Hungarian Authorities Attempting to Evade Responsibility for Deportation of Jews

An indication that Allied warnings that the pro-Nazi Hungarian Government will be held accountable after the war for the murder and deportation of Jews are beginning to hit home is given today in a statement by high Hungarian officials to the correspondent of the Swiss Telegraphic Agency.

The correspondent reports that these officials categorically deny that Hungarian authorities have mistreated or killed Jews. Some Jews were deported, they said, in accordance with a recently concluded agreement between Hungary and Germany under which the former is to furnish manpower for German war industries. “The Jewish manpower,” they stated, “was placed at the disposal of the Reich in order to meet the wishes of our German ally in the interest of the joint conduct of the war.”

The deportation of the Jews, therefore, the Budapest spokesman continued, was merely an orderly transfer of workers, in which the part played by Hungarian authorities was limited to “the technical aspect of recruiting.” Accusations in the foreign press, they asserted, are without foundation.

Rumanian newspapers received here today report that two Hungarian Jews who were captured crossing into Rumania have been sentenced to five years at heard labor by a military court. Their names are given as Martin Berkowitz and Erno pollock. The place where they were apprehended was not disclosed.

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