Political and Diplomatic Activities for the Rescue of the Jews of Northern Transylvania
After the German occupation of Hungary in 1944, the underground began activities in Bucharest on behalf of the Transylvanian Jews resident in the capital. The aim was to transfer Jewish refugees across the border into Rumania in order to ensure their survival. Some 2,500 Jews were thus saved, many of whom made their way to Palestine. The Committee for Refugee Affairs (later the Curatorium) conducted and financed the rescue operations. After the anti-German coup of August 1944, the committee concentrated on the Jews of northern Transylvania. Estimates suggested that a third of the 150,000 Jews deported from Transylvania were still alive and bringing them home was urgent. Great pressure was applied to the foreign office, whose staff responded positively and contacted Berlin, Budapest, and the International Red Cross but to no avail. The Allied powers were now targeted but nothing came of it. Again, an approach was made to the Red Cross. Even the Vatican was petitioned — another futile effort. Shocking memoranda were dispatched to many world leaders and top personalities. As a last resort, an appeal was made to the commanders of the Soviet forces and to Soviet statesmen. Tangible results were negligible.