. The objective was to discharge social tensions and to improve the position of the Christian middle class. 8 April, 1938: The Darányi government submitted the first anti-Jewish law. At the beginning, MPs in Christian parties rejected it because they did not consider it radical enough! Church leaders voted for it, although converts to Christianity after 1 August, 1919 were also considered Jews by the Act. 14 May, 1938: Béla Imrédy was elected Prime Minister. 28 May, 1938: The first so-termed anti-Jewish law (Act XV) took effect ‘on ensuring a more effective balance of social and economic life’. Therefore, the Parliament debate on and passing of the anti-Jewish law (18-24 May) occurred in a period that was of key importance for Catholics – so to say at the same time as the 34th Eucharistic World Congress arranged in Budapest (25 May, 1938). The relevant literature lacks any reflection to that, although there is a huge quantity of (unvisited) source material to be found in the National Archives (documents of the Vatican Embassy and the archives of the foreign secretary). Although the Act projected the problem of converts, church leaders voted for it. ‘László Ravasz, bishop of the Reformed Church as well as Jusztinián Serédi, Catholic Prince Primate and the leader of the Lutheran Church all regarded the anti-Jewish law as a welfare and social rather than a religious issue and recommended it in the Upper House referring to the traditions of their churches. As components of the state administration, they approved the solution but took the opinion that the rest will be the responsibility of the executive powers, public administration. They disclaimed all liability and they did not object to the anti-Semitic political parties using unscrupulously the language and set of concepts of Christianity.’ 13 In effect, it was the first step for the Hungarian society to completely lose its sense of reality. All the more so, because together with the anti-Jewish law, the right of electing representatives was restricted (XIX/1938), the freedom of the press (XVII/1938) and the freedom of assembly (XVII/1938) were limited. Just as in 1920, the anti-Jewish law was used at the time to hide other acts. 14 June, 1938: Károly Meizler announced in Parliament the establishment of the Christian National Socialist Front. The programme of the party discussed the ‘Jewish question’ in a separate chapter. It included such ideas: ‘the members and descendants of Jewish families immigrating into the country since 1867 are to lose their citizenship; ‘Hungaricising’ the names of Jews are to lose effect; Jews may not marry non-Jews, any such marriage is invalid. 4 October, 1938: A meeting of the Bishops’ Bench on the first anti-Jewish law voted for by the church leaders. 2 November, 1938: First Vienna Award (the Uplands and Ruthenia were incorporated into Hungary– March 1939). The first Hungarian anti-Jewish law also applied to the Jews living in the recovered territories. 30 November, 1938: The Christian National Independence Party was established (led by Gyula Kornis of the Piarists). The party programme included a solution of the ‘Jewish question’. 23 December, 1938: The Imrédy government submitted to Parliament the second anti-Jewish

János Pelle, A gyűlölet vetése [The seeds of hate], Budapest., 2001, 46. 7

law that expanded, on a racial basis, the maximum 6% ratio of Jews also to converts. A wave of conversion started. The behaviour of the churches and the appearance of the problem in the contemporary church media have not been researched. Article 1 of the Act identified who was deemed Jewish – on a racial basis but according to the criteria of religious denomination: ‘For the application of this Act, a person is deemed Jewish if he/she or at least one of his/her parents or at least two of his/her grandparents are members of the Israelite confession at the time this Act takes effect or was a member of the Israelite confession before this Act took effect as well as the descendants of those listed born after this Act took effect…’ 14 13 January, 1939: Extraordinary meeting of t he Bishops’ Bench to discuss the draft of the second anti-Jewish law. Pál Teleki persuaded the leaders of the Christian churches to give up any resistance by threatening them with the option of the Arrow Cross Party taking over power. 19 January, 1939: The United Christian Socialist Party and the Hungarian National Party merged at their congress held at Komárom under the name United Hungarian Party. Its leader became Andor Jaross who was born in the territory of the Uplands and was later executed as a war criminal (on 11 April, 1946). According to the programme of the anti-capitalist and antibig business party, ‘Christian ideology means that the Christian ethics must gain the upper hand in every aspect of the state administration, the social and economic life’. 3 February, 1939: Hand grenade attack by Hungarist supporters against people leaving the Synagogue in Dohány street from the Saturday prayer (22 wounded – several of them died of their wounds later). The representation of the incident in the contemporary church media should be revealed. 11 February, 1939: Horthy called on Prime Minister Imrédy to resign. Károly Rassay, liberal politician had found out that one of his great-grandmothers was Jewish (his great-grandfather, Móric Heller, and his wife Re bekka Pommeizel converted to the Catholic faith in Saatz in Czech-Moravia in 1839!) – which meant that in accordance with the draft law waiting to be adopted Imrédy was not deemed Jewish and he was not regarded as such later on, either, because his political career continued (he was executed as a war criminal on 28 February, 1946). The story illustrates well that the idea of racism had already dominated the Hungarian national concept to an absurd degree. 15 February, 1939: Béla Imrédy, Prime Minister resigned. ‘That unbelievable story that can only be explained by the phenomena of psychoanalysis, repression and crazy compensation stands alone in the European history of the 20th century. Thinking normally, using our mind of today, the contemporary public opinion could only draw one kind of conclusion: the new law of the Prime Minister of Jewish descent must be rejected as it is. However, not even that absurd story opened the eyes of the contemporaries: social conscience built on long lasting stereotypes and becoming more and more unrealistic could not be deviated from its path of obsessions.’15 Unfortunately, the story does not stand alone. A similar event occurred in Hungary in 2012. Csanád Szegedi, a European Parliament MP of the Jobbik (extreme right wing) Party had to leave his Party because he had been confronted with the fact that his grandmother had been a Jew, what is more, a Holocaust survivor.


Jenő Gergely, „A magyarországi katolikus egyház and a fasizmus (különös tekintettel az 1930 -as évektől 1944-ig)” [The Hungarian Catholic Church and Fascism], Századok 1987/1, 34. 15 János Pelle, A gyűlölet vetése [The seeds of hate], Budapest., 2001, 77. 8

Early March, 1939: With permission by Pál Teleki Prime Minister, the Arrow Cross Party of Szálasi was established. 17 March, 1939: A conference of Catholic bishops. They objected to the classification of Jews who had already converted to Christianity. 15 April, 1939: Pál Teleki explained and justified in the Upper House the objectives of the anti-Jewish law. 4 May ,1939: The second anti-Jewish law (Act IV) ‘on restricting the penetration of Jews into public and business life’. ‘When the second anti-Jewish law was submitted, the otherwise conservative and legitimist count Gyula Zichy, the archbishop of Kalocsa proposed to the Bishops’ Bench to condemn the racial law and to demarcate the Church in a joint pastoral letter. The majority and mainly the Primate who had been so solicitous all the time did not think it was necessary. However, they were not passive at the fore of legislation. In the House of Representatives, the clergymen MPs and in the Upper House the Prince Primate Serédi spoke up against the laws in protection of converted Jews.’ 16 ‘The disunion of the national conscience was reflected in how hundreds of thousands of Hungarians started to run to birth registries and parishes to obtain the birth certificates of their parents and grandparents. Part of them blamed the Jews for the discomfort, saying ‘they fared better’ because it was sufficient if they declared that the Act applied to them. A real ‛itchiness’ took over Hungarian society, particularly city dwellers who had left their villages several generations ago.’ 17 The contemporary mentality is illustrated well by the behaviour of Catholic priests Lajos Makray and Mihály Reibel, the clergymen MPs of the United Christian Party, who offered converts moral comfort rather than actual protection: ‘We do not deny them, we do not exclude them from the community of Christian love, we consider them our brothers of identical value and we stand beside them with an understanding spirit in accepting their grave sacrifice. We believe that mercy won over in Christianity would give them strength to carry that difficult cross without breaking down and we will never stop working and fighting in their interest, in the interest of their truth.’18 According to Károly Hetényi Varga: ‘Moral weakening, loss of strength (…) started when the chief pastors of the Church voted for the first and the second anti-Jewish laws. Of our dogmas, they had given up that we were equal before God; of our social lessons they had given up the principle of citizens’ equality at law. Their approval had subordinated the sanctity of Christendom to legal terminology, and divided Christians into ‛Uhr- Christians’ and ‛Jewish-Christians’. Tens of thousands of the latter died in the gas. Those and the following laws against the Jewry launched processes in which the opportunities to obtain the positions and possessions of Jews corrupted masses of Christians, while others had deteriorated to sadism against Jews by 1944.’ 19 12 May, 1939: Election circular letters by Serédi, in which followers were called to support government party and Christian party candidates against Arrow Cross Party ones. In its tune

Jenő Gergely, A katolikus egyház története Magyarországon 1919–1945 [A history of the Catholic Church in Hungary, 1919-1945], Pannonica Kiadó, Budapest, 19992, 115. 17 János Pelle, A gyűlölet vetése [The seeds of hate], Budapest, 2001, 72. 18 Quoted by Jenő Gergely: „A keresztény pártok and a ‛Zsidókérdés’, 1938–1944” [Christian parties and the Jewish question], in Molnár Judit (ed.): ‘The Holocaust in Hungary in European perspective [Holocaust in Hungary in a European perspective], Balassi Kiadó, Budapest, 2005, 79. 19 Sándor Szenes, Befejezetlen múlt [Unfinished past], Budapest, 1994, 249-250. 9

and consequences, in a certain sense, the Hungarian election campaign could be compared to the German election campaign in January 1933. 28-29 May, 1939: General and secret elections when the participation of Jews had already been limited! In the new Parliament, the Arrow Cross Party and the National Socialist MPs represented ‘left wing’ opposition. The failure of his circular should have made Prince Primate Serédi and church leaders re-think. ‘The elections on 28 and 29 May, 1939 were fatally tragic from the perspective of the enforcement of ‛Jewish interests’. The government parties and the parties of the right wing opposition competed in anti-Jewish behaviour, and an overwhelming majority of the voters could be won over for this programme in the first general and secret election of the Hungarian history. It was right then in September, 1945 at the trial of Béla Imrédy to raise: if the Parliament elected in 1935 partly in an open vote had remained in office – and there would have been a chance for that because the Parliament elected until the spring of 1940 could have been operating in September, 1939 and no new elections would have been held in war time – Hungary may have avoided its 1944 tragedy.’20 ‘Beginning from the summer of 1939, not only the Jews but even the forces accepting ‘rational’ moderate anti-Semitism objecting to ‘exaggerations’ had been in permanent retreat from extreme anti-Semitics, who had been growing in strength step by step and demanded the execution of anti-Jewish laws and enforcing public discourse about it all the time. The ‘moderates’ had been unable to set out a united theoretical point of view. The churches supporting the second anti-Jewish law with certain conditions treated the problem as a ‛social issue to be solved in the spirit of Christianity’ and rejected any direct statement.’ 21 1 September, 1939: Introduction of the extraordinary state (withdrawn on 10 December, 1939); censorship of the press. 3 October, 1939: The Hungarian Saint Cross Association established by the convert baron Móric Kornfeld started operation (it operated until November, 1944). Its objectives were the protection of Catholics affected by the anti-Jewish laws. Its church patron was count Gyula Zichy, the archbishop of Kalocsa († May 1942); then Vilmos Apor, bishop of Győr. The committee of bishops consisted of the following: József Cavallier, József Almásy, OP Bertalan Badalik, Jusztin Baranyay Cistercite, Balázs Bíró, Mária Blaskó, Sándor Eckhardt, SJ József P. Jánosi, Jenő Katona, Countess Józsefné Károlyi, Géza Kiss, Baron István Kray, priest Mihály Marcell, János Mészáros canon at Esztergom, Kálmán Molnár, Ferenc Ripka, Margit Slachta social sister, Pál Schrotty Franciscan, József Tiefenthaler priest, Béla Varga priest, Tibor Zsitvay MP. It had local groups at Szeged, Győr, Pécs, Nagykanizsa, Nagyvárad, Kassa and Szombathely. It helped about 20,000 Jews having fled to Hungary from Slovakia to obtain refugee status and to find jobs. Archbishop Zichy was disappointed to find that his humanitarian efforts were met with ‘indifference, resistance from all sides and the cynical behaviour of the state administration’. 22 The operation of the Association has not been studied by historians to the very day. 2 December, 1939: Minister of the Interior, Ferenc Keresztes-Fischer, with reference to the interests of defence, banned all free churches except for Methodists and Baptists. As a result,
20 21

János Pelle, A gyűlölet vetése [The seeds of hate], Budapest, 2001, 99. Ibid., 149. 22 Jenő Gergely, „A magyarországi katolikus egyház and a fasizmus (különös tekintettel az 1930-as évektől 1944-ig)” [The Hungarian Catholic Church and Fascism (particularly from the 1930s to 1944], Századok 1987/1, 44. 10

they were also persecuted in the period of the persecution of Jews. 28 August, 1940: Government Decree No. 5555 expanded censorship to all media (establishment of censorship committees). It is not yet known what that meant with reference to the church media. 8 August, 1940: Anti-Jewish laws in Romania. 30 August, 1940: The second Vienna Award: the Partium and Northern Transylvania reincluded into Hungary. Hungary had broken off with the double-dealing policy and took sides with Germany. 3 October, 1940: Anti-Jewish laws in France. 27 September, 1940: Sándor Raffay, Lutheran bishop stated in a presentation held in the National Club that the Jewish question cannot be solved on a religious, but only on a racial basis. As a first step he regarded the abolishment of ‘the Act on churches allowing racial mixing’. 23 16 October, 1940: Autumn conference of the Catholic Bishops’ Bench. 28 October, 1940: Anti-Jewish laws in Belgium. 1 November, 1940 – 1 January 1941: ‘What is a Hungarian’- debate in the periodical Nyugat. 11 December, 1940: Hungarian-Yugoslav permanent friendship agreement. 14 January, 1941: ‘Detriment and cowardice everywhere. Filth’ – evaluated the situation Miklós Radnóti, who had identified himself as a Hungarian poet despite his ordeals in forced labour service until he was shot dead in autumn 1944.24 In the census held in 1941, 89,640 racially Jewish (i.e. Christian by religion) people were registered, which represented over one fifth of the total Hungarian Jewry. In the same period the struggle of the Norwegian Lutheran Church evolved against National Socialism. 10 March, 1941: ‘Yesterday at V, hopeless and disgusting debate. ‘Jews and non-Jews’ will both go mad because of ‘race’, this stupid, confused, concept, never thought to the end (not even a concept) will become a reality in us. It is used and calculated with and they lie to themselves in their minds. They acknowledge any kind of ad hoc communities and try to enjoy themselves.’25 3 April, 1941: Pál Teleki committed suicide. To be studied: how the church media responded? 16 April, 1941: A Decree by Prime Minister Bárdossy on forced labour service of Jewish men liable for military service. It also applied to converts. To be studied: what the church media wrote about it?

See in A zsidókérdés története Magyarországon [History of the Jewish question in Hungary], Királyi Magyar Egyetemi Nyomda, Budapest, 1941, 25. 24 Miklós Radnóti, Napló [Diary], Budapest, 1989, 134. 25 Ibid., 148. 11

24 June, 1941: Two days after the German-Soviet war broke out, Hungary broke diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. 26 June, 1941: Bombing of the city of Kassa. 27 June, 1941: Hungary entered the war against the Soviet Union, and by the end of the year the state of war had been declared with Great Britain and the United States. ‘It was a trauma and a nightmare still undigested by the Hungarian society that the future of the nation and the sovereignty of the country had become subject from one minute to the next to a war whose outcome could not be foreseen. From the perspective of mass psychology it should also be noted that the final act driving the country to a forced path had been almost unnoticed: it had taken years before contemporaries started to recognise that something incorrigible had taken place at the end of June, 1941.’26 It has not been studied how the events of those days appeared in the church media and in the statements of different churches. Although, according to Károly Hetényi Varga: ‘the war was justified by official anti-Communism. It permeated the religious and social announcements of the churches, the papers addressed to the large masses, the propaganda, and it influenced the thinking and behaviour of hundreds of thousands. The relationship to Jews had produced even deeper and more dramatic conflicts. Christian antiJudaism originating from Biblical times and reiterated theologically later on several times and also spread in catechism, was a breeding ground to the mass killing political anti-Semitism of Fascism. Both the politicians and legislators committed all their anti-Jewish deeds with reference to Christian interests. Our churches discovered this tragically late, and even at that time an open enlightenment of their followers did not happen. That had a grave effect on church resistance. It narrowed it and delayed it, and it was one of the peculiar features of that resistance. The Jewish tragedy confused and divided religious Christians anyway.’ 27 1 July, 1941: Angelo Rotta Apostolic Nuncio ‘met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and advised him: ‘His Holiness the Pope was disappointed to learn about a Bill submitted by the government to Parliament on marriages, which is a disappointment to the Holy Seat because the Bill may not meet the liking of the Catholic Church in any way’. After delivering his oral aid-mémoire, Rotta advised that a political enforcement of racism would have da ngerous consequences and ‘with that we could find ourselves on a slippery path where there is no stop’. The Nuncio was sorry to find that all that happened here in Hungary, which called itself a Christian country. Obviously, the Nuncio received no official response and the Bill had been voted on against the opposition of the Upper House – including all churches.’28 22–24 July, 1941: The third anti-Jewish law (Act XV) was passed ‘on the extension and amendment of Act no XXXI of 1894 on marriage rights’. The Act banned marriage or sexual intercourse between Jews and non-Jews. Christian church leaders did not vote for it, because it was clearly in conflict with Christian connubial rights. They abstained! Still, they could achieve that the Minister of Justice was authorised to disregard the provision in the event of exceptional circumstances. As a result, members of the administration and the political elite were absolved from being deemed Jewish! Mercy, then, overruled the law! 8 August, 1941: The third anti-Jewish law was announced. It is unbelievable that their humiliating defeat in the legislation of the administration, which had been officially
26 27

János Pelle, A gyűlölet vetése [The seeds of hate], Budapest, 2001, 162. Sándor Szenes, Befejezetlen múlt [Unfinished past], Budapest, 1994, 233. 28 Jenő Gergely, A katolikus egyház története Magyarországon 1919–1945 [A history of the Catholic Church in Hungary, 1919-1945], Pannonica Kiadó, Budapest, 19992, 30. 12

ideologically based on the national-Christian course, failed to wake Christian church leaders to the fact that something was very wrong in the Hungarian political elite and society. It has not been studied to date how that story appeared in contemporary church media. ‘It was a factor of the devastating, hate-inciting mass psychosis of the third anti-Jewish law less analysed today that it had perverted with evil cynicism the love or sexual attraction arising unintentionally between Christians and Jews to serve discrimination’. 29 An unexpected consequence of the Act was occasional conversion to Judaism. There were even women who asked to be registered by the vice-squad! 15 August, 1941: Apostolic Nuncio Angelo Rotta objected to the third anti-Jewish law in a most formal aide-mémoire, because it was contradictory to Catholic connubial rights. 23 August, 1941: In its return aide-mémoire the Hungarian government called attention that in 1895 the Catholic church had objected to the introduction of civil marriage, just because it allowed Christian-Jewish mixed marriages. 27–28 August, 1941: The ‘Körösmező deportation’ – not on a German order (about 14,700 people) to the region of Kamenec-Podolsk. Those people were surrendered to the Germans (to SS Sonderkommando) by the Hungarian National Office Controlling Foreigners (KEOKH) and those men, women and children were all slaughtered. The story remained without any response; it was never mentioned by the contemporary media. 8 October, 1941: Autumn conference of the Catholic Bishops’ Bench. 18 October, 1941: Double suicide of the Jewish student Zoltán Horváth Jr. and the Christian chemistry student Kata Tóth in the Budapest Carlton Hotel, using potassium cyanide. 23 October, 1941: ‘A’ spoke yesterday night about one of his nieces who is 6 years old, at the first grade. At school Jews were made to stand up as they would attend a different class from then on. The little girl is a ‘half-blood’ (fantastic definition), her father was Christian while he lived, her mother is Jewish, the child followed her mother’s religion, and she is a Jew. The little girl remained sitting. The teacher noticed this and asked her: little Agnes why don’t stand up? The child half crying starts to shout: because I do not want to be a Jew, I do not want to be a Jew, my father was Christian and I do not want to be a Jew, either!’ 30 Early December, 1941: Submission of the Bill ‘Regulating the legal status of the Israelite denomination’ (Act VIII of 1942). In the related debate no leaders of the Christian churches intervened. Probably because they did not object to legislation downgrading the legal status of the Israelite religion from an accepted religion (Act XLII of 1895) to a legally acknowledged religion. Article 5 banned the members of accepted or acknowledged denominations to enter into the Israelite religion! ‘There is no doubt that the hate of Jews infect ed the part of Hungarian public opinion prone to that mainly in the period from 1938 to 1942, which the three (by some) or four anti-Jewish laws (by others) generated and also confirmed’. 31 Why did the Christian churches fail in the process? To what extent the church media contributed to this? It has not been studied to date!
29 30

János Pelle, A gyűlölet vetése [The seeds of hate], Budapest, 2001, 183. Miklós Radnóti, Napló [Diary], Budapest, 1989, 194. 31 János Pelle, op. cit., 200-201. 13

4–23 January, 1942: A raid at Újvidék. Avenging partisan actions demanding the lives of 6 Hungarian gendarmes, 3309 civilian victims were killed by the Hungarian gendarmerie and army (children, women, old people) including several hundred Jews. Those responsible fled to Germany before they could be taken to account. Many of them were executed as war criminals in Yugoslavia after the war (e.g., József Grassy lieutenant -general, Márton Zöldi, the gendarme commander of the Kecskemét ghetto). At present both the general and theoretical opinion of the Christian churches and the relationship of the local churches to the events are unrevealed. 17 February, 1942: The Dutch Catholic church handed over an aide-mémoire to Sessy-Inquart imperial governor, in which his decrees were deemed illegal. At the same time the Church warned its followers that it would deny administering the sacraments and a church funeral from people who committed themselves to the Germans. We do not know how it had been assessed by the Catholic media in Hungary. 9 March, 1942: Miklós Kállay became Prime Minister. Summer 1942: Act no XV ‘On the agricultural and forestry properties of Jews’. According to the Act, a person deemed a Jew could not purchase land and was obliged to sell his estate. In that way the peasants always hungry for land had been made interested in the ‘Jewish question’. ‘The expropriation and division of agricultural properties owned by Jews incited the animosity of poor peasants without actually mitigating the hunger for land. An atmosphere of radicalism was also boosted by the fact that when the estates were divided the members of the knightly order of ‘Vitéz’ [the Valiant], local civil servants and all wh o had gained political merits were prioritised by law. The members of the poor social strata rebelled against the injustice taking place in front of their eyes, but they never doubted the legality of the antiJewish laws’.32 And what did the church media say of that, what was the opinion of the churches? Nobody has studied it to date. 31 July, 1942: Supplement to Act II of 1939 on defence (Act XIV) legalised labour service. That also applied to Christian Jews. 23 August, 1942: A pastoral letter by Mgr. Sa liége (archbishop of Toulouse): he considered Jews humans and called everybody to provide refuge. How it was responded to in the church media in Hungary? We do not know. Night of 4-5 September, 1942: Soviet air raid on Budapest. The technical insufficiency of the Hungarian army and the defenceless state of the country had become evident. ‘The population of Hungary had to face the fact for the first time that the devastation of the war going on in distant lands could find its way into their everyday life, and they would have to face the consequences of two wars going parallel – a public one going on against the Allied Forces and a secret one aiming to destroy Jewry. The official propaganda was trying to deny the first recognition using every possible means but to no avail: it had become suddenly obvious that if Germany defending itself with the peak technology of the times was subject to a series of British and American air raids, its ally Hungary could not expect but the same. The impotent anger of the helpless civilian population attacked from the air was excellently used by antiSemitic forces to incite hatred against the Jewry and the masses believed their propaganda…’33
32 33

János Pelle, A gyűlölet vetése [The seeds of hate], Budapest, 2001, 281. Ibid., 242. 14

Autumn 1942: The Kállay government refused the deportation of Jews. Vilmos Apor Catholi c bishop at Győr (calling for empathy with converted Jews) and Margit Slachta (demanding humane dealing for both converted Jews and those who had remained in their faith) presented a moral stance! 20 October, 1942: The Good Pastor Missionary Sub-committee of the United Convent of the Hungarian Reformed Church (Good Pastor Missionary Committee) was established led by Gyula Muraközy curate at Kálvin place; under the auspices of the United Convent. Its head had become József Éliás of Jewish origin. Lutherans joined it in May 1944. They were represented by Gábor Sztehló (caring for men in forced labour service and the children of converts). Its objectives – according to József Éliás - ‘were to perform missionary and interest protection duty among Christians of Jewish origin’, in other words: conversion. ‘When I started that work, he said, we had already been witnesses to three anti-Jewish laws, already the religious and legal equality of Jews had been terminated and men of draft age deemed Jews had been forced to do labour service for the second year. More than 800 thousand Jewish citizens had been living inside the borders of the country at the time; of them about a hundred thousand might have been Christians of Jewish origin, both Catholics and Protestants. That mass of people had been under a growingly cruel pressure of political antiSemitism justified by racism and racialism. Their legal, moral and physical bondage had been increasing; most of them had been living in danger for their lives. The anti-Jewish laws, in fact, had already blurred all borderlines between Israelites and Christian Jews. Therefore, the activity of Good Pastor had been focusing right from the beginning on saving people without making any differences, which had been a task growing in size and facing increasing difficulties.’34 End of 1942: Following a report by Kurt Gerstein SS officer, Konrad Preysing, the Cardinal of Berlin, sent the Pope Pius XII the report on mass gassing. 12 January, 1943: The Soviet troops broke across the Hungarian defence lines at Voronezh and wiped out the Hungarian army within a couple of weeks. The Hungarian society had been taken over by conscious disinterest, retreat into the private sphere. People excluded the fate of the Jews willingly and unconsciously from public knowledge. ‘In 1943, the process of corrupting the middle class started en masse, and the desire to obtain profit had proved stronger than any effort by the Kállay government to ‛educate the nation’. The uncertain outcome of the war, then the anticipation of defeat increased the lust for property received as ‛national gift’, which delayed the acknowledgement of the real situation.’ 35 Spring of 1943: A memorandum by some independent Catholics (aristocrats, university professors), heads of Catholic male and female unions and journalists addressed to Prince Primate Serédi, who left it unanswered. 22 March, 1943: A letter by the Foreign Committee of the Hungarian Reformed Church addressed to W. A. Visser’t Hooft, the General Secretary of the World Counc il of Churches in Geneva. It was signed by László Ravasz, bishop of the Reformed church and Jenő Balogh (lay president). The letter offered credible image of how the top church leaders related to the war and to Jewry. According to József Éliás, the letter is ‘nothing but an effort by church leaders to justify their deeds and to defend the Horthy administration.’ 36 As far as we know, the letter
34 35

Sándor Szenes, Befejezetlen múlt [Unfinished past], Budapest, 1994, 35. János Pelle, op. cit., 282. 36 Sándor Szenes, op. cit., 44. 15

has not been published yet! (See in the Councillor Records and Decrees of the Reformed Church: ZsLT 2. a.-320-1618/1943). At the same time, the question arises why nobody has researched so far the Hungarian documents (for instance, church correspondence) relating to the anti-Jewish laws and the period of the Holocaust in the Archives of the World Council of Churches)? 5 July, 1943: The battle of armoured troops at Kursk; catastrophic defeat of the Wehrmacht. 10 July, 1943: Debarkation of the Allied Forces in Sicily. 28 July, 1943: In Italy, the Fascist party was dissolved; Marshall Badoglio became the Prime Minister. 23–29 August, 1943: Meeting at Balatonszárszó; first action by the ‘popular left wing’. The conference was organised by the Soli Deo Gloria Federation together with the ‘Book Friends of Hungarian Life’. ‘… looking at Szárszó from a historical perspective, it cannot be deni ed that everything declared there as ‘political message’ illustrated the impotence of the left wing, its class conscious way of thinking and unbelievable spiritual blindness. The topical questions that participants including the elite of Hungarian literature and social sciences and others should have responded to were the following: do they consider the defence of national independence or socialism believed to be the embodiment of social and economic justice more important? Are they willing to prepare for the end of the war, protecting human life and properties or will they neglect the Kállay government and its plans to extricate from the war? Are they loyal to the civil society including the Jewish community representing its organic part or do they declare themselves neutral in the genocide in the name of the utopia of an unrealistic ‛third path’? But everything was spoken of except the above questions: the participants of the conference, the best of the ‛popular intelligentsia’ suppressed their fear of the immediate future in the name of the utopian idea of socialism dawning in the distance and refused to face reality becoming more and more tragic.’ 37 26 August, 1943: A coordinating organisation named Catholic Social Popular Movement was set up in the bishop’s palace at Győr. Its members were Vilmos Apor, Catholic bishop (patron), Béla Kovrig (president), and Jenő SJ Kerkai, the National Chairman of KALOT (actual leader). September, 1943: ‘Institute for the Research of Jewry’ was established at Kassa. ‘The media had been repeating the stereotype since the autumn of 1919 that a victor y by the Soviet would mean a merciless conquest by international and Hungarian Jewry to annihilate Hungarians, so it had become almost evident. (…) The papers published on the week preceding German occupation when the Soviet troops had already been close to the Carpathian Mountains that Finland rejected the first offer of the Soviet Union for a separate peace treaty and continued fighting. Hungarian politicians, even those that opposed Hitler in the Jewish question, were generally convinced that Hungary had to continue on the side of Germany if the negotiations with the Western Allied Forces on a separate peace treaty failed to succeed.’38 18 March, 1944: Horthy and Hitler agreed at Schloss Klessheim on deporting several hundred
37 38

János Pelle, A gyűlölet vetése [The seeds of hate], Budapest, 2001, 298-299 Ibid., 314-315. 16

thousand ‘Jewish labourers’ to Germany. 19 March, 1944: German occupation of Hungary. 22 March, 1944: Horthy constitutionally appointed the Government headed by colonel general Döme Sztójay (previously ambassador to Berlin). The government identified as one of its most important go als to continue the war against Jewry regarded the ‘internal enemy’. A stream of decrees were published (107 in total from 29 March to 6 December, 1944), which were all aimed at the isolation of Jews, the deprivation of their property and closing them into ghettos. In response to requests by Jewish leaders, the heads of the Christian churches only expressed their anxiety about the fate of the converts. End of March, 1944: Cardinal Jusztinián Serédi met with the Prime Minister and presented to him a Memorandum by the Saint Cross Association. The head of the Catholic church tried to intervene in the interest of clergymen and women (priests, nuns) so that they could be exempted from the obligation of wearing the Yellow Star of David. 3 April, 1944: Start of the devastating air raids. It had become clear that Germany had lost the war; and also that Hungary would be occupied by Soviet troops! Bishop László Ravasz visited Andor Jaross Minister of the Interior and Gyula Ambrózy, the head of Horthy’s cabinet office to achieve that the officers and employees of the Protestant churches (teachers, cantors, curates) should be exempted from the obligation of wearing the Yellow Star. This makes it clear that Christian church leaders opted for actions separately rather than taking a united stance. Everybody was lobbying where they hoped to achieve the most results. 4 April, 1944: ‘German–Hungarian–Slovak railway conference in Vienna, with the participation of SS and gendarmerie officers; the transportation plans of deportations from Hungary were accepted and the route of trains was decided.’ 39 5 April, 1944: The Sztójay Government ordered all Jews older than 6 years of age to wear the Yellow Star. Serédi met with the Prime Minister several times (13 and 23 of April) to ac hieve exemptions of Christian Jews. It should be studied how the Decree appeared in the church media? ‘Prince Primate Serédi and the church leaders committing themselves to a confrontation with power with difficulty had believed until the last moment that public objections were senseless. Their reasons were the following: open resistance against the government would not be to the benefit of the Church and those persecuted, but it would result in more drastic steps against Catholics as well. It does not make sense to object openly and ceremonially in the churches because it would only make the situation worse. That is why a series of personal intimate negotiations remained, which was ab ovo more favourable for the government. Offers from the Protestant side (proposals by bishop of the Reformed Church László Ravasz of the Duna Region and Sándor Raffay Lutheran bishop at Bánya) to publish a joint declaration against the persecution of Jews was refused by Prince Primate Serédi due to the above and also because of his rigid ecclesiastical ideology. (That is, ‘taking common stance’ with Protestants was allegedly dangerous for the faith and against the ecclesiastic canon.)’ 40 6 April, 1944: Bishop Ravasz’ address to Prime Minister Sztójay.
39 40

Sándor Szenes, Befejezetlen múlt [Unfinished past], Bp., 1994, 327. Jenő Gergely (ed.), A püspöki kar tanácskozásai, [Conferences of the Bishops’ Bench] Budapest, 1984, 53-54. 17

12 April, 1944: Bishop Ravasz met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Governor Horthy. 23 April, 1944: Letter by cardinal Serédi to Prime Minister Sztójay. 26 April, 1944: ‘A Decree by the Hungarian Council of Ministers on confining Jews to certain areas. The concentration of the Jewry of the countryside started in the ghettos and collection areas of cities or larger settlements.’ 41 27 April, 1944: Bishop Ravasz received Zsigmond Perényi, the Chairman of the Upper House, who knew that ghettification was an overture to deportation (the fate of Polish and Slovak Jews). 28 April, 1944: Bishop Ravasz met with Governor Horthy again. 30 April, 1944: The first deportation trains left the internment camp at Kistarcsa for Auschwitz. Government Decree on destroying the works of Jewish and progressive authors. 3 May, 1944: Jews in Northern Transylvania were started to be collected in ghettos. Prince Primate Serédi was worried about the ability of converts to exercise their faiths. Sztójay reassured the Prince Primate in a letter about the exemption of priests of Jewish descent. 9 May, 1944: Bishop Ravasz met with Prime Minister Sztójay. 10 May, 1944: Prime Minister Sztójay informed bishop Ravasz in a letter that the Jewish question would be solved on racial rather than on religious basis. Another letter by cardinal Serédi to Prime Minister Sztójay. First part of May, 1944 (from 10 to 15): The heads of the Christian churches (Jusztinián Serédi, László Ravasz and Sándor Raffay) received the Auschwitz Reports (reports of two Slovak Jews who had escaped on 7 April). 42 The secretary of the Prince Primate, András Zakar, read the Reports at Gerecse at the end of May. 43 Spring of 1944: Conference of Catholic bishops. 14 May, 1944: The deportation of Hungarian Jewry started in the c ountryside. ‘… if after the German occupation, the Horthy-appointed Sztójay Government had refused to make the instruments of state power – the gendarmerie, police and civil service – at the disposal of the relatively small Eichmann Sondereinsatz-kommando, and instead adopted the stance of the Kállay government, or the Bulgarians or the Romanians, the Nazis and their Hungarian accomplices could not have implemented the Final Solution programme’ 44 ‘…for the commando of only 200-300 people led by Eichmann to be able to execute their action of ‛dejewification’, they undoubtedly needed the support and active contribution of the
41 42

Sándor Szenes, Befejezetlen múlt [Unfinished past], Budapest, 1994, 327. old. See Sándor Szenes, op. cit., 53–62 (Éliás József visszaemlékezései) [Memoirs of József Éliás]; 111–117 (a jegyzőkönyvet fordító dr. Küllői-Rhorer Lászlóné, Székely Mária visszaemlékezései) [recollections of dr. Küllői-Rhorer Lászlóné, Mária Székely translating the Reports]. 43 See Sándor Szenes, op. cit., 138-139. 44 ‘The Holocaust in Hungary: sixty years later’, edited by Judit Molnár (ed.), ‘The Holocaust in Hungary in European perspective, Balassi Kiadó, Budapest, 2005, 27-28. 18

Hungarian civil service, the police and gendarmerie.’ 45 ‘The zealousness of the civil servants was matched by the fervour of the “patriotic appeals” by large numbers of gre edy individuals, invoking their long-standing Christian background, applying for Jewish property. The entire state apparatus became virtually obsessed with the implementation of the anti-Jewish measures. It appeared as if the entire bureaucracy had been busy in each and every community preparing lists – lists of Jews to be rounded up; lists of employees proving their and their spouses’ Christian origin; lists of all Jewish commercial, agricultural, and industrial enterprises; lists of physicians and other professionals; lists and inventories of goods (radios, binoculars, bicycles, cars, typewriters, etc.)’46 Apostolic Nuncio Rotta Angelo objected in a memorandum addressed to the Foreign Ministry. ‘I pray every day for this country so that it should become greater, happier and more respected, but I am anguished at the moment regarding its future; I am afraid the injustice you are preparing to commit – God avert it! –, innocent blood shed without consideration cannot bring God’s blessing to the country.’ 47 17 May, 1944: Circular letter by Prince Primate Serédi (EPL 3795/1944), in which ‘he informed the members of the Bishops’ Bench about the negotiations going on between the government and him focusing on the so-termed Jewish question’,48 i.e., his action in the interest of converts. 19 May, 1944: Bishop Ravasz addressed Prime Minister Sztójay in a declaration objecting to the measures taken against the Jews. József Éliás, however, knows about a document dated 17 May, addressed by Bishop Ravasz on behalf of the United Convent of the Reformed Church to Prime Minister Sztójay. 49 On the same day, a memorable address by Áron Márton Catholic bishop of Gyulafehérvár in the Szent -Mihály Church at Kolozsvár. The bishop became persona non grata in Hungary. End of May, 1944 – beginning of June, 1944: the Auschwitz Reports found their way to Miklós Horthy.50 2 June, 1944: István Antal, Minister of Justice, Religion and Public Education met with Cardinal Serédi. 7 June, 1944: Lajos Huszovszky, Secretary of the Ministerial Council met with Cardinal Serédi. 8 June, 1944: Béla Imrédy met with Cardinal Serédi. According to Szenes: ‘On 8 June, Serédi told Nuncio Rotta who had been urging open objections: ‛we could not achieve anything by issuing a circular letter from the pulpit, we would just cause more damage to both the church and our followers’. 51


Judit Molnár, Zsidósors 1944-ben az V. (szegedi) csendőrkerületben [Jewish fate in 1944 in the 5th gendarmerie district in Szeged], Budapest, 1995, 36. 46 Randolph L. Braham, The politics of genocide. The Holocaust in Hungary , Volume 1, Budapest, 19972, 424. 47 Kinga Frojimovics – Géza Komoróczy – Viktória Pusztai – Andrea Strbik, A Zsidó Budapest. Emlékek, szertartások, történelem [The Jewish Budapest. Memories, ceremonies, history]. Edited by Géza Komoróczy. (A város arcai – Hungaria Judaica, 7), Városháza – MTA Judaisztikai Kutatócsoport, Budapest, 1995, II. kötet, 543. 48 Jenő Gergely, A katolikus egyház története Magyarországon 1919–1945 [A history of the Catholic Church in Hungary, 1919-1945], Pannonica Kiadó, Budapest, 19992, 115. 49 Sándor Szenes, Befejezetlen múlt [Unfinished past], Budapest, 1994, 61. 50 See Sándor Szenes, op. cit., 214-215. 51 Ibid., 164. 19

15 June, 1944: Bishop of the Reformed church László Ravasz originated that ‘the historical churches – Catholics, the Reformed church and Lutherans – should publish a joint pastoral letter objecting to the persecution of Jews, and if it were to no avail, they should press their demands using other ways of public objection’ – as József Éliás remembered. 52 Letter by Apor Bishop of Győr to cardinal Serédi, in which he urged joint action by the Christian churches.53 16 June, 1944: József Cavallier tried unsuccessfully to hand over the letter of bishop Apor to cardinal Serédi. According to József Éliás: ‘… when I now told in accordance with the experience of professor Cavallier how Jusztinián Serédi had received the idea of joint action by the historical churches that might have been the only possibility at the last moment to stop the tragedy of Jewry, - it was not the Calvinist priest that spoke or even less a Calvinist debatteur, but, I think, a credible witness of the age, of what had happened. I am saying in that quality of mine: the plan of joint action by the churches failed because the head of the majority church countered it. The churches issued separate pastorals but those were not read out from the pulpit. (…) I would like to add to the failure of a joint action, as a believer Christian priest: there is no forum on Earth that could acquit the heads of the churches for any of their sins committed against any people at that time or today. The sins of that time should be an admonition for the present and the future to the heads of churches at any time. The neglects in June 1944 are so terrible because a joint action by the churches could have saved 130-150 thousand Jewish people in the country, those that had not been deported yet. (…) The gendarmerie and the police had been educated in a religious spirit to be obedient to the Church and the same spirit penetrated the whole of society at the time. If those who were directly involved in deportations – and certainly there had been among them grudging executioners –, if all those people had been told that neither them nor the members of their families could participate in the sacraments, in absolution; they could not receive the final absolution when they die if they are Catholics, or the communion if they are Protestants; if their children are not baptised; or even that the churches would be closed and the bells would not toll; – all that could have generated such conflict of the conscience, such disturbance in the executing forces, both on top and below, the civil servants, the railwaymen, it could have strengthened the voice of courage of all disagreeing with the occupants and their servants, which may have given a huge momentum to the national resistance. I am sure that many of those participating in deportations would have said they refuse to send their fellow people to death, because if the churches talk like that, then it is an act of Cain, and they do not want to be Cains. They would have recognised the dreadful part they were playing.’ 54 17 June, 1944: István Bárczy invited cardinal Serédi and the Catholic bishops to a dinner given by the government to clarify the issues raised by t he churches. Serédi rejected the invitation and sent an information circular to the bishops (what he said and requested for Catholics of Jewish origin from the end of March until 10 May). 19 June, 1944: Prime Minister Sztójay informed the Prince Primate in a private letter that the government had accepted and acted upon the five demands in the April memorandum. 20 June, 1944: Serédi and Horthy met at Gerecse. 21 June, 1944: Answer by Prime Minister Sztójay to Serédi’s letter dated 10 May.
52 53

Sándor Szenes, Befejezetlen múlt [Unfinished past], Budapest, 1994, 66. See Sándor Szenes, op. cit., 66–74. 54 Ibid., 72-73. 20

23 June, 1944: Memorandum of Protestant bishops to Prime Minister Sztójay. 25 June, 1944: Baron Móric Kornfeld, the founder of the Holy Cross Federation arrived at Lisbon together with his wife and 3 children as a member of the Weiss group, (32 people in total) on a special flight of Lufthansa. End of June, 1944: In Switzerland and Sweden the truth about Auschwitz was published. The Pope addressed a careful diplomatic request to Horthy to prevent the persecution of Jews (25 June). The American President Roosevelt and the Swedish King Gustav also sent messages. 27 June, 1944: Apostolic Nuncio Rotta expressed the wish of Pius XII for the Hungarian Bishops’ Bench to speak up in public in the interest of the Jews, particularly those who have converted. Lutheran Bishop Raffa y also turned to Serédi for a joint action. A protesting pastoral letter dated 29 June 194455 on behalf of the Bishops’ Bench – following the expressed wish of the Pope and urged by the Nuncio and the Bishops’ Bench – that should have been read out on Sunday 9 July in every Catholic Church. In effect, it was printed at the beginning of July (EPL 5176/1944). 6 July, 1944: István Antal Minister of Justice (temporary Minister for Religion and Public Education) requested Cardinal Serédi at Gerecse to stop reading out the pastoral. ‘In the opposite event he envisaged the possibility of the resignation of the government and opening the way to Arrow Cross supporters to power. Cardinal Serédi was willing for further compromise on three conditions: 1) the government should end the violation of law and the violation of citizens’ rights; 2) the deportations should be stopped and Christians already deported should be returned; 3) the public should be informed about the negotiations of the Primate and the government. Ant al accepted the conditions, and then Serédi stopped reading out the pastoral in a circular cable dated 7 July 1944.’56 In the meantime, according to Szenes, ‘In Budapest, Sztójay informed Veesenmayer and Nuncio Rotta that the government would not allow the deportation of Budapest Jewry on instructions by Horthy.’ Veesenmayer cabled this to Berlin the same day. Antal most certainly arrived at Gerecse having been informed about that decision but the Primate could hardly have learnt about it. That is how the sorry, or I could say tragic, situation could arise that while Horthy and his followers had already decided about suspending the deportation of all Budapest Jews independent of the Primate, the Primate at Gerecse still only requested stopping the deportation of a minority, i.e., Christian Jews (...) the role played by Serédi at Gerecse, unfortunately, was already restricted to allowing Sztójay what he had requested: postponement of reading out the pastoral.’ 57 7 July, 1944: Serédi informed parish priests in a cable not to read out the pastoral. ‘It is not known to date how the Vatican assessed the fact that the pastoral of the Hungarian Bishops’ Bench has not been read out in the churches in the end.’ 58 8 July, 1944: At his summer residence at Gerecse, Serédi received Prime Minister Sztójay and Minister of Justice István Antal. Gyula Czapik archbishop of Eger, baron Vilmos Apor bishop of Győr and canon János Drahos, commissary of the archbishop of Esztergom were also
55 56

The text was published by Sándor Szenes (Kritika) 1983/5, 21-22). Jenő Gergely, A katolikus egyház története Magyarországon 1919–1945 [A history of the Catholic Church in Hungary, 1919-1945], Pannonica Kiadó, Budapest, 19992, 117. 57 Sándor Szenes, Befejezetlen múlt [Unfinished past], Budapest, 1994, 163. 58 Ibid., 181. 21

present. The church heads backed off, no public objection was voiced (see EPL 5882/1944. 18. fol.). Sztójay reassured the Cardinal that converted Jews would be saved in the event of any possible further deportations. Clergymen of Jewish origin were exempted from the obligation to wear the Yellow Star. The same night the last trains carrying the deported left (the railway station of the suburban railway at Békásmegyer). 8 and 9 July, 1944: The government radio broadcast a short address by Prince Primate Serédi: ‘Jusztinián Serédi cardinal, the Princ e Primate of Hungary, on behalf of himself and the reverend Bishops’ Bench informs the Catholic believers that he has repeatedly turned to the Hungarian royal government regarding the measures applying to Jews, especially to converted Jews, and he is going to continue with negotiations in that regard.’59 9 July, 1944: A confidential explanatory letter by cardinal Serédi to the bishops. The redrafted letter by bishop Ravasz should have been read out in Protestant churches on that day. It, however, did not happen. ‘This is where the lack of cooperation had come to light. If the Christian churches had concluded a joint agreement previously, the state power could not have made separate actions and could have been forced to make more allowances. On the other hand, if the government concluded such an agreement with the Catholic church, which had been the overwhelming majority, the Protestant churches could not overturn it because in that way they would have accepted responsibility for potentially increasing cruelty and the response of the right wing.’ (Ravasz L., Pro memoria).60 11 July, 1944: Bishop Ravasz and Minister of Justice István Antal met at Leányfalu. 14 July, 1944: the Federation of Hungarian Christian Jews was established (its managing vice chairman was the author Sándor Török; 1904–1985). In that way converted Jews had become exempt from the jurisdiction of the Jewish Council. 15 July, 1944: A letter by bishop Hamvas to the Prince Primate in which he expressed his indignation because of the humiliation inflicted on Jews, especially to women who – in efforts to find hidden valuables - have been subjected to bodily search. On 16 July, 1944 the announcement by Serédi was read out in Catholic churches. The following text was also read out in Protestant chu rches: ‘The bishops of the Hungarian Reformed and Lutheran Churches wish to inform their followers that the leadership of both Evangelical churches have been acting repeatedly with the relevant government agencies regarding the Jewish question particularly in the interest of converted Jews, and they will continue their efforts in that direction.’ 61 Summer of 1944: Károly Hetényi Varga provided contemporary examples to illustrate the disturbed status of Christians. ‘A Piarist monk explained in the summer of 1944 at the time of the deportations in the Magazine called Egyedül vagyunk [We are alone] that the Christian teaching on the love of your brother would not be derogated because of what is happening to the Jews, what is more it would be consummated by it. I read the article in Esztergom, in the Primate’s Archives; I have taken a photo of it. At the time somebody, a Christian man sent the article to Primate Serédi, and wrote the following on the margin: ‘Prince Primate! I had been eyewitness in a large country city as respectable and converted citizens had been deported,
59 60

Randolph L. Braham: A Holokauszt, h.n., 2002, 276. Quoted by Sándor Szenes, in Befejezetlen múlt [Unfinished past], Budapest, 1994, 182. 61 Randolph L. Braham: A Holokauszt, h.n., 2002, 278. 22

including a converted elderly lady from an old Jewish family of the city. Her daughter who had married a Christian and her three Christian grandchildren had been walking with her crying along the pavement. Everybody cried who had seen it, including myself. Your Highness is cannily silent, but your nefarious, villainous and uneducated priests incite others in that way. Just keep silent, Your Highness, ... I will only believe the existence of God if you are punished.’62 In the summer of 1944 in Budapest a real frenzy of conversion broke out among the Jewry. The reason for that was that the threat of deportation had been there constantly for Budapest Jews. (25 August was a possible starting date but it was failed because of the successful extrication of Romania on 23 August). On the other hand, the Catholic church required three months, and the Lutheran church required six months of religious education. In a statement later on (22 November 1944) Lutheran bishop Sándor Raffay wrote the following: ‘The Jews swarmed the church offices by the hundreds or even thousands disturbing their work and internal peace. To restrict admissions, I have ordered that Jews can only be admitted if they have a Lutheran in their family, and therefore admission is justified by the religious unity of the family; furthermore if their life is in danger due to grave illness or other circumstances; and finally if they are recommended by acting and reliable members of the community under their personal responsibility. With those restrictions the number of admissions had been reduced. The restrictions were supplemented by a significant enhancement of the time of education and making it more difficult.’ 63 24 August, 1944: On request by Prime Minister Géza Lakatos (1890–1967) the agency of Eichmann was closed down. He left Budapest. In September everybody was relieved. 4 September, 1944: The Catholic Educational Chief Board banned students obliged to wear the Yellow Star from attending school. 19 September, 1944: The last circular by Serédi to the members of the Bishops’ Bench (EPL 7541/1944). It turns out from the circular that ‘In the critical situation of the times the Primate considered it important to maintain different organisations, subsidised previously, including advocacy organisations, Christian Socialists, EMSZO and the Catholic Church’; at the same time it had also become clear that ‘the top leadership of the Church intended to rely on the Catholic aristocracy in future as well.’64 Autumn 1944: The Christian Democratic People’s Party was established. Many of the founders had been affected by deprivations in their person or in their family. 8 October, 1944: Cardinal Serédi wrote his last will and testament. In that ‘he was not only preparing for his own death but also for the destruction of the country.’ 65 15 October, 1944: The Arrow Cross Party supporters took over power; the arbitrary killing of Jews started. ‘During the period of the Arrow Cross Party supporters in power the heads of
62 63

Sándor Szenes, Befejezetlen múlt [Unfinished past], Budapest, 1994, 234. Kinga Frojimovics – Géza Komoróczy – Viktória Pusztai – Andrea Strbik, A zsidó Budapest. Emlékek, szertartások, történelem. [The Jewish Budapest. Memories, ceremonies, history]. Edited by Géza Komoróczy. (A város arcai – Hungaria Judaica, 7), Városháza – MTA Judaisztikai Kutatócsoport, Budapest, 1995, II. kötet, 529. 64 Jenő Gergely (ed.), A püspöki kar tanácskozásai [Conferences of the Bishops’ Bench], Budapest, 1984, 56. 65 Ibid., 56. 23

Christian churches continued to submit applications in the interest of Jews. The leaders of the clergy, however, continued to trust traditional tactics, although the social order they had been supporting so loyally had already been demolished .’66 17 October, 1944: Eichmann returned to Budapest. 20 October, to 22 December 1944: Death marches. The Budapest Jews (men and women able to work, as well as those at labour service) were ordered to march on foot to Austria and Germany to work on the Eastern and South-Eastern Walls. The brickyards at Óbuda were the collecting places (for instance 86 Bécsi road; 134-136 Nagybátony-Újlaki). At those places nothing marks the tragic events there! 24 October, 1944: Cardinal Serédi received Szálasi at Esztergom, in whom ‘he wanted to see not the Fascist dictator, but a believer, a good Catholic, whose main blemish was not to respect the legal arguments of the Primate. This obviously explains that Serédi with his last public appearance contributed inadvertently to legitimising the rule of Szálasi.’ 67 He wanted to achieve that Budapest and Esztergom should be declared open cities. He failed. 27 October, 1944: In accordance with Act XIX of 1937. ‘the members of the National Council – including Serédi – decided to postpone the election of the governor, but the rights of the head of state were placed temporarily to Prime Minister Ferenc Szálasi under the title Leader of the Nation.’68 All that happened although the only person taking the floor (see EPL 180/1945), i. e. ‘the Primate had proved the illegitimate and anti-constitutional status of the new power using faultless arguments of formal law. That would result in his not contributing in its legalisation.’69 Despite all the above, Szálasi was sworn in to Cardinal Arc hbishop Serédi. 28 October, 1944: Arrow Cross Party supporters dragged from his flat, tortured and then shot to dead Ferenc Kálló Roman Catholic dean, the priest of the Garrison Hospital, who helped many people. 30 October, 1944: The National Association of Members of the Upper House was established. Joined the association: Zadravecz honorary bishop (vice president), Károly Subik canon of Eger, Mihály Kolozsvári high provost of Vác, György Mailáth the chairman of the Saint Stephen Society. 31 October, 1944: Memorandum by bishops of Transdanubia. (Drafted by József Mindszenty bishop of Veszprém and signed by: Vilmos Apor bishop of Győr és Lajos Shvoy bishop of Székesfehérvár, as well as Krizosztom Kelemen, the Abbot of Pannonhalma). 14 November, 1944: The leaders of the Jewish Council requested the advocacy of the Prince Primate. 25 November, 1944: Letter by Prince Primate Serédi and Lutheran Bishop Sándor Raffay to the Leader of Nation Szálasi. ‘The manager of the civil office of the Leader of the Nation
66 67

Randolph L. Braham: A Holokauszt, h.n., 2002, 281. Jenő Gergely (ed.), A püspöki kar tanácskozásai [Conferences of the Bishops’ Bench], Budapest, 1984, 57. 68 Jenő Gergely, A katolikus egyház története Magyarországon 1919–1945 [A history of the Catholic Church in Hungary, 1919-1945], Pannonica Kiadó, Budapest, 19992, 119. 69 Jenő Gergely (ed.), A püspöki kar tanácskozásai [Conferences of the Bishops’ Bench], Budapest, 1984, 57. 24

replied to the applications by the bishops dated as follows: Headquarters [at the moment Sopron]’, 19 December 1944: ‘On behalf of the Leader of the Nation I forwarded the application to the Hungarian royal Minister of the Interior.’ He replied three we eks later and that was what he had to say.’70 26 November, 1944: Bishop Ravasz requested the Prince Primate that the leaders of the three Christian churches should visit Szálasi. Serédi, who had been gravely ill rejected the idea as useless. Letter by Ravasz: ‘The sufferings of Hungarian Jews including many of our Christian brethren call to the heavens again. I think we cannot postpone the last step according to which the heads of Hungarian Christian churches should act jointly to object to this terrible abuse. A joint action, known to everybody to be conflicting with theory and previous practice just because it would prove that the absolute humanitarian and general national command of ceasing the persecution of the Jewry forced the churches, who had been marching separately, to take joint action would underline even more the extraordinary urgency and importance of our protest that cannot be compared to any previous acts.’71 29 November, 1944: Decree by Arrow Cross Party supporter Gábor Vajna Minister of the Interior on the establishment of the Budapest ghetto. 1 December, 1944: Memorandum by Protestant and Lutheran bishops to Szálasi. 5 December, 1944: The Red Army started its manoeuvres to conquer Budapest from three directions. 6 December, 1944: Decree by the Ministry of the Interior on changing the names of streets having Jewish implications. 10 December, 1944: The Budapest ghetto is closed from the outer world with a wooden fence. The government moved to the western border of the country. Beginning from 15 December, 1944: Budapest had become the prey of Arrow Cross Party thugs. Rescue actions by church institutions – here, in fact, individual initiatives were important. 24 December, 1944: The Soviet army completely enclosed Budapest. 18 January, 1944: The Pest side was liberated. 11 January, 1945: Arrow-cross supporters led by András Kun, a Minim monk (executed on 19 September 1945), murdered the patients and doctors at the Jewish hospital in Maros Street in Budapest. 13 February, 1944: Complete liberation of Budapest. 17 March 1945: Anti-Jewish legislation repealed.

Kinga Frojimovics – Géza Komoróczy – Viktória Pusztai – Andrea Strbik, A zsidó Budapest. Emlékek, szertartások, történelem. [The Jewish Budapest. Memories, ceremonies, history]. Edited by Géza Komoróczy. (A város arcai – Hungaria Judaica, 7), Városháza – MTA Judaisztikai Kutatócsoport, Budapest, 1995, Volume II, 565. 71 Ibid., 563. 25

25 March 1945: Esztergom occupied by the Soviet troops. 29 March 1945: Cardinal Prince Primate Jusztinián Serédi died. ”This fortuitous coincidence that may be reckoned as symbolic could indicate that a highly controversial period of not only the Hungarian nation but of the history of the Hungarian Catholic church was over.” 72 3 November 1945: In an encyclical letter (No. 3480/1945), Cardinal Mindszenty called for making a multilingual book to emphasize the ”positive” role of the Catholic church. 14-17 August 1946: At Nyíregyháza, the National Reformed Free Council, fiercely attacking the official ecclesiastic management, issued a resolution on the admission of the partial responsibility of the Church. Albert Bereczky played an important role in this, acting as state secretary (1945-1946), and later on as Bishop of Dunamellék (1948-1958). 25 September 1946: Bishop Ravasz stated ”at the conference of the National Society of Reformed Pastors – amidst thundering applause as reported – that the Reformed Church had had no reason to apologize to the Hungarian Jewish community for bygones.” 73 In 1960, however, he declared: ”I do admit a mistake of mine. You must not talk about Jewish faults when the Jewish community is suffocated by blind and wild anti-Semitism. Then you should prevent the murderer. I also erred in this. Mea culpa!” 74 Although this research was extended to the investigation of the (Czecho-) Slovak areas annexed to Hungary in 1938, the actual chronology of Slovakian events only started in 1939. The most decisive Slovakian events and their ecclesiastic relations were as follows: 14-16 March 1939: Slovakia’s secession from Czechoslovakia was proclaimed by the Slovakian national assembly. Sub-Carpathia was occupied by the Hungarian troops. The Chech and Moravian Protectorate were established. Hitler took upon patronage over Slovakia. 18 April 1939: People to be considered as Jews were set out by law in Slovakia. 9 September 1941: The ”anti-Jewish law” was enacted in Slovakia. 18 December 1941: Deportation of the Jews was adopted by the Slovakian Parliament. The only vote against it was cast by Count János Esterházy, representative of the Hungarian Party. 26 March – June 1942: Slovakian Jews deported. 70 thousand out of the approximately 90 thousand Jews were deported to Poland. About 20 thousand escaped to Hungary. 5 November 1942: It was codified that Slovakia would pay 500 marks to Germany for each person deported. The chronology makes it clear that the heads of the clergy did not actually perceive the severity of disfranchisements, the moral descent of the entire Hungarian society. Only when the racial persecution of the Jews already affected the Churches in practice, and began to
72 73

Jenő Gergely (ed.), A püspöki kar tanácskozásai [Conferences of the Bishops’ Bench], Budapest, 1984, 58. Randolph L. Braham: A Holokauszt [The Holocaust], h.n., 2002, 285. 74 Kinga Frojimovics – Géza Komoróczy – Viktória Pusztai – Andrea Strbik, A zsidó Budapest. Emlékek, szertartások, történelem [Jewish Budapest. Memories, Ceremonies, History]. Edited by Géza Komoróczy. (A város arcai [Faces of the City] – Hungaria Judaica, 7), Városháza [City Hall] – MTA Judaisztikai Kutatócsoport [HAS Judaism Research Group], Budapest, 1995, Vol. II, 579. 26

undermine Christianity theologically as well – questioning its universal character – did the heads of the Churches realize the danger, but still only partially, as their efforts and attempts for political intervention were mostly directed to obtain reliefs and exceptions only for Jews converted to the Christian faith but considered as Jews by law. They did not really have objections in principle to disfranchisements affecting the entire Jewish community; they occasionally objected to the method of enforcing the law (that is, arbitrary and meaningless brutality). Indisputable responsibility of the Church It has become obvious by today that Christian Churches were immensely liable for the development of anti-Semitism in the interwar period as well as that the fact of the Holocaust was – and still is – a moral failure for ecclesiastic institutional systems. However, formulation of this perception every now and again is by no means bearing up against responsibility in any form, nor the appearance / display of responsibility in general consciousness and public discourse. Quite the contrary. There is an invigorating tendency to highlight the tribulations of the Churches during Communism, as it were, to play down the importance of this inglorious cooperation and their political and social role until the end of World War II. Yet, as early as 1948, István Bibó pointed out the essence and reasons for the liability of the Churches in addition to formulating the fact: ”The trouble started because modern mass murderer anti-Semitism had long been practised all around in our neighbourhood without restraint when Hungarian Churches still treated the whole issue in the usual manner as they were happy to see a conservative government attaching importance to European forms and respecting Churches and their standpoints, so it was not of present interest to specially tackle the moral nihilism of Hitlerism and the racial argument and to make this honourable government uneasy, which, for foreign policy reasons, is compelled to progress together with Hitlerism to some degree. (...) The racial argument, the hazy popular-national metaphysics, the idolization of the race, the nation, blood and violence were declared to be condemned by the Church several times here and there; the race protection act provided opportunities for the official expostulation of the neglect of ecclesiastic aspects, such as baptising, etc., and deportations for intervention and protest against deportations and the coercion of those baptized into ghettos, partly brought to success. But the Churches saw no reason, not even between 19 March and 15 October 1944, to disregard the Hungarian government so respectful towards them and their leaders known and accustomed to by them and to qualify state leaders, decrees and executive bodies as equal to Hitler’s mad, barbarian, and criminal state standing behind them and driving their actions. This is why the paramount heroism of certain priests, convents, and organisations was coupled with an unbalanced display of the same variations of behaviour as the entire Hungarian society by the Church on the whole, ranging from compassionate assistance through remote incomprehension to irritated hostility. (...) The problem was not that they took an ecclesiastic and theological standpoint – what else could they have done? –, but the fact that they stood off the real political and moral facts and formulated their standpoint on this basis.” 75


István Bibó: Zsidókérdés Magyarországon 1944 után [Jewish Issue in Hungary after 1944] , Budapest, 1948. 27

Today as well, there are standpoints formulated here and there which clearly emphasize the liability of the Church, but its essence and reasons are not really expounded. Some of them are as follows: ”Christian Churches are heavily responsible for the Hungarian Holocaust. Their attitude to the Jewish community strongly influenced the public opinion by reason of the traditionally significant authority of the Churches. They did not condemn incitement to hatred: they actually corroborated it and set an ’example’ in their passivity towards the fate of the Jews. The fact that the majority of the Hungarian society watched passively to the end how the ’final solution’ was implemented, and that quite a few became actively involved was also attributable to the conduct of the Christian Churches.” 76 ”Undoubtedly, the heads of the historical Churches did not adopt the third antianti-Jewish law, but not really for motives of human compassion – solidarity for the miserable – but rather for Church concerns. In consequence of their Churchcentred juridical thinking, they only raised their voice for Jews who were baptized; to be more exact, not for them but rather against acts of discrimination which prejudiced the rights of the Churches. From whatever angle this issue is considered, racist, mass murderer anti-Semitism had hardly any difficulties in its bloody workings in Hungary mainly because the historical Churches were still anachronistically involved in anti-Jewish theology and preaching; because their heads, introverted in terms of nation and church centeredness, did not look beyond the field of the Church in the strictest sense, and they could not perceive responsibly that murderous, inhuman atmosphere which they lived in and which completely disclaimed the message of Christianity, actually threatening the Church itself the same way as the Jewish community. Although Hungarian Church leaders stressed their responsibility in political and social issues, they were actually pleased with the fact that there was a conservative government in Hungary which apparently attached importance to European forms and respected the Churches and their demands, and they did not wish to confront it. However, blazes in the crematoriums of Auschwitz cast light not only on the crisis of the ecclesiastic institution: the smoke emanating from the chimneys obscured the Christian perception of God together with its theological system. An event occurred which was perhaps comparable only to the Constantine turn in the life of the Church. Carrying off and executing Jews was not only the misdeed of the century but an alarm in world and salvation history to necessarily call for recollection and for the radical transformation of theological thinking.” 77 ”The failure of the Hungarians to come to grips with the Holocaust was – and continues to be – reflected in the debate on historical responsibility for this tragedy in Hungarian and Hungarian-Jewish history. A number of writers had argued convincingly that Hungarian Christians had to share responsibility for the tragedy that befell their fellow citizens of the Jewish faith. The leaders of the Christian churches became particularly sensitive to the accusation that they had not only supported the major anti-Jewish laws of the pre-German occupation era, but also had failed to take meaningful measures to help the Jews during the
76 77

Rita Nagy V.: Teológia és antiszemitizmus [Theology and Anti -Semitism], Jószöveg, Budapest, 2011, 102. Tamás Nyíri: „Előszó helyett” [In Lieu of a Foreword], in Szenes, Sándor, Befejezetlen múlt [Past Imperfect] , Budapest, 1994, 6-7. 28

deportations. It was widely believed in post-war Hungary that the passivity of the masses during the Holocaust was largely due to the failure of church leaders to provide moral leadership. It was largely to improve this negative image that the first accounts of the wartime role of the churches were published after the war. The impetus and guidelines were provided by the heads of the Catholic and Protestant churches.”78

Exoneration from blame; literature research results Refusal by the Church to accept responsibility practically began at the end of World War II, when polemics started on the role and responsibility of the Churches (1945 –1947), and it has been going on ever since. The ecclesiastic policy of the Communist regime – attempting to annihilate ecclesiastic institutional systems and to enforce the clergy into subservient cooperation at the time – simply did away with the issue of clearing up responsibilities. The same way as it made social self-examination impossible. Thus the disfranchisement of the Jews and the Holocaust remained an un-discussed, unsolved, slowly forgotten issue still hot under cover for decades. In this respect, the text on the memorial plaque placed by the government and the Catholic Bishops’ Bench on the wall of the former Apostolic Nunciature in Budapest (I., Dísz tér 4-5.) in honour of Nuncio Angelo Rotta (1872–1965) in 1992: ”He served his Church faithfully. He actively assisted foreigners who escaped to Hungary and persecutees in the gruesome years of the war.”79 So there is no mention of the fact that he primarily made efforts to help persecuted Jews. The apologetic declaration issued jointly by the Hungarian Catholic Pontifical Conference and the Ecumenical Council of Hungarian Churches in 1994, on occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Holocaust is also to evade liability. As regards liability, the most important lesson from bibliographical research so far is certainly noteworthy: attention should not only be paid to the content of published studies (mostly the emphasis on rescuing people80), but also to what is left out of analyses, adaptations and historical narratives – perhaps even more so. In respect of omissions, the question arises with good reason: is it all about a simple methodology error, a lack of knowledge of the respective special literature, deficiencies in processing it, or much rather about a conscious and deliberate skip, selective processing of documents and partial or complete concealment? A most typical example thereof is offered by Ignác Romsics, a historian s erving the prevailing Hungarian regime, whose narrative presenting the Horthy period and simply disregarding the Holocaust highly influences today’s education and view of history in Hungary. 81 However,

Randolph L. Braham: A népirtás politikája. A Holocaust Magyarországon. [The policy of Genocide. Holocaust in Hungary.] 2nd extended and revised edition, Belvárosi Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1997, Vol. II, 1297 1298. 79 Kinga Frojimovics – Géza Komoróczy – Viktória Pusztai – Andrea Strbik, A zsidó Budapest. Emlékek, szertartások, történelem [Jewish Budapest. Memories, Ceremonies, History]. Edited by Géza Komoróczy. (A város arcai [Faces of the City] – Hungaria Judaica, 7), Városháza [City Hall] – MTA Judaisztikai Kutatócsoport [HAS Judaism Research Group], Budapest, 1995, Vol. II, 544. 80 E.g. Jenő Gergely, A katolikus egyház története Magyarországon 1919–1945 [A history of the Catholic Church in Hungary, 1919-1945], Pannonica Kiadó, Budapest, 19992. 81 Ignác Romsics: Magyarország története a XX. században, [The history of Hungary in the 20th century], Osiris Kiadó, Budapest, 1999; Idem: „A 20. századi Magyarország” [Hungary in the 20th century], in Ignác Romsics 29

this practice is not characteristic of Romsics only. It can already be found in the works of Jenő Gergely, church historian serving the Kádár regime. 82 Based on research results so far and a review of the special literature, it can be stated that three fundamental moments / periods are prevalent in respect of Hungary and the Holocaust: 1) Demeanour of Christian church leaders in the Upper House regarding anti-Jewish legislation in the period of adopting such laws (1938 – 1941) (voting by aye or nay, speeches). What is missing: conduct and positions by ecclesiastic representatives in the debate; and reflections of such laws and debates in the ecclesiastic press of the day. Yet, it is not at all negligible that there were a total of 14 Catholic priests (1 canon, 12 parish priests, and 1 chaplain) at the Hungarian chamber of deputies between 1939 and 1944; according to party affiliation: 7 in the governing party, 6 in the Christian party, and 1 in the opposition. It is especially worth of attention that in Hungary, the period between the third anti-Jewish law (1941) and the German occupation (19 March 1944) is not really discussed in the literature. For this reason, it is absolutely unknown and left without judgement how the Christian churches related to the disfranchised Jewry in this period. All the more so, because statutes and provisions to debar them more and more from society were adopted on an ongoing basis. 2) 19 March 1944 – 15 October 1944 (Horthy’s resignation): literature is centred on the conduct (silence) of Christian heads of church during deportations (actions by e.g. bishops Vilmos Apor (Győr) Lajos Shvoy (Székesfehérvár), Endre Hamvas (Szeged), Áron Márton (Gyulafehérvár)). In this respect, attention is drawn to the circumstances concerning the issuance and withdrawal (June-July 1944) of the Catholic Episcopal letter by Jusztinián Serédi, Cardinal Archbishop of Esztergom, intended to condemn the deportations of the Jews, and making it obvious that there was a complete lack of cooperation between Christian denominations. What is missing: reactions to deportations by Hungarian rural churches / ecclesiasts and the ecclesiastic media. 3) The short period of the Arrow Cross Party (from 1 October 1944), when Christians playing a role in rescuing Jews in Budapest can be mentioned by name (first of all individuals, rather than ecclesiastic institutions, e.g. Catholic sisters Margit Slachta and Sára Salkaházi; Lutheran pastor Gábor Sztehlo and Reformed parson József Éliás). Actually they were the trees to cover the wood successfully, as it is made obvious in the writings by László T. László, for instance. This way it is less noticeable that there is not even one prominent Catholic clerical individual in the list of names – provided that Apostolic Nuncio Angelo Rotta is not taken into account. All in all, the following statement by Randolph L. Braham is very appropriate and worth considering, and is also fully supported by the current situation of research and the special literature available to (and thoroughly scrutinized by) us. ”One of the most favoured tricks by embellishers of history is to calm down national conscience by overstating the rescue actions of a relatively small number of Christians later on declared to be Righteous among the
(chief ed.): Magyarország története (Akadémiai kézikönyvek [Academy manuals]), Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 2007; 20102. 82 Gergely, Jenő: Katolikus egyház, magyar társadalom 1890–1986 – Prohászkától Lékaiig [Catholic Church, Hungarian Society 1890-1986 – from Prohászka to Lékai], Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest, 1989. 30

Nations. They follow the advice of former Prime Minister József Antall in this respect as well, who thought that if we talked about the Holocaust, we should talk about rescue actions rather than about the crimes committed. This would divert attention both from the terrible sufferings of the Jews and from the great number of Hungarian perpetrators. The noble humanitarian deeds of the Righteous – however rare they were – deserve to be commemorated as deeds to be followed, but one-dimensional overstatement stemming from a hidden political intention plays into the hands of history distorters. If the historical context of the deeds of the Righteous in Hungary - the entire infinitely complex mechanism of the ’final solution’- is failed to be taken into consideration simultaneously, the general public will inevitably be of the opinion that the period of the Holocaust was characterized by moral action.”83

Objective and novelty of our research (in view of the literature) In light of the argument of the reputed American Holocaust researcher, we set two specific objectives for our research as follows: 1) To explore the actual universal responsibility of the Church by analyzing the press of the age (as a historical source), ecclesiastic publications (e.g. textbooks on religion), general statements and standpoints on Jews by the Church / Heads of Church. This latter primarily means the ecclesiastic reception in Slovakia and Hungary of documents from the Vatican (e.g. Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Mit brennender sorge; 14 March 1937); and Episcopal letters by Benches of Bishops. A basic question of the research is how could the moral sense and conscience of ordinary ”Christian” people become so dull – in spite of Church presence to influence and determine political and social life or for this very reason – that they would watch deportations of the Jews indifferently and passively? This obviously gives rise to another issue: what roles were played by the so-called ”historical” Churches (Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran) as parts and dominant institutions of the society in the processes leading from deprivation (anti-Jewish legislation) to annihilation (Auschwitz)? And to what extent was there a harmonisation between the conduct of the Vatican and the conduct of national Catholic churches, which should have provided some guidance and a basis of reference for the Reformed and Lutheran Churches as well. ”A public denunciation of the mass murder by Pius XII broadcast widely over the Vatican radio and read from the pulpits by the bishops would have revealed to Jews and Christians alike what deportation to the East entailed. The Pope would have been believed whereas the broadcasts of the Allies were often shrugged off as war propaganda. Many of the deportees, who accepted the assurance of the Germans that they were merely being resettled, might thus have been warned and given an impetus to escape. Many more Christians might have helped and sheltered Jews, and many more lives might have been saved.”84 Documents in the following archives can be taken into consideration for the research in terms

Randolph L. Braham: „Magyarország és a Holokauszt. Erőfeszítések a múlt megszépítésére” [Hungary and the Holocaust. Efforts to Embellish the Past], in Idem: A Holokauszt. Válogatott tanulmányok [The Holocaust. Selected Essays], Láng Kiadó, h. n., 2002, 245-246. 84 Guenter Lewy: The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1964, 303. Quoted in Randolph L. Braham: „A Vatikán: emlékezés és felejtés. A katolikus egyház és a zsidók a nácizmus korában” [Vatican: Remembrance and Oblivion. Catholic Church and Jews During Nazism], in Idem: A Holokauszt. Válogatott tanulmányok [The Holocaust. Selected Essays] , Láng Kiadó, h. n., 2002, 318. 31

of Hungary: Journal of the House of Commons Journal of the Upper House National Archives (documents of departments II and III, microfilm collection – selected documents from the Esztergom Primate Archives, documents of the Hungarian Embassy in the Vatican, documents of the Vatican) National Széchényi Library (bequest by Töhötöm P. Nagy) Historical Archives of State Security Services Historical Archives of the Ministry of the Interior Metropolitan Archives of Budapest Archives of the Institute for Political History (Confidential documents of the Ministry of the Interior 1936–1944) Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives Esztergom Primate Archives (especially the private correspondence records of Jusztinián Serédi and general documents deposited in chronological order 1936– 1948) Ecclesiastic press Catholic: A Szív [Heart], Az Ország útja [Way of the Country], Dunántúli Hírlap [Transdanubian Herald] (Christian Socialist political daily, Győr), Gondolat [Reason] (journal on literature and politics), Egri Katolikus Tudósító [Eger Catholic Intelligencer] (devotional and social periodical, Eger), Egyházi Lapok [Ecclesiastic Papers] (periodical on ecclesiastic policy, divinity and pastoral issues for priests), Egység Útja [Way of Unity] (monthly), Ferences Közlöny [Franciscan Gazette] (devotional), Görögkatolikus Szemle [Uniate Review] (weekly), Gyulai Katolikus Tudósító [Gyula Catholic Intelligencer] (monthly), Jézus Szíve Hírnöke [Heart of Jesus Herald] (devotional), Jelenkor [Present Time] (social, political and cultural biweekly, Budapest), Jövőnk [Our Future] (central paper of Christian Socialists), Kalocsai Főegyházmegyei Hivatalos Közlemények, Katholikus Akció [Official Gazette of Kalocsa Main Diocese, Catholic Action] (regular circular of the National Chair, Budapest), Katholikus Alföld [Catholic Great Plain] (monthly, Szeged), Katholikus Népszövetség, Katholikus Szemle [Catholic League, Catholic Review] (scholarly journal; monthly of Szent István Society, Budapest), Katolikus Nők Lapja, Keddi Posta [Catholic Women’s Journal, Tuesday Mail] (devotional), Keresztény Nő, Képes Krónika [Christian Woman, Picture Chronicle] (daily literary magazine), Kis Pajtás [Young Fellow] (for primary school pupils), Korunk Szava [Voice of our Age] (Catholic biweekly on public life; banned in 1939), Magyar Asszony, Magyar Ifjúság, Magyar Katolikus Akció [Hungarian Woman, Hungarian Youth, Hungarian Catholic Action] (monthly), Magyar Kultúra [Hungarian Culture] (social and scientific journal, literary and ecclesiastic policy biweekly, Budapest), Magyar Kurír, Magyar Munkásifjú, Magyar Sion [Hungarian Courier, Hungarian Worker Youth, Hungarian Zion] (”official” political and social weekly of the Esztergom archepiscopal court), Magyar Vezető [Hungarian Leader] (critical review for leaders of Hungarian devotional youth communities, Budapest), Magyar Vetés [Hungarian Sowings] (KALOT’s weekly), Mária Kongregáció, Mária Virágoskertje [Mary’s Congregation, Mary’s Flower Garden] (devotional), Nagyasszonyunk [Our Lady] (for secondary school students), Nemzeti Újság [National News] (semi-official Catholic political morning daily; with a print run of 30,000 in the late ’30s), Nemzetnevelés, Népakarat, Népújság ([National Education, National Will, National News] Catholic weekly on society,


politics and economy), Pécsi Katolikus Tudósító [Pécs Catholic Intelligencer] , Religio (scientific journal), Rózsafüzér Királynője ([Queen of the Rosary] devotional), Szegedi Új Nemzedék ([New Generation of Szeged] Christian political daily), Szent Terézke Rózsakertje ([St. Theresa’s Rose Garden] devotional), Sziklán Állunk ([Standing on Rocks] monthly of AC’s Co llege Committee), Szombathelyi Katolikus Tudósító ([Szombathely Catholic Intelligencer] monthly), Szózat, Új Fehérvár [Voice, New Fehérvár] Catholic political daily), Székesfehérvár (Catholic political daily), Új Kor ([New Age], Új Lap ([New Journal] Catholic political daily; cheap, ”pennyworth”, newspaper targeting the middle class) Új Nemzedék ([New Generation] southern Catholic daily; with a print run between 65,000 and 110,000 in the late ’30s), Új Rend, Új Rendiség, Új Szociális Rend, Vácegyházmegyei Papok Közlönye, Vigília, Zászlónk [New Order, New System, New Social Order, Gazette for Priests in the Vác Diocese, Vigil, Our Flag] (for secondary school students). Reformed: Confessio, Magyar Út [Hungarian Way] (weekly to urge the elevation of peasantry and agrarian reforms, Budapest; close to Soli Deo Gloria society), Protestáns Szemle, Református Élet, Református Figyelő [Protestant Review, Reformed Life, Reformed Observer]. Lutheran: Harangszó, Evangélikus Élet, Evangélikusok Lapja, Keresztény Igazság, Lelkipásztor [Chime, Lutheran Life, Lutheran Journal, Christian Truth, Pastor] . 2) To examine Christian connections to Jews / the Jewish community in view of local case studies, at a micro-social level, say in a lifelike situation (liturgy, preaching, and religious education). Here the individual conduct of specific ecclesiastic individuals (priests, pastors) is much more emphasized together with the attitudes of associated believers, devotional societies and movements. Can it actually be examined in this environment what the content and depth of faith and religiousness involved at the time? In essence, parish / parochial archives, domus histories, registers of births, marriages and deaths, and documents remaining from regular meetings of Catholic priests functioning as clergymen held in each archdeacon district can be taken into consideration. The following statement really makes us think: ”Anti-Jewish restrictions did not trigger strong-willed resistance by the clergy of other traditional denominations. In effect, only converted Jews were the ones in whose interest they intervened in respect of certain restrictive laws and demanded that such laws be enforced humanely.” 85 In this regard, our research intends to establish by processing sources from archives and by analyzing the ecclesiastic press of the age what is precisely meant, in view of these documents, by the statement of Randolph L. Braham: ”Many lower-ranking clergymen, emboldened by the public position taken by their leaders, had no qualms about spreading the anti-Jewish poison among the Hungarian masses. As a result, the Hungarian Christian population at large became increasingly ready to accept the ever harsher measures against the Jews as both necessary and morally right. The impact of the clerics’ anti-Semitic propaganda was reinforced by the promises of social reform on the part of the Hungarian ultra-rightists at home and the success of the Nazis abroad.”86 At the same time, a publication intended for the clergy and the intelligentsia (Almásy, József ed., Katolikus írók új magyar kalauza [New Hungarian Guide to Catholic Writers], Budapest, 1941), which made it obvious that Fascism and Christianity

Andor Csizmadia: A magyar állam és az egyházak jogi kapcsolatainak kialakulása és gyakorlata a Horthykorszakban [Establishment and Practice of Legal Relations Between the Hungarian State and the Churches in the Horthy Era], Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1966, 112. 86 Randolph L. Braham: A Holokauszt [The Holocaust], h.n., 2002, 266. 33

were incompatible and outlined a Catholic notion of society, specifying the norms of public conduct, had practically no effect whatsoever. Local investigations adequately limited in time and space provide opportunities for focussing on individual human dramas as well. This somehow personalizes history itself as one of the most dramatic consequences of the general and undifferentiated disfranchisement of the Jewry was actually that family members and relatives were adjudged differently according to their religion: Christian – Christianized Jewish – Jewish. No research has been done into this issue in this form so far. Thus, the research in progress attempts to explore whether there are traces thereof left in ecclesiastic archive documents. At the same time, additional answers can also be found to the – so far too generalized and even superficial – question how local Christian communities related to their members qualified as Jewish by law in the period before deportations (ghettos). Unexpected and extraordinary situations different from the everyday routine are trying; they uncover unknown aspects of human character. In summary: the novelty and originality of our research lies in the fact that it contemplates Central and Eastern European ecclesiastic activities in their entirety, embedded in their historical and social context, doing so in view of a paradigm shift, as it were by connecting to international research trends focussing on the investigation of Church attitudes.87 This novelty and originality is perfectly corroborated by the present state of the special literature. No such research has been conducted in the course of the past few decades and is not in progress either as the institutional venues for doing such research are missing. The primary reason for this could be that there is no political will to this end; and scholarly society is averse to and keeps away from this very sensitive issue. 88 Not even to mention that archive research to be completed in any case (e.g. the exploration of Vatican archive documents, apostolic nunciatures, Vatican embassy materials, and local ecclesiastic archives) requires really much time and energy. It is simply unfeasible without an appropriate institutional background and support. So this is where the following statement becomes timely: ”Nations who fail to learn the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat all the mistakes of the past” (George Santayana).89 However, past lessons can only be learnt from if they are explored and worked up in the form of a coherent narrative.

Case studies (absolutely novel and original in view of the literature) Examination and analysis of the locations selected (Košice, Dunaszerdahely, Veszprém, Óbuda) in a well-defined period (between 1938 and 1944/1945) are intended to explore the

See for ex. Ericksen, Robert P. – Heschel, Susannah (eds.): Betrayal: German churches and the Holocaust, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1999; Guy Jucquois – Pierre Sauvage: L’invention de l’antisémitisme racial l’implication des catholiques francais et belges (1850-2000), Academia-Bruylant, Louvain-la-Neuve, 2001; Kevin P. Spicer: Hitler’s priests Catholic clergy and national socialism, Northern Illinois University Press, DeKalb, 2008.; Susannah Heschel: The Aryan Jesus. Christian theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany , Princeton University Press, Princeton - Oxford, 2008; Robert P. Ericksen: Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2012. See also: „Programs ans Research ont he Churches and the Holocaust ( 88 Ex. Karsai László: Holokauszt, Pannonica Kiadó, h. n. [Budapest], 2001, 209–254. 89 Quoting Randolph L. Braham: „Gondolatok a magyarországi holokausztról hatvan év után” [Thoughts on the Hungarian Holocaust After Sixty Years], in: Molnár, Judit (ed.), A Holokauszt Magyarországon európai perspektívában [Holocaust in Hungary in a European Perspective], Balassi Kiadó, Budapest, 2005, 32. 34

general situation and behaviours and its interconnections with the specific Catholic microsociety. At the same time it is elucidated – to become manifest soon in the followings – that a local history approach makes history much more humanised, making people and society more understandable together with their prevailing mechanisms. As a summary of the final results of the research, a comparative analysis of each location will be provided. All this primarily serves as a basis for the development of a methodological base that later on will make it possible to:  work up other locations;  conduct a comparative analysis of different denominational attitudes of local microsocieties; and  compare the institutionalized statements and conduct of Christian Churches. In the long run, case studies can contribute to a deeper and more accurate elaboration of the Slovakian and Hungarian history of ideas and of society in the period between 1937/1938 and 1944/1945, having a dominant impact and influence on the present day as well. This can even be extended to societies in the region or the entire European society, as – through attitudes to the Jewish community (disfranchisements) and the problems of Jewish refugees – the persecution of the Jews and the Holocaust – indicate constitutional relations between the states of the era and their citizens, processes of national legislation and prevalent legal philosophy views as well as their interrelations. All this can also serve as a lesson for the present day.


Case study 1 The fate of the Veszprém Jewry from 1938 to 1944 (as reflected in Episcopal documents and the local Catholic press)
By Máté Gárdonyi

The Jewish community in the city of Veszprém The city of Veszprém had been an episcopate and the county seat ever since the Kingdom of Hungary had been founded. In the modern age, the city was the estate of the bishop and the prebend, where the presence of Jews had been documented since 1716. Jews had been the most numerous and had had the highest rate of the population in 1880. At that time 1685 residents of the Israelite confession made up 13.5 % of the population. The community belonged to the Neologue branch, its ornamental synagogue was inaugurated in 1865, its primary school had been operating since 1805. The number of Jews had been gradually declining from the end of the 19 th century; according to the census in 1941, 887 resident Jews made up 4.1% of the population of the city (according to the so-termed anti-Jewish law, another 27 Christians were deemed of Jewish descent). At the same time, the majority of the 21,557 population of the city were Catholic (17,870), 2045 belonged to the Reformed Church, 735 were Lutheran and 20 of other denomination. In 1944, when ghettos were set up, 577 Jewish residents of Veszprém were registered. The number of Jews returning from death camps or forced labour service in 1946 was 106; the 1949 census registered 84 residents of the Israelite confession in Veszprém. According to the contemporary diocesan statistics, 14,524 Catholics, approximately 1,200 followers of the Reformed Church and 600 Lutherans lived in the city. 90 In 1939, due to the provisions of the so-termed second anti-Jewish law, the number of licences issued to Jews was taken. Accordingly, there were 1,004 Christian and 262 Jewish tradesmen in the city; the latter holding 20.7 % of the total number of licences. At that time Jews were not deprived of their right to trade, but new licences were only issued in ‘justifi ed cases’. Accordingly, the number of Jewish tradesmen only minimally declined until 1942 (259), but the increase of Christian traders to 1,327 reduced their rate to 16.33 %. 91 The local Catholic press on Jewry in the year of the first ‘anti -Jewish law’ In the period studied, a ‘Christian political daily’ entitled Veszprém Hírlap [Veszprém

Csaba Veress D.: “Adatok a zsidóság Veszprém megyében a II. világháború idején lejátszódott tragédiájához” [Data on the History of the Jews in Veszprém County during World War II.], Veszprém Megyei Múzeum Közleményei 16 (1982) 399-412. (republished in Töredék. Tanulmány és emlékezés a Veszprém városi és megyei zsidóság tragédiájáról. 1944-1945 [Remnant. Chapters From the History of the Jewish Community of Veszprém.], Veszprém, 2001, 6–44.); Randolph L. Braham (chief ed.): A magyarországi holokauszt földrajzi enciklopédiája [The Geographic Encyclopedia of the Holocaust in Hungary], Budapest, 2006-2007, vol. II, 1308-1312. 91 Réka Jakab: “A zsidótörvények végrehajtása Veszprémben” [The implementation of the anti -Jewish laws in Veszprém], Levéltári Szemle 56 (2006/4.) 49–58. 36

Bulletin] was published bi-weekly by the Printing House of the Diocese. Its editor in chief was József Gludovácz, clergyman of the diocese and director of the Printing House, its managing editor was Lajos Kecskés, teacher and choir -master of the Cathedral. Targeted readers of the paper were the clergymen of the diocese, teachers at church schools and the Catholic residents of the city and the county. Accordingly, the paper mainly published local news from the life of the diocese, the county and the city; such as official announcements of church and lay authorities, news of community life, criminal news, registry news, timetables, announcements, etc. In addition, there are interesting items about the life of the world church (namely from missionary areas), news about the persecution of churches in the Soviet Union, on the position of the German churches and some literary items by local authors. The first pages are devotional related to major church festivals or significant church events (Eucharistic Congress, appointment of the coadjutor of Veszprém, etc.). National politics did not play a part in the news; on the other hand, the editorial published on the first page from time to time informed readers about the ‘official position’ concerning the trends of the political life. Reviewing the 1938 issues of the paper, my impression has been that the paper ‘fell to the political wind’ in the treatment of the ‘Jewish issue’: w hile Jewish unions are depicted at the beginning of the year as organic parts of local public life, furthermore, an article criticises the ‘Arrow Cross shift’ of the government party, the commentaries assessing state decrees and government party initiatives positively are published on the first page beginning from the middle of the year. In the column of ‘Social life’ of the first issue of the year a report is published on a cultural event of the Veszprém Israelite Youth Society. At the same time, traders wish happy New Year to their customers; many of the enterprises publishing the item supposed to be owned by Jewish families. On 23 January a report was published about a concert and dance organised by the Veszprém Citizens’ Choir, where Zoltán Neuländer, t he chief cantor of the local Israelite community ‘performed Puccini and Lehár pieces on his ‘melodious tenor voice’. Following a lot of applause, an encore included ‘an Italian serenade which was the most successful of his repertoire’.92 In the 30 January issue, a report was published on the Siófok meeting of the government party (Party of National Unity, NEP) with reference to an ‘influential local personality’, which showed some impatience of the radicalisation of the government party: ‘The Siófok unit of the Party of National Unity held a meeting at 6 p.m. on 24 January. It is interesting that Siófok Jews, who had been important members of the local NEP at the last elections, were not invited to the meeting. The whole meeting was managed in such an Arrow Cross tune that the audience was totally astonished. According to some, the latest Arrow Cross party meeting by Festetics and Mrs. Dücső did not accentuate the grievances as much as this one. Many people say it was most useful for Arrow Cross party supporters, because, in effect, their ideas were advertised. This is proved by the following statement by a Smallholders’ Party follower made under the influence of the meeting: ’Until now, I grumbled at Arrow Cross party supporters and was angry with them. Now, however, I must become an Arrow Cross party supporter myself, because the government had become one as well’. NEP should arrange many such propaganda meetings and then the Arrow Cross party supporters would soon take over the power’. 93 A few months later, however, the attitude of the paper concerning government policy
92 93

Veszprémi Hírlap [Veszprém Herald] 46, 1. January 1938; 23 January 1938. Veszprémi Hírlap 46, 30. January 1938. 37

changed. Although the first report on a meeting of the Veszprém team of the right wing Turul society of brothers-in-arms (‘camping’) was only published in the column of ‘Social life’ in mid April: ‘Dr. László Priegl, leader of the society, recalled the credits of the government concerning the legal settlement of the Jewish issue soon to be implemented and then pointed out the duties of Turul youth in that regard.’ ‘The society welcomes all Chri stian Hungarian youth at the camping’. 94 On 1 May, however, the paper published an editorial by Dr. Géza Lakner entitled ‘In action at last’ on the first anti-Jewish law submitted to Parliament: ‘Loud complaints of deprivation of rights are often sounded from a certain side concerning the draft to be discussed in Parliament soon … All of sound mind had had to be aware for years that lacking urgent reforms, the inexhaustible forces of the abyss would be aroused leading to incalculable social eruptions. The years sufficient for quiet evolution ran down on the infinite hour-glass of time in vain. Then the proximity of Germany and the suggestive social atmosphere of the German National Socialism instantly aroused the shackled sounds of social injustice slumbering in the instincts of the masses and such elementary demands could not be avoided any longer. The Darányi government had to understand that it would either have to face the pressure of public opinion that cannot be suppressed any longer or it would take action. And, very correctly, it touched upon a long series of social and economic reforms. It must be accepted from all sides that in historic times and at a time of social unrest and political tension you cannot insist on the rigid one-sided principle of the existing situation. It is no deprivation of rights if a community wants to change the one-sided possession of economic goods to a certain extent… Anyway, you cannot stop action any longer. If the present proposals open up ways and routes for the Christian youth to obtain a living and earn their bread, even more important questions will try to find their way in the future in the labyrinth of Hungarian social development often lined with Potemkin walls… Another thing. Somehow we dislike exceptions. Why did the Darányi government have to attach the potential of exceptions to the draft anti-Jewish law ?’95 A week later, a report was published on the inauguration of Ferenc Mesterházy, the new sheriff of Veszprém County. In his inauguration speech, the sheriff, among others, said the following: ‘I must mention the opportunity of Christian Hungarian youth of the intelligentsia to find jobs in business life by the institutional settlement of the Jewish issue to the satisfaction of the public. This draft, which is now in front of Parliament, will provide remedy to an old and painful wound of the Christian Hungarian society and will bring relief to many’.96 The paper still published local news related to Jewish citizens in the second part of the year. For instance, it reported on 14 August that 84-year old Hermann Szauer was awarded the jubilee diploma of the Győr Chamber of Trade and Commerce. Mr. Hermann spent 70 years in trade, mostly with the wood traders Weiss Jakab és Fia and that his son Dr Andor Lantos, attorney also said thank you for the award. On 20 August, it was important marriage news that ‘Éva Kún and Zoltán Neuländer Israelite teacher are to be weeded on 23 of the month at 12:30 at the Veszprém Israelite Temple’. On 30 October, a report was published on a campaign by the Federation of Hungarian Women to help the Uplands recovered by a campaign of collection entitled ‘Hungarians for Hungarians’, with the participation by the local Jewish Women’s Union and the Krajcár Society. Finally, an obituary was publi shed at the beginning of November, according to which Miksa Tauszig, fellmonger who had been a member of the
94 95

Veszprémi Hírlap 46, 17 April 1938. Veszprémi Hírlap 46, 1 Mai 1938. 96 Veszprémi Hírlap 46, 8 Mai 1938. 38

County Council, the City Assembly, the Chamber of Trade and Commerce, chairman then honorary chairman of the local Traders’ Association died on 29 October and his funeral took place from the courtyard of the Israelite Temple. 97 At the same time, the paper promoted the revitalisation of government politics, when it published an editorial entitled ‘A soul split in two’ by Dr. Géza Lakner to introduce t he programme address by Prime Minister Imrédy in Kaposvár: ‘… Reforms have already started. Such acts, decrees, and measures that are not lacking a sincere effort to achieve reforms and an acknowledgement of the fact that there is no patience and no time for the so-termed ‘slow’ evolution by Bethlen are published one after the other to mark the path. If the desire for and the ambition to achieve radical changes has already pervaded the masses, there is no power and there is no will that could stop the spiritual transformation of our people’. 98 Issues concerning Jews in the documents of the Veszprém Bishop’s Office (Chancery) Two documents of direct relevance to Veszprém remained from 1938 among the documents of the Bishop’s Chancery. In one of them, the Board of the Veszprém Israelite Community requested Nándor Rott diocesan at the time the first anti-Jewish law was discussed in Parliament to vote against the motion in the Upper House with reference to the loyalty of Hungarian Jews to their homeland and to their civic right of equality provided in the Constitution (81917-1939); (no answer could be found). In attachment, we found the memoirs of an anonymous convert dated ‘Good Friday 1938’, in which attention is called to the position of Catholics re-classified as Jews and requests for the intervention of the Motherchurch. 99 The other document is dated 27 December, 1938; it is the ‘Bishop’s Decree concerning conversion of Jews’ addressed to József Serák, Veszprém canon-rector. In it, the bishop says the following: ‘More and more Jews almost in masses apply for conversion to the holy Christianity. We must be careful not to accept people into the Church who apply out of discreditable interest, because we need living members.’ 2 classes a week of religious education are required for 3 months to be attended by candidates, but the trial period may be lengthened or the number of classes increased at the discretion of the parish priest. If a priest needs to be substituted, the bishop is only willing to appoint a senior one. Newcomers to the faith are obliged to pass an exam before being baptised; the bishop appoints József Hoss canon-office director as supervisor. The decree is not retroactive, it does not apply to people whose baptism has already been applied for by the parish priest.100 Other two issues do not directly affect the Jewry of the city, but they are relevant from the point of view of our topic, because they shed light on the position of church leaders on racial issues. The first is the issue of a conver t requesting to be accepted to the Seminary. Fidél Várkonyi, Cistercian, the university priest of Emericana Federation and head of college proposed Miklós Günsberger he himself had baptised a year earlier to be enrolled at the Seminary. He gave a
97 98

Veszprémi Hírlap 46, 14 August, 20 August, 30 October and 6 November 1938. Veszprémi Hírlap 46, 4 September 1938. 99 Veszprémi Érseki és Főkáptalani Levéltár [Archiepiscopal and Cathedral Chapter Archives of Veszprém ], Acta Dioecesana (VÉL AD) 2700/1938. 100 VÉL AD 6789/1938. 39

basically favourable characterisation of the candidate noting that ‘there are no racial characteristics in his manners’. In his reply, Bishop Rott (4 March) said the following: ‘… in principle I am not against the Jewish avocation. I do have disciples and priests of Jewish descent who cope well.’ Then he allows the young man to submit his application before 20 April. The Bishop passed on Günsberger’s application to the Board of the Seminary to provide their opinion. According to the Minutes dated 20 April, they said the following: ‘… please disregard the acceptance of Miklós Günsberger, because he had only been baptised a couple of years ago and in this world built – may be too much – on racism the acceptance of a young man born from Israelite parents is not advised’. The answer of Rott to the candidate (27 April) says acceptance is refused, its reason is that the candidate is a neophyte and Rott suggest he should enter the order: ‘In today’s world, a youth of Jewish descent – however meritable he is – would hardly perform properly as a lay priest’.101 The other correspondence relates to the issue of a priest requesting to be accepted into the archdiocese. Lajos Sándor, a convert of Eger had been ordained in Vienna 3 years earlier for the service of the Burgenland apostolic administration, where he was the chaplain of Nagyfalva (Mogersdorf), but due to his non-Aryan origin, he was expelled after the Anschluss. He went to his parents in Eger and requested to be accepted into the Veszprém archdiocese in a letter dated 18 June 1938. The rector of the Eger Seminary sent confidential information about him dated 2 July, according to which it is not advised to accept him at Eger because all his relatives had remained in the Israelite confession: ‘It is public knowledge in the Eger archdiocese that his parents and all his relatives are Jews, so it is advisable that he should not be present too much here. His talents are poor but he is a really eager-minded and devoted person. His outward appearance, however, is highly unfavourable; the racial characteristics are overtly evident.’ Although the Eger rector supported his application, Bishop Rott rejected it in his letter dated 11 July. In the end, however, supported by the priest of Alsópáhok, he received the right to say mass at the Hévíz chapel on 6 October.102

Formal instructions of the Episcopate on issues concerning Jews As a result of the expropriation of land owned by Jews, the law required commutation for any potential patron’s obligations so that the parish should be comp ensated with an area of land calved out of the estate. Concerning the above, Bishop Gyula Czapik (1939-1944) ordered the following on 26 September 1943: ‘Concerning the decree, I call on all parish heads to report immediately if the Treasury has taken over an estate owned by Jews or if such an estate has been obliged to be transferred advising what patron’s or other services, obligations or allowances apply to the estate owned by Jews based on documents of church visits or customary law…. Please, calculate if in the event compensation by land takes place and given the fertility, location and quality of the property in question, how many acres would be necessary to compensate for patron’s obligations and where those properties should be allocated’. 103 The public atmosphere of the times is illustrated well by the announcement according to which the name of the village (Alsó és Felső) Zsid near the city of Keszthely [Zsid meaning Jew in Hungarian] had been changed to Várvölgy by the order of the authority. 104
101 102

VÉL AD 1206/1938, 2407/1938. VÉL AD 3721/1938, 5413/1938. 103 Litterae Circulares (Egyházmegyei Körirat, Litt. Circ). 1943/VIII/50. 104 Litt. Circ. 1944/IV/26. 40

Since priests could only baptise adults with the Bishop’s licence, the change in the numbers of requests of Jews for conversion can be monitored in the diocese archives. Following the German occupation on 19 March 1944 and the anti-Semitic decrees of the following weeks, the number of candidates for baptism increased, which resulted in a statement by the new pastor of the diocese, József Mindszenty (1944-1945). The public document dated 27 April 1944 includes the relevant instructions in Latin (church authorities used Latin to communicate sensitive issues), however, it is likely that the priests involved had already been informed about the Bishop’s decree, which begins as follows: ‘These days a high number of Jews request baptism’. Then it goes on to say that ca ndidates cannot be refused distrustfully, on the other hand, the sacraments cannot be administered without proper investigation and preparations. Therefore, he expects his priests to show caring behaviour, at the same time he requires two classes of religious studies weekly for 6 months. The second part of the decree deals with potential problems of marriage rights, and then it reminds priests to continue taking specific care of the converts after the baptism. 105 All through April, the registration and restraint of Jewish property went on at a quick pace and estates of less than 5 acres were auctioned. In this regard, the Bishop made it clear in a letter addressed to some of his priests on 28 April that he did not find any fault in the change of ownership from Jewish to Christian; on the other hand, he thought it was advisable that ‘Catholic Hungarians with no land’ should obtain property , assisted by loans either from banks or from credit cooperatives. 106 At that time, Imre Longauer an organiser priest at Darány requested the Bishop to lobby with László Endre, under -secretary of State so that ‘abandoned’ Jewish properties at Nagykanizsa or Darány could be handed over to the diocese. Mindszenty did not refuse the request but he only promised his personal support regarding the Darány parish being in the process of establishment on 15 May: ‘I, myself cannot be a claimant at so many places. As regards the house at Nagykanizsa, the parish should make some moves. I would act to obtain the house at Darány’. 107 In Veszprém, the Jews were closed in the ghetto on 1 June 1944. The Jewry of the city was closed in the ghetto marked around the Synagogue, while the Jewry of the Veszprém district was transported to the military barracks at Komakút. According to the ghetto register s surviving, 577 and 437 people were crowded at the two above locations, respectively. The local museum has preserved a photo from the time on the internal area of the Synagogue crowded with furniture. In the period of the deportation of Jews, the viewpoint of Bishop Mindszenty regarding religious studies for baptism was somewhat modified. In a letter written to the Pápa abbot on 17 June, although in principle he continued to require a time of waiting and familiarity with the faith, he made some concessions: ‘A situation may arise in which the state administration takes the newcomers to uncertain places so that Your Honour or your representative cannot continue teaching. In that case if this might be a serious threat (!), I allow you to administer the sacraments and baptise them because baptism is absolutely necessary and adjourning it would be a grave mistake’.108 He made a similar statement in July concerning Jews in forced labour service requesting to be baptised.109
105 106

Litt. Circ. 1944/VII/36. VÉL AD 1971/1944. 107 VÉL AD 2130/1944. 108 VÉL AD 2886/1944. 109 VÉL AD 3445, 3503/1944. 41

Some documents have been preserved in the archives of the diocese according to which the Bishop intervened with the authorities in the interest of certain people. In this way, on 25 May he requested the exemption of the Pátkai family of Pápa from being closed in the ghetto, and issued a patronage letter for physician Ernő Pető on 6 July. 110 On the day the Veszprém Jews were deported, he turned to Governor Horthy in a humble letter requesting him to at least prevent the deportation of baptised children of Jewish descent.111 Concerning the circular letter of the Bishops’ Bench dated 29 June on the position of Jews, Mindszenty acted similarly to the majority of the bishops: first, he sent it around to parish priests with the instruction to be read out to the congregation next Sunday, and then he said the circular letter was only for confidential information. Instead, the following statement had to be read out from the pulpit: ‘Cardinal Jusztinián Serédi, the Prince Primate of Hungary on his own and the Highly Esteemed Bishops’ Bench behalf informs Catholi c believers that he has repeatedly turned to the Royal Hungarian Government concerning the decrees relating to Jews particularly to baptised Jews, and will continue the same negotiations in the future’.112 In time the opinion of the Bishop regarding claims on Jewish properties changed as well. When the allocation of apartments that had become ownerless was started in September, he forbade in a circular letter in Latin that church institutions could submit such claims: ‘After the expropriation of Jewish property it will be easy to get possession of movable and immovable goods. I call upon priests, dioceses, Catholic schools and societies, etc. to refrain from obtaining such property’. 113 The ‘Arrow Cross party mass’ held at Veszprém The thanksgiving service held following the deportation of the Veszprém Jews is an event discussed in the relevant literature many times and disputed regarding its details. Deficient sources and different interpretations do not facilitate to clarify the circumstances. In his memoirs, Mindszenty himself remembers that following his objections, the mass was not held in the end. On the other hand, in summer 1948, as part of a campaign against the Cardinal, communist propaganda stated that it was Mindszenty himself who gave instructions for the thanksgiving service. In accordance with archive sources and reports of witnesses, neither statement is true. The Bishop’s responsibility is another question, in that case interpretations move on a large scale from exemption to partial condemnation. The story, as usual, is more complex than seen at the first sight.114
110 111

VÉL AD 2716, 3172/1944. VÉL AD 2895/1944. 112 Litt. Circ. 1944/IX/49, X/53. 113 Litt. Circ. 1944/XI/61. 114 Jenő Gergely: “Mindszenty József veszprémi püspök és a nyilasok” [József Mindszenty the Bishop of Veszprém and the Arrow Cross], In Balázs Ablonczy (ed.): Hagyomány, közösség, művelődés. Tanulmányok a hatvanéves Kósa László születésnapjára [Tradition, community, culture. Studies on the sixty-year old László Kósa birthday], Budapest, 2002, 177–200; Lóránt Holtzer: “Mindszenty vitatott hónapjai Veszprémben” [Mindszenty’s controversial months in Veszprém], Beszélő 9, 2004/7; Margit Balogh: “Mindszenty József veszprémi püspök nyilas fogságban” [József Mindszenty, the Bishop of Veszprém, in the captivity of the Arrow Cross], in Péter Miklós: Újragondolt negyedszázad. Tanulmányok a Horthy-korszakról [Rethink a quarter of century. Studies about the Horthy era], Szeged, 2010, 233–248; Gergely Mózessy: “Katolikus püspökök a nyilasok fogságában (Mindszenty József és Shvoy Lajos elhurcolása)” [Catholic bishops in the captivity of the Arrow Cross (the deportation of József Mindszenty and Lajos Shvoy], in István Hermann – Balázs Karlinszky (eds.): Megyetörténet. Egyház- és igazgatástörténeti tanulmányok a Veszprémi Püspökség 1009. évi 42

The Veszprém ghettos were vacated on 19 June. That was reported in the Veszprém Hírlap [Veszprém News] in an article entitled ‘Out of the ghetto’. The reporter visited the vacated ghetto and spoke about his impressions without the smallest sign of empathy as follows: ‘The beds are in disorder, a lot of clothes are thrown around on the ground. Suitcases and clothes prevent getting on. A lot of ladies’ bags are lying around full of cosmet ics. As long as the Jews were in the ghetto, they could not complain about catering because separate kosher, diet and treif kitchens cared for them. But as we could see, the Monday lunch has not been prepared, it has remained half-cooked in large lustre pots’.115 On the day following the deportation of the Veszprém Jews on 19 June 1944, Dr Ferenc Schiberna, first district attorney, the local leader of the Arrow Cross party (and Arrow Cross party supporter sheriff of the county later on) visited Lambert Pulyai, Franciscan Superior and ordered a thanksgiving service for Sunday, the 25 th to celebrate the deportation. He wanted to publish the invitation in the two local papers but he was refused. Then in possession of the proper licence, he informed the population on leaflets and bills. The text was the following: ‘Brothers and Brothers of the Nation! By God’s grace, our ancient city and county has been rid of the Jewry baleful of our nation. There have been several liberations in the history of our nation going back to a thousand years, but none of them has been so important for the nation’s life, because no kind of armed or political alien power could overcome us as much as the poisonous roots of Jewry proliferated in the body and spirit of our nation. – Following the example of our ancestors, we say thanks for the liberation to the one that has liberated our nation from the abyss many times: to our God. Come to a thanksgiving service on 25 June at half past ten to be held at the Franciscan Church. The Veszprém Branch of the Arrow Cross Party.’ Learning about that, Bishop Mindszenty asked the Franciscan superior to visit him and tried to advise him against holding the service, in the end, however, he approved it on two conditions: Arrow Cross Party supporters may not wear uniforms and they may not sing the hymn Te Deum at the end of the mass. According to the report dated 20 July of Edmund Veesenmayer, the German imperial commissioner in Hungary, the above compromise had been found following the threatening push of the Arrow Cross Party leader. In the end, the service was held, and Arrow Cross Party supporters appeared as one body wearing uniforms. The Bishop himself was in the country on that day on a parish visit. The fact the service was held is proved because later on, returning from the captivity of the Arrow Cross Party, Mindszenty initiated procedures against the superior with the Franciscan Province Superior. An opinion to be found in the relevant literature according to which the Bishop could not have banned the service, because Franciscans did not belong in his jurisdiction, is not true because in issues of priesthood – and any kind of public service belongs there – he did have jurisdiction. The ideological background of the ecclesiastical behaviour In the period studied, the following factors influenced the approach of Hungarian Catholics towards Jews and their emotions regarding Jews on the part of the church: 1. The anti-Semitism called anti-Judaism in modern literature of a religious background with its routes in the Christian-Jewish conflict from the first half of
adománylevele tiszteletére [County history. Church history and management studies in honour of 1009 th annual donation of Veszprém Bishopric],Veszprém, 2010, 257–274. 115 Veszprémi Hírlap 52, 21 June 1944. 43

the 2nd century. In preaching and in ‘catchpenny’ literature of the vestry, the Jews in total without any differentiation are enemies of Jesus and of the church and all adjectives relating to them are deprecatory. 116 2. Modern political anti-Semitism, which advertised a fight against Jewish influence in business and social life. The political Catholicism gaining momentum at the end of the 19th century and the Christian course after 1919 indicated – sometimes explicitly sometimes hidden – the overweight of the ‘Jewish component’ and ‘Jewish spirit’ confronting Christian morals to be the root cause all problems of the Hungarian society. That approach was reflected in the media controlled by the church both at national and local levels. 117

3. The polemic against Nazi racial theories, the protection of the Old Testament and Christianity by the church. In addition to publishing the papal encyclicals in Hungarian, a Hungarian author also undertook to disprove the racial theory on theological basis. 118 The journalists of church media made a difference between the exaggerations of Nazi racial theory and anti-Semitism ‘in principle or on a moral basis’ said to be just in the interest of protecting Christian society and culture (it was mainly represented by Béla Bangha in Hungarian Kultúra [Hungarian Culture] and Katolikus Lexikon [Catholic Cyclopaedia]). Compared to the views of ‘Imperial Christianity’ they defended the validity of the Old Testament saying it is no t the work of the Jewish people but the work of God; in addition the worship and moral norms of the selected people of the Old Testament were evaluated positively, while those of contemporary Jewry were condemned. At the time of the anti-Jewish laws, statements by bishops were published on the effect of the grace of baptism; at the same time the called on to protect baptised Jews and their descendents as Christians of full value. 4. The fact that Hungarian bishops and seniors belonged to the political and economic elite, which significantly affected their formal statements and actions in the Upper House. Their positions on the anti-Jewish laws was defined by the fact that – similarly to other actors of the elite – the government could make them accept the restrictive measures in order to avoid the greater wrong (communism or right wing).119 5. Racist prejudices apparent among priests, or at least adaptation to a racist spirit of the age, which can be found in statements not intended for the public.

Zoltán Endreffy: „Az antijudaizmustól az antiszemitizmusig” [From anti-Judaism to anti-Semitism], in Molnár Judit (ed.): ‘The Holocaust in Hungary in European perspective [Holocaust in Hungary in a European perspective], Balassi Kiadó, Budapest, 2005, 205–215. 117 Máté Gárdonyi: “Az antiszemitizmus funkciója Prohászka Ottokár és Bangha Béla társadalom - és egyházképében” [The Function of Anti-Semitism in Ottokár Prohászka and Béla Bangha’s View of Society and the Church], in Molnár Judit (ed.), op. cit., 193–204. 118 Kálmán Klemm: Kereszténység vagy faji vallás? Hitvédelmi tanulmány Rosenberg mítosz -vallásáról [Christianity or racial religion. An apologetically study about Rosenberg’s mythical rel igion], Budapest, 1937. 119 Máté Gárdonyi: “Üldöztetés és felelősség. A magyar holokausztról egyházi szemmel” [Persecution and responsibility. On the Hungarian Holocaust with clerical eyes], in Mártonffy Marcell – Petrás Éva (eds.): Szétosztott teljesség. A hetvenöt éves Boór János köszöntése. [Completeness distributed. A tribute to János Boór on his 75th birthday], Budapest, Hét Hárs – Mérleg, 2007, 262–269; Claudia K. Farkas: Jogok nélkül. A zsidó lét Magyarországon 1920-1944 [Without rights. Jewish life in Hungary 1920–1944], Budapest, 2010. 44

6. The experience that the racist provisions of the anti-Jewish laws affected a significant number of Christians. It resulted in the formation of their interest representation bodies and triggered sympathy in certain groups of the church leading to bishops’ objections and actions to save Jews in 1944/45. The latter unless they were restricted to the converts or friends were manifestations of Christian fraternal love.

Sources: Veszprémi Érseki és Főkáptalani Levéltár [Archiepiscopal and Cathedral Chapter Archives of Veszprém], Acta Dioecesana 1938, 1944. Litterae circulares ad venerabilem clerum dioecesis Wesprimiensis (Veszprémi egyházmegyei köriratok) 1943, 1944 Veszprémi Hírlap [Veszprém Herald] 46 (1938) and 52 (1944)

Bibliography: Margit Balogh: “Mindszenty József veszprémi püspök nyilas fogságban” [József Mindszenty, the Bishop of Veszprém, in the captivity of the Arrow Cross], in Péter Miklós: Újragondolt negyedszázad. Tanulmányok a Horthy-korszakról [Rethink a quarter of century. Studies about the Horthy era], Szeged, 2010, 233–248. Randolph L. Braham (chief ed.): A magyarországi holokauszt földrajzi enciklopédiája [The Geographic Encyclopedia of the Holocaust in Hungary], Budapest, 2006-2007, vol. II, 1308-1312. Jenő Gergely: “Mindszenty József veszprémi püspök és a nyilasok” [József Mindszenty the Bishop of Veszprém and the Arrow Cross], In Balázs Ablonczy (ed.): Hagyomány, közösség, művelődés. Tanulmányok a hatvanéves Kósa László születésnapjára [Tradition, community, culture. Studies on the sixty-year old László Kósa birthday], Budapest, 2002, 177–200. Lóránt Holtzer: “Mindszenty vitatott hónapjai Veszprémben” [Mindszenty’s controversial months in Veszprém], Beszélő 9, 2004/7. Jakab Réka: “A zsidótörvények végrehajtása Veszprémben” [The implementation of the antiJewish laws in Veszprém], Levéltári Szemle 56 (2006/4.) 49–58. Mózessy Gergely: “Katolikus püspökök a nyilasok fogságában (Mindszenty József és Shvoy Lajos elhurcolása)” [Catholic bishops in the captivity of the Arrow Cross (the deportation of József Mindszenty and Lajos Shvoy], in István Hermann – Balázs Karlinszky (eds.): Megyetörténet. Egyház- és igazgatástörténeti tanulmányok a Veszprémi Püspökség 1009. évi adománylevele tiszteletére [County history. Church history and management studies in honour of 1009th annual donation of Veszprém Bishopric],Veszprém, 2010, 257–274. Csaba Veress D.: “Adatok a zsidóság Veszprém megyében a II. világháború idején lejátszódott tragédiájához” [Data on the History of the Jews in Veszprém County during World War II.], Veszprém Megyei Múzeum Közleményei 16 (1982) 399-412 (republished in Töredék. Tanulmány és emlékezés a Veszprém városi és megyei zsidóság tragédiájáról. 1944-1945 [Remnant. Chapters From the History of the Jewish Community of Veszprém.], Veszprém, 2001, 6–44).


Case study 2 Catholics and Jews in Óbuda (Old Buda) in 1938–1944
By Attila Jakab Óbuda In Éva Gál’s fitting description, „Óbuda is the part of Budapest looking back to a history of almost two thousand years, albeit with interruptions, which has achieved its present day image after a turbulent history.”120 The beginnings of the city’s history go back to Roman times. The military camp at Aquincum and the neighbouring flourishing city, which had also been the seat of the Roman procurator, was reduced to rubble in the period of migrations. Centuries later, under the kings of the House of Árpád (11th to 13th centuries) it was the seat of a chaplaincy; then under the name Ó-Buda [old buda] the city of Hungarian queens from the mid-14th century. Later, in the period of Turkish occupation (16th and 17th centuries), it was demesne lands populated by Hungarian followers of the Reformed church. It became the family property of the Zichy counts from 1659 as a country town (oppidum) controlled by its feudal landlord. 121 Óbuda took a long time to become populated after the Turkish occupation. In 1698 count István Zichy Jr settled 50 German families in the town. Depriving the Protestants of their church, the Saint Peter and Paul Parish Church still standing today was built on the same place between 1744 and 1749. The parish was granted the right to keep the parish register already in 1698. The plague in 1738-1739 had a major impact on the population. According to contemporary sources, about half of the residents of Óbuda (888 people) perished then. The number of population, however, had grown swiftly by 1756. According to the minutes taken of the visit of count Lajos Batthány the canon of Bratislava, over 2/3 of the 3677 residents of Óbuda were Catholics. Of that, tax-payer family heads numbered 409. The number of Jews was 660. In 1766 Óbuda was returned to the Treasury. In the 18th century it was mainly populated by serves and cotters that lived in one or two-room cottages mainly built from sun-dried bricks. The Catholic parish was really active at the time: it organised social life and charity services (Institutum Pauperum), employed midwives and maintained a school. Catholics mostly spoke German in 1798; preaching in Hungarian happened only once a month. Feudal economy (tilling the land and livestock) had been, in fact, predominant up to 1880, but viticulture had also an important part to play in the life of residents. The poor forms of housing explain why about 88% of the houses got damaged in the 1838 flood (52% fell down, 19% were heavily and 17% slightly damaged). At the time, Óbuda had about 8,000


Éva Gál: „Óbuda helyrajza…”, [geography of óbuda] in Horváth Miklós (ed.) – Kaba Melinda (ed.): Tanulmányok Budapest múltjából [studies from the past of budapest] XXI, Budapest, 1979, p. 105. 121 Cf also Éva Gál, Az óbudai uradalom a Zichyek földesurasága alatt 1659–1766, [the óbuda demesne under the landlords zichy] Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1988. 46

residents.122 The growth of the number of population was partly the result of count István Széchenyi establishing a ship building and repair plant on the Óbudai sziget [óbuda isle] in 1835. After the defeat of the Hungarian War of Independence, Óbuda was attached to Buda (from 1849 to 1861). It became an independent country town in 1861, then District 3 of the united Budapest in 1873. Its parts include Óbuda, Újlak 123 and Császárfürdő.124 The destruction of vineyards due to phylloxera (1886-1890) was a major turning point in the economy and social life of Óbuda since it forced a significant part of the population to change its trade and lifestyle. Not to mention the poverty it had resulted in. Óbuda had a population of 72,145 in 1896. Ordered by the Prince Primate, the language of the Sunday High Mass was changed to Hungarian. That, of course, only meant the sermon, the prayers and songs. You can say that District 3 was one of the poorest districts of the capital between the two World Wars. Árpád Bridge only started in 1939 and was completed on 7 November, 1950. Agriculture, which had been flourishing earlier, only provided a hand-to-mouth existence at the time. Unemployment was high (the brick factories of the district only offered seasonal jobs from March to October125) and the majority of the population lived in unhealthy barrack flats and suffered from alcoholism. Ship building, the textile industry and the building materials industry were the most important employers. It is no coincidence that the Salesians settled there in 1920 in the Saint Alajos House (79, Kiscelli Rd) established for abandoned children by the Esztergom parish priest Ágoston Fischer (†1918).126 The population of Óbuda was 46,865 at the time. 127 Most of the former Germans and Slovaks had become Magyars. A member of the German national minority in present day Hungary characterised the period as follows: „After the ‛tragedy of Trianon’ multi-culturalism started to decline, i.e. a more or less forced Magyarization was started: ‛speak Hungarian if you eat Hungarian bread’ etc. You could only get a government job or position if you Magyarized your German name. Grape harvest festivals were arranged under Hungarian symbols and red-white-green flags abounded in restaurants, too. The different national minorities had become Magyars step by step; German speech had disappeared from the streets. As the Volksbund (der Deutschen in Ungarn) was established, the local German culture flourished for a short time in 1943 –1944 (there was a Volksbund organisation in Óbuda), but it disappeared for ever after World War


Cf Miklós Létay, „Árvíz Óbudán”, [flood in óbuda] in Rádi Károly (ed), Tanulmányok Óbuda történetéből [studies from the history of óbuda], III, Budapest Főváros III. kerületének Önkormányzata, Budapest, 1990, pp. 95-102. 123 It was a separate parish as well: the Sarlós Boldogasszony [Blessed Lady with Scythe] parish (with registration rights since 1711). Its parish priest was Dr Lajos Pálfi in 1943 and its curate was Gyula Gyimesi. A magyarországi latin és görög szertartású világi és szerzetes római katolikus papság névtára és az országos hivatalok útmutatója. [register of the Roman Catholic lay and monastic priests of the Latin and Greek services and their national offices in Hungary] [ed by] Hivatalos adatok alapján összeállította Pilinyi Gyula primási tisztviselő 1943. évre, Budapest, 1943. 124 Békásmegyer only became part of District 3 in 1949 when Greater Budapest was established. 125 Cf József Kádár, Óbudai téglagyárak, [óbuda brick factories] Új Mandátum Kiadó, Budapest, 2010. The book fails to mention that the brick factories were collection camps for Jews in 1944. 126 127 Miklós Létay, „A szabadságharc bukásától 1950-ig”, [from the defeat of the war of independce till 1950], in Csongor Kiss (ed.), Óbuda évszázadai, [the centuries of óbuda], Better Kiadó, Budapest, 2000, p. 281. 47

II.”128 The Jewish community of Óbuda In accordance with a summary by Éva Gál, „Jews had been around at Óbuda since the early 1710s but their settling started in larger numbers in around 1725: censuses registered 10 Jewish families in 1725 and 24 in 1727 but most of them had only been living there for only 1-3 years. In 1727 there already was a Jewish temple at Óbuda, in the same place – at 163, Lajos Street – where a synagogue built in Classicist style at the beginning of the 19th century is still standing. The first Óbuda Jewish temple was in fact a prayer house not a synagogue; we know about its existence from a complaint lodged by the widow of Péter Zichy against her stepson Ferenc Zichy because of his domineering at Óbuda. Ferenc Zichy attacked Óbuda in 1727 with his armed men and had the ’school of the Jews’ (Judenschull as prayer houses were called at the time) destroyed. After the incident, the Jewish prayer house was soon rebuilt on permission by the landlady and it was already mentioned as a synagogue in 1732. The second Óbuda synagogue was built on its place in 1767 and the third – standing today – in 1821.”129 It was one of the most important buildings of its age. The Chevra Kadisha (sacred society) was founded in 1770; it mostly supported the elderly, arranged for the ritual burials of the deceased and cared for the cemetery. Building the Classicist style Óbuda synagogue in 1789 is linked to the name of rabbi R.Mose ben Jichak Müncz of Podolia (1750 k.–1831), who opposed modernising efforts because they „meant for him an implicit centralisation of Jewish communities after a Catholic pattern without giving up anything from the traditions of the religion.” 130 Due to his stance, the Óbuda community followed the conservative Polish line. „The Jewish community also built other buildings on the plot of the synagogue in the course of the 18th century: the so termed community house was mentioned in 1772; in 1789 the Jewish hospital was described as a building that had been in use for some time. When in accordance wit h a decree by József II the Jewish community was ordered to establish a school, it should have been constructed on the same plot, between the synagogue and the bank of the river Duna. The community, however, opposed the idea (they considered the place unhealthy due to the proximity of the hospital and the port), and achieved in the end to get permission to purchase a Treasury building from the Chamber and expand it for the purpose at

József Fehérvári (Fritz), „Óbuda német közösségei a 19–20. században”, [the German communities of Óbuda in the 19th-20th centuries], in Vendel Hambuch (ed.), Németek Budapesten, [Germans in Budapest], Fővárosi Német Kisebbségi Önkormányzat, Budapest, 1998, p. 330. On Volksbund, cf Loránt Tilkovszky, Ez volt a

Volksbund a német népcsoportpolitika és Magyarország 1938-1945, [that was volksbund: the german minority policy and hungary], Budapest, 1978; Spannenberger (Norbert), A magyarországi Volksbund Berlin és Budapest között, 1938-1944, [Hungarian volksbund between berlin and Budapest], Budapest, 2005

Éva Gál: „Óbuda helyrajza…”, [geography of óbuda] in Mikló Horváth (ed.) – Melinda Kaba (ed.): Tanulmányok Budapest múltjából XXI, [studies from the past of budapest], Budapest, 1979, p. 123. The history of its successor, the Óbuda Jewish Primary School at 6 formerly Zichy, today Óbuda Street from 1920 to 1944 has been researched ( The head office of the Óbuda Jewish Community was also in the same building. 130 Regarding the person of the rabbi, cf Géza Komoróczy: A zsidók története Magyarországon. I: A középkortól 1849-ig, [the history of Jews in Hungary] Kalligram, Pozsony, 2012, 757-759; p. 758. The tomb of rabbi Münz can be found near the entrance to the new Óbuda Jewish cemetery opened in 1922. 48

11, Zichy Street – in which a Jewish school had been operating.” 131 Most Óbuda Jews originated from Czechia or Moravia. The part played by the Jewish community and their social importance is illustrated by the fact that the marketplace (158, Lajos Street) – called Juden Platz – was, in fact, at the back of the synagogue, close to the port. It was, in effect, the centre of the settlement. Tax-paying Jews had their public buildings there (Fleischbank and Gemein-Haus) as well as their shops and houses. At the same time, it was closer for the residents of Újlak than Main Place in fro nt of the castle. Kiscelli street led to the Kiscelli Hill from there. According to Géza Komoróczy, „the majority of the Óbuda Jews were peddlers; they traded in hare, goat and cattle hides, shells for buttons, second hand clothes, or scrap iron. Some of them carried corn or wine to large distances. Artisans included tailors, cobblers, furriers, distillers of palinka, gold- and silversmiths and bookbinders.” 132 „The Jewish court (Judenhof), the Jewish shops, most of them taverns selling beer and wine, defined the atmosphere of the area; most small pubs at Óbuda were owned by Jews.” 133 55 Jewish traders operated in Óbuda in around 1775 (including doctors, pharmacists and musicians). The Goldberger plant (a manufacture of blue-dyeing) was founded in 1784, which already employed 135-150 workers in the middle of the 19th century (1851-1853). It was transformed into a factory in 1856. In 1787, 600 Jewish families lived in Óbuda spread around, not in a closed quarter. The Jewish cemetery was located a bit further, beyond the Main Place. It had been in (today’s) Laktanya Street until the end of the 19th century, which had been outside the built up zone of the town until the mid-18th century. Óbuda is first of all important from the perspective of the history of Budapest Jewry, because – protected by the family of counts Zichy – the Jewish community laying the foundations of the Pest Jewish community later on could be established there. Before 1805, Jews could not settle within the walls of the town of Pest. As a result, the Pest Jews in the 1790s were incorporated members of the Óbuda community, which led in the end to a conflict and the establishment of an independent Pest community. 134 You can say the immigrant Jewry and the ’imported’ German speaking Catholic c ommunity developed side by side with the country town. It was all the more true as the synagogue and the Catholic church were/have been practically next to each other. According to the data of Hungarian Jewish Encyclopaedia, the number of the community was 5,500 in the period we are interested in, i.e. between the two World Wars, or more


Éva Gál: „Óbuda helyrajza…”, [geography of óbuda] in Horváth Miklós (ed.) – Kaba Melinda (ed.): Tanulmányok Budapest múltjából XXI [studies from the past of budapest], Budapest, 1979, p. 123. Cf also Géza Komoróczy, op. cit., 635-p. 639. 132 Géza Komoróczy, op. cit., p. 636. 133 Op.cit. p. 637. Judenhof was bordered by Lajos, Mókus and Kiskorona streets. 134 Cf Géza Komoróczy, op. cit., pp. 831-834. 49

exactly in 1929,135 and 1,402 of them were taxpayers. As for their occupation, the members of the community were mostly merchants and artisans, but there were also a number of entrepreneurs, industrialists and professionals. 136 The population of the district was around 60,000 at the time. In 1941, the population of Óbuda was 66,529.137 According to the census carried out in April 1944 on German orders, the Óbuda Jewish mother-community belonging to the Congress direction numbered appr. 3,600. Of that, appr 600 were taxpayers. 78 children attended the primary school employing 3 teachers. 138 It should be noted that the Goldberger Textile Works employing about a thousand Óbuda residents was located in the district. It was headed by Dr Leo Buday-Goldberger (1878–1945, Mauthausen), who was a real gentleman and a Hungarian patriot. He opposed Zionism and Jewish immigration. As a true Israelite, he supported both poor Jews who observed the rules of the religion and the Óbuda community. Miklós Horthy jr was also a member of the Board of Directors of the factory. Leo Goldberger became a member of the Upper House in 1932. He acted as a kind of aristocratic patron of Óbuda. 139 It is interesting that the available literature mostly neglects the history of the Óbuda Jewry after World War I, and focuses on earlier periods. 140 Therefore, the Óbuda implications of the anti-Jewish laws and the period of the Holocaust are more or less unrevealed. 141 For instance, a comprehensive study of the history of Budapest Jewry emphasises the history of the 19th century, and then discusses the Holocaust focusing on Budapest.142 On the other hand, a short paragraph in a collection of studies on local history describing the state of the synagogue after the war is telling: „The temple had become ruined and deserted by the end of World War II.

According to the Óbuda Parish Bulletin (1925, issue 1, p.10), 5,621 Jews (11% of the population) lived there side by side with 38,910 Catholics (75%), 4,371 Protestants and 1,880 Lutherans. 136 szocikk/13661.htm. 137 Óbuda 25 éve, [25 years of óbuda], Budapest, 1970, p. 25 138 Géza Komoróczy (ed), Magyarországi zsidó hitközségek 1944. április, [Jewish communities in Hungary, April 1944], Budapest, 1994, Volume 2, pp. 505-507. 139 Cf, Miklós Létay, op. cit., pp. 282-284. On the history of the factory, cf László Kállai, A 150 éves Goldberger-gyár, [150 years of the goldberger factory], Textil-Ipar Újság kiadása, Budapest, 1935; Dr. Geszler Ödön, A 200 éves Budapest PNYV Goldberger Textilművek története 1784–1984, [history of 200-year old PNYV Goldberger Textiles], Budapest, 1984. 140 Cf, e.g. Sámuel Kohn: „Az óbudai zsidó hitközség a múlt század közepe felé”, [the Óbuda Jewish comm unity in the middle of the last century], Magyar-Zsidó Szemle 8, 1891, pp. 254–259; József Parczel: Az óbudai izraelita templom restaurálásának története , [history of the restoration of the Óbuda Israelite temple], Bichler I. könyvnyomdája, Budapest, 1901; Éva Gál: „Adalékok az óbudai zsidók XVIII. századi történetéhez”, [data to the 18th century history of Óbuda Jews], Évkönyv 1975/76, Magyar Izraeliták Országos Képviselete, Budapest, 1976, pp. 101–121; Idem., „Az óbudai uradalom zsidósága a 18. században”, [the Jewry of the Óbuda demesne lands in the 18th century], Századok 126, 1992, pp. 3–34. It is not unique that the history of the Óbuda Jewry in the early 20th century has not been studied. The same is true for the history of the Óbuda Christian (Catho lic, Protestant and Lutheran) churches in the period between the two World Wars. 141 The best examples are Péter Horváth, „Az óbudai közösség a II. világháború idején”, [the Óbuda community at the time of World War II], in Balázs Sándor (ed.), Óbuda ostroma 1944–1945, [the siege of Óbuda], Budapest, 2005, pp. 77-80 („V. A magyarországi és az óbudai zsidóság” [Jewry in Hungary and Óbuda]). 142 Cf Kinga Frojimovics – Géza Komoróczy – Viktória Pusztai – Andrea Strbik, A zsidó Budapest. Emlékek, szertartások, történelem, [the Jewish Budapest. Memories, ceremonies, history], Budapest, 1995, Vol I, pp. 62– 96 (Óbuda); Vol II, pp. 494–581 („Pest, 1944, ghetto”). Similarly, Randolph L. Braham (ed ) – Zoltán Tibori Szabó (contribution), A magyarországi Holokauszt földrajzi enciklopédiája. [the geographical encyclopedia of the Holocaust in Hungary], Vol II: Maros-Torda vármegye – Zemplén vármegye, Park Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 2007, pp. 818-837 („Budapest”). 50

Only a minority of the Óbuda Jews had survived Hitlerist genocide and those who remained were unable to restore the building to its original function.” 143 That paragraph includes a complete transfer of responsibility (Hitlerists – with no Hungarians involved), as well as glossing over and distortion. The Óbuda community, in fact, had existed independently until 1958 since rabbi Dr József Neumann (1880-1956) survived the Holocaust. By now, however, the Óbuda Jewish community, which used to be flourishing and significant, has disappeared almost without a trace. The relationship of the Óbuda Catholic parish ’St Peter and Paul’ to the J ewish community (as reflected by the press and ecclesiastical decrees 144) The Óbuda parish St Peter and Paul was established in the course of a reorganisation of Catholic institutions in 1918. It was founded on 22 June, 1919 with 3,100 members. 145 It was headed by the parish priest at any time (József Sagmüller: 1903–1935; Mihály Leiner: 1935– 1947146). Its work was aided by a board of representatives (100 members and 32 substitute members) half of whom were elected by the followers while the other half was appointed ex officio. „The board of representatives elected the Council147 that was responsible for the administrative duties of the parish. Council members included the parish priest, the chaplains, 148 not more than two teachers of religion, a Catholic representative of the capital, the choirmaster and the heads of the parish institutes.”149 The parish organised hierarchically was actually controlled by the parish priest, while ecclesiastical and political power was intertwined locally in the Council. 150 It was obviously due to the fact that the patronage of the capital covered the maintenance costs of churches and parsonages, their personnel expenses as well as the costs of religious education. The parish in the immediate vicinity of the Óbuda synagogue and the Jewis h community published an independent bi-monthly Egyházközségi Tudósító [parish bulletin] from 1925 till

Éva Gál: „Az óbudai zsinagóga” [the Óbuda synagogue], in Csongor Kiss (ed.): Óbuda évszázadai, [the centuries of buda], Better Kiadó, Budapest, 2000, p. 444. 144 It is an interesting phenomenon of the age that the ecclesiastical / Catholic press suffered from permanent financial shortages. Cf, e.g. Dr Baron István Kray, „Katolikus sajtó-apostolkodás”, [Catholic press apostles], Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1935, Issue 4, pp.910. 145 It had 21,900 members in 1929. It also means that not all Catholics in Óbuda were p arish members, since Óbuda had about 60,000 residents, for instance, in 1930. 146 Mihály Leiner (Nezsider, 9 August, 1889) studied in Esztergom and was ordained in 1913. He had been a chaplain at Budaörs, Udvard, then in Óbuda (from 1920). He had been a tea cher of religion in Budapest from 1915 to 1920. The Óbuda Credo Society founded by him had 950 members when he was appointed. He was also the local director of the Catholic Association and the editor-in-chief of the Parish Bulletin in Óbuda for 10 years. Cf, Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója 1935, [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], Vol 4, p. 9. 147 That meant 20 ordinary and 7 substitute members for Óbuda. 148 In 1937/38, Béla Juhász, Károly Draskovits, Imre Lehmann. Cf, A magyarországi latin és görög szertartású világi és szerzetes római katolikus papság névtára és az országos hivatalok útmutatója. [register of the Roman Catholic lay and monastic priests of the Latin and Greek services and their national offices in Hungary] ed. by Gyula Pilinyi for 1937/38, Budapest. According to the 1943 register: (op. cit.): Antal Békés, László Selmeczi Kovács. 149 Zsuzsa Lőrincz, „Adatok a katolikus egyház társadalomszervező tevékenységéhez Budapesten (1919–1944)”, [data to the social organising activity of the Catholic church] in Tanulmányok Budapest múltjából XIV. (Budapest várostörténeti monográfiái, 22), [Budapest city history monographs], Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1961, p. 585. 150 Cf also, Gyula Petrovácz MP and vice president of the Herminamező parish at the same time. 51

1935, which published news and contemplations. In 1935, however, separate parish bulletins were centralised. So, Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Roman Catholic parishes in Budapest] was published uniformly from 1935 till 1944. Its responsible editor was the Central Council of Budapest Roman Catholic Parishes and its editor-in-chief the episcopal vicar at any time. 151 Responsible editors also changed in time.152 The publication was free for members of the parish. Beginning from 1940, however, some parishes with Óbuda included introduced an annual subscription fee. It again became free for parish members from 1943 in return for the church tax they paid. The circulation of the bulletin was 80,000 to 90,000 in 1941 and around 93,000 from 1942. It usually published church and parish news, obituaries, advices of behaviour (in church or at events), articles of spirituality, sermons and information and reports about different events and programmes. Its authors were mostly clerics or devout laymen (followers) holding major social positions. 153 It mostly dealt with religious, moral and spirituality issues. The family and the nation were strongly connected in its approach. In the period studied, the poor quality of religious life and the increasing number of divorces and mixed marriages represented significant problems. For instance, in 1935 János Mészáros episcopal vicar complained that, „there has bee n a so termed Christian course in Hungary for 15 years and … the ills have not diminished. (…) Because the root cause of all ills is that Christianity has become but a slogan in the souls of many who were the loudest to shout Christian slogans at the Forum instead of trying to implement the Christian programme with the means available.”154 Different parishes could publish local messages or information (for instance, message by the parish priest, order of church services) on their outside and inside covers. Those local items of information are quite telling because they make it obvious that parish priests identified the mentality and image of their parishes. The relationship of the Catholic community of Óbuda to the Jewish community obviously appears on that media platform. It is supplemented by what was written in the parish circulars ( Circulares litterae155). In both cases, it is not only important what was published but also what – given our current historical knowledge – was missing and can be regarded as reticence. A third source would/could be the Historia Domus of the Óbuda parish if the present parish priest allowed its study. That is, however, not possible at present because – according to the official stance – it has no historical value. The contemporary ecclesiastical registers (of baptisms and marriages) are unavailable at the moment due to considerations of personality rights.156 The printed sources allow revealing the approach to the Jewry and behaviour towards Jews, most of all, by the Budapest eccles iastical and different parish „élite” and leadership rather

151 152

Dr János Mészáros (1935–1940), Dr Endre Hamvas (1940–1944), Béla Witz (1944). Dr Gyula Czapik (1935–1939), Frigyes Molnár papal chamberlain (1939–1943), Dr István Kosztolányi teacher of religion and supervisor (1944). 153 E.g. Károly Szendy, mayor of Budapest (1934-1944), „Krisztus és a gyermek” [Christ and the child], Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes] 1935, Vol. 3, pp. 12; Dr Péter Németh, presiding judge of the Royal Court, „A vallásos nevelés fontossága a veszélyeztetett fiatalkorúaknál” [importance of religious education of endangered juveniles], op.cit. pp. 5-6. 154 Dr János Mészáros Budapest episcopal vicar, „Reform!... Reform!...”, Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes] 1935, Vol. 2, my italics. 155 Circulares litterae dioecesanae Anno… ad clerum archidioecesis strigoniensis dimissae, Typis Gustavi Buzárovits, Strigonii. 156 The standpoint of the parish is it has no local archives. That is, however, contradicted by the fact that the publication 250 éves az Óbudai Szent Péter és Pál Főplébániatemplom [250 years of the Óbuda Parish Church St Peter and Paul] (Budapest, 1999) mentions documents from the 18th century (pp. 89-97) and a Parish Library (p. 107), where, for instance, registers from the 19th century are kept. 52

than that of the simple followers. 157 It is better understood if you study the image of Jews drawn in the documents of the Esztergom parish; the style used by top ecclesiastical leaders when writing about the Jewry. With respect to Óbuda, it can be considered because circulars and reports shaped and decided local attitudes, too. In that regard – and for the period 1938–1944 studied – the Lent appeal by cardinal Jusztinián Serédi in 1938 (no 77; dated 15 February, 1938) on the divinity of Jesus Christ that had to be read out on the first Sunday of Lent instead of the usual sermon is quite interesting. He used fairly peculiar arguments against racism: „My dear followers! Caiaphas sentenced Jesus to death,158 because he said he was God’s son. And today many want to expulse Him because he was a man and as such the member of a people. They take offence at Him being a Jew and transfer their antipathy and hate against the Jewish people to His person. They forget that the Jewish people did not only have sins but also great saints: the holiest woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint John the Baptist, the true harbinger of the Saviour and those simple and honest fishermen who as Apostles had left their fathers and mothers, their houses and countries, and what is more sacrificed their lives in the service of Truth. 159 They forget that although Christ descended from the house of King David by his body, he spoke the language of the Jewish people and followed its rituals, he was made to shine transfigured in the light of his divinity free of all human characteristics, sins or racial frailty, 160 so that every people whether Semitic or Aryan, whether black or yellow, whether Hungarian or French can and will feel Him to be theirs! His faultless character is an ideal for all; his teaching is clear for all, his goodness speaks to the heart of all.” 161 A simple follower could draw three very simple lessons from the above – in accordance with and reiterating the spirit of the times: 1) the Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus (cf, Caiaphas); 2) the so termed Jewish „racial frailty” has been practically around since the age of Jesus; 3) because Jesus was free of that, Christians are clearly also free of it. Taking into account that the Appeal did not specify what the Cardinal meant by ’frailty’, every follower could interpret it according to his wish. A memorandum in Latin No 5357 on the „baptism of Jews” (De baptismo Judaeorum) dated 12 December, 1938 by Prince Primate Seréd i, which can clearly be regarded as an internal ecclesiastical guidance, can be related to the above Lent Appeal by the Catholic chief pastor and it illustrates his stance on Jews.162 The document provides guidance in the circumstances, since the number of Jews wishing to be baptised increased as a result of the first anti-Jewish law (Act No XV „on the more effective provision of the balance of social and economic life”) that took effect on 29 May, 1938. It is clear from the document that the Prince Primate is well aware that the interest in/desire for Christianity in these „inimical times” does not only originate from the desire to attain eternal bliss but also from the hope of escape on Earth. In his opinion, however, it cannot be sufficient reason – or indeed it is „sacrilegious and unjust” – if the proper investigation of the will and careful preparation are neglected before the

The following parish societies operated in Óbuda in 1938: Credo (with almost 1,000 members in 1939), the Altar Society, Working Girls, Society of Girls with High School Education (KLOSZ), Óbuda group of the National Society of Christian Youth (KIOE), Church choir, Scouts, Workers’ Unit of the Parish (EMSZO), Zita team. At the moment, it is difficult to find any documents that may have been preserved, which indicates the topic has not been researched. 158 That, of course, is not true. 159 No Jews may be „saints” unless they are directly connected to Jesus. 160 My italics. 161 Litt. Circ. 1938, p. 9. 162 In circulars, mainly the appointments, placements, promotions and deceases are in Latin. 53

sacraments are administered. For adults, it must mean an hour of religious education twice weekly for three months held by the parish priest or a person appointed by him. Its purpose is to teach the truths of the faith. On the other hand, the Prince Primate emphasises the sacraments of Christianity must not be administered without the permission of the Ordinary and complying with the statutory provisions. The marital status of candidates for baptism must also be investigated. The sacraments may not be administered if a marital obstacle exists. Not to mention that those newly baptised must be carefully monitored. 163 The 1939 Lent circular of the chief pastor also reflects the stance of Prince Primate Serédi on Jews (dated 12 February, 1939). In it the Cardinal did not ascribe sentencing Jesus to death to Caiaphas – as a year earlier – but to Pilate, surprisingly. He, however, could not refrain from emphasising the responsibility of the Jews. „When during Lent we perform the rite of the Stations of the Cross, we are made to think and moved by the first Station, where Pilate sentences Jesus to death but he also washes his hands saying, ‛I a m innocent of the blood of this just person.’ (Mt 27,24) And the Jews answered: ‛His blood be on us and on our children’ (Mt 27,25) Pilate, a hard Pagan, wanted to disclaim responsibility for spilling innocent blood, but the Jews assumed it heedlessly!” 164 The Lent episcopal letter is fitted into and reflects the social environment and public atmosphere identified by the second anti-Jewish law submitted to Parliament on 23 December, 1938 by the Imrédy government. It is surprising as the Prince Primate uses the Jews’ collective responsibility in the death of Jesus to explain the Jews’ thousand -year long tribulations and warns his Catholic followers of the potentially unpredictable consequences as if possessing a prophet’s foreboding. It is sad that a few mont hs later at the moment of voting on the law in the Upper House (on 28 April, 1939) Prince Primate Serédi did not remember his own warnings and voted for it! „When a bad law with fatal consequences is being voted on, the responsibility lies not only with the authors of the law – Serédi wrote in February 1939 – but also with each legislator who votes for it and even with all those who stay away from voting and, with their absence, promote the law taking effect; Godless laws are not only the responsibility of legislators but also of individual electors who have provided such legislators with mandates with their votes knowingly and willingly; citizens think little of that.”165 „The case of the Jews who demanded the crucifixion of Christ is an eternal deterrent of the

„Judaei magno in numero his diebus baptismum appetunt. In quo desiderio suo certe advers is temporibus quoque moventur, conantes non solum aeternam, sed potius temporalem salutem quoque suam et filiorum securam reddere. Tamen impie et iniuste agunt, qui ex defectu fiduciae eos omnes sine exceptione repellunt aeque ac illi, qui praevio examine intentionis et solida instructione praetermissis, eis bapismum conferre properant. Pro norma habeatur cum caritate omnes qui converti cupiant esse excipiendos; dein probationi saltem trium mensium subiiciendi sunt adulti, quo tempore per hebdomadam saltem bis per integram horam a parocho vel eius vicario in veritatibus ctechismi sunt instruendi. baptismus ne administretur ante adeptam permissionem Ordinarii et impletas legis civilis conditiones. Invigilandum insuper est et in recursu ad Ordinarium speciali mentione dignum, validum-ne vel saltem sanabile-ne sit matrimonium, in quo candidati ad baptismum vivunt. In casu contrario enim, e. g. si impedimentum ligaminis inter consortes existit, baptismi sacramentum conferri non potest. Eos autem, qui putant judaeorum matrimonium post baptismum coram Ecclesia denuo iniri et sic convalidari debere, edocemus, hanc suam opinionem erroneam esse, cum tale matrimonium ex lege naturali validum sit et ipso baptismo suscepto ad sacramenti dignitatem elevetur. Monemus tandem Ven. Clerum, ut curam specialem conversis impendere post baptismum quoque continuet. Strigonii, die 12. Decemberis 1938.” Litt. Circ. 1938, 59. 164 Litt. Circ. 1939, p. 9. 165 Litt. Circ. 1939, p. 12. 54

lack of collective (social) sin! Because they were numerous, they believed the responsibility of killing God will be divided among them and will be a nothing to be hardly felt, so they spoke up bravely, ‛His blood be on us and on our children’! And a terrible punishment, i.e. the destruction of Jerusalem followed and the dispersion of the Jewish people in the world and their much suffering proved that collective responsibility is, in a sense, increased responsibility, because what is at stake is not only our individual salvation and good but the salvation and good of many of our fellow-men, contemporaries and descendants, but sometimes, of whole nations and countries.” 166 (pp. 12-13.) On 11 May, 1939 Prince Primate Serédi issued a decree „on the religious education of children baptised together with their Jewish parents” (No 3008). „I have learnt, he w rote, there are students who have been baptised together with their Jewish parents and although they could be educated in the Catholic faith with the permission of the Court of Guardians, they continue to attend the Jewish religious classes. I hereby order that in cases when children were also baptised together with their parents the priest performing the baptism should send an official notice on the baptism to the relevant teacher of religion as well. At the same time, the permission of the Court of Guardians for the conversion of the children must be urged and it must be reported to the school authorities when it has taken place.” 167 Thus, the behaviour and attitude to Jews of the different Budapest parishes (43 in all) have to be evaluated given the stance of ecclesiastical leadership, i.e. the archbishop of Esztergom. A comprehensive and comparative analysis of the above could be the topic of later research, but it should be noted that the part played by local priests cannot be doubted. In that regard, an opening announcement by the newly appointed Óbuda parish priest Mihály Leiner in 1936 is quite interesting, „Stick firmly and steadily, My Dear Ones, to your trust in your pastor, because he promises to you to be your faithful, conscientious and good priest; leader and teacher of the small ones, support, helper and the good Samaritan of the adults facing the errant and the misled.”168 The style and content combined show clearly that the parish priest was the dominant person in the Óbuda community. It also tu rns out from the report on the 25th anniversary of the ordainment of Ft Mihály Leiner. Accordingly, the priest „invited with love 300 poor people for lunch. And he disbursed money to altruistic associations.” 169 At the same time as the opening announcement of priest Leiner was published, a call appeared on the outside back cover of the Óbuda Parish Bulletin, „Purchase from Christian merchants”, placed as the heading of a list of enterprises and their advertisements. Later on (in the course of several years) it always appeared on the back cover (either inside or outside). In 1941 it was supplemented with another call in the heading of advertisements placed on the outside back cover of the Bulletin, „Buy at Catholic shops”. All that cannot be treated as indepen dent from the fact that at the time of the anti-Jewish laws some Óbuda merchants (e.g. Pöhm confectioners, Menzer groceries) displayed notices „Jews and dogs will not be served”. 170 Given the other parish bulletins reflecting varied local features, it can be stated with certainty that the term „Christian” in the Óbuda Bulletin was a racial category, the opposite of Jewish –
166 167

Litt. Circ. 1939, pp. 12-13. Litt. Circ. 1939, p. 34. 168 Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1936, Vol. 1, inside front cover of the Óbuda bulletin. 169 Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1938, Vol 2, inside front cover of the Óbuda bulletin. Article entitled”Jubilee”. 170 Miklós Gulyás, Óbudai utcák, [streets of Óbuda], Noran, Budapest, 2007, p. 65. Cf also (25 June, 2012). 55

in accordance with the mentality of the age. 171 It, however, was not typical of most parish bulletins. Not all of them published advertisements and those that did either did it without any appeals (of a Christian implication) or simply urged to support the parish or Catholic traders and merchants.172 For instance, the outside back cover of the Krisztinaváros or Városmajor Parish carried the following call, „Support the Catholic merchants and traders of our parish!” (in 1936 and 1937). It is interesting that the outside back cover of the bulletin of Sarlós Boldogasszony parish also in District 3 also carries a racist call, „Support Christian me rchants and traders!” (the term ’support’ was replaced by ’buy from’ in 1940). All that is obviously related to the quite significant Jewish community of Óbuda. But it cannot be said to have been the rule, since a similar attitude should have been dominant in the Terézváros parish as well. The Terézváros or Erzsébetváros parish bulletins, however, do not reflect that. 173 Not to mention that the racial category „Christian” is missing from the call made by the other parish bulletin in District 3, that of Kövi-Saint Mary (111, Szentendre Rd) (1936, Vol 1, outside back cover), which was mainly responsible for the pastorisation of the Filatori fields populated by workers, and was more distant from the Óbuda Jewish community, „We request the artisans and small traders of the parish to advertise in the Parish Bulletin as much as they can. In that way, they will support the Parish Bulletin, strengthen themselves and serve the unity of the Catholic camp. Parish followers, buy from parish merchants, order work from parish artisans!”174 The work of parish priest Leiner was assisted at the time by the Óbuda Parish Council with the following composition (Parish Bulletin, 1936, Vol. 3, inside back cover): Lay chairman: Dr János Botzenhardt, Hungarian royal government councillo r, permanent member of legislative committee Deputy chairmen: Dr János Hanthy-Haidekker, district magistrate; Dr Lajos Kuncze lawyer, permanent member of legislative committee Secretary: Dezső Pataky church choir master. Controller: Károly Kirch retired ba nk clerk Chaplains: Dr Özséb Reimann, József László, Károly Draskovits. It clearly shows how the contemporary social élite and the local church leadership were intertwined. It is no surprise, then, that the lower social classes did not feel it was their church; they had been alienated. It is excellently illustrated by a paper by Antal Schuszter, parish priest of Magdolnaváros, and the situation could not be much different in either Óbuda or in any other parishes of Budapest: „We are talking about the Lent in class. A small student of mine stands up and remarks, ‘My mum said why it is the business of the priests what is

The interpretation is supported by a paper by Mészáros episcopal vicar, who used the categories „Christian” and „non Christian” (i.e. Jewish) in relation to his criticism of Liberalism. Dr János Mészáros, „Wolff Károly küldetése és hagyatéka”, [the mission and heritage of Károly Wolff], Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1936, Vol. 3, pp. 5-7. Cf on the topic Jenő Gergely, A Keresztény Községi (Wolff-) Párt, [the Christian community (Wolff) party], Gondolat Kiadó – MTA–ELTE Pártok, pártrendszerek, parlamentarizmus kutatócsoport, Budapest, 2010. 172 E.g. the bulletins of the Soroksári Rd or the Belváros parishes in 1937 . 173 The Erzsébetváros and the Terézváros parishes, which operated in the vicinity of the residential areas of the Pest Jews, should be the subject of further research. For instance, the outside back cover of the Erzsébetváros Bulletin carried the following call both in 1937 and in 1941, „Catholics should only buy from Catholics”! It should be noted that no scholarly research has been made into the local history of the Budapest Catholic parishes to date. 174 The call was replaced in 1938 by „Buy from Catholic artisans and merchants!”, but the initial text was reinstated from issue 4. In 1937/38, Lajos Peisz was the parish priest, in 1943 it was László Merva and János Juhász. A comparative study of the three parishes of District 3 (St Peter and Paul, Sarlós Boldogasszony and Kövi-Saint Mary) could be made in the future. 56

cooking in the pot of poor people? Lent should be held by the priests and the nuns.” 175 While the 1938-39 circulars by Prince Primate Serédi touched upon the problem of the antiJewish laws albeit in a quite moderate and reserved manner, the readers of the Bulletin of the Budapest Roman Catholic Parishes could hardly perceived any of it. Mainly because interest was fully focused on the double holy year (from 23 May, 1937 to 3 December, 1938). At that time the 34th Eucharistic World Congress as well as the Saint Steven Jubilee Year (commemorating the 900th anniversary of the death of Saint Steven) was jointly organised. Therefore, all attention was focused on religious life / infidelity and morality (i.e. the problems of marriage). Providing board to visitors was a regularly returning worry (as there were not enough offers for housing). It is a surprise that side by side with clericals, politicians also felt necessary to speak about Catholicism! 176 The message, however, could only reach a part of the population. At that time the Catholic church exercised hardly any influence on the workers of Budapest who had distanced themselves from the church. The same was true in Óbuda, one of the most rundown districts of the capital, where the church tried to increase the number of members in the Parish Workers’ Unit (EMSZO) by offering cheap potatoes from Szabolcs County and access to firewood for the winter.177 Strangely enough, the improvement of religious life and morality were hoped to mitigate social problems and restore social peace.178 The only obvious reference to the „Jewish issue” appeared in a 1939 paper by former Prime Minister Károly Horváth. He thought „it was not enough to push Jews out of economic positions and cultural life, unless the vacant places were filled by men and women who touched by the spirit of saints and heroes reformed the whole Hungarian state in the spirit of Christ. It is not enough to distribute the land unless it is settled by families in which the Christian tradition and noble morality are alive. (…) Christ must be the only leader of mankind and all power on Earth must come from Him alone. The power that is not from God and does not serve God will drive mankind to hell. Without God there are no law, no culture, state security, international peace, social progress, family loyalty and love, charity protecting the weak and discipline curbing egoism.” 179 In his opinion, „many people who only wear Christianity as a masque must be permeated with the only bliss of true Christianity. The millions of Catholics by their certificates only must be educated into conscious Catholics who will fight – determined to be martyrs – so that the empire of Saint Steven should not be upturned and so that the Hungarian people should not fall victim to the evil and rancour of Satan.”180 The circulars by the Prince Primate hardly reflect the political and social processes on-going in the country beginning from the 1940s. It is as if the Hungarian catholic church lived in a

Antal Schuszter, „Hitoktató és szülő”, [teachers of religion and parents], Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1940, Vol. 3, p. 13. 176 Cf also, János Kóródi Katona, former MP, „a lot must be made in Budapest to promote Catholic marriages”, Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1937, Vol. 1, p. 2; Károly Huszár former PM, „A kettős szentév és a budapesti katolikusok”, [the double holy year and Budapest Catholics], op.cit, pp. 3-4. 177 Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1938, Vol. 4. Inside front cover of Óbuda bulletin. 178 Ferenc Bihari, „Egyházközségi munkás-szakosztályok”, [worker units of parishes], in Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1937, Vol. 1, p. 13. 179 Károly Huszár, „A katolikus férfiak és az idei Katolikus Nagygyűlés”, [Catholic men and the Catholic Assembly this year], in Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1939, Vol. 1, p. 6. 180 Ibid. p. 7. 57

self-created peculiar world far from the realities. 181 Only the decree number 8199 „on the exemption from charges on birth certificates issued for defence purposes” (12 November, 1940)182 indicates that it must have been related to the anti-Jewish laws, particularly to the second one (Act No IV of 1939), because the baptism and marriage certificates of a given person and his parents (grandparents for reserve officers) were used to decide whether the person will be a soldier or a labour serviceman (Act No II of 1939). There is no doubt that a nationwide frantic search started due to the obligation of certifying your origin and religious denomination. It can be seen in a message by the abbot of Pannonhalma (dated 25 February, 1942) printed separately on the front of Circular II of the year (283/1942) using lilac ink: „Seeking to learn where Mária Sas (daughter of János Sas and Katalin Mezei or Mezericzki) had been baptised between 1830 and 1840, or where János Wener and Mári Sas had got married between 1850 and 1860. 20 Pengő award for the answer.” 183 A similar notice was stuck on the front of Circular V as well: „To certify his origin, Zoltán Bittó is seeking the baptism certificate of his mother, Johanna Rácz, born in 1850 – 54. The certificate of baptism, or if it cannot be found, the notice thereof is requested to be sent urgently / by return post to the address of the Pannonhalma decanal office” (934/1942; dated Pannonhalma, 30 July, 1942).184 In the political and social context identified by the anti-Jewish laws the responsibility of the Jewry with respect to Catholic religious life and morality is discussed in an interesting manner by Lajos Érdi, a member of the Óbuda Parish Council. It is shocking to read that lament written after two decades of a national-Christian political regime. The text implies that those involved are mainly responsible for the situation, in addition to Jews, of course. And the source of all ills is that the majority of the city population of Budapest fail to attend the Holy Mass on Sunday! According to the author, „it was different in the good old patriarchal times, when every man got up in the morning and went to bed at night with no worries! He worked on weekdays and attended the mass and the sermons on Sundays – when there had been no night or Sunday shifts yet – when the priest found all his followers around his pulpit on Sunday and could influence all of them. How many people cannot attend mass or the sermons today even if they wanted to. How many people must be up and working on Sunday and deal with material things from morning till night. How many Catholic men and servant girls work for Jews who are rarely patient enough to allow their servants to attend the low mass of half hour! And then, there is the misery of apartments with a thousand moral dangers, immorality exercised in big cities for fun; places of merry-making forging capital out of human debauchery, the disorder of women’s issues. Who would dare to dismiss the q uestion with the naive saying that women should be ’at home’, when there are many thousand women that have no home under the social circumstances of today. All that is then followed by the dissolution of family life, the decline of public morality, the spiritual neglect of children, women and the world of workers. In those chaotic circumstances a pastor must try to find new tricks again and again to get to them. But if a pastor is in a real maelstrom, the huge amount of work waiting for him takes all his time, it is no wonder that he has no time even to think on how to conquer those territories beyond his vista so far.” 185

In his decree dated 18 August, 1941, e.g. (No 4202: „Arrangement of the followers in church”) Prince Primate Serédi urged reinstating the old order of men and women separated. Litt. Circ. 1941, 33. 182 Litt. Circ. 1940, pp. 52-53. 183 Litt. Circ. 1942, p. 7. 184 Litt. Circ. 1942, p. 25. Collection of the National Széchenyi Library (OSZK). 185 Lajos Érdi, „Gondolatok az Actio Catholica tanfolyamairól” [thoughts on the courses of Actio Catholica], Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1940, Vol. 1. Óbuda bulletin, inside front cover. My italics. 58

Compared to the above description of the behaviour of Jews, a report on Goldberger Plc owned by a Jewish family supporting the Charity of the Óbuda Catholic parish with Christmas donations looks quite strange. 186 Having read Lajos Érdi you should not be surprised that Óbuda parish priest Leiner had fully decontextualized and Christianised Mary as if she had never had anything to do with Jews – those who lived in the immediate vicinity of his parish church. „Sometime the Earth waiting for the Messiah burdened with sins was a wilderness like this. It happened in the great Advent of four thousand years, he writes, when she had come, the flower of Jesse’s root and Aaron’s rod bloomed, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the rose of a secret meaning, burst into bloom in men’s souls. Because all the beauty created in the following Christian centuries, all the respect shown to women can be traced back to Her. She will be the ideal of knights, the example to be followed by women. Our king Saint Steven also offered his country to Her. Ever since that time, She has been our Lady, the protector and defender of our country. Her white maternal hands protect our Homeland more than any guns or arms over difficult centuries of bloodshed. Her picture is on the flags of freedom with the inscription: Pro libertate, for freedom. – Our most excellent men and compatriots were all followers of Mary.”187 Miklós Nagy, the national secretary of Actio Catholica expressed in a coded form but to be understood by many that the greatest problem of Hungary is the possibility of Jews and Christians marrying each other. „The anti-family and anti-church laws of a liberal age have broken the dams for a stream of immorality and irresponsibility. Those laws have taken out of the hands of the Church marriage, the life condition of the survival of any race. They have opened the way for irresponsible divorce and the persecution of children. Yes, it is a persecution of children, because children were already persecuted in their mothers’ wombs when many-storey schools with coat-of-arms were built behind the deteriorating homes of families losing their residents. A dam has been broken and under the protection of the laws a dirty tide that cannot be stemmed is gushing forth into the Hungarian race, into this people having endured the fights of a millennium that is today seeking its future in the turmoil of forces of world history. Where is the strong Hand that would strangle the blood-sucking hydra? Where is the strong call to shout Stop to that nemesis?! Not the efforts of diplomacy or thousands of tanks and airplanes will obtain a future for the nation, but strong and clear laws, strong and clear family life.”188 After all that the third anti-Jewish law (Act XV of 1941) that was meant to stem „the dirty flood” „gushing into the Hungarian race” followed almost seamlessly. The law „on supplementing and amending Act XXXI of 1894 on matrimonial law” simply banned marriage or sexual intercourse between Jews and non-Jews. The Christian ecclesiastical leaders, however, could not vote on the law as it was clearly contradictory to Christian matrimonial law. The next two anti-Jewish laws (Act VIII of 1942 degrading the Israelite community to a

Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1941, Vol. 2. Óbuda bulletin, inside front cover. 187 Parish priest, „Queen of May”, Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1940, Vol. 2. Óbuda bulletin, inside front cover. 188 Miklós Nagy, „A magyar család drámája”[the drama of the Hungarian family], Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1940, Vol. 3, p. 8. Re relevant literature, cf András Gianone, Az Actio Catholica története Magyarországon, 1932–1948 [the history of Actio Catholica in Hungary] (Monographs, 1), ELTE BTK Történettudományok Doktori Iskola, Budapest, 2010. 59

„recognised one” and Act XV „on agricultural and forestry properties of Jews”) triggered no reflection in episcopal circulars or church news. On the other hand, you can find traces of how top church leaders provided guidance in some kind of concord with the basis following the Soviet air raid on Budapest (night of 4-5 September, 1942). In his address at the Catholic Assembly, Jusztinián Serédi said the following, „When our heroic soldiers defend the life of Hungarian families and the Hungarian nation at the Eastern fronts even at the price of their own lives, we Catholics must not allow that life given to individuals, families and the nation by God via the sacrament of marriage be abused!”189 Óbuda parish priest Leiner expressed himself in a more unambiguous and marked way, „the world has again been torn into two parts. Darkness, misery, folly and sin want to destroy the camp of the followers of light, purity, love and truth. It is up to us whether Christ will overcome or the thousand-year-old empire of the great Saint Steven is inundated by dirt and a murderous tide.”190 In the previous issue Dr Lajos Kuncze the lay chairman of the Óbuda parish (the CEO of the Budapest Crafts Credit Institution) explained his views as follows, „The Russian Soviet has spent millions to propagate atheism; it has prevented the religious acts of its population and thus has degraded most of its subjects to faithless automatons. A year ago it attacked our country treacherously, but our heroic soldiers repelled the attack. Since then, together with our glorious allies, our soldiers fight the battle of life and death against Communism striving to annihilate the European culture and Christianity. In this battle those fighting on the front and those at home need to be in total spiritual harmony. Therefore I request all followers of our parish, with love, that we having remained at home accept any ordeals and restrictions, make every sacrifice for our soldiers fighting on the front and fulfil our duties enthusiastically, because then we shall overcome with God’s help.”191 All in all, you should not be surprised that „Christian” clearly appeared as a racial category in 1943. Prince Primate Serédi had to face the fact that military offices obliged even reserve army chaplains to verify their Christian origin – quite illegally. For that, they were expected to submit their ancestors’ documents, although Article 6, Act XIV of 1942 exempted Christian pastors from verifying their origin (cf also writ No I/7212 PM dated 19 December, 1942).192 In this respect, a commercial advertisement in the Óbuda Parish Bulletin is quite telling, „You can buy your textiles at the best prices from the Körtvélyessi original Christian firm in Óbuda. Address: 14 Flórián Place, District 3.”193 The obligation to verify origin, however, represented a major administrative workload on churches. „Those involved request the ministries to issue such a high number of birth certificates for military purposes as well as for verifications related to the anti-Jewish laws, Prince Primate Serédi wrote, that it endangers their ordinary pastoral work. To partly avoid it, I issue the following information and instructions. With reference to data after 1895, they are usually not obliged to issue birth certificates free of charge. That is the responsibility of the state registries. It is an exceptional case if the person involved is a follower of the Catholic

Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1942, Vol. 4, p.

190 191

Ibid. Óbuda bulletin, inside front cover. Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1942, Vol. 3. Óbuda bulletin, inside front cover. 192 No 756: Certificate of origin for reserve army chaplains (20 January, 1943). Litt. Circ. 1943, p. 3. 193 My italics. Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1942, Vol. 4, Óbuda Bulletin, inside back cover. 60

faith – at variance from the record in the state register – because he/she has been baptised in the meantime and the fact has not been recorded in the state register yet. If, except for the above exception, somebody still requests a birth certificate from that period for the above purposes, it can only be issued against the proper fee identified in the resolutions of the Council.”194 Not to mention the fact that, in time, birth certificates will have to be sent to Germany or obtained from Slovakia. 195 All that took place in the context when the Hungarian society first had to face the possibility that the war may be lost. On 12 January, 1943 the Soviet troops broke across the Hungarian defence at Voronezh and wiped out the Hungarian army within weeks. Given that, the leading motif of the Lent circular by Prince Primate Serédi (9 March, 1943) was the sacrifice of Christ, which has nothing to do with the Gospel or with historical truth not even with Christian faith. He spoke about that sacrifice actualised to the Hungarian situation so that he avoided to use the term ’Jew’! According to the archbishop of Esztergom, Christ „is willing to accept any sacrifice for his homeland. His greatest desire is to carry his Father’s name as a flag of victory all over the world. In his life on Earth, he hardly left the territory of his homeland and only spoke directly to the sons of other nations in exceptional cases so that he could devote all the more time to educating the chosen people. How carefully he prepared everything for his surrender to God. He fulfilled the prophecies for the chosen people, he clarified and built up the revelations given to him only to facilitate its path. His caring love is best expressed in the most moving way when he is crying bitterly for his people, because the sacrifice of his God-man’s life was in vain and he could not drive the whole community along the path of peace.”196 According to the Prince Primate, „when the community of men, the homeland is suffering from hardships, men following Christ must also accept a series of sacrifices. The homeland as a value is beyond the value of individual in many ways. If the homeland is in danger, all its sons must unite to avert the threatening danger. Take it, therefore, quite naturally that you must sacrifice your property or even your life for your homeland. Remember that peoples can be alive because their best ones, the most unselfish, the strongest and cleanest sacrifice themselves for them. If the members of a people are unwilling to make a sacrifice for their homeland, that people is ripe for destruction; who should regard the homeland valuable if its own sons fail to do so. People abandoning the fate of their homeland only recognise too late that as the tree of the homeland has fallen, their own small leaf of life is also ripe for destruction. On the other hand, if they fought for it with self-sacrifice, their sacrifice would bear courage, which would make them heroes. A nation will be brave, heroic and so invincible, if it has many sons accepting sacrifice.”197 A year earlier Óbuda parish priest Leiner looked at and envisaged the war against the Soviet Union as a kind of Crusade. According to him, „we [Hungarians] have not shouldered the grave cross of war for power, booty or vanity. Our sons march in a Crusade against darkness and sin. The horrors of Hell on Earth embodied threatened our children’s innocent dreams, clear smile, our churches and family hearths. The rebellious fallen angel, Satan wants to take man away from his Creator. We have seen him stealing souls with honeyed words and a smooth face. Now he has reached out for mankind with flame-throwers, violent rough hands and iron fists. We Hungarians already know the deathly embrace he uses to „bestow
194 195

No 3023: Issue of birth certificates (14 April, 1943). Litt. Circ. 1943, p. 15. Litt. Circ. 1943, p. 29 (No 1214) & 44 (No 8955). 196 Litt. Circ. 1943, p. 6. 197 Litt. Circ. 1943, p. 8. 61

happiness” on his victims. We have already met him and we have not forgotten. Now, he was again lurking behind the ridges of the Carpathian Mountains waiting for the moment when he could bear down on us. But God was with us when he allowed us to notice the threatening menace in good time. He took care of us, when he gave into our hands the flag of the Crusades and started us on a hard road to fight Satan. Brethren! The goals of a war have never been as clear and obvious as those of our war today. People have never shed blood for a clearer and greater idea than what we are shedding our dear Hungarian blood now. No sacrifice has been made for a better cause than what we are making a sacrifice for now. Because it will be decided in this war whether Europe remains Christian or the marks of humanity are wiped from the face of our children and our descendants – if they survive at all – sink to such depths in animal ignorance and darkness as our enemies have sunk. We alone can win this fight. Because not even ’the gates of Hell’ can overcome Christianity, Christ said. Therefore, my brother, take the cross! Accept the cross with a devoted soul, sacrificially and with unflinching faith.– God and truth are with us. Take the cross, keep it high, even if your heart is bleeding. Do not be mean now, forget your own sacrifice when so many thousands of sacrifices go to God. Lift your misery to Heaven for atonement and salvation. Take the cross, my suffering and crying brother and ‘we are going to win under this token’.”198 The hopes of victory, however, started to melt away in 1943. On 19 March, 1944 the German troops occupied Hungary and the Allied forces launched air raids in the first days of April. And while military operations reached the country, a war was launched against the Jewry regarded to be the „internal enemy”. Its goal was to segregate, isolate and deprive Jews from their properties. A strange world was being formed some of which can be revealed from Catholic sources. 1944: the Holocaust and the Óbuda Catholic parish If Hungarian or Budapest/Óbuda Catholics expected some guidance from ecclesiastical leaders, they failed to receive it in any form. Prince Primate Jusztin ián Serédi had nothing to say with reference to Jews obliged to wear the yellow star (Decree by the Sztójay government No 1.540/1944. PM; 5 April) while he was worried about the spiritual-moral education of German children. He issued a decree on 15 April, 1944 „on the religious-moral education of children of the German Reich” (No 2216), „Requested by several priests and parents of the children of the German Reich holidaying in Hungary, I call the attention of all pastors to arrange for the pastoral care of the children of the German Reich. It is desirable that schoolage children receive religious education during the school year either in the church or at another location. According to the laws of the German Reich, parents shall decide about the religious-moral education of their children up to the age of 12. At the age 12-14, the parents still decide but the children are also asked if they are willing to attend religious classes. The children alone decide from the age 14. At present, there are mostly Catholic children in the country and it can be hoped that the leaders of the holidaying arrangement will not make any difficulties. The parents’ opinion can be easily learnt from the host families.” 199 At the time when the Jews were deported from the countryside and afterwards Serédi’s main


Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1942, Vol. 2, Óbuda Bulletin, inside front cover. 199 Litt. Circ. 1944, p. 20. 62

problems were the registration of cathecumens (Liber Catechumenorum)200 on the one hand, and on the other hand, banning „the use of incomplete birth certificate forms” (No 5096; 3 July, 1944): „It has repeatedly occurred that certain parishes sent, for official use, to offices of the diocese or to other ecclesiastical and lay authorities birth certificates issued on quartersheet forms that failed to display all data in the Register. I hereby ban the issue and use of such incomplete and therefore irregular birth certificates for official purposes.” 201 An opening address by provost Béla Witz, episcopal vicar is also quite telling. It simply disregards the provisions hitting the Jewry, the deportation of Jews from the countryside, and only focuses on Budapest followers suffering from the air raids. „This beautiful city, he writes, has to face difficult weeks now. The tempest raging over our heads announces a double lesson for us. All suffering we have to endure is the punishing or trying blows of the righteous God. We have to accept both with patience and surrender because the good God has a purpose with both. (…) I welcome with fatherly worry and love those who have lost everything they had but they have faith in their souls that can mitigate even the greatest catastrophe. I ask you, my suffering followers, Hungarian brethren, not to waver in your trust in the good God even in the hours of your worst misery. (…) Do believe that the blow hitting you now will become a caress by God’s fatherly palm and the dawn of a new and very happy Hungarian life will sparkle above the smouldering ruins, above the ruins of orphaned and destroyed small family homes. (…) You, the devoted and loyal people of Mary’s country, be even more the servant of God and your Church, because that is what the good God expects us to do, so that it would compensate our country and nation for all their sufferings and loss with his plentiful blessing.”202 Dr József Koszterszitz, chamberlain to the Pope, director of college, u rged patriotic education, „The family has been educating children into becoming patriots and patriotic women. The Magyar feelings of the mother will make them active, selfless and conscientious Magyars. You need not use empty slogans but you should permeate the little souls with true and noble patriotism.”203 Side by side with the deportation of Jews from the countryside, the Budapest Jews were ordered to move into confined areas. The Housing Office of the Association of Hungarian Jews marked the main area No IV in Óbuda, District 3 (56, Lajos St), directed by Nándor Gergely and Mihály Weisz. It had three sub-areas with separate leaders. 204 On 22 June, 1944 the minister of the interior issued a decree No 148.451./1944-IX on „the final demarcation of buildings to be used by Jews on the Buda side of the capital”. In accordance with it, Jews were even more crammed, as a number of houses were simply deleted from the list of buildings to be used by Jews in District 3.205 The Jews were compelled to move into 116 ’star 200 201

Litt. Circ. 1944, p. 25 Litt. Circ. 1944, p. 30. 202 Béla Witz, „Opening address”, Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1944, Vol. 2, p.1. 203 József Koszterszitz, „Letters by Mum”, Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1944, Vol. 2, p. 4. 204 Ilona Benoschofsky – Elek Karsai (ed): Vádirat a nácizmus ellen. Dokumentumok a magyarországi zsidóüldözés történetéhez. 2: 1944 május 15 – 1944 június 30. A budapesti zsidóság összeköltöztetése , [indictment against Nazism. Documents to the history of the persecution of Jews in Hungary, Part 2: from 15 May, 1944 to 30 June, 1944. Moving Budapest Jews into confined areas], published by the National Council of Hungarian Israelites, Budapest, 1960, pp. 304-306. 205 Csaba Katona – Zoltán Ólmosi – András Oross – László Soós – Éva P. Szigetváry – Dóra Szabó – Katalin Varga (ed): Emlékezz! Válogatott levéltári források a magyarországi zsidóság üldöztetésének történetéhez, 1938– 63

marked’ buildings by 24 June instead of the 229 identified initially by the mayor (on 16 June). In Óbuda it meant buildings located in Vörösvári and Bécsi roads, Pacsirtamező, Szőlő and Lajos streets and in Ürömi road. With respect to the tragedy of Hungarian Jews, the archbishop of Esztergom was only capable to issue a short message not saying much in essence. „I order – the Prince Primate wrote –, that the following message [No 5443, 10 July] should be read out to the followers on the Sunday after the receipt of this circular [No 6 during the year] in connection with the sermon, i.e. either before or after the sermon without any further ado: „Cardinal Jusztinián Serédi, the Prince Primate of Hungary informs the Catholic followers on his own and the respected Bishops’ Bench’s behalf he has repeatedly turned to the Royal Hungarian Government regarding the issue of the provisions affecting Jews particularly baptised Jews, and he will continue his negotiations on the issue in future.” 206 Following the deportation of the Jewry from the countryside, a real fever of conversion broke out among Budapest Jews living in the state of complete uncertainty of existence. It must have been encouraged by the establishment of the Association of Christian Jews in Hungary on 14 July, 1944. A gleam of hope; maybe those baptised will not be taken away in another wave of deportations. In a Catholic context, however, the demand for baptism had clearly resulted in anxiety, which was expressed by prelate Mihály Marcell, university professor, „In today’s passionate atmosphere the issue of belonging to a nation or to the church has become a sensitive one, as one trend of political life strongly proposing an idea of racism emphasises the expulsion of certain races, particularly of the Jewish race, from the framework of the nation. What is more, it is trying to say no to the option that those outcasts could approach Christianity. The part of the question wishing to regulate the cohabitation of races, nationalities and the ancient forces maintaining the country does not have a direct impact on the Catholic church. On the other hand, its consequence intending to lay obstacles for those who want to join the church requires major consideration both from a theoretical and a practical aspect.” The reader might believe the author is for baptism. All the more so, as in his wording, „the sanctioned laws of the state, which include the option of changing your religion by applying the form of two notifications of departure and one registration among human rights, promote the sacred laws of the Church and their implementation”. Here, however, the point is quite different. According to the prelate, „the Church… is not a ’collector of flocks’, or ‘commander of Christians on the conveyor belt’ and it does not want to get richer with new followers described in similar terms. The teaching of Christ obliges his Church – and the Church implements it using strict measures – to lead to the sacred well of Christianity those who want to join the flock of Christ in their soul in their life after examining their honest intentions and following regular often lengthy studies. The troubled circumstances amid which masses of people knock on the gate of Christ’s Church cannot at all have an impact on the basic principles of the Church based on Christ’s teachings. On the contrary, it demands increased attention to keep away those knocking without vocation but out of self-interest, on the other hand, to humiliate those with a vocation to bow to the feet of Christ. It would be an exaggeration to condemn all who want to convert to Christ; but it would be a similar mistake violating the regulations of the Church to accept via ’quick baptism’ relying on emotional waves. The gates of the Church are open for all people with just intentions, but those lacking a
1945, [remember! Selected archive sources to the history of the persecution of Hungarian Jewry], Hungarian National Archives, Budapest, 2004, p. 209. 206 Bold in the circular. Litt. Circ. 1944, 33. 64

spiritual preparation may not be part to the country of God on Earth. Those knocking in urgency due to the extremely difficult situation 207 should join the spiritual community of the Church via the desire for baptism [baptismus flaminis]208 and should only be baptised after serious preparations – meaning preparations for months or even years.” In other words, the fact of persecution cannot mean more lenient rules! „With such strict rules and efforts demanding spiritual transformation, the threat of ’baptising people flocking in out of material interests’ is a superfluous worry; also ’pushing original Christians out of Catholic churches’ is an exaggerated accusation and fear.” All the more so, as – the prelate writes - „the Church has never allowed smuggling improper elements into the body of the Hungarian state, on the contrary, it took upon itself the responsibility of educating its followers from any nationality or race to be loyal, zealous, obedient and devoted citizens of the H ungarian nation.”209 The Óbuda Catholics could read the above clarification and „reassurance” in early autumn of 1944. In their case, however, the fears were ungrounded. Compared to Pest, the number of converted Jews in Buda, particularly in Óbuda was much lower.210 Year 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 Pest 905 380 283 298 235 239 270 274 344 369 392 387 409 495 581 667 916 871 2716 1111 2260 1463 1858 17723 Buda Cannot be exactly stated due to deficient registration 24 43 48 42 38 23 119 66 60 47 77 141 83 184 194 1012 386 199 198 242 3226 Óbuda 3 1 3 7 1 11 8 2 9 12 11 13 10 6 137 78 33 39 40 424

207 208

The author must have meant the persecution of Jews ! According to Catholic teaching, that desire ensures salvation in the case of death even without the act of baptism. 209 Mihály Marczell, „Az örök igazságok szolgálatában” [in service of eternal truth], Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1944, Vol. 3, pp. 3-4. 210 Dr József Katona József, „Zsidó megújhodásért. A fővárosi zsidóság lelki képe”, [for a Jewish revival. The spiritual profile of the Jewry of the capital] in János Kőbányai (ed), A zsidóság útja, [the path of Jewry], Múlt és Jövő Kiadó, Budapest, 2000, pp. 390-391. 65

An interesting fact: while advertisements had mostly disappeared from different parish bulletins, the cover of the Óbuda bulletin continued to carry ads (optician, pharmacy, stone cutter, ladies’ hats, ironmonger and confectioner’s advertised their wares). Beginning from 6 November, 1944, every day 2,000 Jews confined to the Óbuda brick factories, which had served as collection camps, were made to depart on foot towards Hegyeshalom on the road across Piliscsaba – Dorog – Süttő – Szőny – Gönyű – Dunaszeg and Mosonmagyaróvár. But there was no ment ion of that in the Bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic Parishes. The authors consoled religious readers with meditations on the sense of suffering and the knowledge of having contributed to salvation, while the blockade of Budapest had slowly become complete and the fights had reached Óbuda. By that time, however, only a few Jews hiding or hidden were still alive in Óbuda. 211 „Now we pay more respect to the infant Jesus, Ottó Endrefalvy wrote, we are starting to understand now how much he loved us, what he undertook and suffered for us. We want to help him in the hard work of our salvation.”212 Knowing the end was near, Óbuda parish priest Mihály Leiner meditated about death in the 4th – and last – issue of the Bulletin in a paper entitled „Lost in my thoughts” . Other writings also reflect an atmosphere of the Apocalypse, „The Pope prayed together with us” on 8 October (p. 1.); „Are the prophesies true?” (pp. 2 -3.); József Jandik, „The infant Jesus of Christmas is our only hope” (pp. 4-5); Tibor Kapos, „Suffering in the light of Christmas” (pp. 6-7).

Jews rescued and summary To sum up, given the circulars by the archbishop of Esztergom and the Bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes, it is no surprise that the persecution of Jews in Hungary was carried out with the active cooperation of the authorities and a high degree of passivity by the Christian population. A lengthy mental tuning up emphasising that Jews were different and, mainly, they were the root cause of everything (from bolshevism to capitalism) had made its impact. In Óbuda „getting free of the Jews” in 1944 was mostly executed by their neighbours – Arrow Cross Party supporters and Volksbund members. In such a social context the moderate extent of rescuing Jews can „almost be explained”. 213 According to uniform opinion, the Óbuda Saint Alajos Salesian Monastery played a major part, where people who were able to escape on the road to the Óbuda collection camp were given refuge. Obviously, the personality of Mihály Kiss (†1946) Salesian prior (1940–1946) played a major part in that.214 Side by side with the Salesians, a couple must also be mentioned. Géza Koncz and his wife, Mrs Géza Koncz (born Irén Sári), who had had a locksmith’s shop in Óbuda and who had had many Jews among their friends. They rece ived the award „Righteous among the Nations” in 1997.215 There is no word about parish priest Leiner or other important members of the

Cf, Lívia Varsányi, „Tiszteljétek az embert!”[respect man], ” in Sándor Balázs (ed.), Óbuda ostroma [the siege of Óbuda] 1944–1945, Budapest, 2005, pp. 109-113. 212 Ottó Endrefalv, „God still loves us!”, Budapesti R. K. Egyházközségek Tudósítója [bulletin of Budapest Roman Catholic parishes], 1944, Vol. 4, p. 9. 213 Its Óbuda implications are rather unprocessed. 214 Cf, Miklós Gulyás, op. cit., pp. 65-66. 215 Imre Lebovits, Zsidótörvények – zsidómentők, [anti-Jewish laws, rescuers of Jews], Ex Libris Kiadó, Budapest, 2007, p. 273. 66

Catholic parish of Óbuda. What you can learn about parish priest Mihály Leiner is that he „left for abroad in 1947”. We could not find out where exactly. Although his personal collection of documents – if it exists at all – could/would be an important source of historical research, since the most baleful period of the history of Óbuda Jewry happened at the time when he was t he parish priest. It can be stated in general that the inimical attitude of the population towards Jews in the period of the persecution and their passivity regarding the exclusion and deportation of Jews have been surrounded by the silence of concealment to the very day. It is as if they wanted to exclude the Óbuda Jewry from the 20th century history of Óbuda. 216 It is true also for the Óbuda Catholic community. In that respect, the ’remembrance’ to the war period is on the verge of surrealism, „At the beg inning of the 1940s the number of leagues and societies increased: in Óbuda the Rosary Society, the Mary Society, the League of Catholic Mothers, the Catholic Popular Association and the Society for Spreading the Faith were established. Music life in Óbuda was enriched by societies such as the Lied Society, the Levent Orchestra, the Choir of Law-Justice-Truth, the Hungarian Credo Choir, the Parish Choir, the CREDO Orchestra and the Gárdonyi Orchestra of Scouts. But, side by side with sacred music, ill boding sounds, such as air-raid sirens were also sounded. World War II had been going on in earnest.”217

Bibliography Sándor Balázs (ed.), Óbuda ostroma [the siege of Óbuda] 1944–1945 (Helytörténeti Füzetek 2005, X. évf., 2. szám) [local history books 2005, Vol. X, Issue 2], Óbuda Museum, Budapest, 2005. László Botlik – Dr István Fábián – Dr Attila Korencsi – Dr László Tomkó (ed), 250 éves az Óbudai Szent Péter és Pál Főplébániatemplom, [250 years of the Óbuda Saint Peter and Paul Parish Church], Szent Péter és Pál Alapítvány, Budapest, 1999. Kinga Frojimovics – Géza Komoróczy – Viktória Pusztai – Andrea Strbik, A zsidó Budapest. Emlékek, szertartások, történelem. [the Jewish Budapest. Memories, ceremonies, history], Vol 1-2. Ed by Géza Komoróczy. (A város arcai [faces of the city] – Hungaria Judaica, 7), Városháza – MTA Judaisztikai Kutatócsoport, Budapest, 1995. Éva Gál, „Óbuda helyrajza a hódoltság végétől a XIX. század közepéig”, [geography of Óbuda from the end of the occupation to the middle of the 19th century], in Miklós Horváth (ed.) – Melinda Kaba (ed.), Tanulmányok Budapest múltjából [studies from the history of Budapest], XXI, Budapesti Történeti Múzeum, Budapest, 1979, pp. 105–151. Éva Gál, „Óbuda 1541–1848”, in Károly Rádi (ed.), Tanulmányok Óbuda történetéből [studies from the history of Óbuda], III, Budapest Főváros III. kerületének Önkormányzata, Budapest, 1990, pp. 5–94. old. Miklós Gulyás, Óbudai utcák [the streets of Óbuda], Noran Kiadó, Budapest, 2007.

Cf also, Óbuda, by the Council of District 3, Budapest, 1985, pp. 90-97; György Silló-Seidl, Apám Óbudája, [my father’s Óbuda], Budapesti Történeti Múzeum, Budapest, 1987, p. 95; Zsolt Lévay, 100 év – 100 kép az Árpád Gimnázium történetéből, [100 years, 100 pictures from the life of High School Árpád], „Árpád Gimnázium” Alapítvány, Budapest, 2002, pp. 146-152. 217 250 éves az Óbudai Szent Péter és Pál Főplébániatemplom, [250 years of the Óbuda St Peter and Paul Parish Church], Budapest, 1999, 117. 67

Miklós Horváth (ed.), Budapest története a forradalmak korától a felszabadulásig [the history of Budapest from the age of revolutions until liberation], (Budapest története, 5), Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1980. Csongor Kiss (ed.), Óbuda évszázadai, [the centuries of Óbuda], Better Kiadó, Budapest, 2000. Géza Komoróczy, A zsidók története Magyarországon. [the history of Jews in Hungary] I: A középkortól 1849-ig, [from the Middle Ages to 1849], II: 1849-től a jelenkorig [from 1949 till the present], Kalligram, Pozsony, 2012. Géza Komoróczy (ed.), Magyarországi zsidó hitközségek 1944. április. A Magyar Zsidók Központi Tanácsának összeírása a német hatóságok rendelkezése nyomán. [Hungarian Jewish communities April 1944. A list made by the Central Council of Hungarian Jews ordered by the German authorities], Volumes A-B. Published by József Schweitzer. Part I: Adattár [reference book]. In Attachment: A magyarországi izr. hitközségek szervezete, 1868–1950. [the organisation of the Hungarian Israelite communities 1868-1950], Based on original questionnaires, edited by Kinga Frojimovics, Magyar Zsidó Levéltár – Országos Rabbiképző Intézet – MTA Judaisztikai Kutatócsoport, Budapest, 1994. Miklós Létay, „A szabadságharc bukásától 1950-ig”, [from the fall of the War of Independence till 1950], in Csongor Kiss (ed.), Óbuda évszázadai, [the centuries of Óbuda], Better Kiadó, Budapest, 2000, pp. 259–289 Írisz Újj (ed), Óbuda – Altofen, Békásmegyer – Krottendorf, Budapest III. kerület történeti kronológiája [the historical chronology of District 3 of Budapest], (Óbudai helytörténeti füzetek 1996, I. évf., 1. szám), [Óbuda local history books, 1996, Vol. 1, issue 1], Óbudai Múzeum, Budapest, 1996.


Case study 3 The Holocaust and the Christian society of Dunaszerdahely (Dunajska Streda)
By Attila Simon

Sources Although the attitude of the Christian churches to the Holocaust has already been the topic of several publications, they mainly focused on the approach of ecclesiastical leaders to the antiJewish laws. We, however, know next to nothing about how the Catholic, Reformed, etc. churches and the relevant communities related to the fate of the Jewry. It is true for Dunaszerdahely as well, where the topic of the Holocaust has not been properly studied not to mention its relationship to the Christian population and church, because not one paper has been written on the topic so far. In the present circumstances, finding and revealing the potential sources had to become one of the main goals of this paper. In an ideal world, archives provide the most important sources, but that could not be our case for several reasons. A major reason is the inaccessibility of the Archbishop’s Archives at Nagyszombat (Trnava). That most important institution of retaining the ecclesiastical documents of Slovakia has not been opened to external researchers, furthermore, the operator of the Archives refuses to provide information on what kind of documents can be found there.218 Since the parish of Dunaszerdahely had been part of the Hungarian church organisation from 1938 to 1945, part of the archive sources can be found at the Primate’s Archives at Esztergom. Still, the Ecclesiastical Archives mainly include documents relating to the organisational issues of the parish of Dunaszerdahely but there are no sources to reveal the relationship of the church and its leaders to the Jewish issue. Certain fonds of the Slovak state archives are more useful sources than church archives. With regard to the history of Dunaszerdahely, the deposit archives of the Bratislava State Archives at Végsellye are a treasure trove of source material. However, the sources to be found relating to the period from 1938 to 1945 are fairly scarce as the majority of the documents held at the High Sheriff’s Office at Dunaszerdahely219 have been totally destroyed following World War II. That deficiency is only partly made up by the preserved ar chives of the Notary’s Office at Dunaszerdahely, 220 which also includes documents relating to the fate of the Dunaszerdahely Jewry. Of other archives, one should mention certain fonds of the Bratislava State Archives including fragments of the documents of the local organisation of the Arrow Cross Party at Dunaszerdahely221 as being helpful.

The Arcbishop’s Archives at Nagyszombat – contrary to other Slovak church archives – even lacks a website of its own. 219 Štátny archív Bratislava pobočka Šaľa (hereinafter: ŠABA PŠ), Hlavnoslúžnovský úrad v Dunajskej Strede, 1938 – 1944. 220 ŠABA PŠ, Notárský úrad Dunajská Streda (hereinafter: NÚ DS). 221 Štátny archív Bratislava (hereinafter: ŠABA), Arrow Cross Party, okresná organizácia Dunajská Streda 1939.1945


The lack of archive sources could be made up for by the contemporary media if we were lucky. However, it is not true, either, for Dunaszerdahely. Before the First Vienna Award the town had had a rich and colourful local press, as four papers had been published there. One of them had been a Slovak weekly (Žitný ostrov), another a Jewish paper in German (Der Jüddische Herold) and two Hungarian weeklies. Most of the editors of Csallóközi Lapok [csallóköz papers] of a longer history, which had been published since the beginning of the century by the printing house of Joshua Goldstein, had been members of the local Jewish community but the paper had readers among all residents o f the city, while Csallóközi Hírlap [csallóköz news] had been a Christian paper promoting the ideas of the National Christian Socialist Party. However, the publication of all four papers came to an end in autumn 1938, and the publication of only Csallóközi Hírlap could be restarted from the beginning of 1939. The paper, which had been published till summer 1944, however, failed to reflect that almost half of the city population were of the Israelite confession, and hardly any information can be found in it about the local Jewry. In addition to Csallóközi Hírlap, the only useful regional publication was Komáromi Lapok [komárom papers], the paper of Komárom County. Although it did deal with the Jewish issue the paper following the official line focused almos t exclusively on Komárom – as it used to be the paper of the city of Komárom and the Komárom district before 1938 – so the problems of Dunaszerdahely were hardly mentioned in it. The Új Élet [new life] was the only Catholic paper of national significance of the recovered Upland. The paper, which had been closely connected to the Ottokár Prohászka Circles – a progressive movement of Hungarian Catholic youth before 1938, preserved its free spirit after the First Vienna Award as well. The paper published in Kassa (Kosice) until 1944, which among others dealt in detail with the reintegration of the Hungarians living in the Upland and with the so termed “Upland spirit” 222, did not at all adopt the anti-Semitic style typical of the contemporary Hungarian public tone. On the contrary, you could say the topic of Jews was ostensively missing from the paper, so surveying it has achieved little from the perspective of our topic. In addition to the books and documents relating to the Holocaust and the relationship of the church and the Holocaust, a city monograph on the history of Dunaszerdahely published in 2012 was a useful help for our research. 223

The position of the Jewry at Dunaszerdahely before the First Vienna Award The establishment of the Jewish community at Dunaszerdahely can be traced back to the beginning of the 18th century, when the first families settled at the market-town of Szerdahely, the estate of the Pálffy family. The Jewish families migrating there mainly from the western provinces of the Habsburg Empire received a 12-point charter from János Pálffy in 1736 and the community started to develop fast after that. In the first half of the 19 th. century the four villages constituting the town today (Szerdahely, Újfalu, Nemesszeg and Előtejed) held a

On the „Upland spirit”, cf. Tamás Gusztáv Filep: On the „Upland spirit” and its afterlife” (Approaches). Limes, 2007, issue 2, 109–132. 223 Attila Nagy – Iván Nagy – Veronika Novák – Attila Simon – Barnabás Vajda: Dunaszerdahely. Dunaszerdahely: The municipality of the city of Dunaszerdahely, 2012.


community of 928 Israelites side by side with 1709 Christian residents, and they were the majority at the market-town of Szerdahely. In 1910 44% of the town population were of the Israelite confession224, so it was justly termed Kis-Palesztina [small palestine]. Dunaszerdahely had been part of the Republic of Czechoslovakia from early 1919, whose democratic and liberal legal environment provided its Jewish residents with legal security and protection from anti-Semitism. That was partly the reason why their political dissimilation from the Hungarian population started (although not in cultural terms, as they continued to speak Hungarian and were the consumers of Hungarian culture). It was reflected, among others, in the fact that part of them voted for Czechslovakian parties at contemporary parliamentary elections,225 and at referendums the majority deemed themselves Jews and only the minority said they were of Hungarian nationality. 226 In the period in question the Jewish population of the town were not only holders of all citizens’ rights but they also played an equal part in its cultural and economic life, and had a role at every level of town governance. Residents of the Israelite confession constituted 4050% of the city assembly; they regularly provided the first deputy of the city justice.

The fate of the Dunaszerdahely Jewry from 1938 to 1944 The First Vienna Award, which reannexed the city to Hungary, was a major turning point in the life of the Dunaszerdahely Jewish community that triggered negative emotions subsequently. The new regime dominated by authoritarian and antidemocratic elements, in which anti-Semitic public speech was an everyday phenomenon, had made it clear for local Jews right from the beginning that they could not rely on the earlier liberal treatment. The first apparent change was their exclusion from the city assembly; when the District High Sheriff appointed the new assembly in spring 1939 (it was already a major change that the assembly was appointed instead of being elected democratically), neither the left wing nor the representatives of the local Jewry were included in it.227 In fact, it was only the beginning of a process to push them out completely first from the political and social and then from the economic life of the city. The operation of the so termed transfer committees started in spring 1939, which were to review the national loyalty of the state employees of the recovered territories, fitted into the above process. As a result of the actions of the transfer committees that cannot be termed liberal at all local citizens (including Jews) lost their livelihood. The committees often acted cold-heartedly, without taking into account the facts of the previous twenty years and caused major problems for many families in that way. Many people that had failed to meet the new expectations (and it was enough if a family member had married a Czech or a Slovak, or if

József Kepecs (ed.): A Felvidék településeinek vallási adatai I. [ecclesiastical figures of Upland settlements] Budapest, CSO, 1999, 155. 225 Regarding the Dunaszerdahely results, cf. Československá statistika. Sv. 1. Řada I. Volby do Národního zhromáždění v dubnu roku 1920 a všeobecné volby do obecných zastupitelstiev v Čechách, na Moravě a ve Slezsku v červnu roku 1919. Státní úřad statistický, Praha, 1922. 67; Csallóközi lapok, 21 April 1920; Československá statistika. Sv. 31. řada I. Volby do poslanecké sněmovny v listopadu roku 1935. Praha, Státní úřad statistický, 1926, 66-67; Vladimír Krivý: Výsledky volieb 1929 – 2010 za obce na Slovensku. 226 József Kepecs (ed.): op. cit., 155. 227 Štátny archív Bratislava pobočka Šaľa (hereinafter: ŠABA PŠ), Notárský úrad Dunajská Streda (hereinafter: NÚ DS), k. 80, 80/2/1939 adm.


he/she had socialised with Czechs or Slovaks) were dismissed from their jobs. The choreography of major local events with a “national beat” held at Dunaszerdahely in 1939 is a good indication of how Jews, who had been important players of the local society before, were excluded from public life. You can mention here the first celebrations of March 15th after the recovery of the Upland or a series of festivals organised to commemorate the first anniversary of the First Vienna Award when a country flag was inaugurated at the city. As seen from the reports of contemporary papers as well as archive sources, residents of the Israelite confession were given no part in the festivities, the local Jewish élite had been totally excluded. 228 The exclusion of the Jewry from local public life was a fairly quick process accompanied by the spread of anti-Semitic public tone. To be frank, it did not appear in local politics or social life at first, but it spread down from national papers and national politics. The new style was promoted by the mass of bureaucrats flooding the Upland from the mother-country, the officers first of the military then the civil administration. The local population that had not been used to an anti-Semitic public tone in the Czechslovak state only took over that form of speech and behaviour slowly. Some memoirs as well as a reader’s letter published in Csallóközi Hírlap on 5 February, 1939 gives an insight on how the local Jewish community responded. The letter by Béla Pick is also a valuable document as it was the last public appearance of the Jewry of Dunaszerdahely in the local media.229 Later on the voice and opinion of the Jewry could not be heard in the Dunaszerdahely media shrivelled after the Vienna Award. It is a long article of a whole page entitled “The voice of the Jewry” indicating that it is not a single person’s opinion but it is the whole community making up almost half of the population of Dunaszerdahely that speaks. As it turns out from the article, the author was mainly moved to write his letter because of the discussion of the 2 nd anti-Jewish law in progress at the time, but other attacks on the community by the Christian society must also have played a part. As indicated by the address – Fellow citizens, Hungarian brethren – the objective of the letter was to prove that the Jews living on the recovered territories and particularly at Dunaszerdahely had always considered themselves Hungarians. To prove his point, the author – who mentions that he had supported in another local paper in 1919 the Saint Steven’s Day commemorations banned by the authorities – lists a number of examples from the history of the recent past. He speaks about the participation of the Jewry in World War I and emphasises the part local Jews played at the time of the Czechoslovak rule in preserving the Hungarian language and culture. It should be noted how the author foretold the future with respect to the 2nd anti-Jewish law by saying the Jewry is prepared “not only for the decimation but also for the total sarifice of our goods”230 While he was aware that the codification of anti-Jewish laws cannot be stopped, he still believed in the solidarity of the Chritian society. He wrote he could not believe the Hungarian people wanted to crush the creative spirit of the Jewry.


Csallóközi Hírlap [csallóköz news], 19 March 1939, 5; 12 November, 2 and 19 November, 1-2; Segédhivatali Tisztviselő [filing clerk], 25 November, 1939, 1-3; 229 Csallóközi Hírlap [csallóköz news], 5 February, 1939, 2. 230 I.e.


The above document is not only an indication of the discussion that could have been still ongoing at the time between the local Christian and Jewish communities, which can hardly be traced back from the sources, but it is a proof that the Christian community was willing to listen to the Jewry, what is more, its opinion could be published in a Christian paper. That tolerance, however, failed to be to the liking of all. At least, it is a hint that the editors distanced themselves from Béla Pick’s letter in the next issue of the paper. What is more, a response by an anonimous correspondent signed as “villager” was published on the first page.231 Its author questioned exactly what Pick had wanted to emphasise, i.e. the Hungarian spirit of the Jewry. According to „villager”, - and it was worded as an accusation – the Jews had not been assimilated and did not intend to assimilate into the Hungarian nation, which was proved by the referenda and the parliamentary elections held in the Czechoslovak era. The article, which fell behind that of Béla Pick’s both in its argumentation and style, was one public wording of the mentality that segregated, step by step, the Jewish community from the nation and placed them in the dock Lacking relevant sources it is difficult to decide the part played by the local Catholic church and its leaders in the exclusion of the Dunaszerdahely Jewry from the local public life and in the promotion of an anti-Semitic public tone that had been unfolding since early 1939. As Randolph L. Braham also states, 232 it is a basic problem that our information and sources relating to the behaviour and responses of the lower clergy are extremely incomplete. Unfortunately, it is also true for Dunaszerdahely. It should be mentioned, however, that life at the city of Dunaszerdahely was different from the general situation in Hungary at the time for the following reasons: - almost half of the population were of the Israelite confession who had held important positions matching their ratio before 1938 – it did not allow a Christian régime and public speech to become dominant, which did have an impact on the local Catholics whether or not they wanted it. - the more democratic character of the Czechoslovak state influenced the Catholic clergy and the ecclesiastical hierarchy in the country. (It is true although it is well known that the Slovak clergy did not lack anti-Jewish feelings, it is enough to mention Andrej Hlinka). So the anti-Judaic or anti-Semitic spirit that had been clearly present in the Catholic church of Hungary before 1938 233, was less prominent in the Upland including Dunaszerdahely. Studying the period before 1938 offers some assistance for us to learn about the approach of the Catholic public at Dunaszerdahely to the Jewish issue. The local organisation of the National Christian Socialist Party (OKP) is particularly important since all who became tone setters following 1938 had come from that group including the parish priest Gábor Markwarth, or the editor of Csallóközi Hírlap and Géza Szeiff the district commissioner
231 232

Csallóközi Hírlap [csallóköz news], 12 February 1939,1-2. Randolph, L. Braham: “A keresztény egyházak és a holokauszt Magyarországon. Áttekintés” [The Christian churches and the Holocaust in Hungary. Review] in Carol Rittner –Stephen D. Smith –Irena Steinfeldt (eds.): A holokauszt és a keresztény világ. [The Holocaust and the Christian world] Pécs – Budapest, Egyházfórum – Balassi, 2009, 199. 233 See among others Gárdonyi, Máté: “Üldöztetés és felelősség. A magyar holokausztról egyházi szemmel” [Persecution and responsibility. On the Hungarian Holocaust with clerical eyes], in Mártonffy Marcell – Petrás Éva (eds.): Szétosztott teljesség. A hetvenöt éves Boór János köszöntése. [Completeness distributed. A tribute to János Boór on his 75th birthday], Budapest, Hét Hárs – Mérleg, 2007, 262–269.


appointed after the recovery of the region. The relationship of the OKP to the Jewry has been debated to this day. Although researchers of the topic have stated several times – referring to the political behaviour of and declarations made by its onetime president Géza Szüllő after the recovery - that anti-Semitism was not present at the OKP234, it is a more complex issue. The Catholic clergy held important position within OKP and Jews had never been accepted, what is more, it was an element of criticism of the competitor Hungarian National Party that “non-Christians” also held positions in it. The OKP in that way could be a proper environment to be imbibed with if not political antiSemitism but with a certain anti-Judaism. The following facts confirm the assumption: a faction of the United Hungarian Party held its first congress in Hungary in January 1939 and adopted a party programme built on “Christian foundations”; it is easy to recognise that its anti-capitalist slogans were, in fact, directed against the influence of the Jewry in business life. 235 The sections of the party programme dealing with the Jewish issue were an indication that measures going beyond the first anti-Jewish law were considered necessary, most of which were actually introduced with the second anti-Jewish law. No wonder, as Andor Jaross of the Hungarian National Party was a leading figure in the party at the time. Therefore, acquiring an anti-Semitic style could not present any difficulty for the main players of political and clerical public life at Dunaszerdahely after 1938. It was obviously promoted by Gábor Markwarth, who had been the parish priest from 1923 to 1941 and had also played a decisive part in the public life of Dunaszerdahely. He was a member of the local leadership of the Christian Socialist Party, he revived the local organisation of the Catholic Lads Club previously dissolved and was a regular correspondent of Csallóközi Hírlap. After the First Vienna Award he was appointed the rural dean of the Dunaszerdahely district and he – according to some Jewish reminiscences – voiced anti-Semitic ideas. 236 Those reminiscences, however, must be treated with some reserve since he was also accredited with acts committed after his time there. It is, however, certain that the parish-priest Markwarth was one of the leaders of the local organisation of the so termed Baross Society established in early 1939. 237 That association of Christian tradesmen was, as in other cities and villages, a driving force and main ideologue of the exclusion of Jews from the national economy, which was made possible by the review of the tradesmen’s licences stipulated in the second anti-Jewish law. It was no coincidence that a few weeks after it had been established the local organisation of the Baross Society launched an unmistakable campaign calling for the boycott of shops held by Jews w ith the slogan “tell me where you shop and I’ll tell you who you are”.

Szüllő’s 1939 statement is worth mentioning in this regard. „There were no Jews in my party, the Christian Socialist Party; there were Jews in the Hungarian National Party, there are no anti-Semites in my party but there are in the former National Party” Quoted by Tamás Gusztáv Filep: A jog hatalma – a hatalom joga (Szüllő Gézáról) [the power of law – the law of power (on Géza Szüllő], Kommentár 2007/3, 57. 235 Cf. Jenő Gergely: “A keresztény pártok és a „zsidókérdés” 1938–1944” [the Christian parties and the Jewish issue], in Molnár Judit (ed.): A holokauszt Magyarországon európai perspektívában. [the Holocaust in Hungary in an European perspective], Budapest, Balassi, 2005, 70. 236 Ferenc Kornfeld who survived the Holocaust in Buchenwald, Floessberg then Mauthausen remembered him as such: ’The rural dean at the time, Gábor Markwarth was a dangerous anti -Semite, he was an instigator during the war in his speeches. We were at home, we knew what kind of hate he instigated from the pulpit at church. He was also a member of the town council.’ Zsidó élettörténetek a huszadik században. Interjú Kornfeld Ferenccel . [Jewish life stories in the twentieth century. Interview with Ferenc Kornfeld] 237 Csallóközi Hírlap, [csallóköz news] 12 March 1939, 4.


The anti-Semitic atmosphere dominant in the national public life, however, was scarcely reflected on the pages of Csallóközi Hírlap that hardly ever published any articles dealing with the local Jewry. It, in fact, focused on publishing the text of different decrees. The paper even held its low profile when it had an opportunity for the contrary. When in the course of a house search carried out following a denunciation in early 1934 the authorities found the evidence of a kosher cut carried out in secret in the cellar of a Piroska Weiner, Csallóközi Hírlap only published a short news item not even mentioning that those involved were Jews. 238 Linked to the review of tradesmen’s licences, the issue of 5 September, 1939 published a report entitled Tradesmen’s licences in a not very eye-catching part of the paper.239 Its edge, however, was not mainly directed against the Jews but against licence holders that “had obtained them by nepotism” and against slap-dash workers. When the author concluded “that rout must be ousted from decent tradesmen”, he first thought of them. Nevertheless, paying his tribute to the spirit of the time, he added at the end, „the Jewish issue will also be solved naturally, numerus clausus in the world of artisans will boost the ancient, honest, thousandyear old Hungarian industry”. Due to the lack of sources indicated earlier, we have no exact data on the result of the review of tradesmen’s licences at Dunaszerdahely. On the other hand, we know the figures of the recovered (left bank) region of Komárom County from a statistical report in the paper Új Élet [new life].240 In the region, all in all 594 licences were withdrawn - all from persons categorised as Jews. 887 new licences were issued - all to Christians. In accordance with the distribution of the Jewish population by settlements and trades, we can conclude that the licences of almost 100 people were withdrawn at Dunaszerdahely, which caused those people economic and social hardship. Our sources are scarce on how the local church and the Catholic public responded to the Jewish issue in the period from the second anti-Jewish law till the launch of the open persecution of Jews in spring 1944. It is, however, a fact that the situation of the local Jewish community started to deteriorate step by step beginning from 1941, as – from that time onwards - Hungary started to follow the German pattern in the solution of the Jewish issue. Its first moment was the deportation of Jews of unclear citizenship. It involved thousands of Jews having fled to Hungary mainly from Poland, Slovakia, Romania or Serbia, etc many of whom found refuge with their brethren at Dunaszerdahely. They were arrested in July 1941 and confined to collection camps one of which was at Dunaszerdahely. From there – in anticipation of the deportations of 1944 – they were transported in cattle cars to Kőrösmező and then handed over to the German authorities already having occupied the Ukraine, who simply slaughtered the crowd of about 12 to 15 thousand Jews deported from Hungary near the village of Kamenec Podolsk. At the same time a group of the Dunaszerdahely Jews – about 60 people – were arrested and interned for a short time. The procedure was repeated several times in the next period; there were some who spent some time in the internment camp at Kistarcsa more than once. 241 The
238 239

Csallóközi Hírlap [csallóköz news] 7 February1943, 4. Csallóközi Hírlap [csallóköz news] 5 September 1939, 7. 240 “Industrial revision in the Upland”, Új Élet May 1942, 50-51. 241 Nagy Attila, et. al.: Dunaszerdahely, op. cit., 118.


war aginst the Soviet Union meant a turn of events with respect to forced labour service as well. The non-combatant labour corps ordered out to the front, incuding the men of Dunaszerdahely, did not only have to face the cold of Russia and the lack of food but also their officers who wanted to humiliate and break them physically as well. The Jews ordered to do labour service in Russia had little chance to survive and many Dunaszerdahely citizens met their death there. Beginning from 1941, measures making the life of the Jews of Dunaszerdahely more and more difficult followed each other in quick succession. Thus, their radio sets were confiscated, their kosher butcheries were banned. The Baross Society was particularly active in the introduction of restrictive measures. At the session of the city assembly held on 16 June 1942 the League proposed that the Yeshiva still operating at Dunaszerdahely should be closed down and the bocher should be expelled from the town, „more than 160 Jewish boys of an alien race are staying in the town; they are completely disparate from the behaviour, habits and morals of the Christian population and are unfamiliar with cleanliness. Their deportation to their home settlements is absolutely necessary for reasons of public safety, law enforcement, public health and public provisionment, which can only be achieved if the school is closed down. In today’s world of the war their presence in the streets in groups as if in demonstration has an unfavourable impact on the public mood.” 242 The Assembly accepted the view of the Baross Society and turned to the County and the government to have the Jewish school closed down. Bureaucracy, however, moved slowly in that case too, as the Jewish religious school was only closed down in June 1943 when sub-prefect Reviczky had the Yeshiva closed down with reference to a report by the district health officer. 243 At the next meeting of the Assembly held on 11 September 1942 a decision was made – again proposed by the Baross Society – that Jews must not go to the market and do their shopping there before 10 a.m. 244 The progressive deprivation of the rights of the Jewry and the gradual deterioration of their situation raised the question of how the Catholic church could approach the issue. As it is well known, the representatives of the Christian churches voted for the first and second anti-Jewish laws although they indicated their objections.245 You could accept the opinion that they were motivated by the terror of a “larger wrong” i.e. the right wing gaining momentum, 246 but it still cannot exempt the clergy from its responsibility. On the other hand, they objected to the third anti-Jewish law submitted to Parliament in 1941. Their reasons, among others, were that the law regulating the institution of marriage interfered in church matters. Although the rejection of the law was an important sign for the government that racial legislation was not approved by the churches, the moral value of contesting the law was much reduced by the fact that the Christian churches openly defended the bapitized Jews only. As a result of an increasing pressure on Jews, the demand for baptism increased, which was the source of further debates within the Catholic church. The debate also reverberated at Dunaszerdahely as well, as it can be seen on the first page of Csallóközi Hírlap dated 9 August, 1942 in an article entitled ‘The Catholic viewpoint on the Jewish issue’.247 As it turns
242 243

ŠABA PŠ, NÚ DS, k. 3, Zápisnice zo zasadnutia obecného zastupitelstva, 16 June 1942. ŠABA PŠ, NÚ DS, k. 81, 34/16/1943adm. 244 ŠABA PŠ, NÚ DS, k. 3, Zápisnice zo zasadnutia obecného zastupitelstva, September 11 1942. 245 Regarding the objections of the clergy to the first and second anti-Jewish laws, cf. László T. László: Egyház és állam Magyarországon 1919–1945. [Church and state in Hungary], Budapest, Szent István Társulat, 2005, 281–290. 246 Cf. Gárdonyi: Üldöztetés [persecution], op.cit., 269. 247 Csallóközi Hírlap, 9 August 1942, 1-2. 76

out from the introductory sentences, the publication of the article was triggered by the opinions related to the approach of the church to the Jewish issue. Thus, the author intended to take a stand in two questions: one, the rumours that the Catholic church was baptizing Jews in masses, two, to explain the approach of the church to the Jewish issue in general. Regarding the topic of baptism, the author laid down that you could not talk of mass baptisms. If there are Jews who are interested in baptism, the church acts in that regard according to its own rules; i.e. it demands several months of preparation and only baptises those who request it in an act of sincere, inner faith. Regarding the standpoint of the church on the Jewish issue, the author names the crucifiction of Jesus and the continuous antichristianism of Jews as the origin of any anti-Jewish manifestation. He believes Jews had an adverse effect on Hungarians not only from an economic but also from a moral point, which justifies antiJewish measures. Although the author advocates anti-Jewish measures, he also indicates that “Jews are also people and you must treat them in a humane way”. The above article, which appeared unsigned on the front page, possibly reflected the opinion of Catholic tone setters at Dunaszerdahely and obviously coincided with the views of the Catholic high clergy, i.e. it promoted the exclusion of Jewry.

The Holocaust of the Dunaszerdahely Jews The situation of Hungarian Jewry including the Jews of Dunaszerdahely took a tragic turn in spring 1944 when the country was occupied by Germany. By that time the legal deprivation of Jews had become complete. They had been banned from doing business or trading, their shops had been closed, their apartments appropriated, so most families had become destitute living in very bad conditions. In the following weeks several hundred decrees were published (restriction of Jews’ food portions, banning free movement or travel, banning entry to cinemas or swimming pools, restriction of shopping facilities, dissolution of their congregations) to achieve their complete isolation and exclusion. A decree proposed by Andor Jaross, minister of the interior and passed on 5 April, 1944 obliged all Jews older than 6 years of age to wear the yellow star. Meanwhile the Budapest administration decided to draft another 50 thousand Jewish men for labour service to achieve German military objectives. In a paradox, the decree saved the lives of many Jews as those drafted avoided transportation to Auschwitz, so they had slightly better chances for survival than the women, children and the elderly left at home. A memorandum addressed to the High Sheriff of the district early in April by the local organisation of the Party of Hungarian Renewal proves there were some at Dunaszerdahely who had been waiting impatiently for an even more radical solution of the Jewish issue. Referring to the special position of Dunaszerdahely – i.e. almost half of the population were Jewish – the authors asked for an “augmented solution” of the Jewish issue, total control of Jewish property, boosted up raids and the review of any and all exemptions. 248 A few days later in a letter addressed to the national leaders of the party they demanded, in addition to clarifying their relationship to the Party of Hungarian Life (MÉP), the isolation of the Dunaszerdahely Jews and relocation of at least part of them. 249

248 249

Komáromi Papers, 15 April 1944, p. 4. ŠABA PŠ, NÚ DS, k. 81, b.c 1944.


A general meeting of the parish priests was held in the Dunaszerdahely decanal district on 2 May, a few days after the decree to ghettotise had been published. One could expect the fate of the Jews was mentioned at the meeting and some position was taken on the issue. According to the minutes of the meeting, however, the topic had not been taken on the agenda,250 which illustrates the indifference of the clergy to the fate of the Jews. Ghettotising in the Csallóköz as part of the 2nd Székesfehérvár gendarme-district was executed in the middle of May in the course of which about 3200 Jews from Dunaszerdahely and the neighbouring villages251 were concentrated in the ghetto bordered by Teleki, Bacsák, Rózsa, Csillag and Fő streets. In accordance with central decrees, the Jews were allowed to take with them no more than 50 kilos of luggage and a fews days’ of food to the ghetto, but the gendarmes robbed them of all their valuables in the ghetto and then in the course of their deportation. The High Sheriff appointed a Jewish Council to control the ghetto led first by József Wetzler and then by Gyula Steiner appointed by the High Sheriff. József H erskovits discharged the duties of physician of the ghetto, who nursed the Dunaszerdahely Jews devotedly both then and in the course of their deportation to Auschwitz. He survived the concentration camp and finally died in Israel. The ghetto was vacated on 8 June and the Jews were packed into the synagogue and its courtyard. The people squeezed in there had no medicines or proper food to live on. The Christian population of Dunaszerdahely responded to the events in different ways. Those under the influence of the contemporary anti-Semitic propaganda gloated over the tragedy of their fellow citizens while many entertained hopes of making easy money. Their opinion was reflected in some articles of Komáromi Lapok speaking cynically about a cleaner and nicer town versus spiteful Jews in the context of ghettotising. 252 Next to an insensitive majority, however, there were some who did not only sympathise with their former neighbours but also tried to help them. The memoirs on the website of Centropa as well as some telling remarks in Komáromi Lapok are evidence. In the article “3200 Jews in the ghetto” a Christian woman is given as a negative example, as she wanted to take some milk for the Jewish children in the ghetto and when she was held up she poured the content of the can to the ground.253 After the deportation of the Jews the paper reiterated the story and described the attempt of help by writing the woman took sides “with the blood sucker alien race” instead of giving the milk to Christian children.254 The deportation of the Dunaszerdahely Jews started on 15 June. About 3 thousand people – mostly women, children and the elderly as most men had been in labour service – were crowded into 60 cattle cars stationed at the railway station of Dunaszerdahely. The train starting on Thursday stopped at Kosice on Friday night, where 2969 persons were counted in

250 251

Primate’s Archives, Diocese’s Archives, 3785/1944. In addition to Dunaszerdahely, the Jews of the following settlements wee ghettotised: Albár, Amadékarcsa, Baka, Balázsfa, Balony, Bős, Csallóközkürt, Csallóköznádasd, Csiplizpatas, Csilizradvány, Dercsika, Dunakisfalud, Felbár, Felsővámos, Diósförgepatony, Gelle, Hegyéte, Királyfiakarcsa, Lőgérpatony, Nagybodak, Nagylúcs, Nagymad,, Nagyudvarnok, Nemesabony, Nemeshodos, Nyárasd, Nyékvárkony, Padány, Patas, Pódatejed, Pozsonyeperjes, Sikabony, Somorja, Szap, Szentmihályfa, Alistál and Vásárút. Cf. Randolph L. Braham (ed.): A magyar holokauszt földrajzi enciklopédiája. [geographical encyclopaedia of the Hungarian Holocaust], Park Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 2007, vol. I., 621. 252 Komárom Papers, 27 May 1944, 6. 253 Komárom Papers, 17 June 1944, 5. 254 Komárom Papers, 15 July 1944, 2. 78

the cars.255 There the Hungarian gendarmes handed over guard to German SS soldiers and the train arrived in the death camp of Auschwitz at dawn on Sunday. Their fate is known from there: after unboarding they were selected and children, the elderly and those unfit for work were taken to the gas chambers at once. Able women and men were mostly transported to other camps including Dachau and Mauthausen where they were forced to work as slaves of the German military industry as long as they could. If they were strong and had luck, they could even survive the death camps. But only a few of them had such a chance, since less than five hundred Jews returned after the war out of about 2700 who had been living at Dunaszerdahely when World War II broke out. Most victims lost their lives at Auschwitz, but the bones of the Dunaszerdahely victims also lie in the ground of other settlements in Germany and Poland in addition to Mathausen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen and Mühldorf. Most survivors were men while the elderly and the children of the Jewish community of Dunaszerdahely had disappeared for ever. Although we do not have exact figures, the number of the victims from the Dunaszerdahely Jewish community must have been around 2100 to 2300. Quite many took the deportation of the Jews for an opportunity to make easy money and – although the authorities forbade looting Jewish property – there were a number of examples of it in the days of ghettotising and the deportation. Average citizens, however, could only lay their hands on goods of lower value, as any valuables had already been appropriated by Arrow Cross Party leaders and other people of influence. The Catholic church also queued up for the profit. Even before the deportations, it requested that six Jewish properties in the immediate vicinity of the church should be demolished. The town leaders convened an expert committee including the local parish priest Ödön Janovics and two brick masons that approved the request of the parish and decided on the demolition of the houses involved.256 Then, on 22 July the town auctioned off the properties to be demolished that were purchased by the Roman Catholic parish – obviously in a manner agreed in advance.257 According to the agreement, the buyer was obliged to demolish the houses on the plots within two weeks. In that way the church obtained valuable properties in the centre of the town at a fairly low price.

Summary The wartime relationship of the Catholic and Jewish communities represented at about equal rate in the population of the town before the war has not been fully revealed to date and is difficult to restore in the lack of proper sources. Research is also made difficult because the Jewish community has practically disappeared from the town in the Holocaust and as a result of the Aliyah (immigration to Israel) at the end of the 1940s and those that remained have rather opted for quick assimilation. On the other hand, the local Christian community has had no interest in starting a discourse on the topic. In accordance with the sources available, we believe the Christian public at Dunaszerdahely having been socialised in the Czechoslovak Republic only gradually adopted the anti-Semitic

The exact figures are based on the notes of the commander of the Kosice railway station. 256 ŠABA PŠ, NÚ DS, k. 81, 1990/1944adm. 257 ŠABA PŠ, NÚ DS, k. 81, 2358/1944adm.


public speech typical in post-First Vienna Award Hungary before 1938. The attitude of Csallóközi Hírlap, which avoided it till the end, is a good example. Thus, the elements settling in the town from the mother country played a decisive part in boosting anti-Jewish sentiments (not to mention the fact that the same constituted the core of the local organisation of the Arrow Cross Party), although the responsibility of Gábor Markwarth, the parish priest at Dunaszerdahely is beyond doubt. Similarly, there is evidence for the responsibility of the Catholic church in the pillage of Jewish property.

Bibliography Braham, Randolph, L.: “A keresztény egyházak és a holokauszt Magyarországon. Áttekintés” [the Christian churches and the Holocaust in Hungary. A review], in Rittner, Carol – Smith, Stephen D. – Steinfeldt, Irena (ed.): A holokauszt és a keresztény világ. [The Holocaust and the Christian world], Pécs – Budapest, Egyházfórum – Balassi, 2009, 194– 201. Braham, Randolph L. (ed.): A magyar holokauszt földrajzi enciklopédiája. [the geographical encyclopaedia of the Holocaust in Hungary], Park Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 2007, Volume I. Československá statistika. Sv. 1. Řada I. Volby do Národního zhromáždění v dubnu roku 1920 a všeobecné volby do obecných zastupitelstiev v Čechách, na Moravě a ve Slezsku v červnu roku 1919. Státní úřad statistický, Praha, 1922. Československá statistika. Sv. 31. řada I. Volby do poslanecké sněmovny v listopadu roku 1935. Praha, Státní úřad statistický, 1926. Engel, Alfréd: A dunaszerdahelyi zsidó hitközség emlékkönyve. [Festschrift of the Dunaszerdahely Jewish community] Bratislava: Kalligram, 1995. Filep, Tamás Gusztáv: “A "felvidéki szellem"-ről és utóéletéről” [on the “Upland spirit” a nd its afterlife] (Közelítések) Limes 2007/2, 109–132. Filep, Tamás Gusztáv: “A jog hatalma – a hatalom joga (Szüllő Gézáról)” [the power of the law – the right of power] Kommentár 2007/3, 45–58. Gárdonyi, Máté: “Üldöztetés és felelősség. A magyar holokausztról egyházi szemmel” [Persecution and responsibility. On the Hungarian Holocaust with clerical eyes], in Mártonffy Marcell – Petrás Éva (eds.): Szétosztott teljesség. A hetvenöt éves Boór János köszöntése. [Completeness distributed. A tribute to János Boór on his 75th birthday], Budapest, Hét Hárs – Mérleg, 2007, 262–269. Gergely, Jenő: “A keresztény pártok és a „zsidókérdés” 1938–1944”, In Molnár, Judit (ed.): A holokauszt Magyarországon európai perspektívában, Budapest, Balassi, 2005, 67–83. Kepecs, József (ed.): A Felvidék településeinek vallási adatai I. Budapest, KSH, 1999. Krivý, Vladimír. Výsledky volieb 1929 – 2010 za obce na Slovensku. László T., László: Egyház és állam Magyarországon 1919–1945. Budapest, Szent István Társulat, 2005. Nagy, Attila – Nagy, Iván – Novák, Veronika – Simon, Attila – Vajda, Barnabás: Dunaszerdahely. Dunaszerdahely: Dunaszerdahely város önkormányzata, 2012.


Case study 4 Political administration and Catholic leadership – the Jewish community and the Holocaust at Kosice (Kassa) from 1938 to 1944 (as reflected in archive documents, memoirs and the contemporary media)
By Attila Jakab, Aranka Sápos and Tímea Veres

The Jewish issue in Czechoslovakia in 1918-1939 The first Czechoslovak Republic, which came into being after the collapse of the (AustroHungarian) Monarchy, opted for democracy after its establishment and in the first period of its history (between the two World Wars). The Provisional National Assembly adopted the constitution of the Czechoslovak Republic as Act No 1920/121 on 29 February, 1920. The authors of the constitution were first of all inspired by the constitutions of the third French Republic and the United States of America. The newly established state offered its Jewish residents new perspectives – mainly in political life – and allowed national politics. The government supported the recognition of a Jewish national minority258 as a concept of national identity, which was accepted by the majority of Jews. As a result, the majority of Jews reporting themselves Hungarians earlier had ceased to be present statistically reducing in that way the ratio of Hungarian national minorities. The Israelite population of Kosice also used the opportunity and „almost two -third [!] reported they belonged to the Jewish national minority” in the course of the first official census of Czechoslovakia in 1921.”259 The majority of the population retained their Jewish identity but the first signs of assimilation into the majority Slovak nation had already appeared among the younger Jewish residents at the beginning of the 1930s. The Jewish Party formed in 1918 had local organisations in every town with a significant number of Jewish residents.260 The policy of the Jewish Party was loyal to the governing

According to Éva Kovács: „The political efforts behind the introduction of the status of Jewish national minority were mainly directed to reducing the ratio of the Hungarian national minority in that way, but liberal intentions and the impact of a reviving Jewish renaissance cannot be neglected, either. Also, a significant number of Orthodox, unassimilated Jewish population with characteristic ethnic features had lived on the territory of Kárpátalja (Transcarpatia) (Podkarpatska Rus) assigned to Czechoslovakia. The concept of a Jewish national minority included both a distancing from the Hungarian ethnic minorities and a possibility for a Jewish national revival.” Éva Kovács: Felemás asszimiláció [nitty-gritty assimilation], Dunaszerdahely: Lilium Aurum, 2004, 198. 259 According to the 1921 and 1930 Czechoslovak census, 2.39% or 2.01.% of the population of Slovakia reported to belong to the Jewish national minority and 4.53%, or 4.11% to the Israelite denomination. According to the 1930 census, the number of Jews in Slovakia was 136,737 (4.11%). Of that, 44,019 (32.19%) reported to belong to the Czech or Slovak nationality (a new nation, the Czechoslovak had been crated on the census sheets), 9,945 (7.27%) said they were German and 65,385 (47.81%) said to belong to the Jewish national minority. Naučný slovník aktualit 1939, Praha: Nakladateľ L. Mazáč, 1939, 616. According to the 1930 census at Kosice, 51.2% of the Jews, i.e. 5,733 people reported to belong to the Jewish national minority, the rest said they were Czechoslovak or Hungarian. Encyklopédia židovských náboženských obcí, Bratislava: SNM – Múzeum židovskej kultúry, 2009, 207. 260 The Jewish Party established in Pöstyén (Piestany) in 1918 had been unable to be nationally accepted by Slovak Jews, it only played a minor or major part in local public administration. 81

regime; it strived for the observation and expansion of the rights of national minorities and often acted in coalition with the Hungarian parties. It could mainly rely on the mostly Orthodox communities of the Eastern territories. 261 Although the Czech politicians considered the Jewish Party the representative of the Jewish national minority, the Jews themselves failed to share that view (particularly in Slovakia and in the Transcarpatia). In addition to the Jewish Party, the Jewish National Council and the Czechoslovak Zionist Organisation were important Jewish organisations. The Jewish national movement was striving to cover Jews that belonged to several denominational branches. Zionism started to gain momentum in the 1930s when anti-Semitism and the idea of an independent Slovak state came into focus. Zionist organisations could be located on the left side of the political palette next to Social Democrats and Communists. It was a Pragueoriented modern movement that was mostly attractive for the younger generation. 262 Thanks to the spread of the liberal and democratic values of Masaryk, you cannot speak of political anti-Semitism in Czechoslovakia before the mid-1930s. Stand-alone cases, however, did occur. For instance, there were anti-Semitic indications in the rhetoric of the Slovak Popular Party, one of the strongest parties in Slovakia. In his article „Keeping Jewish holidays in Jewish and non-Jewish schools” published in 1938 in the paper Katholikus Lelkipásztor [Catholic Priest], Kálmán Nádai quoted Masaryk, the former President of the Republic „Catholics will have as much right as they can obtain for themselves”; and then he continued expressing his opinion: „It is a fact we are pushed back in that regard, we are to stand against the wall and we can hardly gain anything. Although, as it is correct that the educational authorities take into account the Jewish holidays and schoolchildren of the Jewish faith, it should act in the same way regarding the spiritual needs of Catholic children. In Jewish schools there are 36 days, in other schools 13 days of holidays for Jewish children in addition to the normal holidays! We, Catholics are much interested how they were exempted from attending classes. And in addition they enjoy our state-recognised holidays, e.g. the Lord’s Day on 8 December, Christmas, etc. Look, an infinitesimal r eligious minority has how many privileges and favours! And what about us?” 263 A mass of anti-Jewish articles were published in different papers beginning from the second half of the 1930s, the open appearance of political anti-Semitism. 264 The part played by Jews in business life, their national and religious difference and their connections with Germans and Hungarians were used to incite anti-Semitism. The Jews were also accused of Magyarization and irredentism. They were attacked for using the Hungarian language, their loyalty was questioned, and Jews were envisioned in the background of Magyarization efforts saying they had been intriguing maliciously against Slovak political efforts. Articles on the relationship between Jews and Catholics had also taken on an anti-Semitic character. News saying the Jews were striving for global power was frequently published. The anti-Semitism of regional papers did not differ from that of national papers in its content.

Éva Kovács: „Disszimiláció, zsidó azonosságtudat, regionális identitás Szlovákiában (1920–1938)”, [dissimilation, Jews identity and regional identity in Slovakia] Regio. Kisebbségtudományi Szemle 2, 1991/2, pp. 1-5. 262 Op. cit., p. 3. 263 Katholikus Lelkipásztor [catholic priest], 1 January, 1938 264 Monika Stavorová surveyed anti-Semitic articles published in the media of the Eastern Slovak region: Stavarová, Monika: „Prejavy antisemitizmu a v regionálnej tlačí na Východnom Slovensku v 30. rokoch 20. storočia” ( 82

Since the Czechoslovak Republic secured the rights of Jews in its Constitution and had been peaceful and tolerant in its politics regarding Jews for over two decades, the country had become a target of Jewish immigrants. Large numbers of Jews had arrived from Poland and Soviet-Russia. The mainly Orthodox Jewish immigrants usually spoke Yiddish and some Polish, Ruthenian or German and increased the numbers of the Jewish national minority. After 1933 the papers depicted the Jewish immigrants as dangerous, unwanted elements and parasites. The Jews reporting to belong to the German or Hungarian communities were also accused for (German and Hungarian) irredentist efforts that gained momentum in the 1930s. Next to the Hungarian-speaking Jewish minority, the German-speaking Jewish community had also become the target of attacks. Election results were fruitful topics for the media at any time. The parties used their media for mudslinging and Jews were also given a part to play in party competitions and mutual accusations. Anti-Jewishness had reached full swing from the second half of the 1930s. The media brandishing a growing number of anti-Semitic articles was a true reflection of the contemporary political atmosphere.

The forms of anti-Semitism in Czechoslovakia Anti-Semitism in Slovak society took the following forms: 1. With respect to business life, the majority nation was jealous of Jews, because they filled major positions in industry, wholesale trade and agriculture as well as in retail trade and handicrafts. Most licences were also held by Jews; 21% of artisans’ licences, almost 50% of cooperative distilleries and 100% of licences for commercial distilleries belonged to them. In addition, they operated 38% of sawmills, 78% of the timber trade and 80% of timber exports.265 They had a decisive presence in services and the liberal professions. In addition, many of them were civil servants.266 At Kosice 60% of the Jewry were traders in the period between the two World Wars. They owned most textile and cloth shops, a large part of timber processing plants and companies selling building materials. They worked as artisans, sales agents, business travellers and private clerks. They were employees of tax offices, railway directorates, courts, and financial centres, postal and other facilities. Fodor & Lustig owned a timber processing plant; Székely & Company produced paints, varnishes and mineral oil. Adolf Friedman had a soap factory. Fleischer & Company produced machines and turbines. Glass & Friedman had a concrete plant and a furniture manufacturing plant; they also dealt with distillation of spirits, leather processing and agricultural plant processing. There were 50 Jewish attorneys, 30 physicians, and 16 engineers, 7 pharmacists in the town as well as a number of writers, artists and journalists.

265 266

Data of 1939. According to 1930 statistical figures, 50% of lawyers were Jews, 34% of medical and healthcare services were provided by Jews and over 30 thousand Jews worked in public administration. Hegedűs, Roman: „Protižidovská politika v období slovenskej autonómie” (; Letz, Robert: „Pomoc prenasledovaným Židom na Slovensku v rokoch 1939–1945”, Viera a život 9, 1999/3, 181. 83

2. As regards politics, the participation of Jews in left-side political parties was significant. As a result, they were accused of being responsible for the spread of Bolshevism. Both the Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party, which belonged to the strongest parties of the time, had many Jewish members. The paper Národné noviny wrote in 1933: „Socialist-Communist politics had found their largest supporters among the Jewry. We can see armies of Jews engaged in activities dangerous for Slovaks, which disorganises and damages the Slovak nation” .267 The originators of anti-Jewish measures did not at all hide they had adopted them to prevent the spread of Bolshevism as a top priority. On the day autonomy was announced, on 6 October 1938, the politicians of the Popular Party (the ľudáks) stated in their publication titled The Manifesto of the Slovak nation: „we shall take sides with the nations that fight against Marxist-Jewish subversive and violent ideology”. 268 The following can be read in a report of the Topolcsány (Topolcany) District Office (8 November, 1938) on the expulsion and relocation of 93 Jews: „Since the Jewry, particularly the younger generation, had been engaged in Communist political activities already under the Czechoslovak government, the measures introduced were very good to attenuate the Communist atmosphere.”269 3. In a national context, the Jews were considered an instrument of anti-Slovak (Magyarizing) efforts in the hands of the Hungarian government. Even after the collapse of the AustroHungarian Monarchy, the Slovak population held the view that the Jews had been the force behind the deprivation of the poor and the Magyarization of Slovaks. Karel Kálal, a contemporary Czech author combined the Magyarization of Slovaks with the Jewish issue: „The Jews were the capital and spirit of Magyarization. (…) The Jews served Magyarization in return for a big price: for unlimited freedom, in addition, they enriched themselves unfairly depriving families and whole villages.” 270 The paper Národné noviny wrote the following in 1933: „Before the change of the regime, the Jews had been the most devoted and most effective means of Magyarization and after the change of the regime we can see them as the enemies of the nation. Even at present, Jews are supporters of the Hungarian spirit; Jews are the most committed subscribers to Hungarian papers. (…) It is a historical fact that our towns had become Magyarized so quickly, because Hungarians had found in the Jews a social instrument that had promoted Magyarization linguistically, economically and culturally with tenacious and silent efforts – and not in our interests.”271 In October 1938, after the Munich Resolution, the head of the Bratislava Jewish community handed over the Hungarian consul a petition signed by 15,000 Bratislava Jews to re-annex


Quoted from Jurašek, Dalibor: Židovský kódex (Bakalárska práca, Bratislava, 2009) ( 268 Žilinská dohoda. Druhá svetová vojna občasník o moderných dejinách Slovenska, 1. októbra 2006 ( 269 Hlásenie Okresného úradu v Topoľčanoch Prezídiu krajinského úradu v Bratislave z 8. 11. 1938 o priebehu deportácií. Cited by Nižňanský, Eduard (ed.): Holokaust na Slovensku 1 (Dokumenty), Bratislava, 2001, 307. 270 Kálal, Karel: Karla Kálala spisy slovákofilské, Zväzok V. 1928. Cited by Jurašek, op. cit., 14. 271 Štefánek, A.: Základy sociografie Slovenska. 1944, 94. Cited by Jurašek, op. cit., 14. 84

Bratislava to the Hungarian Kingdom.272 The American diplomat George F. Kennan made a note of the event as follows: „the Slovaks were immediately informed about the petition and considered it a proof inciting hatred that supported their view that Jews were not loyal with Slovaks.”273 4. Christian anti-Semitism, in fact, originated from classical anti-Judaism and was built on it.

The attitude of Kosice Catholics to the Jewry As a first approach to be supplemented later by in-depth research in (mainly ecclesiastic) archives, the attitude of the Catholic church and society to the Jewry at Kosice may be revealed using two important source papers. One is the Kassai Katolikus Tudósító, [kosice catholic reporter] and the other is Felvidéki Ujság [upland news] also published at Kosice. 274 It must be noted first of all that at the time – i.e. in the period 1938 to 1944 – Kosice was a royal free city with municipal rights, where patronage was exercised via the mayor. In the city’s context it meant an organic intertwining of church and politics. 275 For instance, the police had been continuously fighting immorality that had been considered a remnant of the Czech rule. 276 In that way we have the right to assume that everything happening had been at least tacitly approved by ecclesiastic leaders; on the other hand, city administrators and the important citizens clearly demonstrated their Catholic/Christian attitude. The Kosice city élite (important citizens and ecclesiastic men) favoured the term „the Catholic society of the city” for self-identification. 277 Politicians and ecclesiastic leaders regularly published in both media;278 and they took part at each other’s events. 279 The concord is fairly supported by the

Ďurica, M. S.: Dejiny Slovenska a Slovákov v časovej následnosti faktov dvoch tisícročí, Bratislava: LÚČ, 2003, 375. 273 Ďurica, M. S.: Jozef Tiso 188 –1947, Bratislava: LÚČ, 2006, 366. Cited by Dalibor, op. cit., 15. 274 The attitude of the Greek Catholic, Reformed and Lutheran churches to the Jewry at Kosice is a completely blank spot. 275 Cf: „The lay leaders of the Kosice Catholic parish take their oaths ceremonially on Sunday”, Felvidéki Ujság 26 October, 1940, 3. Who became parish leaders? E.g. Dr Géza Radványi presiding judge of the Hungarian Royal High Court of Appeal (chairman), Dr József Dányi ministerial councillor, Béla Gazdy Royal Chief Prosecutor, József Iványi Royal school inspector, Pál Szent-Imrey vice-governor, Dr Sándor Pohl city mayor, patron’s representative. 276 „A night trip round the brothels of Kosice”, Felvidéki Ujság 26 February 1939, 4. „Police arrests Jánosné Hajász, the most dangerous abortionist of Kosice”, Felvidéki Ujság 7 March 1939, 5. „Police had the most notorious venue of rendezvous at Kosice, the Róth Bath in Mária Street closed down”, Felvidéki Ujság 28 April 1939, 5. „Kosice midwife arrested for illegal abortion”, Felvidéki Ujság 30 April 1941, 6. „Kosice Court sentenced abortionist midwives”, Felvidéki Ujság 5 September, 1942 11. „Over 150 arrested at a raid by Kosice Police to control prostitutes and Gypsies”, Felvidéki Ujság 14 May 1943, 8. „Incorrigible abortionist woman sentenced to workhouse”, Felvidéki Ujság 1 June 1944, 10. 277 Cf: „Thanksgiving services for the Governor of Hungary”, Felvidéki Ujsag 1 March 1940, 3: „Thanksgiving services were held in every church of Kosice on Friday to commemor ate the 20th anniversary of the Governor’s reign. The Catholic society of the city prayed for the leader of the Hungarian nation at a Holy Mass held in the Basilica at 9.00 a.m. The military, ecclesiastical and civil society of the city were represented in full at the Holy Mass.”; „The Catholic society of Kosice celebrated 40 years’ of service of Barna Tost parish priest”, Felvidéki Ujság 15 July 1940, 3. „Changing of the guard should not be merely a change of people but a change of spirit as well! Address by József Közi-Horváth MP at the Kosice ceremonial assembly of Catholic workers”, Felvidéki Ujság 24 April 1942, 3. 278 Cf. e.g. Dr Sándor Pohl, mayor of Kosice, „Katolikus önérzet” [Catholic self-esteem], Kassai Katolikus Tudósító [kosice catholic reporter] Vol. XXII, Issue 11, November 1942, 1-3. Address to the 30th National Catholic Congress. Jenő Sinyei Merse minister of culture, „Let religion be the foundation of public education in Hungary and let public education built on faith and moral strengthen the religious spirit of Hungarians”, op. cit., 85

fact that Felvidéki Ujság published hardly any news about the third anti-Jewish law not voted for by the ecclesiastical leaders in the Upper House (Act No XV of 1941 „on the addition to and amendment of Act No XXXI of 1894”), since that racist act clearly contradicted Christian matrimonial law.280 At the same time, it introduced the criminal act of „miscegenation”.281 After the law was adopted, however, „Dr Sándor Pohl city mayor ordered the Jewish Sabbath rope surrounding Kosice to be removed immediately”. 282 This „shop-window” Christianity voiced all the time, however, had much more formality than actual and deep faith. That is supported by an angry address to the „Catholic society” of Kosice by bishop Madarász when he had a shock to face an empty church. „The Basilica is almost deserted during a mass. There were no more than a hundred believers at the mass held on the anniversary of the Pope’s coronation, which is one of the major holy events both from a Catholic and a Hungarian point of view. And but for our noble soldiers, some office heads and high school youth, the ceremony would have been celebrated among almost empty walls. On Easter Sunday, the greatest holiday of the church, the Catholic intelligentsia was totally absent, the reserved seats were empty, and only the good religious people of Kosice saved the honour of the church! Where was the parish whose strict and holy duty it is to appear in the church in a great mass on such occasions? Where were the Catholic societies, the Credo, the Emericana, the Boy Scouts, the Congregations, the members of the Catholic Action, etc.? This is not Catholic or Hungarian self-esteem! It is the holy duty of the Catholic Hungarian society of Kosice to confess their Catholic faith and patriotic spirit on such occasions (…) I am deeply saddened and depressed by this lukewarm, disinterested behaviour. I request the Catholic intelligentsia of Kosice with love to change that wrong and unworthy behaviour and to take part at ceremonial masses to be held on major holy days. Do not wait for special invitations, because invitations to state holidays mean that the authorities must be present at the official mass without any difference of denomination. But the Catholic leaders of the authorities should appear at major Catholic holidays if only to set a good example.” 283 Two events illustrate best the intertwining of the Catholic church and politics. One was the approval of the city administration of Kosice granted to István Madarász, the bishop of the diocese, who had been a politician before becoming a bishop in 1939 since he had been a ministry councillor in Budapest from 1929 to 1938, allowing him in 1940 to divide the parish Saint Erzsébet into two and to establish a new parish named after the Queen of Peace in the southern part of the city assigned to the Franciscans. Another, much more important event was a decision by the city legislative committee (Resolution No 6774//39 1941, dated 26 February, 1941), according to which he ceremonially offered the city of Kosice to the Holy
4. Dr István Madarász, bishop of the Kosice diocese, „Who is led to the infant Jesus by true love…”, Felvidéki Ujság 24 December 1941, 1. „Parents are responsible for their children. Pastoral letter by István Madarász Dr, bishop of the Kosice dicese on parents’ sacred and responsible duties”, Felvidéki Ujság 21 February 1942, 5. Dr István Madarász, „The example of the Bethlehem Holy Family”, Felvidéki Ujság 24 December 1942, 1. Dr István Madarász bishop of Kosice, „The Lord of Peace”, Felvidéki Ujság 24 December 1943, 1. 279 „The Jewish issue on the agenda of the Board of the local organisation of the United Party”, Felvidéki Ujság 31 December 1938, 3. The meeting was opened by no other than Barna Tost prelate-parish priest. 280 „Settling the Jewish issue. Who is considered a Jew. Marriage between Christians and Jews banned”, Felvidéki Ujság 9 June 1941, 2; „The execution order of the race protection act published”, Felvidéki Ujság 4 October 1941, 3. 281 Cf e.g. Felvidéki Ujság 24 January, 3; 14 February, 6; 28 April, 4; 7 September, 5; 2 October, 6; 28 October, 1942, 4; 12 February 1943, 4. 282 Felvidéki Ujság 26 July 1941, 8: „According to Jewish law, the Sabbath rope borders the area within which devout Israelites may leave their apartments on Saturday without committing an act of violance to their religious laws.” 283 Felvidéki Ujság 26 March 1940, 1. 86

Heart of Jesus on 22 June, 1941. 284 That was not a church initiative but a political decision by the city administration that had to be implemented by the church, i.e. to organise and perform the ceremony. It is, however, a different question that – due to the outbreak of the GermanSoviet war at dawn on 22 June – the large scale procession in the afternoon was called off, but the offering itself did take place. The Kassai Katolikus Tudósító [kosice catholic reporter] was, in fact, the bulletin of parishes and associations. Barna Tost prelate-parish priest (brother of MP László Tost) published it monthly (quarterly in 1944) with the bishop’s approval. Its editor -in-chief was first István Pálffy, then Ferenc Bogdányi (from January 1943). It mainly published articles on spiritual and moral issues. Its column „film review” is worth mentioning, as it categorised films into good, neutral and bad categories according to a religious scale of values. It turns out from its issues that Catholics at Kosice, in fact, had problems with the other Christian denominations (mixed marriages) and not so much with Jews. Therefore, the latter did not play an important part in the paper. The position of Felvidéki Ujság was quite different. It was a true local reflection of the contemporary political and social atmosphere, its changes and its permanent components. The latter basically meant a continuous stigmatisation of Jews and incitement. The basis for that was that Jews were basically accused of betraying the „Hungarian cause” under the Czechoslovak regime, 285 that was described as „captivity” and „occupation”.286 Also, Jews were considered in relation to liberalism and Bolshevism in general – i.e. the greatest enemies of Catholicism – and, of course, blamed for everything. The Felvidéki Ujság was clearly a political daily; its first issue was published on Sunday, 25 December, 1938. At the beginning Dr János Bárczay MP was the editor -in-chief and Dr Miklós Pajor MP then the vice president of the Catholic Action was its chief correspondent. Jenő Puskás became managing editor from 17 August, 1940 (Volume III, issue 187). His post was taken over by Zoltán Kassai from 1 March, 1943 (Volume VI, issue 48). At the same time Géza Forgách became chief correspondent. In 1943 the daily was owned by Kosice Hungarian Life Publishers. According to its own self-ident ification: „it fought for the prevalence of Christian masses and Christian ethics in every of its lines”. 287 The same was reiterated by Zoltán Nyisztor288 describing the Felvidéki Ujság as „its every line is permeated by the spirit of true Christianity”. 289 Implicitly it also meant that obvious anti-Jewishness was an organic part of „true Christianity”. The start of the paper was welcomed by prelate Barna Tost, a decisive figure of Catholicism at Kosice: „Felvidéki Ujság will again be the new daily of liberated Kosice. I welcome it with

Cf. Kassai Katolikus Tudósító Volume XXI, Issue 6-7, June 1941, 3-5. As well as Felvidéki Ujság 18 June, 4; 19 June, 3; 20 June, 3; 21 June, 1; 23 June 1941, 3. The offering was repeated every year. Cf. Felvidéki Ujság 6 June, 3; 11 June, 3; 13 June, 3; 15 June 1942, 3; and 7 June 1943. 285 Aladár R. Vozáry, „Frankly and openly on the Jewish issue”, Felvidéki Ujság 5 January 1939, 5. Cf. Also: Felvidéki Ujság 1 March, 1939, 1-2; 10 March 1939, 1; 23 March 1939, 5; „The ’Magyar’ nature of the Jewry of the Upland”, Felvidéki Ujság 6 June 1942, 3. 286 „Address by prelate Barna Tost parish priest at the Kecskemét Lycée. Barna Tost spoke about the history of twenty years of Czech occupation of Kosice. The Hungarians of Kecskemét gave the prelate -priest of Kosice a thunderous applause”, Felvidéki Ujság 13 January 1939, 4. 287 „Why is the opinion of Felvidéki Ujság unusual for Hungarians?”, Felvidéki Ujság 30 April 1940, 3. 288 An important figure of Catholic journalism between the two World Wars (cf. 289 „Zoltán Nyisztor: Our enemy – the pseudo-Christian press”, Felvidéki Ujság 26 January 1942, 3. 87

pleasure. I wish God’s blessing on its path and I wish from my heart it should trumpet the Hungarian truth and stand on the foundations of Christian moral incessantly.” 290 It was mainly national and Christian in its drive, which was perfectly suitable for the contemporary Catholic clerics of Kosice. You could say the two had been completely interwoven in a „national Christian” ideology. Already in its first issue the paper reported on both the 1938 anti-Jewish law extended to cover the Upland, which was assessed as a „new chapter of saving the nation”, 291 and the „order of Christmas holy masses and church services”. 292 To interpret and understand the sources it must be noted that between the two World Wars the Jewry of Kosice was one of the largest and most important Jewish communities in SouthernSlovakia. The Jews of Kosice were actively involved in city life, they were members and leaders of important societies293, Jewish lawyers and doctors were members of the city assembly and many of them also worked in public administration. The Jewish community boasted of well-known artists, authors, architects, journalists and athletes. The Jewish community had become an organic part of the historical development of the city. It was the period when the Kosice Jewry flourished. To support this statement with figures, let us say that every fifth person at Kosice was Jewish at the end of the 1930s (out of 58,090 294), and the Israelite denomination was the second most populous in the town after the Roman Catholic (36,192 or 62.3% at the end of 1938). Five synagogues were in the city, and several factions of Jewry were present (Orthodox, Neologue, Hassid, status quo ante). At the end of 1938 11,420 (19.7%) Jewish residents lived at Kosice and over 10,000 of them is supposed to have perished in the Holocaust.295 However, an inflow of settlers in the city296 led to the shortage of apartments. A journalist of Felvidéki Ujság wrote angrily in October 1942: „Christian Hungarian families moving to Kosice are forced to live in rented rooms as there are no apartments. The city housing office is responsible to put an end to the unhealthy situation of today. ” In his opinion, the reason for those unfortunate conditions is that „the best residential parts of the city are st ill occupied by Jews. 2-3 persons live in six- or seven-room luxury apartments, and there are a high number of four- five-room Jewish apartments where nobody is living in most parts of the year, as the owner has fled abroad, is in prison or is doing supple mentary labour service.” 297 All that can be really understood if we are aware that the deprivation of Kosice Jews started in the same way as in the mother country when Kosice, as a result of the first Vienna Resolution, was returned to Hungary. Lajos Szabó Protestant pastor wrote the following about the immediate pre-war period and the first years of the war: „...the education, Baptism and
290 291

Felvidéki Ujság 25 December 1938, 2. Felvidéki Ujság 25 December 1938, 2. 292 Felvidéki Ujság 25 December 1938, 5. 293 Documents on the dissolution of Jewish societies. Archív mesta Košice, hereinafter AMK, Košice muncip. mesto 1939–1945, rok 1944, 23 901 – 24 020 inv. č. 125, krab. 182. (See Annex 1). 294 Over 10% of them were deemed poor. Cf. „A thousand able poor are registered in the records of the Kosice charity office”, Felvidéki Ujság 26 November 1940, 7: „According to the latest records, the charity office has registered 1076 families or 4241 persons as able poor, 766 families or 2069 persons as disabled or female breadwinner poor, altogether 1842 families or 6310 persons.” Of them, at Christmas 1940 „a hundred Kosice poor were given presents by Dr István Madarász bishop”, Felvidéki Ujság 24 December 1940, 2. The situation had changed by 1941 as follows: „The charity office registered 5041 able poor, 1862 female breadwinners and disabled residents at the end of July”, Felvidéki Ujság 14 August 1941, 4. 295 Since no exact figures are available, we can only rely on assumptions. Cf: „The residents of Kosice by religious denominations”, Felvidéki Ujság 23 June 1939, 4. 296 In 1941 the population of Kosice grew to 66,647. Cf: Felvidéki Ujság 31 March 1941, 5. 297 Felvidéki Ujság 13 October 1942, 2. 88

acceptance of converts of Jewish origin into the Christian church after their confirmation has become a new branch of our spiritual service. There were many Jews at Kosice and under the Czech era most of them stood by the Hungarians in the years of hardship when remaining a Hungarian meant the adoption of the bitter fate of a national minority. But they took it upon themselves and therefore old Kosice-dwellers honoured and loved them. But not so the majority of those from the mother country, particularly Arrow Cross Party supporters that were many at Kosice, the birthplace of their leader Szálasi. Before he took power, Szála si had visited Kosice several times and the Arrow Cross Party supporters of Kosice considered it their main objective to clear the birthplace of their leader from Jews completely. Thus, fierce agitation was started against the Jews who had nowhere to flee in 1943. There remained one option to find refuge: to convert to the religion of Christians. Although the more rational knew it was no real refuge, Fascism would find, segregate and kill them anyway. But there were many who hoped the church of Christ would spread its caring wings above them and they can at least save their lives if no more. Those people asked to be accepted into the Christian church not out of conviction but because they feared annihilation. Many Jewish converts applied to be accepted in all Christian churches. In our church of Kosice there were many who had become followers of the Protestant faith before Fascism, out of conviction. Most of them had become good Christians, devout and generous members of the Church...” 298 The above memories of the parson are, however, significantly modified by the image provided in the contemporary press. It was probably due to the high number and social weight of the Jews at Kosice that all news items relating to or impacting the Jewry (domestic and foreign but mostly local) were among the unavoidable topics (e.g. different front reports or local crimes) of Felvidéki Ujság.299 In that way, the daily favourably assessed and positively reported for its readers the 2nd anti-Jewish law debated in 1939. 300 In January, it reported at length about an address made by Prime Minister Béla Imrédy in Pécs with its main message of the necessity of the fight against the „Jewish spirit” combining it with the land policy with its future goal of the expropriation of Jewish property. 301 At Kosice the Christian social strata, particularly the élite or middle classes expected the new law to facilitate their rise, the significant improvement of their positions, although they were clearly aware that they were ungrateful to the local Jewish community without which the leaders of Kosice could not have

Lajos Szabó: Last straw, Budapest, Magyar Egyháztörténeti Enciklopédia Munkaközösség – Kazinczy Ferenc Társaság, 2000, 125. Szabó became the pastor of the Kosice Protestant church in August 1942. Cf: Felvidéki Ujság 17 August 1942, 5. 299 For instance: „The Italian state expropriates Jewish property”, Felvidéki Ujság 16 February 1939, 4; „Traitor Jews are executed in masses in towns along the Pruth”, Felvidéki Ujság 5 July 1941, 4; „The business life of the [Czech] Protectorate is completely free of Jews. How the economic power of Jews was broken on the territory of the Protectorate?”, Felvidéki Ujság 2 September 1941, 4. „The Slovak Jewish code”, Felvidéki Ujság 19 September 1941, 3. „Visit in a Jewish quarter [i.e. in the Warsaw ghetto] where citizens of the future Jewish state are learning to work”, Felvidéki Ujság 19 January 1942, 4. János Darvas, „A walk in Kiev where there are no Jews living”, Felvidéki Ujság 24 January 1942, 7; „The houses of Jews are marked with a star in Slovakia”, Felvidéki Ujság 17 March 1942, 7. „No more Jews will be on the territory of Slovakia in a few months’ time. The Slovak minister of the interior on the Jewish issue”, Felvidéki Ujság 30 March 1942, 6. „Expropriation of Jewish properties completed in Slovakia”, Felvidéki Ujság 28 May 1942, 4. „How do the European Jews live in their newly settled areas in the East?”, Felvidéki Ujság 11 November 1942, 6. „Italian Jews placed in collection camps”, Felvidéki Ujság 1 December 1943, 5. 300 „The whole Hungarian nation uniformly wishes a quick settlement of the Jewish issue. New sections included in the proposal?”, Felvidéki Ujság 22 January 1939, 1-2. The article was placed immediately before reporting on the Sunday schedule of church service. Vitéz Jenő Rácz, „Settling the Jewish issue is for our existence”, Felvidéki Ujság 24 January 1939, 2. It is quite clear for the retired minister of defence that Jews are a (separate) race, and „it is not helped by their adopting the sanctity of Baptism, as Baptism cannot change the race”. In his opinion: „We Magyars only can be the masters in the Carpathian Basin”, Felvidéki Ujság 31 January 1939, 1-2. 301 Felvidéki Ujság 17 January 1939, 1-2. 89

preserved the Magyar nature of the city. 302 They hoped to achieve the economic and social restructuring in favour of the so termed „original Christians” by law, the redistribution of trade licences. It was not by accident that the applications had to include „the surname and given name, age, religion, nationality and address of the person wishing to engage in the trade” and in attachment „their birth certificate (certificate of Baptism), their parents’ birth certificates (certificates of Baptism) or marriage certificate, finally their potential spouse’s birth certificate (certificate of Baptism)”. 303 It is quite clear that religion was one of the major criteria of evaluation. The centrally organised „change of the guard”304 was implemented by the Kosice group of the national Baross Society, which strived to organise the local Christian society and to protect the business interests of Christians. 305 Christians could regard it as a natural process, since prince primate Jusztinián Serédi had clearly stated in the debate of the anti-Jewish law in the Upper House that „pushing back the expansion of the Jewry is the just self-defence of the nation”,306 which, in fact, exempted them from having any pangs of conscience. Not to mention that neighbouring Catholic Slovakia had implemented similar anti-Jewish laws.307 The anti-Jewish laws in Hungary drove a minute minority of Kosice Jews to get Baptised. It had immediately triggered disquiet in the Christian society of the town as it turned out from a March 1939 issue of Felvidéki Ujság. „The topical issues of our times are the pure race and the Aryan issue – the author wrote – and they represent a lot of extra work for both clerical and civil authorities. We talked to the administrative head of the Kosice Roman Catholic parish office and he advised that over 200 Jews had converted to the Catholic denomination at Kosice since 1 January, 1939. They had become Catholics following sound and clean intentions. The converts do not only include bank managers, doctors, lawyer and clerks but also simple workmen and domestic helps who cannot be suspected of simulation since settling their religion has not been of importance for them. In the present situation the Roman Catholic Church received those candidates with natural and justified reserve. Each and every case is investigated with more than standard care, they are submitted to the bishop’s office

„Kosice and the Jewish assimilation. Data of József Szent -Ivány on the behaviour of the Upland Jews”, Felvidéki Ujság 4 February 1939, 5. 303 „Trade licences in the Upland lose effect as of 1 July. New applications must be submitted by 15 March”, Felvidéki Ujság 8 February 1939, 3. 304 Cf. Ferenc Huba, „Economic change of the guard in Kosice trade. Interesting statistics on the trade revision implemented”, Felvidéki Ujság 23 March 1940, 6. „Attempt to prevent illegally the implementation of the economic change of the guard in the Kosice District”, Felvidéki Ujság 13 April 1940, 5. „Certified Christian timber merchants only can participate in the distribution of firewood”, Felvidéki Ujság 24 August 1940, 4. „The Kosice shoe trade in Christian hands”, Felvidéki Ujság 4 September 1941, 3. „Textiles worth 800,000 Pengő blocked in the Kosice chamber district”, Felvidéki Ujság 17 September 1941, 3. „Jewish merchants may not sell radios from 1st October”, Felvidéki Ujság 20 September 1941, 7. „The first arms shop of Kosice in Christian hands opens”, Felvidéki Ujság 16 October 1941, 4. „Christian merchants urge allocation of the ready-to-wear trade in the hands of Jews”, Felvidéki Ujság 15 November 1941, 6. „Christians only may apply for wholesale trade licences”, Felvidéki Ujság 21 November 1941, 7. „Christian-owned plants and Christian merchants only will be provided with goods”, Felvidéki Ujság 19 February 1942, 7. „Wholesale trade licences for alcoholic drinks to be reviewed. After the review, Jews may not engage in the wholesale trade of spirits, wine or b eer”, Felvidéki Ujság 18 March 1942, 4. „The stocks of Jewish iron merchants not provided with goods to be taken over by Christian merchants. Iron merchants able to certify their origin will be provided with goods only”, Felvidéki Ujság 9 May 1942, 5. „The sale of salt must be taken out of the hands of Jews. Salt constituting a state monopoly is still mainly distributed to consumers via Jewish hands”, Felvidéki Ujság 20 October 1942, 7. 305 „The Kosice group of the Baross Society launched a big fight to prot ect the interests of Christian merchants and tradesmen. Over 3000 merchants and tradesmen arrive to the Baross congress in May – the Kosice group already has 250 members”, Felvidéki Ujság 16 February 1939, 3. „Shop with the members of the Baross Society”, Felvidéki Ujság 11 June 1939, 11. 306 Felvidéki Ujság 16 April, 1939, p. 2. 307 Felvidéki Ujság 21 April 1939, 6. 90

and an opinion is given about each candidate’s awareness of the faith, the soundness an d cleanliness of his or her intention. To establish the above with due care, István Cselényi the Pope’s chamberlain and teachers of religious studies Dr Béla Suhaj, Béla Bartók and Jenő Listyák deal with the spiritual life of individuals wishing to convert, with their introduction into the precepts of the Roman Catholic religion, and to establish the soundness and cleanliness of their intentions – dividing them into smaller homogeneous groups considering their high numbers. The best result of their work has been the favourable opinions that have led to an increase of the Catholic congregation at Kosice by 200 followers.” 308 Following the adoption of the second anti-Jewish law (3 May, 1939), Felvidéki Ujság regularly informed its readers on how the Jews were trying to stretch the law. 309 Another topic returning repeatedly was the issue of Christian dupes helping Jews. 310 The Catholic Új Élet, katolikus szociális és világnézeti havi szemle [new life, Catholic social and ideological monthly review] also edited at Kosice wrote about it the following: „Thanks to the antiJewish law, a new caste is being born: the caste of screens. The resourceful people of Israel, in fact, are not much hit by the anti-Jewish laws: using exquisite sense, they always find their rescuers in certain groups of sporting citizens with the right strings who rarely refuse being their screen in return for the proper price. Life goes on undisturbed, Jewish capital still has power, workers are still exploited as in the past and simple people suffer in the same way – only the caste of screens is better off. (…) Incapable Magyars feel giddy in the storm of that ’miraculous transformation’ …, they understand that while the anti-Jewish laws have already fattened the class of people acting as screens, a simple entrepreneur must suffer humiliation to obtain a trading licence unless his humour and ambition is crushed at the beginning between the grindstones of Hungarian bureaucracy. (…) Hungarian leaders should accept as their greatest duty to give back the disillusioned, lethargic masses their faith and confidence.”311 Despite all efforts by the authorities, the system of dupes/screens could not be eradicated till the end. In fact, it was only solved by the deportations in 1944. That has two explanations. One is that the interests of the Jewry pushed to the peripheries both socially and existentially312 and the strata of poorer people that were only bound to the church formally or


„Over two hundred Jews have been converted to the Catholic faith since 1 January”, Felvidéki Ujság 10 March 1939. 309 For instance: Felvidéki Ujság July 5, 2; 27 April, 3; 10 May, 4; 31 August, 9; 9 November, 5; 18 December 1940, 6; 8 March, 6; 31 July, 3; 25 September, 5; 21 October, 7; 27 October 1941 6; 16 January, 6; 23 January 1942, 6. „Katalin Karády and Mária sentenced for evading the anti -Jewish law”, Felvidéki Ujság 15 April 1942, 7. Also: Felvidéki Ujság 19 December 1942, 6. 310 For instance: Felvidéki Ujság 9 July 1939; 14 September 1940, 9; 21 September 1940, 9; 25 October 1940, 7; 12 November 1940, 6; 26 February 1941, 7; 9 May 1941, 6; 19 November 1941, 4; 7 May 1942; 16 June 1942, 4; 18 June 1942, 4. „Merciless campaign aginst dupes. The executive order of the ’dupe–law’ has been published.”, Felvidéki Ujság 24 September 1942, 3. „The Jewish issue can only be settled using the means of race protection. Dupes, the parasites of business life must be eradicated”, Felvidéki Ujság 25 June 1943, 2. Also: Felvidéki Ujság 14 April 1944, 3: „Domestic help sentenced for covering up for Jews”. „Jewish house and garden properties transferred to dupes’ names to be confiscated”, Felvidéki Ujság 22 May 1944, 4; 8 July 1944, 3. 311 Új Élet [new life], 1940/2 (issue 84), 52. 312 E.g. Government Decree No 4800/1939 „on the review and termination of the mandates of Jewish members of legislative committees and city municipalities”, Felvidéki Ujság 24 August 1939, 4. Cf also the struggle of Christian merchants united in the extreme right-wing ’Turul Society’ to push the Jews out of the Kosice Merchants’ Body: Felvidéki Ujság 18 March 1940, 3; 1 April, 3; 8 April, 3; 10 April, 4; 10 May, 4; 1 June, 5; 17 June 4; 27 July 1941, 7. 91

sociologically had met.313 The other one is that part of Christians had remained loyal to their Jewish employers to a certain extent. Although Catholic clerical leaders never commented on the Jewish issue in the columns of Felvidéki Ujság, the feelings of bishop Madarász – fully in harmony with those of the city leaders – are well reflected in an address entitled „Christian culture and Hungarians” given at the Kazinczy Society at Kosice in mid-March 1940. According to the bishop: the „Patrona Hungariae” was the ideal for the Hungarian nation and the example of Hungarian family life. The beneficial impact of the example can be seen as „an erotic spirit was never dominant in Hungarian fiction or plays; adultery, divorce or artificially caused childlessness never occurred in Hungarian families in the old times or occurred only as an exception”. According to the bishop: „If in that regard we can find unfortunate perversion, what is more, catastrophic decline in our days, it can be traced back to the poisoning effect of non-Aryan press, plays and cabarets, which are totally alien to the Hungarian spirit, to the loose morals of the public arising as a result and to the decline of the cult of Mary.” 314 At that time, non-Aryan was obviously Jewish, that had been the cause of the moral decline of Hungarians. The bishop, of course, failed to notice that the followers of the Reformed Church had also been objecting to the cult of Mary for several hundred years. In the circumstances of the war in Europe goods were restricted in Hungary as well. For the Felvidéki Ujság it offered another pretext to attack Jews. The daily continuously informed readers about Jews sentenced for black marketing, profiteering or stockpiling. 315 In September 1942 it published an open letter by public servants addressed to the mayor: „We request radical measures on the front of milk! You must prevent Jews from stockpiling milk at double price to the detriment of Christian families ”.316 All that was aggravated by the issue of rumour mongering after the war broke out between Germany and the Soviet Union (22 June, 1941). „Do not believe the actors of whispering propaganda – the daily wrote – the traitor Jewish immigrants having escaped with all their riches and fed on British tits or their brothers in race, who want to paint horrors for us with fulsome news items written abroad or by falsifying internal events wilfully. They serve the enemy and they become the enemy in that way.” 317 Declaring Jews to be (the internal) enemy logically led to the demand of expropriating their property, particularly land. All the more so, since the state – if it did not want to touch the latifundia – could only use the lands, vineyards and orchards owned by Jews to mitigate the hunger for land,318 to motivate the destitute to serve on the front! Later on, however, it turned

„A poor market-stall holder collaborated with a Jew; using his trading licence his associate lacking a licence purchased waggonloads of apples”, Felvidéki Ujság 27 November 1940, 7. 314 ‘It is a Hungarian honour to act bravely and to suffer bravely’’ Address by Dr István Madarász bishop of the diocese at the Kazinczy Society”, Felvidéki Ujság 18 March 1940, 3. 315 For instance, Felvidéki Ujság 17 May 1941, 5; 28 October 1941, 4; 24 December 1941, 5; 28 February 1942, 8; 13 March 1942, 4; 25 April 1942, 9; 1 July 1942, 6; 15 July 1942, 4; 23 July 1942, 4; 4 September 1942, 6; 18 September 1942, 6; 29 October 1942, 7; 5 May 1943; 5 June 1943, 9; 19 June 1943, 11. 316 Felvidéki Ujság 25 September 1942, 4. 317 „Rumour mongering - treason!”, Felvidéki Ujság 3 July 1941, 2. Also in Felvidéki Ujság 13 August 1942, 6; 21 October 1942, 3; 6 November 1942, 4. 318 „Title to 893 major properties owned by Jews have been ordered to be transferred so far”, Felvidéki Ujság 18 December1941, 2. „The expropriation of Jewish-owned vineyards started in Tokaj-Hegyalja”, Felvidéki Ujság 2 March 1942, 6. „Properties owned by Jews blocked. Sequestration refers to vineyards and orchards of more than 5 acres, and agricultural properties of more than 500 acres”, Felvidéki Ujság 20 March 1942, 3. „Jews have not always acquired land in the way it is allowed by Christian morals. Address by Dr János Bárczay secretary of 92

out that most of that had been just empty talk. 319 The members of the Order of Vitez [valiant], mainly the officers had been the actual beneficiaries. 320 It is clearly seen from the following: 20,000 acres had been set aside for „war veteran farmers with many children” (they were granted areas of less than 5 acres) while the Seat of the Vitez received 130,000 acres to award homesteads of 5-100 acres to officers and soldiers of the Vitez.321 Following the deprivation of rights and property as well as expulsion from social life, 322 the conflict was transformed into a kind of existential struggle of „self-defence” for an internal „lebensraum”. It was expressed by Péter Schell, sheriff of Abaúj-Torna County323: „When we want to push the Jews out of economic life – he said at a meeting of the Party of Hungarian Life – it does not mean hate or anti-Semitism. It means self-defence we have to take to protect our own interests. If we do not want to be destroyed, we must adopt this fight and finish it completely. (…) We, Christians have major responsibilities regarding the Jewish issue so that we can fill the place of Jews in the positions of the economy. It, however, does not mean that getting ahead should be easier for us or we should get more profit with less work; it means we must work, go without [goods] and learn so that we could get on life and succeed in places where the Jews could get on. The anti-Jewish laws cannot be options for Christians to make money without work. We must educate our youth to respect and love the occupation of merchants and artisans.”324 As the persecution of Jews strengthened in Slovakia, the issue of Slovak Jews fleeing was given more and more attention in Felvidéki Ujság. It represented an increased workload for the Kosice police in addition to a series of crimes and the strict control of the local Jewry. 325
state at Sátoraljaujhely”, Felvidéki Ujság 30 March 1942, 5. „The fate of one-and-one-quarter million acres of Hungarian land, Felvidéki Ujság 26 May 1942, 2. „In Abauj-Torna County 11,000 cadaster acres to be transferred from Jews to Hungarians”, Felvidéki Ujság 18 July 1942, 4 and 20 July 1942, 7. „New decree by the minister of agriculture grants over 700,000 cadaster acres of Jewish-owned land to the simple men”, Felvidéki Ujság 16 September 1942, 5. 319 „Fifteen major homesteads in Abaúj owned by Jews to be let by lease to Christian farmers. Candidates with proper qualifications and having capital should submit bids to the economy supervisor of the county”, Felvidéki Ujság 30 January 1943, 3. „Another 13,000 acres of Jewish properties to be granted to families with many children”, Felvidéki Ujság 21 April 1943, 3. „All Jewish properties to be used urgently. Decree published on grants of land to war heroes and their male descendants”, Felvidéki Ujság 2 September 1943, 3. „Handing over Jewish properties of less than 5 acres started in Abauj-Torna County. The County Cooperative for Public Good granted land to 48 families in 26 settlements”, Felvidéki Ujság 1 December 1943, 7. 320 „Jewish properties larger than five cadastral acres but less than 100 acres and vineyards of less than 20 acres to be granted to Hungarian Vitez”, Felvidéki Ujság 26 September 1942, 2. Also Felvidéki Ujság 10 October 1942, 2; 27 November, 2. „The Vitez plots created from Jewish properties in Abauj-Torna County are waiting for the new vitez [valiants] of World War II”, Felvidéki Ujság 23 December 1943, 6. 321 „The distribution of expropriated Jewish properties”, Felvidéki Ujság 28 June 1943, 1. 322 Early in November 1942 an unknown correspondent was indignant „why is it that there are still 75% Jews among the telephone subscribers at Kosice, when the new Christian companies cannot get a telephone?”, Felvidéki Ujság 6 November 1942, 4. See also „The Jewish dental technicians of Kosice are banned as of today”, Felvidéki Ujság 29 September 1942, 5. 323 „The Führer awarded the cross of merit of the Order of the German Eagle to vitez baron Péter Schell sheriff”, Felvidéki Ujság 17 September 1943, 2. 324 „Sheriff Péter Schell spoke about topical Hungarian issues at the party meeting held at Szikszó”, Felvidéki Ujság 17 March 1942, 3. See also „Hungarians are not led by hate in the Jewish issue but by self-defence Address by István Boda college professor on the scientific and practical implications of the Jewish issue”, Felvidéki Ujság 20 April 1942, 4. 325 Cf. Felvidéki Ujság 1942, 21 March, 5; 17 April, 2 and 6; 18 April, 5; 23 april, 3; 24 June, 2 and 6;17 September, 3; 22 September, 4; 23 September, 5; 24 September, 3; 3 October, 4; 20 October, 7; 30 October, 11; 24 December, 6; 1943, 12 January, 5; 10 March, 6; 11 March, 4; 16 March, 6; 24 April, 4 and 9; 25 May, 3; 7 June, 6; 16 July, 5; 17 July, 6; 3 August, 5; 14 August, 3; 14 September 7; 15 September, 5; 1 October, 4; 3 93

With respect to the deportation of Slovakian Jews, the daily later wrote „Jews will be taken to concentration camps where they will mainly be employed as joiners and tailors as they are most suited to those two occupations.” 326 In this context, the opinion of Slovak clericals is really telling. It was initially published in Katolické Noviny and later in Felvidéki Ujság. It can be assumed that it indirectly also expressed the opinion of the leaders of Catholic (and other Christian) denominations at Kosice.327 „Regarding anti-Jewish measures, the stance of Catholic ecclesiastical leaders has been frequently discussed recently. Clericals have been criticised for allowing masses of Jews to be Baptised and for lobbying on their behalf at the government. From the other side it was said clericals had adopted the government’s measures regarding the issue of removing Jews from public life and the implementation of the immigration of Jews from Slovakia – voices were heard saying how our bishops and priests could tolerate such inhuman acts. Those rumours contradicting each other have driven responsible ecclesiastical leaders to publish the following: 1. Catholic priests did not at all Baptise Jews in masses, although the church may not reject anybody requesting Baptism sincerely, as the Lord Christ has established his church for all nations and all people. It is also true a person may only be Baptised if he/she wants it sincerely from an inner conviction. To be assured in that regard, the church requires a length of preparatory period for everybody who wants to be Baptised that must be from three to ten months long subject to the knowledge and religiousness of the candidates. Even after that period a person may only be Baptised with the licence of the Bishop’s Office. We have to emphasise the church alone has the right to assess who can be Baptised and who must be rejected from embracing Christianity. The church defended that exceptional right in the past in the most difficult circumstances and it would not be limited in that regard in the future, either. 2. The same defines the stance of the Catholic church regarding the conversion of Jews. Some Jews had been Baptised at a time when it had offered no advantages for them, on the contrary, the Jews and sometimes even state administration had persecuted them for it. We regard those Jews to be our followers just like the others and we are obliged to accept responsibility for them. We do mediate in the interest of such converted Jews that fulfil their religious responsibilities. 3. As regarding other Jews and the relevant measures taken, our opinion is the following: The tragedy of the Jewish nation is that it did not acknowledge the Saviour; on the contrary, it crucified Him. The Saviour himself shed tears for the obstinacy of the Jewish people and prophesied their punishment and dispersal all over the world. That did occur after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jews have been living in smaller and larger groups among the sons of other nations all over the world for over two thousand years. During that long time, they have not become assimilated into the other nations. They have never changed their antagonistic approach to Christianity; on the contrary, Jews took part in the bloody persecution of Christians in Russia and Spain. That is the reason why the nations
November, 6; 25 November, 6; 26 November, 6; 30 November, 4; 11 December, 11; 30 December, 7; 1944, 12 January, 3; 11 February, 7; 15 February, 6; 17 February, 6. 326 „The deportation of Slovakian Jews”, Felvidéki Ujság 21 May, 1942, 7; „60,000 Jews have been deported from Slovakia so far. The evolution and settlement of the Jewish issue in Slovakia. Statement by Dr Antal Vašek senior councillor to foreign correspondents”, Felvidéki Ujság 4 November 1942, 6. 327 This is supported by the fact that during the deportations, in line with legal provisions, the Universal Reformed Convent ordered the literary works by Jewish authors to be scrapped. Felvidéki Ujság 1 June 1944, 5. 94

sometimes give rise to their bitterness against the Jewry using extreme rigor and cruelty that is contrary to Christian morals. The influence of Jews has been harmful in our case, too. Within a short time, they have acquired almost all our businesses and finances to the detriment of our nation. They have had a damaging impact on our nation not only economically but also culturally and morally. The church, therefore, cannot make any objections against the legal measures of the state aiming to terminate the damaging impact of the Jews. On the other hand, it must not be forgotten regarding the settlement of the Jewish issue that Jews are also humans and they must be treated in a humane way. Special care must be taken not to offend the prevailing law and not to violate the laws of nature and God. Every man has a natural right to acquire private property with honest work and to enjoy it in accordance with the principles of Christian ethics. It is every man’s natural right to establish a family. And if he has decided in favour of a family life, he does not only have to fulfil the obligations of family life but he can also enjoy its rights in accordance with Christianity. We considered it necessary to declare the above (…), so that the Catholic community should also learn the opinion of responsible ecclesiastical groups.”328 In line with the above, an initiative of the mayor in March 1942 (7958/1942) has shed interesting light on the Christian spirit of city administration implementing or taking a series of anti-Jewish measures329. Funnily, it was not reported in Felvidéki Ujság but in Katolikus Tudósító [catholic reporter] proving, in effect, that political and ecclesiastical areas at Kosice were mixed and overlapping at that time. „An appeal to the citizens of Kosice! Let us stop in the turmoil of flying life for a short meditation on Good Friday, the day when the Saviour of the world died on the cross, the 3rd of April of this year at 3 o’clock p.m. – every kind of manual or spiritual work should stop in the offices, workshops, shops, factories and plants as well as at home in the households. – With a short, one-minute repentance, with our hearts raised, let us remember and meditate on the Greatest, the Holiest, the Saviour of the world who sacrificed his life and shed his blood for us; in whose hands we are for all times; who is the origin of all good, happiness, power and glory. – Let us make this elevating sacrifice and let us place it under the cross to the Holiest Sacrifice! Kassa, 10 March, 1942 Dr Sándor Pohl, mayor in his own hands” 330 The spirit of the times is also illustrated by the „New Year greetings” of 1943 by pr elateparish priest Barna Tost: „Love your home country and in the New Year be the advocates of a uniform internal front without complaints. Our superiors in the church and the lay world urge this on every occasion! I cannot forget the charming example of a ten-year old German boy who had come to Pest for vacations and when he was first offered coffee, cake, butter, fruit

„An interesting opinion of Slovak Catholic ecclesiastical groups on the Jewish issue, ‘The church may not have any objections against the legal measures taken by the state”, Felvidéki Ujság 1 May 1942, 4. 329 For instance, „The mandate of Jewish members of the municipality was terminated at Kosice too”, Felvidéki Ujság 15 January 1942, 2. The measure personally affected Dr Béla Halmi and Dr Ármin Wirkmann. Dr Sándor Brükk, László Rónai and Pál Vende were called upon to verify within 60 days they are not Jews. „The mandate of Jewish members of Kosice municipality was finally terminated. The Public Administration Court rejected the complaints submitted against the decision of the certification committee”, Felvidéki Ujság 2 May 1942, 10. There is something surrealistic in what care was taken to make everything according to law and the rules while anti-Jewish measures followed each other. It can be assumed that was exactly what had left the law abiding and law respecting Jewry totally unprotected and at the mercy of the processes. 330 Kassai Katolikus Tudósító [kosice catholic reporter], Volume XXII, issue 3, 7 March 1942, 7. 95

and biscuits for breakfast, he said thank you modestly but he only wanted a glass of milk with bread because ’the Leader also has that for breakfast’. That discipline, that endurance of the war situation without complaint, that we must be satisfied with what we have for the sake of our country and not to complain for every trifle, that is the real love of your country. Start the New Year in the holy name of Jesus”331 Looking back many decades later and in the knowledge of the events of those times it is really telling that a leading personality of the church of a ripe age 332 set a German boy idolising and following chancellor Adolf Hitler in everything as an example for his Catholic readers/followers! An article entitled „In the drift of ideologies” by István Madarász the bishop of Kosice, in which he warned about the danger of atheism, was in all probability related to the tragedy of the 2nd Hungarian army at the Don River that had become practically impossible to conceal by that time.333 His circular for Lent, in which he discussed patriotism and faith, is also telling: „Real patriotism means you are willing to make a sacrifice”. 334 Those articles indicate the uncertainty and anguish 335 that had started to take control of Kosice society. 336 The issue of the necessity of an „internal front” had been in focus. All the more so, as bad news arrived from the different fronts: the Axis Powers had lost North Africa,337 the Allied Forces landed in Sicily in July, Mussolini resigned and then Italy capitulated (September, 1943) and declared war on Germany (October). Not to mention that following the lost tank battle at Kursk (July 1943) the Soviet troops were pushing back the Germans to the West incessantly. 338 In such circumstances Kosice inaugurated the Altar of Patriotism and Sacrifice, where donations were collected weekly. It was both a church and political event with the bishop of the diocese and the sheriff present under the signs of the cross and the tin hat.339 At the same time, Hungary had to face the news that the tri-lateral conference in Moscow had decided to continue the war until unconditional capitulation so that Fascism should be annihilated.340 To which Germany, naturally, responded by perseverance till the end. 341 Hungary did not really perceive that its playing field had ceased to exist. It is proved by a remark by Prime Minister Miklós Kállay foreshadowing the catastrophe to come, according to
331 332

Kassai Katolikus Tudósító Volume XXIII, issue 1, 2 January 1943. He celebrated 25th anniversary of being the parish priest at the time. Cf. Kassai Katolikus Tudósító Volume XXIII, issue 2, 7 February 1943. 333 Felvidéki Ujság 20 February, 1943, 3. 334 Felvidéki Ujság 10 March 1943, 3. 335 All that could be felt nation-wide as well. Cf. „Jusztinián Serédi: Promulgate the historical merits and truth of the Hungarian nation everywhere! The sermon of the Cardinal Prince Primate at the Esztergom Basilica on Assumption Day”, Felvidéki Ujság 16 August 1943, 3; „László Ravasz Reformed bishop preached on Sunday about war, peace and the threat against Budapest. ‘Christ’s Chuch raises its voice for peace and conciliation”, op. cit., 4. „The Prince Primate called on foreign Catholics not to be indifferent to the fate of Hungary”, Felvidéki Ujság 13 December 1943, 3. 336 „Hungarians will defend the stronghold of Kosice with all their strength also in the future”, Felvidéki Ujság 20 September 1943, 3. „Kosice has been and will be Magyar”, said Prime Minister Kállay”, Felvidéki Ujság 11 November 1943, 1. Kenő Ghyczy, „European peace may not be built on the ruins of the small nations”, Felvidéki Ujság 27 November 1943, 3. 337 „In Berlin, the Tunis campaign executed to gain strategic time is considered to be finished”, Felvidéki Ujság 8 May 1943. 338 Felvidéki Ujság termed continuous retreat as „seceding manoeuvres” 339 Felvidéki Ujság 13 June, 1943, 3. 340 Felvidéki Ujság 2 November 1943, 1. 341 „No matter how long the war takes, Germany will not capitulate. The address of Chancellor Hitler in Munich to the German nation”, Felvidéki Ujság 9 November 1943, 1. „Hitler: this war forced on us can only be ended in victory”, Felvidéki Ujság 30 November 1943, 1. 96

which in the Carpathian Basin „the Magyar state alone has been able to provide lasting peace and security”. 342 Pastor Lajos Szabó quoted earlier wrote the following in 1943 relating to the converts (by the way, they were not mentioned either in Katolikus Tudósító or Felvidéki Ujság): „In 1943 many Jewish candidates for Baptism applied to us. For the time being, we treated them as required by the superior authority, i.e. they were accepted into the church after six months of preparation. Later on, when rough anti-Jewish decrees came one after the other, we shortened that preparatory period from six months to six weeks, or sometimes, to a few days, since it was obvious the only goal there was not the education of the faith but saving souls from the Fascist Antichrist. (…) They were all intelligent people, most of them merchants or clerks and also people forced into retirement. They listened carefully; they never debated over the truths of faith as they knew all too well that conversion to a new faith is the last straw. You have to take that, maybe, maybe. … There was one pastor of Jewish origin among us, Lajos Egressy, teacher of religious studies. (…) But in that year he was pestered, too, different comradely societies and many of his former students harassed him. Not one teenage student at the commercial college refused attendance at religious classes saying that a Jew should not teach them the Christian faith. We used all our authority and power to stand by him against the Turul-follower youth and the confused church members. Egressy remained a member of the body of Protestant pastors of Kosice until the Arrow Cross Party supporters took control.” 343 At the beginning of 1944, fear could be easily perceived in the Hungarian society looking for reasons and explanations for the events getting worse and worse for them. In his address at Lent, Kosice bishop Madarász was trying to explain to the Catholic followers „we are suffering because we have banished Christ from all walks of our life ”344; which sounds fairly anachronistic in a city identifying itself as „Christian” having been offered to the Heart of Jesus, where churches enjoyed all kinds of privileges. The bishop, of course, did not say a word about the Jewry. It looks from the sources as if the Catholic church at Kosice had lived in a totally different society from the one toiling on the final solution of the „Jewish issue”.

The fate of the Kosice Jewry after the German occupation of Hungary After the German occupation on 19 March, 1944 Felvidéki Ujság almost had no issues without reports on the stringency measures affecting the Jewry. As if a dam had been broken over. News items relating to Jews had overwritten everything else for the daily; they almost fill some issues.345 On the other hand, it is also clear that there was complete understanding between the German military and the Hungarian authorities: „…the Germans collected a million Pengős of bail from Kosice Jews, …the stocks of some Kosice shops were appropriated, …Jewish persons were arrested and …the apartments o f those persons were emptied and appropriated. (…) the measures by the German authorities of public security were applied at all times in agreement with the Hungarian government authorities and are to be considered as security measures to protect public security. (…) All citizens of the state … should keep in mind all the time that they must take full responsibility for what they say. (…) The German army staying in Hungary and the German organisation of public security serves
342 343

Felvidéki Ujság 8 November 1943, 3. Lajos Szabó, op. cit., 126. The memoirs of the pastor would be worth comparing to contemporary archive sources! 344 Felvidéki Ujság 3 February 1944. 345 Felvidéki Ujság 1944, 27 March, 2; 29 March, 1; 30 March; 31 March; 3 April; 11 April; 17 April. 97

Hungarian interests as well and they fight for the Hungarian future in the same way as our soldiers fighting on the front …”346 Exemptions were stopped,347 and the public of Kosice supported „devotedly in the implementation of its goals”,348 and the municipality of the city „assured the Sztó jay government of its enthusiastic confidence”.349 The radical solution of the Jewish issue was expected of it.350 It is telling that in the period of April-June 1944 – while a number of reports were published on Jews – not a word was said about the deportations and transports, nor was there any mention of the circumstances the Kosice Jews found themselves in in the ghetto established in the brick factory. The silence of the representatives of the Catholic church about the facts and keeping silence in general is most striking. The daily only published an address full of pathos by Kosice bishop István Madarász on the birthday of the Governor.351 Although more and more decrees were published of which the church could not only have an opportunity to object but it should have felt obliged to do so. In the April issue of Kassai Katolikus Tudósító Mátyás P. Fehér, librarian to the bishop expresses his opinion unambiguously in his paper „Triumphant life”: „The liberals of the past century nailed the holiest ideals onto a wall of shame. They made a mockery of God’s tomb; Christianity became but a tolerated servant in its own home and had to endure to be shut into a tomb in the name of enlightenment and progress as the enemy of all progress and culture. The Christian spirit was suffering in parliaments and university departments as Cinderella, because it was not even allowed to remember its old glory for consolation. And now, a century later, when the ashes of the henchmen of the past are gone with the wind in all directions, it looks as dawn was near. The present life of this generation is really the dawn of Easter. In effect, a long period of torpor has been replaced by self-conscious will to be brave. The Christian spirit has risen, or rather it has woken up, because ’the girl is not dead, it is simply asleep’. As some giant that has shaken off the chains of small unscrupulous climbers and is stretching himself after a deep slumber it starts for life. Now we can see the astonishment of the gravediggers of Christianity. We have a chance to watch the bewilderment of those having crucified Life. Faith that has been thought to be dead and done with for ever appears among us. It is here now and it demands its right and it can stamp its feet if it finds unbelieving faces.”352 The text is quite surrealistic. It seems as if Christianity were to achieve its well-deserved freedom after a long period of suffering. As if the whole Horthy era had not been permeated with the idea of nationalism and Christianity! In April 1944 the Kosice captain’s office of the Hungarian Royal Police published more and more decrees affecting and limiting the free movement of Jews at Kosice. They called attention on 17 April that all Jews should wear the sign of segregation on a place easily seen
346 347

„Rumours and responsibility”, Felvidéki Ujság 8 April 1944, 3. „The dependents of Jewish ’lost’ are obliged to wear the yellow star”, Felvidéki Ujság 13 April 1944, 2. „The terms ’war widow’ and ’war orphan’ only apply to the war dead recognised in the register. Certificates of ’exemption’ by themselves will not exempt Jews from the obligation to wear the yellow star”, Felvidéki Ujság 20 April 1944, 2. 348 Felvidéki Ujság 14 April 1944, 3. 349 Felvidéki Ujság 18 April 1944, 1. 350 „György Oláh’s Kosice report on the political situation. The real great work of reforms will only start now after the Jewish issue has been liquidated”, Felvidéki Ujság 22 April 1944, 3. „Vitez Andor Jaross’ satement: The government will terminate the parasite role of the Jewry once and for all”, Felvidéki Ujság 25 April 1944, 1; “László Baky secretary of state: All Jews will be deported from this country”, Felvidéki Ujság 17 May 1944, 13. 351 Felvidéki Ujság 19 June 1944, 3. 352 Kassai Katolikus Tudósító Volume XXIV, issue 2, 1-2 April 1944. 98

and not only in public spaces but always and everywhere if they leave their apartments. Those violating the decrees were strictly punished. „...the Police Captain will use the measure of internment on those that collaborate in hiding any belongings of Jewish origin whether they are Christians or individuals of the Jewish race. (…) Jewish women are particularly clever in covering the yellow star: with books, music notes but especially with ’modern’ huge handbags …”353 The following day, Felvidéki Ujság reported several Kosice residents were fined for not wearing the yellow star. 354 The fine was 300 or 400 Pengős, or if it was not paid, a confinement of 20-30 days. Later not wearing the yellow start resulted in even harder consequences; violators were interned by the police. In accordance with a decree published on 21 April, 1944, Jews were banned from being in the streets of the city from 7 p.m. till 6 a.m. Everybody that violated the decree was interned except for those that were involved in supplementary service to the civil defence. 355 Jews were obliged to stay at home all day and wait for the committee assigned to evict them. Those that were not found at home were deemed deserters and a warrant was issued against them. Evicted Jews were obliged to report to the acceptance committee operating on the territory of the brick factory within two hours.356 Otherwise they were also deemed deserters and were interned. The only exceptions were Jews evicted after 7 p.m. They had to report next morning. „As of today, Jews may not stay or walk in the streets. The only exemption is if they have a verified vitally urgent business.”357 Less than a week later, from 27 April, 1944, in accordance with a decree of the minister of the interior, Jewish residents were banned from staying in the city. „As of 27 April of this year, Jewish persons may not stay on the territory of the city of Kosice except for the brick factory. (…) The authorities will immediately arrest and intern Jews found on the territory of the city after the above date. Exceptions are persons that have been left in their apartments and recorded in a special register by the relevant police or gendarme patrol. All other Jews are obliged to report to the acceptance committee of the brick factory on the same day from 17 to 19 hours. Jews found on the territory of the city after that time will be immediately arrested and interned by the authorities.”358 No exemption was granted to the Jewish war widows and war orphans of World War I or Jews exempted for defence. They were also obliged to report in the brick factory with 50 kgs of luggage allowed and food sufficient for 15 days. 359 Exempted were those possessing certificates signed by the head of police or the three-member committee; in addition, the members of the Jewish Council, their relatives and those left in certain institutions by register. The „isolation” was welcomed and assessed very positively by Felvidéki Ujság of the „Christian spirit”: „We can certainly say that the Jews had been the cause of everything being so expensive. As soon as they had been placed under arrest, the prices imediately started to move down. (…) Even dairy products ceased to be in shortage. On the contrary, supply seems larger than demand. (…) The poisonous impact of the Jews on our economic life will cease to exist almost from one day to the next. The role of Jews in driving prices upwards had a double
353 354

Felvidéki Ujság 17 April 1944, 3. Felvidéki Ujság 18 April 1944, 5. 355 Felvidéki Ujság 21 April, 1944, 5. 356 Cf. Annex 3. 357 Felvidéki Ujság 24 April 1944, 3. 358 Felvidéki Ujság 27 April 1944, 2. 359 Felvidéki Ujság 28 April 1944, 3. 99

goal: to deprive the Christian masses of the basic foodstuffs and prime necessities to demoralise in that way the people of the state, to incite dissatisfaction among the Christian masses and the damage the buying value of the Pengő. The Jews could exert their harmful influence by means of their disproportionately better economic positions. That had to be terminated to make them impossible.” 360 The „isolation”, of course, led to new problems, that were continuously reported in the following weeks: partly, hidden Jewish property, 361 and partly the deserted Jewish apartments. Those were regularly looted;362 on the other hand, the city administration seemed to be unable to solve their allocation.363 At the same time the following questions were raised, what will happen to those married into Jewish families?”364 „who of a mixed race is deemed Jewish and who is not Jewish?”. 365 It shows what dramatic situations had arisen in reality for the families to face. Desertions, of course, became more numerous as ghettoization started. The Jews having arrived from the territory of Slovakia earlier – in the course of 1942-43 – tried to return after Hungary had been occupied by the Germans. Felvidéki Ujság reported almost daily about arresting Jews on the Slovak-Hungarian border that wanted to flee to Slovakia without any passports but with ’two-hundred-Pengő worth’ certificates of Baptism – according to the daily. 366 The Jews caught were handed over to the police. There were some that – according to the daily – „had found Christians with guts”, who had pretended to hide them but had informed the police secretly. The „Csatáry file” and ghettoization367 László Csatáry as ghetto commander and assistant police clerk published an announcement on 1 May, 1944368 listing the streets constituting the Kosice ghetto. In addition, he called on residents „of the Christian race” living on the territory of the ghetto to move out without delay, because the command of the ghetto will not guarantee their personal safety and assets. He ordered, „persons of the Christian race living on the territory of the ghetto may not mix with individuals of the Jewish race”, the shops, tradesmen and plants may not serve Jews,

„Jews have been isolated, prices are dropping.”, Felvidéki Ujság 27 April 1944, 2. See also „Südost Echo on the settlement of the Jewish issue in Hungary”, Felvidéki Ujság 5 May 1944, 2. According to Otto Braun, the chairman of the Hungarian Committee of the Imperial Wholesale and Foreign Trade Economic Team, „Hungary is now going to create its really European economic life” 361 Felvidéki Ujság 1944 27 April, 6; 28 April, 3-4; 29 April, 3; 1 May, 3 and 8; 3 May, 5; 4 May, 5; 5 May, 4; 20 May, 2 and 9; 24 May, 2; 25 May, 3-4; 30 May, 3; 13 June, 5; 24 June, 7; 6 July, 6; 7 July, 6; 20 July, 7; 27 July, 6; 17 August, 7; 30 August, 4. 362 Felvidéki Ujság 1944, 29 April, 9; 20 June, 6; 28 June, 5; 3 July, 5-6; 5 August, 6; 8 August, 4. 363 Felvidéki Ujság 1944, 29 April, 6; 1 May, 3; 4 May, 3 and 5; 10 May, 4; 13 May, 4; 10 June, 7; 22 June, 3; 28 June, 3. 364 Felvidéki Ujság 1 May, 1944, 5. 365 Felvidéki Ujság 4 May, 1944, 2. 366 Felvidéki Ujság 1944, 26 April, 5; 29 April, 4; 5 May, 6; 11 May, 4; 12 May, 6. A Polish woman fled from Poland to Slovakia and from there to Hungary, but wanted to return to Slovakia after Hungary had been occupied by the Germans. See also Felvidéki Ujság 26 May 1944, 4; 13 July 1944, 4. 367 Cf. Zoltán Balassa, „László Csatáry – a cold-hearted Kosice police officer (; Ádám Gellért, „The 1944 Kosice deportations”, Élet és Irodalom [life and literature] Volume 66, issue 33, 17 August 2012. 368 Felvidéki Ujság 3 May 1944, 2. László Csatáry is named at the bottom of the announcement as responsible editor, assistant clerk to the police and ghetto commander. 100

nobody is allowed to accept Jews in their apartments nor can they be given foodstuffs; Jews may not stay in the streets of the ghetto and may only open the windows of their apartments opening onto the courtyard. Christians may directly turn to the ghetto command with requests, but Jews may only do so via the Jewish Council. The announcement was published on posters in the streets and also in the press. It wa s Csatáry who also organised the relocation of the residents of the ghetto to the brick factory. In addition to deserters, Jews reporting at the brick factory late were also interned. Those reporting late were escorted back to the police where they were arrested. The Christians living on the territory of the ghetto had to report at the public administration department of the City Hall, where they were given free-of-charge application forms to requisition apartments. The relevant authorities warned the residents remaining in the ghetto they would be treated in the same way as the Jews living there. 369 Probably not without any reason, rumours started that the members of the committee taking inventories in the closed Jewish apartments „stole goods”, because people saw the clerks taking away things in their briefcases, although those were „only taken to the City Hall”. The author of the article fiercely attacked the originators of such fabrications: „hiding in the crowd, they arouse suspicion and criticise cowardly using the most dishonourable means. Those who are capable of that are not Magyar people. They would deserve receiving the same treatment as the Jews.” 370 Inventory taking was performed by a clerk of the housing department, an assistant clerk and a teacher appointed to inventory taking. The inventory committee first had a look round the apartment, and then usually settled in the middle room. As if they had known where to look for them, they took out the keys to boxes and chests of drawers from a small wall-cabinet, opened them and took inventory of everything. 371 Clothes, porcelain, Persian rugs, cutlery; the pictures were taken off the walls and they selected those they wanted to take to the City Hall. 372 As the Jewish merchants of Kosice were collected in the brick factory, about 300 shops remained unmanaged. 373 Many of them were food stores where perishable goods were stored. The trade authority of Kosice and the public supplies office made efforts to allocate perishable goods to Christian merchants, and a few days later the collection of perishable goods from Jewish shops was started. „Christian merchants that wish to obtain such goods may take over foodstuffs stockpiled in Jewish shops against cash payment”, the daily wrote.374 270 minor or major plants were closed down in the city. „Since their Jewish owners had left, work in those plants had come to a halt for the time being. As a result, many Christian workers had been temporarily left without work. The trade authority of the city of Kosice is now making efforts to allot Christians both the closed down shops and the Jewish plants”,
369 370

Felvidéki Ujság 29 April 1944, 6. Felvidéki Ujság 17 May 1944, 5. 371 Report on the hand-over of the moveables of Jewish apartments. Inventory: remaining for the Germans. AMK, Košice muncip. mesto 1939-1945, rok 1944, inv. č. 125, krab. 177. (Cf. Annex 2). 372 „Inventory taking in a Kosice Jewish apartment”, Felvidéki Ujság 17 May 1944, 5. 373 Felvidéki Ujság 29 April, 1944, 8. Tenders announced for the pharmacies owned by Jews at Kosice. Three such pharmacies were oper ating: Megváltó [saviour], Páduai Szent Antal [saint antal of padova] and Rákóczi. Cf. Felvidéki Ujság 19 July 1944, 3. 374 Felvidéki Ujság 5 May 1944, 3. 101

Felvidéki Ujság 375wrote. Over six thousand people from Kosice and its neighbourhood had applied to take over the Jewish industrial plants and shops at Kosice by the end of April 1944.376 The trade authority realised the number of applications was so high that only a few of them could be settled favourably, therefore it suspended the evaluation of the applications. It was also supported by a decree of the minister ordering inventories to be taken in the shops confiscated from Jews. „They may not be transferred or allocated to Christians.”377 In the same way, you could not apply for a trading licence and for a closed down Jewish shop at the same time. A commentary published in Felvidéki Ujság is a good illustration of the situation: The title is „Everybody feels a merchant at Kosice”. The author called attention that people lacking expertise and proper capital should not apply for the closed down Jewish plants, since all and sundry are submitting claims for shops and plants confiscated from the Jews. „However, it is not enough if you ’spoke of the stinking Jews’ in the past; you need much more than that: expertise and money. (…) Because lacking those two criteria the allotment to Christian s without expertise and capital would become a wasted gift to the nation. We must not breed new drones because we may trigger an economic crisis by such a rush step that could only be survived and corrected with grave difficulties.” The author of the artic le (Gyula Vértes) remarked many people submitting applications „have never been seen working in earnest”, people that „belong to the social class that turns up where one can obtain something easily, possibly without work”.378 „Kosice became sadly famous for organising the first ghetto in Hungary there”, wrote Lajos Szabó.379 Ten thousand Jews from Kosice and the neighbourhood were crowded together in the old brick factory of the town under terrible conditions. Most of them were either very old or very young as men had been selected previously and taken to the front for labour service. There was not enough water at the factory and even the most basic facilities were missing. At the time the organisation of the Hungarian National Socialist Party in Abaúj -Torna County and Kosice found it necessary to turn to the Hungarian society of the city of Kosice with the following appeal: „Brothers! The first step has been taken! Jews, our greatest enemies are in the ghetto! We want social justice, a new spirit free of Judaism! We have expressed our noconfidence with the representatives of the old regime and we maintain our no-confidence unchanged! National Socialist leaders to the foreground! Line up under the flag of the Hungarian National Socialist Party! Perseverance!” The time for double dealing is over; the time is over „for some to look backwards in new masks. Everybody must understand that the first very important step will have to be followed by determined and firm steps to create a true Hungarian National Socialist work-state. Those who are in the way will disappear from Hungarian life.”380 In the brick factory „Christian Jews were given a separate barrack, number six. The difference
375 376

Felvidéki Ujság 29 April 1944, 8. Felvidéki Ujság 29 April 1944, 8. 377 Felvidéki Ujság 3 May 1944, 6. See also, „According to official information, no Jewish businesses, stocks or shops may be applied for for the time being. Business managers will not be appointed, either, for some time.”, Felvidéki Ujság 13 May 1944, 2. „Jewish shops with furniture and stocks may not be claimed. War veterans are to be granted the stocks of Jewish businesses”, Felvidéki Ujság 1 June 1944, 2; „Information by the Merchants’ Association regarding claims for Jewish shops”, Felvidéki Ujság 28 June 1944, 5. 378 Felvidéki Ujság 6 May 1944, 5. 379 Lajos Szabó, op. cit., 130. 380 Felvidéki Ujság 6 May 1944, 4. 102

was that a priest visited them every day, they could confess and receive the Holy Communion”, wrote Márta Kálmán who had been confined to the ghetto in the brick factory in April 1944, in her autobiographical novel Örökség [heritage].381 There are documents for that also in the Kosice State Archives proving that Paszkál Hamay, a Franciscan father responsible for the southern parish of Kosice requested „to be allowed to deliver religious service for the Christians staying in the Jewish camp”. 382 István Madarász, bishop of the Kosice diocese forwarded the request to the police captain. Everybody knew that „the Hungarian Jewry is collected in the first Jewish ghetto in Hungary for death. But who are brave enough to speak up? What is more, there were many that gloated over such inhuman acts. There was but one man in the whole big city of Kosice who dared to speak and to act: grand provost Miklós Pfeiffer.” 383 He organised an ecumenical delegation of Christian priests that wanted to mediate in the issue of the spiritual care of Christian Jews. 384 Initially, bishop István Madarász should have led the de legation but he declined. He thought he was too hot tempered and in the course of the expected debate he believed would have been harmful for the cause. So the delegation was led by Miklós Pfeiffer. On behalf of all Christians at Kosice he requested to be allowed to perform their Christian mission among the Christian Jews. The number of Christian Jews in the ghetto had to be established and the roomy head office of the Catholic Maidens’ Society was offered to them. Pfeiffer did not only speak for Jewish-Christians but for all residents of the ghetto. On 9 May, 1944 the Kosice Jewish Council submitted a request to the Mayor’s Office „to be allowed to take part of the Torahs and Hebrew books to the camp and the ghetto and to place those we do not need either in the library of the Kosice Roman Catholic chapter or at another place appointed for the purpose by the honourable Mayor’s Office .385 Some people (mostly women) tried to smuggle food for the Jews isolated in the brick factory that was why the police launched criminal proceedings against several Kosice residents. „It is to be condemned to feel pity for the ancient enemies of Christian Hungarians and to provide help to them despite the strict order and ban by the authorities. If Christians want to make use of their inclination for charity, they should exercise that noble act for the Christian destitute.”386 A woman disguised as a doctor wanted to get into the brick factory to take food, but she was caught and placed under police surveillance. Márta Kálmán also recalled a few helpers: „The Pfiszter family helped everybody as much as they could. They took for preservation Daddy’s double-lid gold watch and a gold amulet with five tiny diamonds in it... Gyula Pfiszter somehow found his way to the ghetto and asked the acquaintances one after the other what he could help, what they needed.” 387 After the announcement of the isolation order, several Jewish residents of Kosice fled or went into hiding, but most of them were found and caught in May or June. 388 Some cases still

381 382

Márta Kálmán: Örökség [heritage], Budapest: Magvető Könyvkiadó, 1982, 263. State Archives, Kosice, Royal Hungarian Police Command 1938–1944, file no. 4747/1944. 383 Lajos Szabó, op. cit., 131. 384 Op. cit, 132. 385 AMK, Košice muncip. mesto 1939-1945, rok 1944, 19711-20700, inv. č. 125, krab. 177. (Cf. Annex 4). 386 Felvidéki Ujság 9 May 1944, 6. 387 Márta Kálmán, op. cit., 261. 388 Cf. for instance Felvidéki Ujság 24 May 1944, 4. „Rich Kosice Jews having escaped the isolation were caught in Budapest”, Felvidéki Ujság 1944: 7 June, 5; 16 June, 3; 20 June, 2; 21 June; 4; 22 June, 6; 27 June, 6 and 8; 28 June, 5. 103

occurred in July and August as well. 389 A Christian woman provided meals for a company of seven at the time of ghettoization, but she was also arrested when they were found. 390 Seven Kosice Jews were found hiding in the locked civil defence cellar of the soap plant in Pataky Tibor street. They had gone into the cellar before the isolation and locked the entrance. 391 The police became suspicious as two men went into a baker’s every day and purchased bread for food coupons. They started to watch them. One of those caught was a soap-worker that is why he had the keys to the plant. He and his mate used the emergency exit to go into the city and buy food. There were some who escaped from the brick factory and tried to hide. 392 And finally there were some that sneaked not out of but into the brick factory, namely, to its clothes warehouse, to steal furs. The three 17-18-year old youngsters, however, could not leave because of the supervising officer, so they went to sleep among the fur coats. When the officer found the snoring boys, each was wearing three fur coats.393 Felvidéki Ujság published in May 1944 a report by László Endre, secretary of state in charge of Jewish matters, on the experience of his tour. He had visited 34 cities including Kosice. In his opinion, „the neglect of several decades” must be corrected at „the speed of a fast train”.394 According to Endre, it is done using humane means and „isolation can only make the Jewry nervous temporarily …, no harm will come to them”. „We are protecting the life of the nation by removing the Jewish poison – he said –, we take measures of self-defence, but …always using humane means and keeping in mind the moral factors that oblige a civilised state even if such measures have to be taken.” With respect to his tour, the mo st profound experience of the secretary of state was how the population received the measures related to the removal of Jews with sincere happiness in every town and village. In most places, vehicles of transport were provided for them free of charge to get rid of them as soon as possible. The secretary of state criticised some Jews for burning or tearing up their cash. Internment proceedings were launched against those. In the end, Endre emphasised „we perform our duties strictly with a strong hand but wit hout hate, with a Christian soul”. 395 Jewish residents deprived of all their rights and confined to the city ghetto, many of whom were members of the Jewish Council, tried to catch the last straw of escape and arranged a workshop producing forged documents, but they were soon found and arrested.396 Married couples or whole families remaining in the ghetto and dreading their fate poisoned

Felvidéki Ujság 1944: 12 July, 7-8; 19 August, 10; 24 August, 3: „Hiding place of the richest Kosice millionaire Jews revealed. The Róth family lived well in their voluntar y house arrest”; 2 September, 3: „Secrets of the Kosice Róth palace revealed. Underground hiding place. Five Christian residents of the house were arrested”. 390 Felvidéki Ujság 20 May 1944, 4. 391 Felvidéki Ujság 20 June 1944, 7. 392 Felvidéki Ujság 24 May 1944. A baker’s assitant escaped from the ghetto and hid in one of the houses of the Gypsy camp, but he was caught. 393 Felvidéki Ujság 27 May 1944, 9. 394 Felvidéki Ujság 20 May 1944, 5. 395 Felvidéki Ujság 20 May 1944, 5. 396 Felvidéki Ujság 23 May 1944, 3. Those arrested were the following: Sándor Glück pharmacist, Sándor Strausz private clerk, Dr Ármin Kabos lawyer, Ignác Spira merchant, Henrik Kreisz wholesale trader, Albin Müller bank manager, Hermann Róth wine wholesaler, Dr Vidor Pollacsek crops merchant, Ignác Zip szer textile wholesaler, Emil Fuchs timber producer, Lipót Róth shoes trader, Dr Gyula Guthlon lawyer, Jenő Ungár merchant, Sándor Goldberger secretary to the congregation, Vilmos Schlesinger timber producer, Anna Fried typist, Erzsébet Lefkovics housewife, Edit Kaufman typist. 104

themselves; they mostly used sedatives or morphine. 397 Such cases were commonplace. The deportation of the Kosice and rural Jews lasted from 15 May to 2 June, 1944. 398 The authorities executing the deportation were led by a three-member committee including a SS captain as well as the local commanders of the police and gendarmerie. The committee was the lord of life and death at Kosice. Its commands were mediated by Csatáry to the actual executioners. It was Csatáry who organised the relocation of the residents of the ghetto to the brick factory and at the time when people were driven to the waggons, he was standing on the ramp to decide who should get into the waggons when and at what rate. In the meantime, architect Sándor Herbai was awarded the papal order „Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” (i.e. for the Pope and the Church) at a ceremonial session of the church council; and town chief notary József Herditzky, the new elected chief warden of the parish was inaugurated.399 It seems life for them at Kosice was going on in the most natural way. Felvidéki Ujság was a proof that the „final” solution of the Jewish issue was taken really seriously at Kosice. An appeal was published on 22 May, 1944: „All exempted Jews must report at the police”. It related to those who had been exempted from wearing the yellow start so far.400 A few days later a warning was published: „Exempted individuals of the Jewish race who had failed to report would be arrested”.401 At the same time, the daily informed its readers „Fifty-seven Jewish lawyers had been excluded from the Kosice Chamber”. 402 Some days after the last train deporting the Jews of Kosice and the neighbouring villages had left the city (3 June), the Kosice Police Captain published an appeal in mid-June 1944 to report any Jews hiding in the houses. „The Kosice Captain of the Hungarian Royal Police has learnt that Jews having escaped the isolation or having evaded it are hiding and are also hiding goods in houses, civil defence cellars, attics and other places on the territory of the city. The Police Captain therefore is calling on house owners, janitors or house custodians to examine the houses, the attics and civil defence cellars belonging to them without delay but not later than in two days’ time and report to the police if they find there Jewish properties or Jewish persons.”403 If they fail to do so, they will be taken responsible. Although the Jewry of Kosice and the neighbourhood had been deported, Felvidéki Ujság still felt obliged to publish Jews-related news items (mostly in the context of Budapest).404 It published an appeal in mid-June that at Kosice „the historic houses liberated from Jewish ownership should be taken into public ownership!”405 The daily also informed readers that the

Felvidéki Ujság 1944: 22 May; 23 May; 1 June; 5 June. Cf. also Felvidéki Ujság 29 July, 1944, 2: „Two corpses found in a sealed Jewish house at Kosice”. 398 Cf. On the day following the start of the two trains deporting about 7684 Kosice Jews (16 May) Felvidéki Ujsag practically only wrote about the Jews: hiding of property, miscegenation, looting of apartments, escape, suicide. And an article, according to which „the Jews themselves established the first ghetto in Hungary. The system of ghettos was established in this country five hundred years ago”, 7. 399 Felvidéki Ujság 17 May 1944, 5. 400 Felvidéki Ujság 22 May 1944, 2. 401 Felvidéki Ujság 27 May 1944, 8. 402 Felvidéki Ujság 27 May 1944, 5. 403 Felvidéki Ujság 16 June 1944, 5. 404 „Jews are moved together into houses marked with yellow stars. The apartments freed are allocated to Christians”, Felvidéki Ujság 12 June 1944, 2. Cf. also Felvidéki Ujság 1944: 13 June, 2; 15 June, 2; 16 June, 7; 4 July, 2. 405 Felvidéki Ujság 15 June 1944, 3. 105

city, already fully „freed from Jews” would again be offered to the Heart of Jesus in a ceremony on 25 June following the practice of earlier years. 406 The following day, however, the Roman Catholic parish informed readers that the offering procession already organised would be cancelled. 407 It can be assumed that somebody within the church felt that went beyond all limits! In the end, offering Kosice „to the Holy Heart of Jesus” did take place on 18 June: „on the birthday of the Governor, Sunday, when the 9 o’clock ceremonial mass is attended in the Basilica by the whole representation of the city, the military, the heads of all authorities and offices, the offering of Kosice and of our country to the Holy Heart of Jesus will be repeated at the end of the Mass in front of the Holy Sacrament. That offering is to replace the offering planned to take place at the great procession that may not be held this year due to the permanent danger of air raids. The leaders of the parish call on all members of the church council and the assembly as well as Catholic societies to appear at the Holy Mass carrying their flags.”408 Although Felvidéki Ujság failed to report that Governor Horthy had had the deportations stopped at the beginning of July, it considered it important to report that „Jews are Baptised after three months of religious education”, 409 and that „Jews of a Christian religion receive special interest representation”.410 It did not forget to inform its readers both about the official German statement regarding the treatment of Jews, 411 and the stance of the Hungarian authorities. According to the latter, in Hungary „the solution of the Jewish issue will be executed in the spirit of humanity and in a way that corresponds to the gravity and importance of the problem.”412 Except for Budapest, the „solution” of the problem had taken place all over the country weeks earlier! It is bewildering and rather telling that in October 1944, after the deportation of the Kosice Jews, an article was published in Kassai Katolikus Tudósító denying that thousands of Jews would be Baptised. Obviously, it was about Jews in Budapest; but the editors of the Catholic paper thought it was important to call attention to it at Kosice as well so as to remove scruples. Although there were no more Jews at Kosice at the time. „Crowds of Jews populated the streets of Pest in front of parish churches … that is how most of our dailies – watching the events through coloured glasses - were scandalised for weeks. They felt obliged to call on the conscience of our bishops, guard our dogmas and watch over the honour of our sacraments. By unscrupulous mud-slinging, spreading slander and lacking the basic knowledge of theology, they had succeeded in undermining the trust of people in their ecclesiastical leaders or even their faith in some cases. Although… although… It is not true that the Church Baptises thousands of Jews these days! The competent guards of the Sacraments who administer them know very well that a high number of the Jews applying to be Baptised only want Baptism for political advantages. Just because of that, the Church has set very hard criteria and has been looking into the eligibility of the candidates very strictly. First of all, those who failed to learn how to behave in the church with piety and respect and be disciplined have been excluded. It has also excluded those who only wanted to participate
406 407

Felvidéki Ujság 15 June 1944, 5. Felvidéki Ujság 16 June 1944, 2. 408 Felvidéki Ujság 17 June 1944, 5. 409 Felvidéki Ujság 13 July 1944, 2. Cf. also 26 July, 2: „Those wishing to be Baptised must wait at least for three months. Another notice by the Budapest Archbishop’s Vicarage”; 29 July, 2: „Priests should only Baptise Jews that are seeking not a certificate of Baptism but the mercy of Christ to renew their souls”. 410 Felvidéki Ujság 14 July 1944, 4. 411 Felvidéki Ujság 20 July 1944, 2. 412 Felvidéki Ujság 28 July 1944, 2. 106

in religious education formally, and came late or only attended every second or third class. Finally, it has excluded those who – after six months’ of education – did not show sufficient knowledge of the religion, or if they showed their knowledge, they treated the dogmas of the faith disrespectfully or off-handed. On the contrary, it is true that at a parish church only one person out of group of 160 was allowed by the priest to be Baptised. At another parish church five out of 200 and so on. And if there was thoughtlessness, lenience or favourism in the selection by one or another undiscriminating or partial priest, the ecclesiastical leaders acted and punished them without mercy. That was the practice of the Church regarding the Baptism of Jews.”413 Finally, the autobiographical novel by Márta Kálmán shows us that there was no Church stance. There were people who helped and people who did not; whether or not they were priests, nuns or Christians. The young woman from the brick factory was taken to the Kosice hospital with suspicion of suicide. „In the evening a priest wearing a brown cassock and glasses I had seen with aunt Fényes several times came into ward. He stopped by my bed and asked if he could help me. Yes, I said, please Baptise me. He left and then returned with a nun with a horrified face and a bowl. In nomine patri et spiritui sancti, amen, and I was a Christian. In periculo vitae 414, nothing else was required. (…) The ward sister was an old nun with glasses. I could not make her out. I asked the father. Be careful with her, he said. And do not flee before I tell you to.”415 The young woman succeeds to reach Budapest but she must again ask for the help of the Kosice father, Jusztinián Katona. „The following day at noon there were two short knocks and the father was standing in the room. As if nothing had been more natural, as if he had just come from Kosice in answer to my request, as a fairy in a fairy tale.”416

Summary The historical example of Kosice is a clear illustration of how the press read by and published for the local élite in a significant city of Hu ngary shaped and mediated the picture of the Jewry, which was negative in its totality. Looking back from a historical distance it seems the „Jewish issue” was the most important problem to be solved for the Hungarian society of the time.417 A continuous adverse publicity campaign and expulsion from all areas of social life 418 combined with an existential anxiety and fear, in effect, immunised the society identifying itself as Catholic/Christian against the sufferings and ordeal of the Jews. They took physical

413 414

Kassai Katolikus Tudósító Volume XXIV, issue 4, October, 1944, 2-4. In threat of life. 415 Márta Kálmán, op. cit., 284. 416 Márta Kálmán, op. cit., 293. 417 Ferenc Sinkó, „The bases of the Jewish issue”, Új Élet. Az ifjú katolicizmus szociális és világnézeti folyóirata [new life. The social and ideological journal of young Catholicism], Volume 8, 1939/2 (issue 72), 83-86. The author considers the essence of the issue in „the unsaved Jewish spirit” has been fighting God and Christianity for two thousand years. The problem, in fact, is meant by being different, „life according to different rules”. He thinks „the Jewish issue will be finally solved if that people learns to live in the same way as Christ lived”. The Holocaust of Baptised Jews, however, shows that the Hungarian Christian society lacked a real willingness for inclusion. „Kállay: The ethics of the nation must play a part in the solution of the Jewish issue”, Felvidéki Ujság 30 April 1942, 2. Since „‘Hungarians have a strong love of people of a different race, of a different religion or wearing different clothes.’ Great address by Prime Minister Mikló Kállay in Ungvár on Saint Steven’s thoughts”, Felvidéki Ujság 19 October 1942, 3; „Béla Lukács: The Jewish issue is on the path to solution both in its moral and economic implications”, Felvidéki Ujság 25 January 1943, 2. 418 For instance, „Jews may not be members of Hungarian sports clubs”, Felvidéki Ujság 3 February 1942, 7. 107

isolation (ghettoization419 then deportation) for granted; all the more so as they hoped to reap its material benefits. But it can be assumed that another factor of social psychology also played a part. It was obvious in the spring of 1944 that the war had been lost as the German army had been continuously retreating since summer 1943. At the time (in May 1944) the front line was in the anteroom of the Carpathian mountains and got closer and closer to the borders of the country. Even if the population at large (the lower strata of society) were not aware, the leading controlling strata (the so termed „Christian middle class of gentlemen” 420), which was the actual beneficiary of the anti-Jewish laws, might have and should have realised they would have to account for the years of the past (since 1938). Instead of facing the problem and taking responsibility, they opted for the only solution that seemed rational for them: the physical annihilation of the Jews deprived of their rights and properties. The German occupation offered the scope for the political will (since there had been a demand 421), and provided coordination for the operation. The initial analysis of the sources, which needs to be continued in-depth, also illustrates that getting Baptised in Hungary in the period from 1938 to 1944 did not mean much in itself; in fact, it hardly improved the position of individuals categorised as „Jews” or „of the Jewish race”.422 Since, due to his descent, because his ancestors beyond a given generation had been inevitably Jews, he remained a Jew (of the Jewish race) in the eyes of the authorities. 423 The Christian church baptising him shared the above racial categorisation and provided him with spiritual consolation and „salvation” only. In his life on Earth, a converted Jew could not hope for a relief from his sufferings and tribulations or for protection; in the best scenario, he could

The demand had already been there in 1942: „The city of Kosice received a memorandum of the municipality of Bihar County on the institutional deportation of the Jews. The Low Assembly is to deal with the memorandum on 15 May”, Felvidéki Ujság 8 May 1942, 4; „The municipality of Ungvár proposes blocking all Jewish properties, relocation to closed residential areas and total isolation of the Jewry. The General Assembly adopted the proposal unanimously.”, Felvidéki Ujság 9 May 1942, 5; „The Low Assembly of the city of Kosice unanimously adopted the proposal of the mayor, Dr Sándor Pohl regarding the latest settlement of the Jewish issue. The city public demands the definition of Jewish on a racial basis. The preparation of the deportation of the Jews. The necessity of blocking Jewish properties or those of Jewish origin. The termination of exceptions and exemption is demanded. Total isolation from the Christian social and economic life”, Felvidéki Ujság 16 May 1942, 3. The proposal No 14.511/1942-II by mayor Pohl practically adopted the resolutions of Bihar County (NO 82/1942) and the city of Ungvár (No 40/1942). The whole thing came to nothing in the end because the political will of the Kállay government in Budapest was not there. However, it should be noted th at the new Hungarian Catholic Encyclopedia considers Sándor Pohl mayor of Kosice a positive figure. ( 420 The Yearbooks of the Roman Catholic Girls’ High School and Lycée of the Girls’ Educational Institute Angelinum operated by the Order of St Ursula from the 1938-39 to the 1943-44 school years provide interesting data relating to the Christian middle class, especially to how their children – particularly girls – were educated to become „conscious Magyars” and „devout lady-patriots”. It turns out from them that religious moral education focused on participation at the Holy Mass and frequent receipt of the sacraments (confession, communion). Social education included charity work and household management. Although there had been Jewish students in every first grade earlier (the highest number in the 1939-40 school year), no Israelites could be found in the first grade in 1943-44. At that time, no more than 4 Israelite students attended the high school classes (1 in grade two, 2 in grade three and 1 in grade four). The Lycée had no Israelite students in any year. 421 „The time of the final solution of the Jewish issue is not far away. Address by Lajos Reményi -Schneller”, Felvidéki Ujság 10 March 1941, 3. 422 It is proved by a telling case „Géza Kulcsár, a 39-year old farmer had been converted already in 1915. He married a Christian woman and his children are all members of the Roman Catholic church. Despite all that, Géza Kulcsár is considered a Jew according to the anti -Jewish laws and as such is obliged to perform labour service.” Because all his friends knew him as Christian, he somehow got hold of a grey certificate form, filled it with his personal particulars, and wrote ’ensign’ for his rank. The trick, however, came to light, so Géza Kulcsár was tried at court for his action.” He was sentenced to six weeks in prison. „He forged the document out of shame, as he wanted to hide from his friends he was in labour service”, Felvidéki Ujság 24 Novembr 1942, 5. 423 Cf. Annex 5. 108

rely on some kind of compassion. Help was individual in every case whether the driving principle was material or moral. Helpers, however, had to reckon with a high chance of being denounced. All issues of Felvidéki Ujság bear witness to that! The Kosice sources clearly allow the conclusion and support the fact that ’Christian’ in Hungary in the period investigated, and particularly in 1944, was not a religious but a racial category, the opposite of ’Jewish’. Therefore, it had no spiritual content or depth. 424 It had deteriorated into a form with no content. The political and ecclesiastical leaders, in fact, united under the concept of national and Christian self-identification. It was due to the fact that they were the members of the same ruling class organising and controlling the society. In the social order carrying the features and structure of feudalism even their adversaries were the same: liberalism, Socialism, Bolshevism and democracy. 425 And they spotted the Jewry behind all the above.426 They even blamed the war on them. 427 As it is clearly seen from the example of Kosice, the main responsibility of ecclesiastical leaders was their silent approval of politics and the state administration monopolizing Christianity and ’Christian’ as an adjective to use them for identifying, justifying and legitimising their actions. The question of what exactly justified the deportation of the Jews was answe red by László Endre secretary of state at the Ministry of the Interior in a statement made to a Berlin paper. In his opinion, „The Jewry in Hungary has become quite openly the precursor of Bolshevism. The interest of defending our country necessitated our actions against them, because Jews did not only serve the enemy by internal incitement but also by actual spying and sabotage.”428 As the Soviet army was approaching threateningly, Hungary in fact completed its fight of „self defence”. In effect, that was the only fight of Hungarians to be assessed „successful” in those years. And the society, watching the events passively, realised it would not have to account for anything at the end of the war if the Jews disappear from the country, and – mainly – it would not have to return anything 429 because there would be nobody to return them to, and

This was already clearly expressed in 1938 by the unknown author of the article „After the events in Austria”. „We should not raise false hopes if we can see a large crowd in our churches that we could carry out major changes in the society. The crowds in the churches simply mean that the majority of people openly confess they would like to live on after death, they believe in God and the spirit. But you would be mistaken to believe that such faith and desire influence their behaviour in public life or even in business life.” Új Élet Volume 7, 1938/4, April, 146. 425 „Anti-European unity front has come into being between the English plutocracy and Bolshevism”, Felvidéki Ujság 14 July 1941, 2; „The failure of democracy”, Felvidéki Ujság 22 July 1941, 3; „The fight of Christianity against Bolshevism”, Felvidéki Ujság 29 July 1941, 3; „The municipality of Kosice dealt with the crimes of democracy”, Felvidéki Ujság 18 September 1942, 3. 426 János Darvas, „The Jew and the Soviet. A sincere image of the Jewish issue in Galitsia and the Ukraine”, Felvidéki Ujság 17 February 1942, 6. According to the author: „The Jewry has become part of the power in the Soviet to an extent unprallelled in the world. Therefore, the Soviet has become a special point for the Jewry living in the Soviet Union, they are defending their own privileged social position, their own lines of power and rank if they fight fanatically for the Soviet.” A series of articles by Dr Frigyes Marjay: „World Bolshevism – world Jewry”, Felvidéki Ujság 1943: 13 March, 8; 16 March, 4; 17 March, 4. 427 „Fighting till the ultimate victory! Chancellor Hitler announced in a great speech that Germany would continue the war it has been forced into until the ultimate victory. (…) Hitler is convinced that the Jewry are fighting against him!”, Felvidéki Ujság 9 November 1940, 1; Dr. F. P. Krüger, „The Jews of the world have prepared the war”, Felvidéki Ujság 20 June 1942, 2. 428 Felvidéki Ujság 17 May 1944, 2. 429 Felvidéki Ujság 11 September 1944, 4: „You can only buy Jewish goods in possession of an ID card in your name. Cards must not be transferr ed to others.”; 23 September, 8: „On Monday, an auction of Jewish leather goods blocked will be held. The sale of furnitur e is continued”; 28 September, 4: „The sale of the stocks of 109

everything can be forgotten. Since if you do not talk about something, it does not exist. Bibliography of the History of Jews of Kassa/Kosice in the first half of the 20 th century: Memoirs: BÖHM, E. T.: V šesťročnom zajatí.(Spomienky na roky 1938-1945). Martin 1994. GÖRÖG, Artúr: A kassai zsidóság története és galériája. Bnei Brak, Lipe Friedmann, 1991, 456 p. KÁLMÁN Márta: Örökség. Budapest : Magvető, 1982. Monographies: CSÍKI, Tamás: Városi zsidóság Északkelet és Kelet-Magyarországon. (A miskolci, a kassai, a nagyváradi, a szatmárnémeti és a sátoraljaújhelyi zsidóság gazdaság és társadalomtörténetének összehasonlító vizsgálata 1848-1944), Budapest : Osiris, 1999. KOLIVOŠKO, Štefan – AMRICHOVÁ, Jana – CHMELÁROVÁ, Alžbeta – KOLIVOŠKOVÁ, Elena – MITROVÁ, Oľga: Slovník židovských osobností Košíc a okolia. KOVÁCS, Éva: Felemás asszimiláció. A kassai zsidóság a két világháború között, Somorja – Dunaszerdahely: Lilium Aurum, 2004. LÁNYI Menyhért – PROPPERNÉ BÉKEFI Hermin: Szlovenszkói zsidó hitközségek története, Kassa, 1933. Collected Studies: Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Eds. JUROVÁ, Anna. – ŠALAMON, Pavol. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV - Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM v Bratislave, 1994. Jozef SULAČEK: Tragické osudy židovského obyvateľstva na východnom Slovensku v roku 1944. Studies: BALASSA, Zoltan: “Rejtélyek a Csermely völgyben”, Szabad újság 1993. 6. 21. BOROVSZKY, Géza: “A felvidéki magyar zsidóság nemzeti hűsége a cseh uralom alatt”, Népszava 1939. február 19. CSÍKI, Tamás: A kassai zsidóság a Holocaust idején. A Herman Ottó Múzeum Évkönyve (Veres László – Viga Gyula eds.) vol. XLII, 2003, 387–399. ELIÁŠ, Štefan: “Tragédia košických Židov v rámci rasovej perzekúcie v rokoch 1938 -1945”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV –Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 107–128. KAMENEC, Ivan: “Vyústenie "konečného riešenia" židovskej otázky na Slovensku”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994.
goods and materials of Jewish businesses is started”; 29 September, 3: „On Monday the sale of Jewish pianos blocked will be started”. 110

Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 9–22. KONEČNÝ, Stanislav: “K niektorým zdrojom antisemitizmu a jeho ideologickým aspektom” in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 134–142. KOVAČ, Andrej: “Slovenská Sloboda o deportáciách Židov v roku 1944”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 129–133. KOVÁCS, Éva: “Politická mnohofarebnosť košického židovstva medzi dvomi vojnami”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 93–105. KOVÁCS, Éva: “Disszimiláció, zsidó azonosságtudat, regionális identitás Szlovákiában (1920-1938)”, Regio. Kisebbségtudományi Szemle 2, 1991/2. MOSNÝ, Peter: “K právnemu vymedzeniu pojmu Žid v zákonodárstve slovenského štátu”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 29–36. OLEJNÍK, Milan: “Holocaust - jeho príčiny a character”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 148–154. POTEMRA, Michal: “Židovská otázka v Košiciach v rokoch 1938-1944”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 37–51. ŠALAMON, Pavol: “Demografický vývoj Židov v Košiciach v rokoch 1841–1944”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 85–92. SINGEROVÁ, Silvia: “Obraz povojnovej reality Židov slovenskej spoločnosti z hľadiska identity (na príklade Košíc)”, in SALNER, Peter (ed.), Židovská komunita po roku 1945, Bratislava: Zing Print, 2006, 51–66. SULAČEK, Jozef: “Tragické osudy židovského obyvateľstva na východnom Slovensku v roku 1944”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 62–84. TAJTÁK, Ladislav: “K niektorým otázkam dejín židov na Slovensku”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 52–61. VRANA, Vladimír: “Náčrt historického pohľadu na príčiny deportácie Židov na európskom kontinente”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v


roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 143–147. ZAVACKÁ, Katarína: “Vývin právneho vedomia na Slovensku v rokoch 1939–1942”, in JUROVÁ, Anna – ŠALAMON, Pavol (eds.), Košice a deportácie Židov v roku 1944. Zborník príspevkov z odborného seminára k 50. výročiu deportácií z Košíc 19. máj 1994. Košice: Spoločenskovedný ústav SAV – Oddelenie židovskej kultúry SNM, 1994, 23–28; Manuscript: ENTEN, Emanuel: K dejinám Židov v Košiciach. Contemporary Hungarian journals and publications A kassai zsidó tanács közleményei, 1944 Felvidéki Ujság Ecclesiastical journals: Kassai Katholikus Egyházi Tudósító, Kassa, 1914. jan. 15 – 1940. dec.: a kassai katolikus egyházak, tanintézetek és egyesületek hivatalos közlönye. Megj. havonta 8-16 old. Kassai Katolikus Nyári Egyetem, Kassa, 1943. júl. 18. Alkalmi lap. Megj. egyetlen szám. Kassai Katolikus Tudósító, Kassa, 1941. jan. – 1944. ápr. a kassai római katolikus egyházközségek és egyesületek értesítője. Megj. havonta, 1944: negyedévente, 8-16 old. össz. 40 szám. Margareten Blatt, Kassa, 1942. aug. – 1944. okt. Bogner Mária Margit hitbuzgalmi lapja. Megjelent negyedévente, összesen 9 szám. Margitvirágok, Kassa, 1941 novembere. Szent Magyarok Lapja, Kassa, 1942–1944. Bogner Mária Margit lapjának melléklete. Megjelent rendszertelenül. Új Élet, Kassa, 1932. jan. – 1941. dec.; Budapest , 1942. ápr. – 1944. aug.: felvidéki katolikus szociális és világnézeti szemle, a Prohászkás Mozgalom hivatalo s lapja. Megj. évente 10x. 1933–39: évente 11x, 1940-41: havonta 32-72 oldal, összesen 140 szám.


Kosice Annexe 1a


Kosice Annexe 1b


Kosice Annexe 1c


Kosice Annexe 2a


Kosice Annexe 2b


Kosice Annexe 3 Jews in the brick factory


Kosice Annexe 4 Torahs and Hebrew books


Kosice Annexe 5 Genealogies


Summarized results
The working hypothesis has been confirmed. We are right in saying that the scientific exploration of the roles played and responsibilities borne by the various Churches of Slovakia and Hungary in the evolution of anti-Semitism between the two World Wars leading up to the Holocaust is essentially just about to begin. As the case studies demonstrate, the exploration of this past is important to be performed in parallel also because in Central and Eastern Europe, this does not necessarily mean taking account, facing the facts, having a discourse, a debate and self-reflection; to the contrary. It often serves to create the myths that allow one to find justification and excuses: ’others’ (that is, ’the neighbours’) have committed even greater monstrosities; ’we ourselves’ have actually been suffering through these events, let alone the fact that ’we’ had nothing to do with the whole affair! The case studies clearly demonstrate that at local levels the ecclesiastical or lay but Christian press by self-identification written and read mostly by the élite played a major part in shaping and maintaining the negative image of Jews. Looking back from a historical distance its reason seems to be that the „Jewish issue” represented the most important unsolved problem for the Hungarian society after World War I. A future expansion of the research both in time (for the period 1920 to 1938) and space (Romania or possibly Poland) as well as the promotion of its comparative character may result in important findings in that respect. As a major finding, it has become clear that the continuous stigmatisation of a social group on some (religious or racial) grounds and an adverse publicity campaign against it will in the long run immunise the society – particularly if that society is full of frustration, anguish and fear – and render it passsive vis a vis the sufferings and tribulations of that group. All that appears multiplied if the churches in a society identifying itself as Christian are not moderating factors, on the contrary, they strengthen stigmatisation and expulsion. In that regard, the relationship of ecclesiastical and political players is an extremely important component: is it cooperating or in conflict? Another important finding now proven with sources is that in Hungary between the two World Wars the term „Christian” was not simply a religious but also a racial category, i.e. the opposite of „Jewish”. As a result, converted Jews had found themselves in the most difficult position. Racially they were in the same category as those of the Israelite faith although they were „Christians” by religion. The differentiation was brought about by introducing the term „original Christian”. That was the self-identification of Hungarian Christians who could prove they had no Jewish/Israelite ancestors. Later on the same categorisation was expanded to cover the territories returned to Hungary both from Czechoslovakia and Romania (1938– 1940). The comparison of different periods could be an important topic of future research as well as the study of how different local societies and local churches responded to those changes. Given the lesson of the case studies, it can be stated that the Christian churches as institutions did not in fact provide shelter or effective protection to Christians deemed Jews. The churches also adopted the same racial categorisation and only provided spiritual consolation to their Jewish-Christian followers by promising them ”salvation”. In effect, they were simple onlookers when their followers were deported. Any help offered was offered at individual levels (whether from a moral or a material consideration) but never insitutionally!


The responsibility of the churches and in particular of ecclesiastical leaders can be stated because they had, in fact, nothing to say when the political actors monopolised Christianity to identify, justify and legitimise their actions and because it allowed that the term „Christian” had beeen downgraded into a kind of „racial category”. Hungarian Catholics (and Christians in general) had had an image of and emotions related to the Jewish community identified by the combination of different factors: 1. Anti-Jewishness termed anti-Judaism in modern literature with its roots to be found already in the texts of the New Testament – most markedly in the Gospel according to John. That Christian tradition of a history of almost two thousand years appeared in sermons and popular church publications in Hungary between the two World Wars saying that the Jews bear collective responsibility for the death of Jesus and they are enemies of Jesus and of the church. That was the concept pervading the minds of both the general public and the politica l and social élite. Their knowledge of Christianity was deficient and superficial; it did not go beyond simple platitudes. 2. That shallowness and lack of knowledge was the reason why political Catholicism gaining momentum in Hungary at the end of the 19th century as well as the so termed „Christian course” between the two World Wars explained the problems of the Hungarian society, sometimes openly, sometimes partly hidden, by the overweight of the „Jewish element” and the ”Jewish spirit” opposing Christian morals. All that easily met with the modern political anti-Semitism calling to fight against the Jews’ economic and social influence. In that way, Hungarian antiSemitism developed from the soil of Christianity; it had been an organic part of it. It is no coincidence that the same approach could be found in the press controlled by the churches both nationally and locally. Further comparative research should be made to reveal what the situation was in the same period (1920–1944) in Czechoslovakia, Romania and possibly Poland. 3. As racism gained momentum, Baptism had to be protected by the churches. Some efforts were made for that in Hungary (e.g. Kálmán Klemm430), however, historic events demonstrated that their impact was limited. It can be explained mainly because although exaggerations were criticised, „theoretical or moral anti-Semitism” was deemed justified to protect the Hungarian Christian society and culture. That view was represented by an influential person, Béla Bangha of the Society of Jesus who published in Magyar Kultúra [hungarian culture] and Katolikus Lexikon [catholic encyclopaedia]. The arguments of the age were quite peculiar: they tried to separate the Old Testament from the Jewish community. The approach also finds its roots in Christian tradition. In that way, the Old Testament was interpreted as the work of God – rather than of the Jewish people – a revelation preparing the coming of Jesus. Accordingly, its religiosity and moral norms were assessed positively while those of contemporary Jews were deemed negative. Although at the time of the antiJewish laws episcopal statements did appear on the clemency effect of Baptism protecting converted Jews and their descendants as full-value Christians, they in fact remained at an academic level. No practical lessons had been drawn from those statements by the clergy, so their practical value was nil.

Kálmán Klemm: Kereszténység vagy faji vallás? Hitvédelmi tanulmány Rosenberg mítosz -vallásáról, [christianity or racial r eligion? A study on Rosenberg’s myth -religion in the protection of faith], Budapest, 1937.


4. Since the high clergy of the Hungarian Catholic church was an organic part of the contemporary political and social élite, their official statements and actions in the Upper House were greatly determined. The élite’s approach was basically defined by anti-liberalism and anti-democracy and the wish and interest to avoid the „greater bad” (Bolshevism or Fascism and National Socialism). That was why they were willing to accept the government’s exhaust ive measures restricting legality. 5. As for the clergy, their adaptation to racist prejudice and the spirit of the age is obvious both in their public and non-public utterances. In that way, they did not „swim against” but rather „with the tide”. That is the reason why we have to emphasise the moral greatness of those who did undertake to save Jewish people in the circumstances.

The following is a list of some important fields of research that should definitely be explored in the future:  Compilation of a repertoire of the publications related to the Jewry by members of the clergy (priests, ministers) published in contemporary ’profane’ press, primarily of a political nature (dailies, weeklies, magazines).  Breakdown of the publications related to the Jewry and the Jewish community in clerical press by Church.  Analysis of the statements and actions of members of the clergy who assumed political roles and were elected members of Parliament, particularly during the 1938–1944 period.  Investigation of how anti-Judaism (the ’feeling against Jewry based on theological arguments’) met and became coupled with modern political anti-Semitism (which ’offered a simplified explanation to social problems, basically blaming Jews for all social injustice’) in the Christian society of Slovakia and Hungary. 431  Based on the clerical archive documentation – especially in parishes (e.g. Historia Domus in the Catholic Church) – an overall analysis of the clergy’s behaviour and statements seen in connection with the deportation of Jews (Slovakia: 1942, Hungary: 1944). This research may be considered to be important because in addition to the factual discovery of the painful truth of the Holocaust, it actually  enables a better and more accurate understanding of the contemporary Hungarian and Slovak society;  offers aspects for a new approach and sheds new light on the transition to Communism; and

Gárdonyi, Máté: “Üldöztetés és felelősség. A magyar holokausztról egyházi szemmel” [Persecution and responsibility. On the Hungarian Holocaust with clerical eyes], in Mártonffy Marcell – Petrás Éva (eds.): Szétosztott teljesség. A hetvenöt éves Boór János köszöntése. [Completeness distributed. A tribute to János Boór on his 75th birthday], Budapest, Hét Hárs – Mérleg, 2007, 267-268.


sheds light on the roots of today’s social and political problems.

In summary, it can be stated that investigating the role played by the Churches in respect of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust will cause topical issues to surface, which should certainly be addressed anyway, such as:  the mechanisms operating in societies in crisis for determining identity and building a nation; and  the problem of modernisation that results in a complex identity and multiple affiliations, and the demand for escaping back to an imaginary past that signifies a single-component identity. Christian churches are inevitably present in all these processes; particularly when the ideology and discourse of the respective political élite makes a reference to Christianity. Jewry has always played an important role in the identification of Christianity. It actually made it possible to draw limits that are impossible to cross. These phenomena and processes point way beyond Slovakia and Hungary as they are relevant for the entire Central and Eastern European region. Having a more accurate knowledge of the political and social processes so deeply embedded in the region’s history may also be important for the EU’s future, considering that all crisis situations update and strengthen the well-known and well-tried stereotypes, excellent for manipulating the crowds who have lost their footing.


Wide-ranging bibliography for Hungary and Slovakia

General bibliographies: Braham, Randolph L.: The Hungarian Jewish Catastrophe. A Selected and Annotated Bibliography, 1962; 2nd, rev. and enlarged edition. (Holocaust Studies Series – East European Monographs, 162), Institute for Holocaust Studies of the City University of New York, New York, 1984, XVI+501 p. Braham, Randolph L.: The Holocaust in Hungary. A Selected and Annotated Bibliography, 1984-2000. (Holocaust Studies Series – East European Monographs, 583), The Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies Graduate Center, New York – East European Monographs, Boulders, 2001, XII+252 p. Braham, Randolph L.: A magyarországi holokauszt bibliográfiája, 1–2. kötet, Park Kiadó, Budapest, 2010, XII+549 p. & XII+551–926 p.; …Bibliography of the Holocaust in Hungary. (Holocaust Studies Series – East European Monographs, 784), The Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies CUNY – Social Science Monographs – Columbia University Press, New York, 2011, 934 p. Kolosváry-Borcsa Mihály, A zsidókérdés magyarországi irodalma. A zsidóság szerepe a magyar szellemi életben a zsidó származású írók névsorával, Stádium Kiadó, Budapest, 1943, 310 p. [Kifejezetten antiszemita megközelítésben tekinti át a könyvkiadá st.]

Archives – containing ecclesiastical materials: Archival Guide to the Collections of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Horecky, Paul L. (ed.): East Central and Southeast Europe. A Handbook of Library and Archival Resources in North America, Clio Press, Santa Barbara (CA), 1976, 467 p.

Hungarian Christian Churches and the antisemitism – Holocaust (Bibliography) General bibliography – concerning churches: Ádám Sándor, Magyarok pusztulása, A szerző magánkiadása, Budapest, 1998, 140 p. [„Zsidóüldözés – zsidómentés”: 106-110.] Asaf, Uri: „Christian Support for Jews during the Holocaust in Hungary”, in Braham, Randolph L. (ed.): Studies on the Holocaust in Hungary. (East European Monographs, 301), Columbia University Press, New York, 1990, 65–112. A tiszaeszlári bűnper. Bary József vizsgálóbíró emlékiratai, Királyi Magyar Egyetemi Nyomda, Budapest, 1933, 462 p. Balogh Margit – Gergely Jenő: Egyházak az újkori Magyarországon 1790-1992. (Kronológia. História Könyvtár 1), História – MTA Történettudományi Intézet, Budapest, 1993.

Balogh Margit – Gergely Jenő: Egyházak az újkori Magyarországon 1790-1992. (Adattár. História Könyvtár 4), História – MTA Történettudományi Intézet, Budapest, 1996, 549 p. Bibó István: „Zsidókérdés Magyarországon 1944 után”, Válasz 8, 1948/október–november, 778–877; reprint: Szabó Zoltán (ed.): A harmadik út, Könyves Céh, London, 1960, 227–354; Kemény István – Sárközi Mátyás (eds.): Bibó István összegyűjtött munkái, Az Európai Protestáns Magyar Szabadegyetem kiadása, Bern, 1982, 389–504; Válogatott tanulmányok II.. kötet, Magvető, Budapest, 1986, 621–788. [Tárgyalja a keresztény egyházak felelősségét, erkölcsi kudarcát.] Bihari Péter: „A magyarországi zsidóság helyzete a zsidótörvényektől a deportálásig”, in Lendvai L. Ferenc – Sohár Anikó – Horváth Pál (eds.): Hét évtized a hazai zsidóság életében. II. rész. (Vallástudományi tanulmányok, 5), MTA Filozófiai Intézet Kiadása, Budapest, 1990, 9–60. [Épp csak említi a keresztény egyházfők magatartását a zsidótörvényekkel kapcsolatosan (43), illetve a keresztény zsidók munkaszolgálatát (45).] Braham, Randolph L.: „A keresztény egyházak és a Holokauszt Magyarországon. Áttekintés”, in Rittner, Carol – Smith, Stephen D. – Steinfeldt, Irena (eds.) – Bauer, Yehuda (adviser ed.): The Holocaust and the Christian World. Reflections ont the Past, Challenges for the Future , Beth Shalom Holocaust Memorial Centre – Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies – Kuperard, 2005; …A Holokauszt és a keresztény világ. Szembenézés a múlttal és a jövő kihívásaival, Egyházfórum, Pécs – Balassi Kiadó, Budapest, 2009, 194–201. Braham, Randolph L.: „Magyarország keresztény egyházai és a Holokauszt”, Múlt és Jövő 2000/3–4, 43–60; in Idem. (ed.): Tanulmányok a Holokausztról I, Balassi Kiadó, Budapest, 2001, 9–36; in Idem: A Holokauszt. Válogatott tanulmányok, Láng Kiadó, h. n., 2002, 263–295; English and Hebrew versions in: Yad Vashem Studies 28, 2001, 241–280 and respectively 187–218. Braham, Randolph L. (compiled and edited): The Destruction of Hungarian Jewry. A Documentary Account, 2 volumes, World Federation of Hungarian Jews, New York 1963, 970 p. Braham, Randolph L.: The Politics of Genocide. The Holocaust in Hungary. Vol. I-II, 1981.; 2nd enlarged and revised edition: Columbia University Press, New York, 1994; …A népirtás politikája. A Holocaust Magyarországon. I-II. kötet, Budapest, 1988; 2., bővített és átdolgozott kiadás, Belvárosi Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1997, XLVIII+1–676 & XIV+677–1474 p. [A zsidótörvények kapcsán röviden ismerteti a keresztény egyházfők magatartását (121-122, 150-151, 192-193). Ír még „A Magyarországi Keresztény Zsidók Szövetségé”-ről (471-475), „A magyar keresztények magatartásá”-ról (1012-1019), illetve „A Vatikán és a budapesti nunciatúra” közbelépéseiről (1162 1175). Külön fejezetet képez „A keresztény egyházak álláspontja és lépései” (1122 -1154).] Braham, Randolph L: A magyar Holocaust. Második, rövidített kiadás. (Terep), Gondolat, Budapest, 1990, 260 p. [Keresztény egyházfők és hívők magatartása a szidótörvényekkel és a zsidóüldözéssel szemben: 59-60, 164-167, 213-218] Braham, Randolph L.: The Politics of Genocide. The Holocaust in Hungary, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 2000, 321 p. (condensed edition); …A népirtás politikája. A holokauszt Magyarországon, Új Mandátum, Budapest, 2003, 249 p. (rövidített kiadás). Csepregi Zoltán: „‛Ellenségei minden embernek’. A pogány antijudaizmus, illetve antikrisztianizmus érvrendszerének továbbélése a keresztény antijudaizmusban”, Tanítványok, Evangélikus Teológiai Akadémia, Budapest, 1996, 107–113. Csiky János (ed.). Mit kell tudnia minden kereszténynek, zsidónak a zsidójogról. A második zsidótörvény és összes végrehajtási utasításai teljes szöveggel és magyarázatokkal , Centrum, Budapest, 1939, 92 p.

Csizmadia Andor: „Egyháziak a törvényhozásban és a közigazgatásban a két világháború között”, Világosság 24, 1983/6, 355–363. Csizmadia Andor: A magyar állam és az egyházak jogi kapcsolatainak kialakulása és gyakorlata a Horthy-korszakban, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1966, 442 p. [Kereszténység és zsidóság viszonya: 110-112] Egyed István: A mi alkotmányunk. (A Magyar Szemle könyvei), Magyar Szemle Társulat Budapest, 1943, 373 p. [Magyarországot keresztény államként határozza meg.] Fazekas Csaba: „Még egyszer a Holokauszt és a keresztény világ c. könyvről”, Egyháztörténeti Szemle 11, 2010/1. Fazekas Csaba: Kisegyházak és szektakérdés a Horthy-korszakban. (Látószög könyvek), TEDISZ – SzPA, Budapest, 1996, 172 p. [Tárgyalja a kisegyházak és a zsidóság viszonyát.] Fejtő Ferenc: Magyarság, zsidóság. (História Könyvtár. Monográfiák, 14), História – MTA Történettudományi Intézete, Budapest, 2000, 338 p. [Csak utalások szintjén érinti az egyházak és a zsidóság viszonyát.] Fisch Henrik (ed.): Keresztény egyházfők felsőházi beszédei a zsidókérdésben, Szerző Kiadása – Neuwald I. utódai Könyvnyomda, é. n. [1947], 63 p. [1938-ban az I. és 1939-ben a II. zsidótörvény kapcsán.] Fischer, Rolf: Entwicklung des Antisemitismus in Ungarn,1867–1939 die Zerstörung der magyarischjüdischen Symbiose. (Südosteuropäische Arbeiten, 85), R. Oldenbourg, München, 1 988, 206 p. Frojimovics Kinga – Komoróczy Géza – Pusztai Viktória – Strbik Andrea: A zsidó Budapest. Emlékek, szertartások, történelem. Szerkesztette Komoróczy Géza. (A város arcai – Hungaria Judaica, 7), Városháza – MTA Judaisztikai Kutatócsoport, Budapest, 1995, 1-2. kötet, 1–339 + 345–793 p. [Egyháziak magatartása a zsidótörvényekkel, rendeletekkel, deportálásokkal szemben: II, 496, 498, 511-512, 517-518, 527-529, 533-534, 539, 543-546, 563-566, 572-579] Frojimovics Kinga –Molnár Judit (eds.): A Világ Igazai Magyarországon a második világháború alatt, Balassi Kiadó, Budapest – Yad Vashem, Jeruzsálem, 2009, 524 p. Gárdos Miklós: Bélyeges sereg, Múzsák, Budapest, 1990, 286 p. [Tárgyalja a Holokauszt különböző aspektusait, és felveti a keresztény egyházak szerepét.] Gergely Anna: A székesfehérvári és Fejér megyei zsidóság tragédiája (1938–1944), Vince Kiadó, Budapest, 2003, 293 p. [Shvoy Lajos püspök levelezése és pásztorlevelei alapján tárgyalja mind a katolikus egyház magatartását, mind pedig a protestáns egyházak megítélését.] Gergely Jenő: „A ‛keresztény-nemzeti’ ideológia (1919-1944)”, Társadalmi Szemle 41, 1986/2, 81–93; in Sánta Ilona (ed.): Egy letűnt korszakról, Kossuth Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1987, 71–92. Gergely Jenő: „A keresztény pártok és a ‛zsidókérdés’, 1938–1944”, in Molnár Judit (ed.): A Holokauszt Magyarországon európai perspektívában, Balassi Kiadó, Budapest, 2005, 67–83. Gergely Jenő: „A magyarországi egyházak és a Holocaust”, in: Braham, Randolph L. – Pók Attila (eds.): The Holocaust in Hungary: Fifty Years Later, Columbia University Press, New York, 1997, 441–456. Gergely Jenő: „A német megszállás és az egyházak”, Debreceni Szemle 2, 1994/1, 65–77. Gergely Jenő: „A pásztornak a nyáj mellett a helye”, in Glatz Ferenc (ed.): Az 1944. év históriája, Lapkiadó Vállalat, Budapest, 1984, 48–54. Gergely Jenő: „A történelmi egyházak és a Holocaust”, in Králl Csaba (ed.): Holocaust emlékkönyv. A

vidéki zsidóság deportálásának 50. évfordulója alkalmából, Teljes Evangéliumi Diák- és Ifjúsági Szövetség (TEDISZ), Budapest, 1994, 316–327. Gergely Jenő: „Az egyházak a keresztény nemzeti Magyarországon (1919–1944)”, in Gergely Jenő – Kardos József – Rottler Ferenc: Az egyházak Magyarországon Szent Istvántól napjainkig, Korona Kiadó, Budapest, 1997, 169–207. Gergely Jenő: „Az egyházak a nyilas uralom időszakában”, Hadtudományi Tájékoztató 1994/8, 69–85. Gergely Jenő: „Az egyházak Magyarországon a Horthy-korszakban”, Iskolakultúra 5, 1995/1-2, 26–31. Gergely Jenő: „Keresztény pártok 1919–1944: hatalom és egyház között”, Társadalmi Szemle 1991/89, 132–141. Gergely Jenő: A Keresztény Községi (Wolff -) Párt, Gondolat Kiadó – MTA–ELTE Pártok, pártrendszerek, parlamentarizmus kutatócsoport, Budapest, 2010, 400 p. Gergely Jenő: Főpapok, főpásztorok, főrabbik. Arcélek a huszadik századi magyar egyháztörténetből , Pannonica Kiadó, Budapest, 2004, 317 p. Gergely Jenő: Magyarország története 1919 őszétől a II. világháború végéig. Második, javított kiadás: Ikva Kiadó, Budapest, 1990, 120 p. [„A keresztény nemzeti ideológia”: 65-79.]; harmadik, bővített és átdolgozott kiadás: 1991, 149 p.; negyedik, javított kiadás: 1992, 109 p. Gergely Jenő – Glatz Ferenc – Pölöskei Ferenc (eds.): Magyarországi pártprogramok 1919–1944. A 2. kiadást javította és átdolgozta Gergely Jenő. (Magyarországi pártprogramok, 2), ELTE – Eötvös Kiadó, Budapest, 2003, 508 p. [A kereszténységhez, illetve a zsidósághoz való viszonyulás megjelenítése az egyes programokban.] Gergely Jenő – Izsák Lajos: A huszadik század története. (Magyar századok), Pannonica Kiadó, Budapest, 2000, 526 p. [Egyházak zsidómentő tevékenysége: 218-220.] Gerlach (Christian) – Aly (Götz), Das letzte Kapitel. Realpolitik, Ideologie und der Mord an den ungarischen Juden. 1944/1945, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart – München, 2002; …Az utolsó fejezet. Reálpolitika, ideológia és a magyar zsidók legyilkolása 1944/1945. Fordította és a Függeléket összeállította Kerényi Gábor, Noran-Kiadó, Budapest, 2005. [Csak mintegy mellékesen kerül szóba az egyházi vezetők magatartása a zsidótörvényekkel, zsidódeportálásokkal szemben; pl. 45, 274-275.] Görög Frigyes: „Izraelita zsidók és keresztény zsidók a II. zsidótörvény szemszögéből”, in Ararát – Magyar zsidó évkönyv az 1940. évre, Országos Izraelita Leányárvaház, Budapest, 1940, 77–80. Griffin, Roger: „Politikai vagy ontológiai bizonytalanság? A modernitás szerepe a magyar antiszemitizmus megerősödésében a 20. század eleji Európában”, in Molnár Judit (ed.): Jogfosztás – 90 éve. Tanulmányok a numerus claususról, Nonprofit Társadalomkutató Egyesület, Budapest, 2011, 14–26. [A vallás társadalmi térvesztésének szélesebb európai kontextusába helyezi az 1920 as magyar numerus clausus törvényt. Számára az általánosabb vallási fundamentalizmus, ill etve az európai totalitarizmusok és a hozzájuk szorosan kapcsolódó antiszemitizmus mind -mind a modernitás indukálta bizonytalanságérzettel függ össze. Lényegében véve kísérletek a szétesett hagyományos világrend helyreállítására, vagy helyettesítésére.] Gyurgyák János: A zsidókérdés Magyarországon. Politikai eszmetörténet. (Millenniumi magyar történelem), Osiris Kiadó, Budapest, 2001, 788 p. [Egyházfők és zsidótörvények: 141 -142, 149151, 157-158. A szerző szerint a nyilasuralom idején „a keresztény egyházak vezetése még egy jóindulatú értékelés szerint sem állt a helyzet magaslatán”, 188; keresztényszocializmus és zsidókérdés: 295-301.]

Hanebrink, Paul Andreas: „The Christian Churches and Memory of the Holocaust in Hungary, 1945– 1948”, in Braham, Randolph L. –Chamberlin, Brewster S. (eds.): The Holocaust in Hungary: Sixty Years Later. (Holocaust Studies Series – East European Monographs, 678), The Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, Graduate center of The City University of New York – Social Science Monographs, Boulder – United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Distributed by Columbia University Press, New York, 2006, 201–210. Hanebrink, Paul A.: In Defense of Christian Hungary. Religion, Nationalism, and Antisemitism, 1890 – 1944, Cornell University Press, New York – London – Ithaca, 2006. Herczl, Moshe Y.: Christianity and the Holocaust of Hungarian Jewry, New York University Press, New York, 1993, 299 p.; …Kereszténység és a magyar zsidóság Holocaustja, PolgART, Budapest, 2000. Hetényi Varga Károly: Akiket üldöztek az igazságért. Papi sorsok a horogkereszt és nyilaskereszt árnyékában, Ecclesia, Budapest, 1985, 632 p. Horváth Zoltán: Hogy vizsgázott a magyarság?, Népszava, Budapest, 1945, 62 p. [Keresztény egyházak magatartása a zsidóüldözés idején: 51-56.] K. Farkas Claudia: „A ‘kikeresztelkedés’ dilemmája”, Holocaust füzetek 12, 1999, 73–91. K. Farkas Claudia: „A ‘kikeresztelkedés’ problémája a zsidótörvények idején (1938)”, Egyháztörténeti Szemle 2, 2001/1, 112–127. K. Farkas Claudia: Jogok nélkül. A zsidó lét Magyarországon, 1920–1944. (Politikatörténeti füzetek, 32), Napvilág Kiadó, Budapest, 2010, 361 p. [Bemutatja és elemzi az egyházfők megnyilatkozásait a zsidótörvények vitájában, valamint sajtóanyagot is feldolgoz.] Kanyó András: Horthy és a magyar tragédia. (Népszabadság Könyvek), Népszabadság, Budapest, 2008, 524 p. [1944-re vonatkozóan Horthy Istvánné emlékei alapján ír a pápa tiltakozásáról és Ravasz Lászlóról (248-253).] Karády, Victor: „Les fonctions idéologiques des statistiques confessionnelles et ethniques dans la Hongrie post-féodale (1867–1948)”, Revue d’Histoire des Sciences Humaines 18, 2008, 17–34. Karády Viktor: „Asszimiláció és társadalmi krízis. A magyar zsidó társadalomtörténet konjunkturális vizsgálatához”, Világosság 1993/3; újraközölve in Idem: Zsidóság, polgárosodás, asszimiláció. Tanulmányok. (konTEXTus könyvek), Cserépfalvi Kiadása, Budapest, 1997, 114–150 [„A ‘kitérések’ konjunktúrái”, 132-143.] Karády Viktor: „A felekezetek közötti házasságok általános szociológiája a régi rendszer idején”; in Idem: Zsidóság, polgárosodás, asszimiláció. Tanulmányok. (konTEXTus könyvek), Cserépfalvi Kiadása, Budapest, 1997, 196–248 [„A keveredés és a felekezetek: a zsidó–keresztény házasságok”, 209-222; „Áttérés és vegyes házasságok”, 227-237.] Karády Viktor: „Traumahatás és menekülés. A zsidó vallásváltók szociológiája 1945 előtt és után”, Múlt és Jövő 2, 1994, 73–91. Karády Viktor: „Zsidótörvények és életfeltételek a szociális jelzők tükrében (1938–1943)”, Medvetánc 1985/2–3; újraközölve in Idem: Zsidóság, polgárosodás, asszimiláció. Tanulmányok. (konTEXTus könyvek), Cserépfalvi Kiadása, Budapest, 1997, 275–324 [„Társadalmi szegregáció és felekezetek közötti távolság”, 294-302; „Menekülési stratégiák: áttérés és emigráció”, 302-309.] Karsai Elek (ed.): Vádirat a nácizmus ellen. Dokumentumok a magyarországi zsidóüldözés történetéhez. 3: 1944 május 26 – 1944 október 15. A budapesti zsidóság deportálásának felfüggesztése, A Magyar Izraeliták Országos Képviselete Kiadása, Budapest, 1967, XL+721 p.

[Egyházi dokumentumok: 6–10, 19–23, 49–52, 60–61, 84–86, 92–100, 109–112, 115–121, 126– 135, 138–158, 167–171, 195–196, 206–207, 211–218, 228, 251–255, 257–259, 265–266, 289–293, 302–303, 305–325, 342–343, 353–355, 385–387, 395, 412–413, 447, 459–460, 501, 507–509, 526–527, 553–557, 561–562, 568–571, 593–597.] Karsai László: Holokauszt, Pannonica Kiadó, h. n. [Budapest], 2001. [„Holokauszt Magyarországon”, 209–254. Az egyházak magatartását nem tárgyalja, csak hellyel-közzel említi a zsidótörvények megszavazása, keresztelési ügyek, deportálások kapcsán.] Karsai László (válogatta és a bevezető tanulmányt írta): Befogadók. Írások az antiszemitizmus ellen, 1882–1993, Aura Kiadó, Budapest, 1993, 256 p. [Egyháziak (Slachta Margit, Márton Áron, Protestáns püspökök, Hamvas Endre) fellépése: 152-153, 166-171, 184, 195-196.] Karsai László (válogatta és a bevezető tanulmányt írta): Kirekesztők. Antiszemita írások 1881–1992, Aura Kiadó, Budapest, 1992, 212 p. [Egyházfők felsőházi hozzászólásai a zsidótörvényekhez: Ravasz László református püspök (84-89), Serédi Jusztinián esztergomi bíboros-érsek (103-105, 110-112).] Katona Csaba – Ólmosi Zoltán – Oross András – Soós László – P. Szigetváry Éva – Szabó Dóra – Varga Katalin (összeállította): Emlékezz! Válogatott levéltári források a magyarországi zsidóság üldöztetésének történetéhez, 1938–1945, Magyar Országos Levéltár, Budapest, 2004, 236 p. [A szegedi Szent Kereszt Egyesület beadványa a polgármesterhez: 132 - 135; szegedi rendőrségi jelentés a kikeresztelkedésekről: 148; Hamvas Endre csanádi püspök levele a szegedi főispánhoz: 155-156; a vegyes házasságból származó gyermekek sorsának elbírálása: 164 -167; Angelo Rotta apostoli nuncius látogatása Szálasi Ferenc miniszterelnöknél, feljegyzés: 186 -193.] Katzburg, Nathaniel: Hungary and the Jews 1920–1943, Bar-Ilan University Press, Ramat-Gan (Israel), 1981; …Zsidópolitika Magyarországon 1919–1943. Szakmailag lektorálta, a fordítást átdolgozta és szerkesztette Prepuk Anikó. (Hungarica Judaica, 2), Bábel Kiadó, Budapest, 2002, 303 p. [Keresztény egyházfők magatartása a zsidótörvényekkel kapcsolatban: 93, 121 -124, 158-160.] Kepecs József (szerk.), A zsidó népesség száma településenként (1840–1941), Központi Statisztikai Hivatal, Budapest, 1993. [„Zsidónak minősített” nem izraelita vallásúak vallásuk és izraelita felmenőik szerint: 38-49]. Komoróczy Géza, Holocaust. A pernye beleég a bőrünkbe, Osiris, Budapest, 2000, 182 p. [Zsidómentés (40); keresztény lelkiismeret -vizsgálat (45).] Kocsor Judit – László Klári (szerk.): Különbéke. Embermentők és túlélők beszélgetései a holokausztról, Bencés Kiadó, Pannonhalma, 2008, 242 p. Korbuly Dezső: „Politische Ideen und Tendenzen in Ungarn am Vorabend zur Zeit des Zweiten Weltkriegs”, Südostdeutsches Archiv 28–29, 1985–1986, 117–129. [Keresztény – zsidó kapcsolatok a középosztály szintjén.] Kornis Gyula: Kultúrpolitikánk irányelvei, Athenaeum, Budapest, 1921. Kovács Alajos: „A keresztény vallású, de zsidó származású népesség a népszámlálás szerint”, Magyar Statisztikai Szemle 22, 1944, 95–103. Kovács M. Mária: Liberalizmus, radikalizmus, antiszemitizmus. A magyar orvosi, ügyvédi és mérnöki kar politikája 1867 és 1945 között [=Liberalism, Radicalism, Anti-Semitism. The Politics of the Hungarian Medical, Legal, and Engineering Corps between 1867 and 1945], Helikon Kiadó, Budapest, 2001, 178 p. [A kereszténység, mint magyar faji és nemzeti identitáselem, az antiszemita politikai ideológia alapjaként jelenik meg.]

Körmendy Balázs [Kulcsár István]: Zsidó gyónás. Interart Stúdió, Budapest, 1990, 223 p.; újabb kiadás: Argumentum, Budapest, 2006, 232 p. [Egy kikeresztelkedett, majd visszatért zsidó vall a keresztényekről.] Kristó Gyula – Barta János – Gergely Jenő: Magyarország története. Előidőktől 2000-ig, Pannonica Kiadó, Budapest, 2002, 687 p. [Egyháziak zsidómentő tevékenysége: 557] Ladányi Andor: „Az első zsidótörvény megszületése”, Múlt és Jövő 2, 2010, 102–121. László Ernő: „Hungary’s Jewry: A Demographic Overview, 1918–1945”, in Braham, Randolph L. (ed.): Hungarian–Jewish Studies. Vol. II, World Federation of Hungarian Jews, New York, 1969, 137–182. [„Conversions to the Christian Faith”: 154-155.] Lebovits Imre: Zsidótörvények – zsidómentők, Ex Libris Kiadó, Budapest, 2007, 419 p. [Reflektál a keresztény egyházaknak és egyházi személyeknek a zsidósághoz és a zsidóellenes törvénykezéshez való viszonyulására; bemutatja a zsidómentésben szerepet vállalt egyháziakat.] Lévai Jenő: Fekete könyv a magyar zsidóság szenvedéseiről, Officina, Budapest, 1946, 320 p.; … Black Book on the Martyrdom of Hungarian Jewry, The Central European Times Publishing Co. Ltd, Zürich, 1948. [Keresztény egyházfők magatartása: 30 -31, 63, 98-100, 113, 164-165, 190-191, 239-240.] Lévai Jenő: Szürke könyv magyar zsidók megmentéséről, Officina, Budapest, 1946, 238 p. [Tárgyalja az egyházi személyek és intézmények zsidómentő tevékenységét.] Lévai Jenő: Zsidósors Magyarországon, Magyar Téka, Budapest, 1948, 479 p. [„A katolikus egyház állásfoglalása a megkeresztelkedett zsidók érdekében”: 122 -127. „Katolikus püspökök mentőkísérletei a deportálás közepette”: 145-149. „A magyarországi pápai nuncius lépései”: 179183. „A hercegprímás és a magyar katolikus püspöki kar akciói”: 183 -196. „A protestáns egyházak tárgyalásai”: 196-202. „A nuncius elégedetlen”: 202-206. „Menekülési kísérlet a keresztény egyházak segítségével”: 252-253. „Keresztény egyházak közbenjárása”: 319-321.] Lowy, Daniel A.: „Christian Help Provided to Jews of Northern Transylvania during World War II: As Revealed by the Jewish Weekly Egység (May 1946 – August 1947)”, in Braham, Randolph L. – Chamberlin, Brewster S. (eds.): The Holocaust in Hungary: Sixty Years Later. (Holocaust Studies Series – East European Monographs, 678), The Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, Graduate center of The City University of New York – Social Science Monographs, Boulder – United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Distributed by Columbia University Press, New York, 2006, 113– 136. Macartney, C. A: October Fifteenth. A History of Modern Hungary, 1929 –1945. Edinburgh: University Press, 1956–1957, 2 volumes, 494 & 519 p. and maps; … A History of Hungary 1929–1945, Frederick A. Praeger, New York, 1957, 2 volumes. [Szót ejt az egyházak magatartásáról a zsidóüldözések idején. A közbenjárást és a mentést emeli ki.] Major, Robert: „The Churches and the Jews in Hungary”, Continuum (Chicago) 4, 1966/3, 371–381. Majsai Tamás: „A protestáns egyházak az üldözés ellen”, in Szita Szabolcs (ed.): Magyarország 1944. Üldöztetés – embermentés, Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó – Pro Homine –1944 Emlékbizottság, Budapest, 1994, 150–184. Majsai Tamás: „Bíborosok és püspökök a zsidómentés barikádharcában”, Budapesti Negyed 3, 1995/Nyár, 169–180. Morley, John F: „Pope Pius XII, Roman Catholic Policy, and the Holocaust in Hungary;. An Analy sis of ‘Le Saint Siège et les victimes de la guerre, janvier 1944 – juillet 1945”, in Pope Pius XII and

the Holocaust, Leichester University, London, 2002, 154–174. Munkácsi Ernő: Hogyan történt? Adatok és okmányok a magyar zsidóság tragédiájához, Renaissance, Budapest, 1947, 252 p. Nagy Antal Mihály: „A holokauszt és a keresztény világ. Szembenézés a múlttal és a jövő kihívásaival”, Egyháztörténeti Szemle 10, 2009/4, 119–125. [Apológia. A keresztény egyházak antiszemitizmusát igyekszik mentegetni.] Nagy Varga Rita: „Teológia és antiszemitizmus. Millenniumelmélet a magyarországi egyházi képviselők parlamenti hozzászólásaiban (1842–1941)” [=Theology and Anti-Semitism. Millennium-Theories in the Parliamentary Addresses by Representatives of the Churches in Hungary (1842–1941)], Múlt és Jövő, 2000/3–4, 23–42; újraközölve in Braham, Randolph L. (ed.): Tanulmányok a holokausztról II, Balassi Kiadó, Budapest, 2002, 53–81. Nagy V. Rita: Teológia és antiszemitizmus Krisztus megfeszítésétől a 20. századig. Az amill ennizmus és hatása a magyarországi egyházi képviselők parlamenti hozzászólásaira (1840–1941), Jószöveg Műhely Kiadó, Budapest, 2011, 218 p. [Tartalmilag és módszertanilag egyaránt problémás munka. A szerző ismeretei mind teológiai, mind történeti téren hiányosak és korlátozottak. Elemzésének kiinduló pontja és meghatározó vezérfonala a keresztény cionizmus eszmerendszere. Az egyházi képviselők parlamenti hozzászólásainak „elemzése” nem tekinthető mértékadónak. Értéke, hogy ismerteti a zsidótörvényekkel kapcsolatos egyházi magatartásformákat, és kimondja a keresztény egyházak felelősségét a Holokausztban.] Ormos Mária: Magyarország a két világháború korában, 1914–1945 [=Hungary during the Two World Wars, 1914–1945], Csokonai Kiadó, Debrecen, 1998, 324 p. [Több helyen lényegre törően foglalkozik az egyházak és zsidóság kapcsolatával: Imrédy és az 1938-as zsidótörvény (186–190), 1941-es zsidótörvény (236–237), a zsidók gettózása és a magyar társadalom (259).] Paksa Rudolf: A magyar szélsőjobboldal története, Jaffa Kiadó, Budapest 2012, 256 p. [Külön fejezetben tárgyalja a kereszténység és a nemzetiszocializmus kérdését (107-118).] Pelle János: A gyűlölet vetése. A zsidótörvények és a magyar közvélemény 1938–1944, Európa Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 2001, 345 p. English version: Sowing the Seeds of Hatred. Anti-Jewish Laws and Hungarian Public Opinion, 1938–1944, East European Monographs, Boulder (CO), 2004, 214 p. [Az egyházak, egyházi felső vezetés szerepét és felelősségét csak érintőlegesen tárgyalja.] Prepuk Anikó: A zsidóság Közép- és Kelet-Európában a 19–20. században. (Történelmi kézikönyvtár), Csokonai Kiadó, Debrecen, 1997, 264 p. [Az intézményes diszkrimináció tárgyalása keretében említi az egyházak és a zsidóság viszonyát (151-160). A deportálásokkal kapcsolatban az egyházak embermentő tevékenységét emeli ki, egy bekezdésben (183 -184).] Püski Levente: A Horthy-rendszer. (Modern magyar politikai rendszerek), Pannonica, Budapest, 2006, 303 p. [Az egyházak és a zsidóság viszonyát az állami egyházjog összefüggésében tárgyalja (223228).] Ránki Vera: The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion. Jews and Nationalism in Hungary, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1999; …Magyarok – Zsidók – Nacionalizmus. A befogadás és a kirekesztés politikája, Új Mandátum Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1999, 200 p. [„A Horthy-korszak ideológiája, és a keresztény nemzeti elv”: 92-93; egyházak magatartása: 124-125, 131.] Romsics Ignác: „A 20. századi Magyarország”, in Romsics Ignác (ed.): Magyarország története. (Akadémiai kézikönyvek), Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 2007; változatlan utánnyomás: 2010, 773– 958. [A Horthy-korszak egyházairól, azok társadalmi és politika szerepéről/szerepvállalásairól

semmit nem ír. A Holokausztnak mindössze egy, csúsztatottan tényközlő bekezdést (11 sort) szentel.] Romsics Ignác: Magyarország története a XX. században. (Osiris tankönyvek), Osiris Kiadó, Budapest, 1999, 662 p.; 20052. [Épp csak hogy említi a zsidóüldözést. A keresztény egyházfők tiltakozását és a különböző egyházi intézmények segítségét emeli ki: 261 -262, 265-266] Rothkirchen Livia: „The Churches and the Final Solution of the Jewish Problem in Hungary”, in Kulka, Otto Dov –Mendes-Flohr, Paul R. (eds.): Judaism and Christianity Under the Impact of National Socialism, 1919–1945, The Historical Society of Israel and The Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, Jerusalem, 1987, 423–431. Rittner, Carol – Smith, Stephen D. – Steinfeldt, Irena (eds.) – Bauer, Yehuda (adviser ed.): The Holocaust and the Christian World. Reflections ont the Past, Challenges for the Future , Beth Shalom Holocaust Memorial Centre – Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies – Kuperard, 2005;…A Holokauszt és a keresztény világ. Szembenézés a múlttal és a jövő kihívásaival, Egyházfórum, Pécs – Balassi Kiadó, Budapest, 2009. [A magyar kiadást fontos magyar vonatkozásokkal egészítették ki. Kronológia (49–77); életrajzok: Msgr. Angelo Rotta (255– 256), Slachta Margit nővér (257), Salkaházi Sára nővér (258–259), Sztehlo Gábor (260–261), Éliás József (262); filmajánlat a Holokauszt magyarországi tanulmányozásához (392–395); internetes források (396–401); bibliográfia (402–410).] Salamon Konrád: Magyar történelem, 1914–1990, Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest, 1995, 322 p. [Serédi bíboros és Ravasz püspök fellépése a zsidódeportálások ellen: 149 -150.] Saly Dezső: Szigorúan bizalmas! Fekete könyv 1939–1944, Anonymus, Budapest, 1945, 702 p. Schweitzer Gábor: Képviselőházi olvasónapló – anno 1938. (Avagy kikre hivatkoztak az első zsidótörvény tárgyalásakor felszólaló képviselők?)”, in Karsai László – Molnár Judit (eds.): Küzdelem az igazságért. Tanulmányok Randolph L. Braham 80. születésnapjára , MAZSIHISZ, Budapest, 2002, 603–626. [Kereszténység és zsidóság, mint faji kategóriák.] Sipos Balázs: „Az (ellen)propaganda. Rákosi Jenő és a ‛keresztény kurzus’, 19 19–1942”, Múltunk 2005/3, 3–37. [Ismerteti Prohászka Ottokár, Bangha Béla, Csernoch János esztergomi érsek és Baltazár Dezső debreceni református püspök zsidósággal kapcsolatos állásfoglalásait.] Sós Endre (ed.): Egyház és társadalom a fajelméletről és a második zsidótörvény javaslatáról. Egyházfők, tudósok, államférfiak, közírók és testületek megnyilatkozásai , Periszkóp kiadása, Budapest, 1939, 82 p. Száraz György, Egy előítélet nyomában, k. n. [Magvető], h. n. [Budapest], 1976, 285 p. [Az egyházak felelősségének kérdését nem érinti. Elemzi a „keresztény” társadalom részvétlenségét.] Szende Pál: „Keresztény Magyarország és zsidó kapitalizmus”, in Miszlivetz Ferenc – Simon Róbert (eds.), Zsidókérdés Kelet- és Közép-Európában. (Fejlődés – Tanulmányok. Regionális sorozat, 3), ELTE ÁJK Tudományos Szocializmus Tanszék, Budapest, 1985, 367–371. Szenes Sándor: „‛…akkor már minden egyházfő asztalán ott volt az Auschwitzi Jegyzőkönyv…’ Dokumentum”, Valóság 10, 1983/10, 75–90. Szenes Sándor: „Ne nyújtsanak hallgatásukkal segédkezet a gyilkos rendszernek”, Műhely 3, 1984/6, 21–36. Szenes Sándor: Befejezetlen múlt. Keresztények és zsidók, sorsok. Beszélgetések. Dr. Nyíri Tamás előszavával [=Unfinished Past. Christians and Jews, Fates.], Budapest, 1986, 332 p.; bővített második kiadás, Budapest, 1994, 365 p. + képmelléklet. [A szerző beszélgető partnerei: Éliás

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Majsai Tamás: „A magyarországi református egyház és a Holocaust. A nyilvános tiltakozás története”, Világosság 36, 1995/5, 50–80. Majsai Tamás: „A magyarországi református egyház és a ‛svájci’ ökumené a Soáh idején”, in Braha m, Randolph L. – Pók Attila (eds.): The Holocaust in Hungary Fifty Years Later, East European Monographs, Boulder, 1997, 457–509. Majsai Tamás: „Szempontok a Soá 1945 utáni (magyarországi) evangélikus és református egyházi recepciójához”, in Hamp Gábor – Horányi Özséb – Rábai László (eds.), Magyar megfontolások a Soáról, Balassi Kiadó – Magyar Pax Romana Fórum, Budapest – Pannonhalmi Főapátság, Pannonhalma, 1999, 179–211. Nagy Antal Mihály: Örök Szövetség. Válogatott tanulmányok a zsidóság és keresztyénség kapcsolatának témaköréből, Kálvin Kiadó, Budapest, 1995, 214 p. [„A zsidókérdés és a Magyarországi Református Egyház”: 107-144.] Orbán Sándor (szerk.): Magyarország 1944-ben. Tudományos tanácskozás. Budapest, 1984. június 14., Kossuth Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1984, 150 p. [Bartha Tibor, a Református Zsinat püspök -elnöke, a hozzászólásában a hivatalos református egyházi vezetés, az egyháztársadalmi szervezetek, illetve a hívők magatartását és tevékenységét ismertette a zsidóüldözések idején: 121 -128.] Railton, Nicholas: Jane Haining és a Skót Misszió magyarországi zsidóság körében végzett munkája 1932 és 1945 között, Magánkiadás, Budapest, 2007, 145 p. „Ravasz László általános tájékoztatója arról, hogy a magyar evangéliumi egyházak mit tettek a legújabb időkben a zsidókérdéssel kapcsolatban”. Dokumentum, Budapesti Negyed 3, 1995/2 (n° 8), 176–180. Ravasz László: Emlékezéseim, Református Egyházi Zsinat Irodájának Sajtóosztálya, Budapest, 1992, 427 p. [önkritika: 212-221] Ravasz László: Zsidókérdés az egyházban. (Rádió-prédikációk, 117), Kálvin Téri Egyházközség, Budapest, 1939, 7 p. Tarján G. Gábor: „Ezer bűnnel megterhelve. A református egyház és a zsidókérdés”, Új Forrás 1984/1, 65–72. Tóth Károly: „Mit tett a magyar református egyház a zsidóüldözés ellen?”, Confessio 9, 1985/2, 15–24.

Hungarian Lutherian Church: Fabinyi Tibor: „Az evangélikus egyház”, A magyar protestantizmus 1918–1948. Tanulmányok, Kossuth Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1987, 128–170. [antiszemitizmus és zsidókérdés: 136-138] Fenyvesi Charles: When Angels Fooled the World. Rescuers of Jews in Wartime Hungary ; …Mikor az angyalok túljártak a világ eszén. Akik zsidókat mentettek a háborús Magyarországon , Európa Kiadó, Budapest, 2001, 347 p. [Sztehlo Gábor, „Isten embere, tettek embere”: 209 -258.] Fürj Zoltán: „Az evangélikus egyház és a Holocaust. D. Kapi Béla tárgyalásai a Sztójay-kormánnyal. [Dokumentumok]”, Világosság 1991/12, 939–953. Fürj Zoltán: „Én pedig a legtöbb esetben tehetetlen voltam. Kapi Béla állásfoglalása a zsidókérdésben”, Lelkipásztor 1991/7–8, 218–221. Koren Emil: „Emlékezés Sztehlo Gáborra”, Holocaust Füzetek n° 2, é. n. [1993], 38–45.

Madocsai Miklós: „1944 mementója: Egyházunk és a zsidókérdés”, Lelkipásztor 4, 1986, 243–246. [Benes Miklós, bori munkaszolgálatos megmenekülése, aki a háború után elvégezte a teológiát.] Majsai Tamás: „Szempontok a Soá 1945 utáni (magyarországi) evangélikus és református egyházi recepciójához”, in Hamp Gábor – Horányi Özséb – Rábai László (eds.), Magyar megfontolások a Soáról, Balassi Kiadó – Magyar Pax Romana Fórum, Budapest – Pannonhalmi Főapátság, Pannonhalma, 1999, 179–211. Miklya Luzsányi Mónika: Hogy véget érjen a sötétség. Dokumentumok Sztehlo Gábor lelkész gyermekmentő munkájáról a II. világháború idején, Harmat, Budapest – Koinónia, Kolozsvár, 2003, 110 p. Orbán Sándor (szerk.): Magyarország 1944-ben. Tudományos tanácskozás. Budapest, 1984. június 14., Kossuth Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1984, 150 p. [Káldy Zoltán, az Evangélikus Egyház püspök elnöke, a hozzászólásában az evangélikusok zsidómentő tevékenységét (Szteló Gábor), illetve a nemzetiszocialista eszméknek a német nyelvű evangélikusokra gyakorolt befolyását taglalta: 129 136.] Sztehlo Gábor: Isten kezében, A Magyarországi Evangélikus Egyház Sajtóosztálya, Budapest, 1984; 2. kiadás: 1986; újabb kiadás Bozóky Éva gondozásában: Sztehlo Gábor Gyermek - és Ifjúságsegítő Alapítvány, Budapest, 1994, 234 p. Zászkaliczky Péter: „1944 mementója: egyházunk és a zsidókérdés”, Lelkipásztor, 1985/5, 289–297.

The (Czecho-)Slovakian Christian Churches and the antisemitism - Holocaust (Bibliography) A. Books and Studies concerning the Jewish Question and the Jews – Christian relations Augustín, Milan: Krátke dejiny Židov na Slovensku, Slovenské národné múzeum, Bratislava, 1993. 107 p. [Áttekintő jellegű munka a mai Szlovákia területén élő zsidóközösségek történetéről.] Büchler, Róbert J. Br.: Encyklopédia židovských náboženských obcí na Slovensku. 1–2. časť. A – K & L – R. [Zost. a z hebrejského orig. prel.], Slovenské národné múzeum – Múzeum židovskej kultúry, Bratislava, 2009, 256 p. & 2010, 240 p. [A mai Szlovákiai területén működött zsidó hitközségek enciklopédiája.] Gál, Egon (ed.): Židia v interakci, I–II. Bratislava, 1997 & 1999. [A zsidóság és a szlovák társadalom kapcsolatára vonatkozó tanulmányok, nem csupán történészek, de filozófusok, néprajzosok tollából is.] Jelínek, Yeshayahu Andrej: Dávidova hviezda pod Tatrami. Židia na Slovensku v 20. storočí , Vydavateľstvo Jána Mlynárika IPEĽ, Praha, 2009, 491 p. [A zsidók a huszadik századi Szlovákiában.] Jelínek, Yeshayahu A[ndrej]: Židia na Slovensku v 19. a 20. storočí. Zborník statí. Časť 1–2, Slovenské národné múzeum – Múzeum židovskej kultúry, Bratislava, 1999, 155 p. & 2000, 175 p. [Tanulmányok a szlovákiai zsidóság 19. és 20. századi történetével kapcsolatban.] Mlynárik, Ján: Dějiny Židů na Slovensku, Academia Praha, 2005, 358 p. [A munka a mai Szlovákia

területén élő zsidóközösségek történetét mutatja be viszonylag felületesen.] Hoensch, Jörg K. – Biman, Stanislav – Lipták, Ľubomír (eds.): Judenemanzipation – Antisemitismus – Verfolgung in Deutschland, Österreich-Ungarn, den Böhmischen Ländern und in der Slowakei. Herausgegeben für die Deutsch-Tschechische und Deutsch-Slowakische Historikerkommission , Klartext, essen, 1999, 261 p. Hradská, Katarína: Židovská Bratislava, Albert Marenčin Vydavateľstvo PT, Bratislava, 2008, 247 p. [A pozsonyi zsidóság múltjának rövid összefoglalása.] Strba Sándor – Lang Tamás: Az érsekújvári zsidóság története, Pozsony, 2004. [A munka ugyan az Érsekújvári zsidóség huszadik történetére koncentrál, de benne fontos információkat kapunk a mai Dél-Szlovákia egészét illetően is.] Salner, Peter: Mozaika židovskej Bratislavy, Albert Marenčin Vydavateľstvo PT, Bratislava, 2007. 199 p. [A pozsonyi zsidóság 20. századi történetének sajátos feldolgozása, amelynek forrását leginkább a visszaemlékezések jelentik. A szövegek érzékeltetik a korabeli keresztény – zsidó viszonyt is.] Salner, Peter: Židia na Slovensku medzi tradíciou a asimiláciou, Zing Print, Bratislava, 2000, 293 p. [A szlovákiai zsidók 20. századi története. Középpontjában a zsidó közösség életében bekövetkezett változások állnak. Inkább életmód, mint politikatörténet.] Salner, Peter (ed.): Židia v Bratislave, Inštitút judaistiky FFUK – Ústav etnológie SAV – Židovská náboženská obec Bratislava, Bratislava, 1997, 118 p. [Tanulmányok a pozsonyi zsidók történetéről a 18. századtól az 1960-as évekig.] B. Books and Studies concerning the period of 1918–1938 Jelínek, Yeshayahu Andrej: „Prevrat v rokoch 1918-1919 a Židia (poznámky a úvahy)”, in „Spoznal som svetlo a už viac nechcem tmu…”, Veda vydavateľstvo SAV, Bratislava, 2005, 29–43. [Egy tanulmány az 1918-19-es államfordulat időszakáról, az akkori zsidóellenes pogromokról.] Kovács Éva: Felemás asszimiláció. A kassai zsidóság a két világháború között (1918-1938), Fórum Institute, Šamorín – - Lilium Aurum, Dunajská Streda, 2004, 196 p. [A kassai zsidóság magatartásának elemzése, külön kitérve a téma nemzetiségi vonatkozásaira. A munka részben levéltári forrásokra, sajtóanyagra, részben Oral History interjúkra épül.] Nižňanský, Eduard - Bútora, Ivan (eds.): Stratené mesto. Bratislava – Pozsony – Pressburg, Vydavateľstvo Marenčin PT, Bratislava, 2011, 323 p. [A holokauszt idején elpusztult pozsonyi zsidó világ – elsősorban a zsidó negyed épületeinek – a visszaidézése.] Pojar, M. – Soukupová, Blanka – Zahradníková, Marie (eds.): Židovská menšina v Československu ve dvacátých letech. Sborník přednášek z cyklu ve Vzdělávacím a kulturním centru Židovského muzea v Praze v říjnu 2002 a červnu 2003, Židovské muzeum, Praha, 2003, 131 p. [Tanulmányok arról, hogy milyen pozícióban voltak a húszas évek Csehszlovákiájában a zsidók, beleértve a politikai szerveződéseiket, illetve a csehszlovák állam velük szemben folytatott politikáját.] C. Books and Studies concerning the Extermination of the Slovakian Jews 1. Documents: Nižňanský, Eduard. (ed.): Holokaust na Slovensku. Zv. 1: Obdobie autonómie (6.10.1938 –

14.3.1939). Dokumenty. [=Holocaust in Slovakia 1], Nadácia Milana Šimečku – Židovská náboženská obec Bratislava, Bratislava, 2001, 362 p. Nižňanský, Eduard – Kamenec, Ivan (eds.): Holokaust na Slovensku. Zv. 2: Prezident, vláda, Snem SR a Štátna rada o židovskej otázke (1939–1945). Dokumenty.[=Holocaust in Slovakia 2: President, Government, Assemblz and the State Council on the Jewish Question. Documents], Nadácia Milana Šimečku – Židovská náboženská obec Bratislava, Bratislava, 2003, 363 p. Hradská, Katarína (ed.): Holokaust na Slovensku. Zv. 3: Listy Gisely Fleischmannovej (1942–1944). Snahy Pracovnej skupiny o záchranu slovenských a európskych Židov. Dokumenty. [=Holocaust in Slovakia 3: Gisela Fleischmann’s Letters 1942–1944. Documents], Nadácia Milana Šimečku – Židovská náboženská obec Bratislava, Bratislava, 2003, 123 p. Nižňanský, Eduard. (ed.): Holokaust na Slovensku. Zv. 4: Dokumenty nemeckej proveniencie (1939 – 1945). [=Holocaust in Slovakia 4: German Documents 1939 –1945], Nadácia Milana Šimečku – Židovská náboženská obec Bratislava, Bratislava, 2003, 328 p. Nižňanský, Eduard – Baka, Igor – Kamenec, Ivan (eds.): Holokaust na Slovensku. Zv. 5: Židovské pracovné tábory a strediská na Slovensku 1938–1944. Dokumenty. [=Holocaust in Slovakia 5: Documents], Nadácia Milana Šimečku – Židovská náboženská obec Bratislava, Bratislava – Vojenský historický ústav vo vyd. KLEMO, Zvolen, 2004, 352 p. Nižňanský, Eduard (ed.): Holokaust na Slovensku. Zv. 6: Deportácie roku 1942. [=Holocaust in Slovakia. 6. Documents], Zlatica, Nižňanská – Nadácia Milana Šimečku, Bratislava, 2005, 646 p. Nižňanský, Eduard (ed.): Holokaust na Slovensku. Zv. 7: Vzťah slovenskej majority a židovskej minority (náčrt problému). [=Holocaust in Slovakia 7: Documents], Zlatica, Nižňanská – Nadácia Milana Šimečku, Bratislava – Katedra všeobecných dejín Filozofickej fakulty Univerzity Komenského, Bratislava, 2005, 120 p. [A hét kötetes forráskiadvány a téma eddigi legteljesebb dokumentációja. Az időrend helyett a tematikus csoportosítás elvét követi. A 7. kötet a többségi nemzet és a zsidóság viszonyát vizsgálja.] Gabriel Hoffmann (ed.): Katolícka cirkev a tragédia slovenských zidov v dokumentoch, G-print, Partizánske, 1994. [A munka a katolikus egyház és a szlovák holokauszt kapcsolatát vizsgáló dokumentumok, írások gyűjteménye. Elsősorban olyan írásokról van szó, amelyek a második világháború után jelentek meg.] Kamenec, Ivan – Prečan, Vilém – Škorvánek, Stanislav (eds.): VATIKÁN a Slovenská republika (1939– 1945). Dokumenty. [=Vatican and the Slovak Republic (1939–1945). Documents], Historický ústav SAV a Ústav soudobých dějin ČAV v Slovak Academic Press, Bratislava, 1992, 228 p. [A forrásgyűjtemény a Vatikán és a Szlovák állam közötti diplomáciai kapcsolatok dokumentumait tartalmazza, s jelentős részben a szlovák állam zsidópolitikája adja a témáját.] Riešenie židovskej otázky na Slovensku (1938-1945). Dokumenty. I–V. Bratislava, 1994–2000. [Az öt kötetes munka időrendbe szedve tartalmazza a szlovákiai holokauszt forrásait.] Steiner, F (ed.): Tragédia slovenských Židov. Dokumenty a fotografie, Bratislava, 1949; The tragedy of Slovak Jewry: photographs and documents. Preface and captions, St. Engel; English translation, F.O. Stein, Documentation Centre of CUJCR, Prague, 1949, 142, [6] p. 2. Memoirs Barak-Ressler, Aliza: Cry Little Girl: A Tale of the Survival of a Family in Slovakia , Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 2003, 241 p.

Böhm, E. T.: V šesťročnom zajatí.(Spomienky na roky 1938–1945), Martin, 1994. Frieder, Armin: Z denníka mladého rabína, Bratislava, 1994. Horak, Olga: Auschwitz to Australia. A Holocaust Survivor’s Memoir, Kangaroo Press, East Roseville (NSW), 2000, 147 p. Hrabovecká, Hilda: Ruka s vytetovaným číslom, Bratislava, 1998. Hradská, K. – Schwalbová, M.: Žila som životy druhých, Bratislava, 2001. Lánik, Jozef: Oswiecim – hrobka styroch miliónov ludi krátka história a zivot v oswiecimskom pekle v rokoch 1942–1945, Košice, 1945. Medrický, G.: Minister spomína, Bratislava, 1993. Nir, A.: Chodníčky v ohnivom kruhu, Bratislava, 1994. Sidor K.: Šesť rokov pri Vatikáne, Scranton, 1947. Škodová, Júlia: Tri roky bez mena, Bratislava, 1962. Špitzer Juraj: Nechcel som byť žid, Bratislava, 1994. 3. Scientific works Baka, Igor: Židovský tábor v Novákoch 1941-1944. Br., Nadácia Milana Šimečku – Vojenský historický ústav – Židovská náboženská obec, Bratislava, 2001, 115 p. [A munka a nyitranováki munkatáborral foglalkozik.] Baki Attila: „A szlovákiai holokauszt”, in Krausz Tamás (ed.): Holokauszt történelem és emlékezet. (Ruszisztikai Könyvek, 17), Magyar Ruszisztikai Intézet, Budapest, 2006, 10 1–109. [1938 okt. – 1942 okt.] Braham (Randolph L.) The Politics of Genocide. The Holocaust in Hungary. Vol. I-II, 1981. 2nd enlarged and revised edition: Columbia University Press, New York, 1994; …A népirtás politikája. A Holocaust Magyarországon. I-II. kötet, Budapest, 1988; 2., bővített és átdolgozott kiadás, Belvárosi Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1997, XLVIII+1–676 & XIV+677–1474. old. [Szlovákia (II, 1002-1006. old.).] Brandmüller, Walter: Holocaust in der Slowakei und Katholische Kirche, Verlag P.H.C.W. Schmidt, Neustadt an der Aisch, 2003, 215 p. [E lsősorban emigráns jobboldali szlovák történészek munkájára támaszkodó, kevés újdonságot tartalmazó összefoglaló.] Cambel, S.: Slovenská dedina (1938–1944), Bratislava, 1996. Cohen, Asher: La Shoah, Les Editions du Cerf, Paris, 1990; …Soá, a zsidó vészkorszak (1933–1945). Cserépfalvi – Múlt és Jövő, Budapest, 1994, 118 p. [Szlovákia: 58.] Csíki Tamás, „A kassai zsidóság a holocaust idején”, in A Herman Ottó Múzeum Évkönyve [Miskolc] 42, 2003, 387–399. Długoborski, Wacław (ed.): The tragedy of the Jews of Slovakia: 1938-1945. Slovakia and the „Final Solution of the Jewish Question”. New English ed., revised. Auschwitz -Birkenau State Museum, O wiecím – Museum of the Slovak National Uprising, Banska Bystica, 2002, 319 p. Engel Alfréd, A dunaszerdahelyi zsidó hitkozség emlékkonyve, Kalligram, Pozsony, 1995, 220 p. Görög Artur: A kassai zsidóság torténete és gallériája, Friedmann Lipe nyomdájában, Bné -Brák, 1991,

VI+340, 92 p., ill., maps Graziano, Ingrid – Eördögh, István: Jozef Tiso és a Szlovákiai holokauszt, Magyar Egyháztörténeti Enciklopédia Munkaközösség (METEM) – Historia ecclesiastica Hungarica Alapítvány, Budapest, 2006, 128. [Áttekintő jellegű, de nem igazán elmélyült munka a szlovákiai holokausztról.] Hlavinka, Ján – Nižňanský, Eduard: Pracovný a koncentračný tábor v Seredi. 1941–1945, Br., Dokumentačné stredisko holokaustu, Bratislava, 2009, 191 p. [A munka a szeredi munkatáborral foglalkozik.] Hoensch, Jörg K. – Biman, S. – Lipták, L’: Emancipácia Židov – antisemitizmus – prenasledovanie v Nemecku, Rakúsko - Uhorsku, v českých krajinách a na Slovensku, Bratislava 1999. Hradská, Katarína: „Slovenský štát a holocaust”, in Velké dějiny, malý národ. O dnešní české státnosti a současném odkazu velkých dějin zemí České koruny a Československé republiky, Praha, 1995, 154–165. Hradská, Katarína: Prípad Dieter Wisliceny. (Nacistickí poradcovia a židovská otázka na Slovensku.) , A[cademic] E[lectronic] P[ress], Bratislava, 1999, 133 p. [Diter Wisliceny szlovákiai tevékenységének a feldolgozása.] James, A.: „Zmeny v postavení židovskej komunity v okrese Topoľčany počas obdobia slovenského štátu”, Česko-slovenská ročenka 2001, 123–133. Kamenec, Ivan: „K hospodárskej politike slovenskej buržoázie v rokoch 1939-1945. Arizačný proces a jeho triedny charakter”, Studia Historica Slovaca 22, 1977, 33–67. Kamenec, Ivan: „Riešenie židovskej otázky v prvom období Slovenskej republiky (roky 1939–1940)”, in Akcia Nisko v histórií „konečné řešení židovské otázky” k 55. výročí první hromadné deportace evropských Židů, Ostrava, 1995, 183–190. Kamenec, Ivan: „Židovská otázka na Slovensku a spôsoby jej riešenia v čase autonómie Slovenska”, Nové obzory 10, 1968, 155–180. Kamenec, Ivan: Po stopách tragédie, Archa, Bratislava, 1991, 285 p.; english version: On the Trail of Tragedy. The Holocaust in Slovakia. Translated by Martin Styan. Preface by Martin Bútora, H&H, Bratislava, 2007, 350 p. [A téma egyik legjobb szakértőjének összefoglaló jellegű munkája.] Karsai László, Holokauszt, Pannonica Kiadó, h. n. [Budapest], 2001. [„Holokauszt Szlovákiában”, 167–176. old. Tárgyalja a Vatikán és a szlovák katolikus egyház magatartását.] Kárný, Miroslav: „Lidské ztráty československých Židů v letech 1938–1945” [=Human Loss Among Czechoslovak Jews, 1938–1945.], Cesky Casopis Historicky 3, 1991, 410–420. [Concludes that the Jews of the Hungarian-ruled Uper Province (Felvidék) and Carpatho -Ruthenia (Kárpátalja) suffered 42,000 and 80,000 casualties, respectively.] Larišová, P.: Židovská komunita v Bratislave v roku 1940, Bratislava, 2000. Lévai Jenő: Fekete könyv a magyar zsidóság szenvedéseiről, Officina, Budapest, 1946, 320 p.; …Black Book on the Martyrdom of Hungarian Jewry, The Central European Times Publishing Co. Ltd, Zürich, 1948. [Szlovákia: 77-79.] Lipscher, Ladislav: Die Juden im slowakischen Staat: 1939–1945, Oldenbourg, Munchen – Wien, 1979, 210 p.; Židia v slovenskom štáte 1939–1945, Print-servis, 1992. Nižňanský, Eduard: „Deportácie Židov zo Slovenska v roku 1942 a prijatie ústavného zákona č.

68/1942 Sl. z. o „vysťahovaní Židov”, Studia Historica Nitriensia X, 2002, 85–157. Nižňanský, Eduard: „Slovenská spoločnosť a židovská komunita na Slovensku 1938–1945”, Československá ročenka 2001, 89–104. Nižňanský, Eduard: Nacizmus, holokaust, slovenský štát, Kalligram, Bratislava, 2010, 290 p. Nižňanský, Eduard: Slovenská politika a deportácie Židov zo Slovenska v roku 1942, Brno, 2003. Nižňanský, Eduard: Židovská komunita na Slovensku medzi československou parlamentnou demokraciou a Slovenským štátom v stredoeurópskom kontexte, Universum, Prešov, 1999, 293 p. [A könyv középpontjában azok a változások állnak, amelyek a szlovákiai zsidóságot 1938 végén és 1939 elején érték.] Nižňanský, Eduard (ed.): Židovská komunita na Slovensku. Obdobie autonómie. Porovnanie s vtedajšími udalosťami v Rakúsku, Bratislava, 2000. Nižňanský, Eduard – Hlavinka, Ján (eds.): Arizácie, Katedra všeobecných dejín FF UK a Dokumentačné stredisko holokaustu vo vyd. Stimul, Bratislava, 2010, 213 p. [A kötet az árjásítás regionális vonatkozásait vizsgáló tanulmányokat tartalmaz.] Nižňanský, Eduard – Hlavinka, Ján (eds.): Arizácie v regiónoch Slovenska, Katedra všeobecných dejín FF UK a Dokumentačné stredisko holokaustu vo vyd. Stimu l, Bratislava, 2010, 231 p. [A kötet az árjásítást, és a holokauszt gazdasági vonatkozásait tárgyaló tanulmányokat tartalmaz.] Potemra, Michal: „Zidovská otázka v Kosiciach v rokoch 1938–1944”, in Jurova, Anna (ed.), Kosice a deportácie Zidov v roku 1944, Spolocens Kovedny Ustav Kosice, Kosice, 1994, 37–51. Rotkirchen (Livia): „The Role of Czech and Slovak Jewish Leadership in Saving Activities”, in: Rescue Attempts During the Holocaust, Jerusalem, 1974. Rotkirchen (Livia): „A szlovákiai zsidók deportálása és az egyházak”, in: Rittner (Carol) – Smith (Stephen D.) – Steinfeldt (Irena) (eds.) – Bauer (Yehuda) (adviser ed.), The Holocaust and the Christian World. Reflections ont the Past, Challenges for the Future, Beth Shalom Holocaust Memorial Centre – Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies – Kuperard, 2005;…A Holokauszt és a keresztény világ. Szembenézés a múlttal és a jövő kihívásaival , Egyházfórum, Pécs – Balassi Kiadó, Budapest, 2009, 171–175. old. Rotkirchen (Livia): The Destruction of the Slovak Jewry, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1961. Sas Andor: A szlovákiai zsidók üldözése, 1939–1945, Kalligram, Pozsony, 1993, 260 p. [A téma egy viszonylag korai összefoglalása sok, azóta már meghaladott állítással.] Schmidt Mária: „Destruction of Slovakian Jews as Reflected in Hungarian Police Reports”, in Braham, Randolph L. (ed.): Studies on the Holocaust in Hungary, Columbia University Press, New York, 1990, 164–174. The Jews of Czechoslovakia. Historical Studies and Surveys, 1-2. kötet, The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia – Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews, New York, 1968–1971. Tóth, Dezider (ed.): The Tragedy of Slovak Jews. Proceedings of the international symposium, Banská Bystrica, 25th to 27th March 1992, Datei for the Ministry of Culture of Slovak Republic and Museum of Slovak National Uprising, Banská Bystrica, 1992, 322 p. Vrbová, Gerta: Trust and Deceit: a Tale of Survival in Slovakia and Hungary, 1939-1945, Vallentine Mitchell, London – Portland (OR), 2006, XII+181 p., [8] p. of plates, ill. Žiak, Miloš – Snopko, Ladislav (eds.): Park ušľachtilých duší. = Park of Generous Souls. Zv. 1,

Izraelská obchodná komora na Slovensku, Bratislava, 2007, 159 p. Žiak, Miloš – Snopko, Ladislav – Nižňanský, Eduard (eds.): Park ušľachtilých duší. = Park of Generous Souls. Zv. 2, Izraelská obchodná komora na Slovensku, Bratislava, 2008, 216 p. Žiak, Miloš – Nižňanský, Eduard – Snopko, Ladislav – Krajmerová, Eva (eds.): Park ušľachtilých duší. = Park of Generous Souls. Zv. 3, Izraelská obchodná komora na Slovensku, Bratislava, 2009, 160 p. Žiak, Miloš – Snopko, Ladislav (eds.): Park ušľachtilých duší. = Park of Generous Souls. Zv. 4, Izraelská obchodná komora na Slovensku, Bratislava, 2010, 120 p. [A sorozat részben a szlovákiai Holokauszt emlékhelyek kialakításával foglalkozik; másrészt pedig a Holokauszttal, illetve a keresztény társadalom és az üldözött zsidóság viszonyával foglalkozó tanulmányokat tartalmaz.] In the last two decades some works who want to relativise the responsibility of the Slovaks and the Slovakian political elite, especially those of Jozef Tiso, in the Slovakian Holocaust were published. Two of them ar more importants: Ďurica, Milan S.: Slovenský podiel na europskej tragédii Židov, Köln, 1987. Hoffmann, Gabriel: Zamlčaná pravda o Slovensku. [Diel 1.] Prvá slovenská republika. Prvý slovenský prezident Dr. Jozef Tiso. Tragédia slovenských židov podľa nových dokumentov, Partizánske, 1996. 4. Ethnological works: Krekovičová E.: Medzi toleranciou a bariérami. Obraz Rómov a Židov v slovenskom folklóre, Bratislava, 1999. Mannová, E. (ed.): Meštianstvo a občianska spoločnosť na Slovensku 1900–1989, Bratislava 1998. Salner, P.: „‛Viditeľní’ a ‛neviditeľní’ Židia v slovenskej spoločnosti po roku 1945”, Acta Judaica Slovaca, 4, 1998, 121–134. Salner, P. (ed.): Židovská identita včera, dnes a zajtra, Bratislava, 1995. Vrzgulová, M.: „Holokaust s meste. (Jeden z modelov polarizácie)”, in Salner, P – Luther, D. (eds.): Mesto a etnicita, Bratislava, 2001, 141–156. Vrzgulová, M.: „Mesto a jeho pamäť. Trenčín 1939–1945 v diverzifikovaných spomienkach”, in Historik v čase a priestore. Laudatio Ľubomírovi Liptákovi, Bratislava 2000, 63–78. Vrzgulová, M.: Známi neznámi Trenčania. Živnostníci v meste 1918–1948, Bratislava, 1997. Vrzgulová, M. (ed.): Videli sme holokaust, Bratislava, 2002.


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SALNER, Peter: Wspólnota žydowska v Bratyslawie (1900–1939). In. Miasto i kultura 1, Ed.: Salner, P., Stawarz, A. Warszawa 1997, p. 131-136. SALNER, Peter: Premeny židovskej komunity v Bratislave (1919 -1969). In. Židia v Bratislave. Bratislava : Zing Print, 1997. p. 53-70. SALNER, Peter: "Viditeľní" a "neviditeľní" Židia v slovenskej spoločnosti po roku 1945. In. Acta Judaica Slovaca. 1998/4, p. 121-134. SALNER, Peter: Židovská rodina na Slovensku v 20. storočí. In. Židia v interakcii, 1998, p. 21-30. SALNER, Peter: Židia v meštianskej spoločnosti Slovenska. In. Meštianstvo a občianska spoločnosť na Slovensku 1900 – 1989. Ed. Mannová, Elena. Bratislava 1998, p. 137 – 146. SALNER, Peter: “Viditeľní“ a „neviditeľní“. Židia v slovenskej spoločnosti po roku 1945. In. Acta Judaica Slovaca, 1998/4, p. 121 – 134. SALNER, Peter: Evolution of Jewish Identity in Slovakia. In. Ethnic Studies and the Urbanized Space in Social Anthropological Reflections. Prague Occasional Papers in Ethnology. 1998/5. p. 61-68. SALNER, Peter: The Children of the Holocaust: Problems of the Second Generation. In: Bridge to the Future. 12 th World Conference of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust. Praha 1999. p. 78-82. SALNER, Peter: Die Stellung der Juden in einer Majoritätsgese llschaft am Beispiel der Slowakei im 20. Jahrhundert. In: BREZOVSKY, E. P.; SUPPAN, A.; VYSLONZIL, E. (Hgs): Multikulturalität und Multiethnizität in Mittel- Ost- und Suedosteuropa. Peter Lang Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main, Berl in, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Wien 1999. p. 123-138. SALNER, Peter: Židia na Slovensku medzi tradíciou a asimiláciou. Bratislava : Zing Print, 2000. SALNER, Peter: Juden und Jüdinnen in der Bratislavaer Gesellschaft. In. Dérive, Zeitschrift für Stadtforschung. 2001/5. p. 37-39. SALNER, Peter: Etnická identita ako faktor polarizácie židovskej komunity. In. Etnicita a mesto. Eds. SALNER, Peter; LUTHER Daniel. Bratislava: Zing Print, 2001. p. 205-226. SALNER, Peter: Mlyn zomlel aj tých, ktorí zdanlivo unika li. In. Videli sme holokaust. Ed. VRZGULOVÁ, Monika. Nadácia Milana Šimečku 2002, p. 58-84. SALNER, Peter: Podoby judaizmu v súčasnosti. In. Národopisná revue. 2003/1. p. 29-32. SALNER, Peter – SALNEROVA, E.: A zsidóság témája a szlovákaiai iskolában. In. REGIO. Kisebbség, Politika, Társadalom. 2003/2. p. 106-139. SALNER, Peter: Židovská komunita na území Slovenska pred rokom 1914. In: Modernizace, identita, stereotyp, konflikt. Společnost po Hilsneriádě. Ed. SOUKUPOVÁ, Blanka; SALNER, Peter. Bratislava : Zing Print, 2004. p. 89-98. SALNER, Peter: Reflexia holokaustu ako jedna z trecích plôch medzi židovskou minoritou a slovenskou majoritou. In: Národ a národnosti na Slovensku. Stav výskumu po roku 1989 a jeho perspektívy. Ed. ŠUTAJ, Štefan. Prešov 2004. p. 217-221. SALNER, Peter: Premeny religióznej identity Židov v 20. storočí (Vplyv holokaustu na vzťah k judaizmu). In: Menšiny a mesto. Eds. SALNER, Peter; LUTHER, Daniel. Bratislava : Ústav etnológie SAV, 2004. p. 57-74.

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Documents and monographies available via Internet: FRANKL. M. Krištálová noc (1938) [online]., aktualizované 26. 9. 2011. [cit. 2012 – 04 24]. Dostupné na internete: <>. Elektronické dokumenty – monografie The Holocaust: An Introductory History [online]., [cit. 2012 – 04 – 24.] Dostupné na internete: <>. Elektronické dokumenty – monografie 25. 25. marec 1942 – začiatok deportácií židovských obyvateľov Slovenska [online]., aktualizované 12. 08. 2011. [cit. 2012 – 04 – 25.] Dostupné na internete: <>. Elektronické dokumenty – monografie ŠIŠJAKOVÁ Jana. K niektorým problémom antisemitizmu na Slovensku v rokoch 1945 1948.

Church History Works concerning the first half of the 20 th century: BORZA, Peter: Dejiny Gréckokatolíckej cirkvi na Slovensku v období II. svetovej vojny (1939-1945). Prešov : Petra, 2006. Církev v české a slovenské historii. ZUBKO, Peter et al. Olomouc : Společnost pro dialog církve a státu, 2004. DOLINSKÝ, Juraj: Cirkevné dejiny Slovenska II. Bratislava : Dobrá kniha, 2002. DOLINSKÝ, Juraj: Cirkev a štát na Slovensku v rokoch 1918-1945. Trnava : Dobrá kniha, 1999. LETZ, Róbert: Úsilia o vytvorenie Slovenskej cirkevnej provincie v rokoch 1918 až 1938. In:


Katolícka cirkev a Slováci, Ed. MULÍK, Peter. Bratislava : Bernolákova spoločnosť, 1998. SZEGHY, Gabriel: Košickí gréckokatolíci. Košice : Gréckokatolícky farský úrad, 2007. ANDREJ, J.: Dejiny Košického biskupstva latinského obradu v rokoch 1918 -1939. Prešov : Petra, 1999. ŠPIRKO, Jozef: Cirkevné dejiny - novovek. I-IV. Bratislava : 1943. Contemporary Catholic Journals: Title Cirkevné listy Kassai Katholikus Egyházi Tudósító Hlasy z katolíckych misií Kráľovná svätého ruženca Katolikus Ifjú Katolícke misie Katholikus Lelkipásztor Katolícke kázne Katholikus Akció Szűz Mária Új Virágos Kertje Svätá rodina Katolícka výchova Svätá rodina Diecézny obežník biskupstva spišského Posol Božského srdca Ježišovho Mariánska kongregácia Katolícka jednota Mladý katolík A Rozsnyói Egyházmegye "Actio Catholica" Rozsnyó leventéi Mladý katolík Stanislavovské zvesti jezuitov na Slovensku Saleziánske zvesti Stanislavovské zvesti jezuitov na Slovensku Saleziánska Nitra Place of publication Liptovský Mikuláš Kassa Nitra Stankovany Rozsnyó Trnava Pozsony Bratislava, Trnava Pozsony Komárom Liptovský Ondrej Bratislava Liptovský Trnovec Spišská Kapitula Trnava Trnava Bratislava Bratislava Rozsnyó Rozsnyó Smolenice Bratislava Bratislava Ružomberok Nitra Years of edition 1910; 1914; 1922; 1927-29 1914/1915; 1917/1918 1928 1930; 1932-37 1933 1931-34; 1936-37; 1940-45 1929 1934, 1941 1936 1939, 1943 1940 1940/1941 1940/1944 1940/1944 1940; 1944-45 1940-1944/45 1943 1943/1944 1944 1944/1945 1940 1940-1945 1941-44 1943-44

Contemporary Protestant (Calvinist and Lutherian) Journals: Title Evanjelický posol spod Tatier Pozdrav domácich viery cirkevného sbo ru evanjelického Place of edition Liptovský Mikuláš Žilina Years of edition 1914/15-1930 1923-45

Evanjelická mládež Evanjelický učiteľ Evanjelický učiteľ Evanjelická mládež Slovenské kalvínske hlasy Evanjelická Bratislava Slovenské kalvínske hlasy

Bratislava Liptovský Mikuláš Martin Brezová pod Bradlom Bratislava Bratislava Michalovce

1933/34 - 1934/35 1939 1939/40-1943/44 1940/41; 1943; 1944 1940, 1941, 1944 1943 1943