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Hungary’s Jews Slowly Recovering Possessions, Making Progress Towards Rehabilitation

The 200,000 Jews who remain in Hungary are slowly recovering possession of the homes and enterprises taken from them by the German-dominated governments and have taken the first steps toward becoming reintegrated in the economic life of the country, according to a traveller who has just returned from there.

He reveals that the Jewish community in Budapest now numbers about 140,000. There were about 84,000 Jews in the capital when the Red Army liberated the city– 55,000 in the ghetto, 25,000 lodged in special houses under the protection of the Swiss and Swedish Governments, and 4,000 who had false identification papers. Since then, 22,000 who were deported to Austria have returned and others have straggled home from concentration and labor camps.

Of the 140,000 about 80,000 are gainfully employed, while the others are still destitute. Soup kitchens and temporary hostels have been established by the Jewish Committee to care for the latter group. The committee is headed by one Ludwig Stoeckler. More than 4,000 Jewish orphans are being cared for in about 30 homes. These children are practically the only Jewish youngsters remaining in all of Hungary.

Under decrees promulgated by the Hungarian Provisional Government, Jews enjoy full political and legal equality. In addition, as a result of the active part played by Jews in the underground struggle against the Germans, they have won the sympathy and support of all democratic groups. Many well known Jewish partisans were captured by the Nazis and either murdered or deported.

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