“The Politics of Genocide. The Holocaust in Hungary” - Notes on Randolph L. Braham’s Book
In 1981 Braham published the first comprehensive book documenting the Holocaust in Hungary. This review of his study begins with the Golden Era of Emancipation and ends with the problems encountered by the survivors. Hungarian Jews ignored the rise of antisemitism in the post-World War I period, as well as the First Anti-Jewish Law passed in 1938, and the subsequent anti-Jewish measures and atrocities committed during World War II. Braham reproaches those who placed themselves in leadership positions of the large Jewish community and believed, ostrich-like, that the Jews’ fate would be the same as the country’s non-Jewish population. By the spring of 1942, the leaders knew of the Nazi’s extermination program, yet did not alert the Jewish masses. The Hungarians, in general, collaborated in the destruction of their country’s Jews. Rescue activities, mainly in Budapest, are mentioned. Further studies on this subject should be pursued.