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Facing the Holocaust in Budapest: The International by Arieh Ben-Tov

By Arieh Ben-Tov

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Extra info for Facing the Holocaust in Budapest: The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Jews in Hungary, 1943–1945

Sample text

Rodolphe Haccius arrived in Budapest on 18 March 1919 to be confronted by the events stemming from the outbreak of revolution four days later. His first concern was to ensure that the delegation should be allowed to remain, and he immediately went to see Bela Kun's secretary, Dr Krcyrsik, in the hope of gaining an assurance on this point. Dr Krcyrsik informed him that the Government recognized the tremendous service rendered by the 'International Red Cross' and wished to remain on good terms with it ·9 Haccius' first reports from Hungary in the throes of revolution to the ICRC in Geneva were moderately optimistic: 'The Government appears to have the approval of the population: it stands for national defence.

28 Mter entering the War, the authorities purged the army of Jews, but at the same time they came up with the idea of involving male Jews aged between 18 and 48 in another form of highly dangerous military service. The government assigned these men to auxiliary units on the eastern front to work in military labour camps in the service of the second Hungarian army. Their duties went far beyond 23 what could reasonably be expected, and they had no rights. They were not provided with warm clothing or footwear; the food they received was poor and the rations meagre by comparison with the normal army standards.

It offered direct access to Rumania and the Ukraine by the ViennaBudapest-Szeged railway, and to the Black Sea via the Danube. 8 Having set the scene, I shall leave this matter aside to concentrate on the actions of the ICRC during the Hungarian revolution and its 29 aftermath, following the resignation of Karoly, under the regimes of Bela Kun, the Rumanian invaders, and finally Admiral Horthy. The ICRC was represented at the beginning by its delegate Rodolphe Haccius, who was later joined by other delegates.

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