Jewish Leaders in Switzerland Fear Large-scale Gestapo Terror Against Jews in Budapest
Menu JTA Search

Jewish Leaders in Switzerland Fear Large-scale Gestapo Terror Against Jews in Budapest

Download PDF for this date

Grave fears for the Jews in Budapest were expressed by Jewish leaders today following reports reaching here from various reliable sources that anti-Jewish measures in Hungary are becoming more severe daily as Russian armies converge on the Hungarian capital.

In addition to resumed mass-deportations of Jews by the Gestapo, Jews in Budapest have been forbidden since Saturday to appear in the streets even though they wear a Mogen Dovid badge. Only one Jew from each family can leave the ghetto for one hour at a specified time in order to secure rationed food.

The Jews live in constant fear of what the next hour may bring them, one report says. They expect the worse. Isolated from the rest of the world, they depend entirely on occasional contacts with friendly Hungarian non-Jews and neutral diplomats to make their plight known. But it is believed that even these meager contacts will cease as the battle lines approaches the city. At present, Russian troops are only 60 miles from Budapest.

Neutral observers in Switzerland are of the opinion that Budapest will fall to the Russians within a month. Jewish leaders here who have been in communication with prominent persons in Budapest in an attempt to secure intervention for the Jews of Hungary, are finding it difficult to maintain these connections. They fear that the deportation of 50,000 Jews from Budapest to Germany, which started within the last few days, is only the beginning of large-scale Gestapo terror. It is noted here that the deportees were all able-bodied men. What the Gestapo intends to do with Jewish women, children and aged persons, who were driven during the week-end into the ghetto promises, is the subject of gloomy predictions.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund