Hungarian Soldiers and Jews on the Eastern Front, 1941–1943 in Yad Vashem Studies, Volume 35:2

Judit Pihurik

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Hungarian Soldiers and Jews on the Eastern Front, 1941–1943

On the basis of unpublished diaries and memoirs, the article analyzes the attitudes towards Jews of Hungarian soldiers fighting on the Soviet front. The most common Jewish-related topic that the soldiers wrote about was the Jewish forced laborers. Some of the diaries espouse the allegation that the majority of Bolsheviks and their leaders were Jews, while others express their opinions when faced with the mass murders committed by the Germans in occupied Soviet territory. Some diaries depict the fate of the Jews deported from Hungary to Kamenets-Podolski in the summer of 1941. There were those who were astounded when they learned about the mass murders on the front in 1941-1942, while others considered these events with more equanimity as the natural consequence of antisemitic policy. In rare cases, some authors regarded the deeds of the Germans as examples to be followed. The diaries reveal the phases of the gradual undermining of morality, when some soldiers became capable of committing or accepting deeds that they would normally have condemned. The soldiers’ diaries and memoirs reflect the deep impression that antisemitic propaganda had made on soldiers from all walks of life and from different educational and social backgrounds, and how naturally some of them identified themselves with the antisemitic arguments

Products specifications
ISSN 0084-3296
Year 2007
Catalog No. 235204
Format Electronic article in Yad Vashem Studies, Volume 35:2, pp. 71-102, Edited by David Silberklang
Publisher Yad Vashem