Friday, February 10, 2012

Photographs Documenting the Holocaust in Hungary

When the Soviet Army captured Budapest on January 17-18, 1945, it was too late to save the lives of 564,500 Jews who had been sent to the various death-camps run by the Nazis. The Budapest SS headquarters, however, was over-run by the Soviets before the Nazis were able to destroy a huge number of papers which documented their efforts to annihilate the Hungarian Jews. These documents, together with many of the photographs that are part of this essay, were bundled up by the Soviets and stored in the basement of the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior where they remained unseen for over forty years. When Hungary regained its independence from the Soviet block, the new Minister of the Interior discovered these documents and gave them to the Jewish Museum and Archives of Hungary where Dr. László Karsai is presently cataloging and scanning them. We are pleased that the Museum has selected The Holocaust History Project as the site in the United States where eventually all of the tens of thousands of documents may be viewed. The small sampling at the Holocaust History Project  bears witness to those dreadful years.