Every year since 2001, on 16th April, we remember the victims of the Holocaust in Hungary. In 1944, the ghettoisation of the Hungarian Jews in Kárpátalja started on this day. In the course of the following months more than 400.000 Jews were locked into transit camps, and deported to Auschwitz-Birkena from Hungary later on. Afterwards, the national socialist regime persecuted or attempted to annihilate other groups, as well, including the Roma, the disabled, the homosexuals and political enemies of the regime.

By the beginning of 1944 only the forced labourer Jews and those residing in Budapest remained in Hungary. The deteriorating military situation, the wave of international protest and the spreading news from the mass massacres in Auschwitz pushed Horthy to stop the deportations early July. Romania so long true to Hitler changed sides at the end of August and declared war on Berlin, which undermined the regional position of the Nazis. Taking advantage of this, Horthy dismissed the Sztójay-administration and appointed new government headed by Géza Lakatos Colonel General, whose main task was the secession from the German alliance, but by 15th October the Germans took over the initiative, made Horty resign and helped the Arrow Cross Party of Ferenc Szálasi come to power. The newfound “Nation-leader” initiated the deportations: throughout November and December some 50.000 Budapester and forced labourer Jews were taken to Germany – driving the majority of them on foot into the crumbling Empire. The Jews remaining in Budapest were locked into two ghettos. Terror became constant in the capital, Arrow Cross militants murdered thousands of Jews. Allied forces liberated the survivors of the ghettos in January, 1945, and those concentration camps in the spring of the same year.

On 19th March, 1944, the German Army invaded Hungary, and together with it arrived the so-called special mission unit (Sondereinsatzkommando - SEK) too, whose task was the extermination of Jews in the country. Adolf Eichmann SS-Lieutenant-Colonel - a main organiser of the Holocaust - was commissioned with leading the SEK, who was also leading the Jew-Department of the Imperial Principal Security Office that held Europe-wide authority over deportation issues. Governor Miklós Horthy, a couple of days after the invasion, answering to German pressure nominated a new government that served Nazi-interests. The anti-German Miklós Kállay was followed by Döme Sztójay in the seat of the Prime Minister.

Forrás: http://holokausztaldozatai.kormany.hu
The Sztójay-administration passed a large number of discriminative acts resulting in deprivation of rights against Hungarian citizens "to be viewed as Jews", and soon the complete segregation of Jews from the Christian society via legislation was initiated. The Government ordered them to wear the yellow star, then their property was confiscated and they were fired. The 825.000 Hungarian Jews were prohibited to travel, even to leave the area they resided in. At that moment László Baky State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior  issued his confidential decree, which was an element of the list of actions preceding the deportations. "The Hungarian Royal Government will purify the country from the Jews shortly. I order the cleansing according to regions, which shall result the Jewry - irrespective of sex or age - to be transported into the designated transit camps. Later, in cities and larger municipalities, part of the Jewry will gain placement in Jew-buildings (or ghettos) assigned by the police forces." Pursuant to the proposal of Adolf Eichmann SS-Lieutenant-Colonel, the forcing of Jews into ghettos first started in the Eastern and Northern regions (Kárpátalja, Felvidék, Észak-Erdély) on 16th April, 1944 - the collectivisation started with the rural population.

Forrás: http://holokausztaldozatai.kormany.hu
Between mid-April and the beginning of July, practically in the whole country - at last in Budapest - the ghettoisation was carried out. By early July 437.000 Jews were crammed in more than 170 ghettos. The second phase of the genocide, following weeks of suffering and being kept in inhuman conditions, was started with deportations from the 7th Constabulary District of Kassa - that incorporated whole Kárpátalja with Nyíregyháza and Máramarossziget - the second half of May on.
According to official figures, between 15th May and 7th June, from Kárpátalja, then Northeast-Hungary and Northern-Transylvania 4 trainsets per day, 92 in total crossed Kassa, the node of the main railway leading to Auschwitz, Poland. A trainset was made up of 45 wagons, in every one of them 70 men were crammed with their baggages. The seriously ill Jews and their relatives got into the last groups. The way to the death camps in Poland – under terrible sanitary conditions, hungry and thirsty – lasted for days. Several were not able to bear it, and died on the way. Around one third of the deported Jews were classified as able to work, the others were gassed, and the corpses were burnt in the crematoria.

Forrás: http://holokausztaldozatai.kormany.hu

By the beginning of 1944 only the forced labourer Jews and those residing in Budapest remained in Hungary. The deteriorating military situation, the wave of international protest and the spreading news from the mass massacres in Auschwitz pushed Horthy to stop the deportations early July. Romania so long true to Hitler changed sides at the end of August and declared war on Berlin, which undermined the regional position of the Nazis. Taking advantage of this, Horthy dismissed the Sztójay-administration and appointed new government headed by Géza Lakatos Colonel General, whose main task was the secession from the German alliance, but by 15th October the Germans took over the initiative, made Horty resign and helped the Arrow Cross Party of Ferenc Szálasi come to power. The newfound “Nation-leader” initiated the deportations: throughout November and December some 50.000 Budapester and forced labourer Jews were taken to Germany – driving the majority of them on foot into the crumbling Empire. The Jews remaining in Budapest were locked into two ghettos. Terror became constant in the capital, Arrow Cross militants murdered thousands of Jews. Allied forces liberated the survivors of the ghettos in January, 1945, and those concentration camps in the spring of the same year.