5,000 Jews Ordered to Leave Budapest; Crowds Storm Israel Consulate for Visas

More than 5,000 permanent Jewish residents of Budapest have been ordered to leave the city, within 12 hours, under a plan to rid the Hungarian capital of so-called “inefficient” persons, according to authoritative reports received here today.

Crowds of 400 to 500 persons daily now storm the Israel consulate in Budapest seeking visas, but the consulate reportedly is unable to cope with the flood of demands. Hungarian police are said to be stationed around the consulate “maintaining order.”

The Budapest newspaper “Szabad Nep” came out with an attack against the Israel legation in Hungary for having intervened on behalf of Jewish families affected by the so-called “Hungarian People’s Resettlement Program” under which the Budapest Jews have been ordered to leave the city.

“Apparently the fate of the Jewish aristocrats and that of some of Admiral Horty’s generals are equally close to the legation’s heart,” the Hungarian paper said. The article claimed that the banished Jews are “reactionary fifth-columnists” and their presence in Budapest constitutes a “danger to the interests of the state.”

Meanwhile it was announced here today that the British Government has liberalized the regulations affecting the release of frozen assets of some Hungarian Jews. Reversing earlier procedure, the British Government has agreed to the release by the Administrator of Enemy Property of property belonging to Jews who served in forced labor battalions either on civilian or military projects, terming the service “deprivation of liberty.”

Britain has also agreed to release the property of Jews held for only short terms in Rumania and Hungary because it has been proved that many Jews were arrested and threatened with death if they did not surrender their property. Having turned over their property, many of the Jews were immediately released.

Also, the British Government has agreed to extending the deadline for filing claims in behalf of owners of property who have died. The deadline was extended for those who died up to September, 1947, when peace was signed with Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria. Previously, claims could only be filed for property owners who died up to the cessation of hostilities in 1945.

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