The tragedy of Hungarian Jewry reached its climax between the 15th of May and the 7th of July, 1944, when nearly half a million Jews were expelled from Hungary and sent to death camps. The removal of Jews from Hungary - except for those of the capital, Budapest - was absolute, and was carried out rapidly and efficiently. This dramatic event, unusual even against the background of the Holocaust, did not take place in a vacuum. It grew out of the relationship that had evolved over generations between the expelled people and the larger populace. The Christian church in Hungary played a central, active part in this relationship and its final, devastating outcome.
The role of the Christian church in Hungary during the Nazis' campaign of Jewish mass extermination has been largely forgotten. Now, Moshe Herczl exposes this repressed and painful episode in the history of the Holocaust. Using previously unknown materials and extensive analytical research, he recreates the church's actions and disposition toward Hungarian Jewry. Drawing on personal correspondence, speeches, and of ficial platforms, he provides a scathing indictment - in its own words - of the church's lack of compassion toward - and even active persecution of - Hungary's Jews during this period.
"Based on rich documentation, it contains within it a great deal of information unknown to scholars to date. . . . A real contribution to our understanding of anti-Semitism in Hungary."
-Yisrael Gutman, Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, Jerusalem