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Hungarian Authorities Permit Looting of Jewish Homes in Encircled Budapest

As the Red Army draws its net tighter around Budapest, wholesale plunder of Jewish dwellings is being encouraged by the authorities, especially by the Commissioner for Jewish Property.

Hungarian newspapers reaching here today carry an announcement by the commissioner authorizing members of the anti-Semitic Arrow Cross party to seize all movable Jewish belongings. Caretakers of buildings are instructed to admit to former Jewish dwellings anyone who displays a membership card in the Arrow Cross party. The instructions provide that food, clothing and crockery can be removed from Jewish homes without any receipts, but lists must be made of jewelry, gold, silver, watches, clocks, furs and valuable carpets.

The Nazi Transocean news agency today reports that a Palestine-born Rumanian Jew, Herman Safadi Mendel, has been arrested in Budapest on the charge of planting a bomb in the House of Hungarian Culture, which resulted in the killing of several dozen people. The news agency quotes the Budapest newspaper Pester Lloyd as reporting that Mendel, when interrogated, declared that he organized a Jewish fighting unit in Hungary in May 1944. The group was given the task of blowing up bridges, railways and hotels. One branch of this group manufactured false identity documents. “Nearly all members of the sabotage group are now in the hands of the police,” the Transocean dispatch said.

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