Deportation of Hungarian Jews: Auschwitz-Birkenau 1944

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Many groups had great power and influence around the world during the holocaust. How this influence was used or not used helped shape experiences, often horrific for many European Jews. In Hungary, toward the end of the holocaust not only did the international institutions become silent bystanders, but their very own neighbors turned their back on their fellow citizens knowing what atrocities awaited their arrival to Auschwitz. The brutality started close to home when fellow Hungarians, in a combined effort with the city government, railroad officials, and law-enforcement agencies coordinated a swift transport of 400,000 Jews to their almost certain death. “In March 1944, the Germans occupied Hungary and in April, they forced the Jews into ghettos. Between May and July, they deported most of Hungarian Jewry to Auschwitz-Birkenau.” German SS Colonel Adolf Eichmann was named chief of the team of deportation experts. “One of the salient points about the deportation of the Jews of Hungary is the extent of the involvement of the local authorities. Eichmann was impressed by the eagerness and zeal of the local auxiliaries.” This massive and rapid deportation led to problems for the Germans. Soon after the deportation began it was determined that Auschwitz was not prepared to kill as many people as they had planned. The train tracks were extended into the Birkenau camp so that the Jews could be brought closer to the gas chambers. An agreement was reached with the railroad officials to alter the train schedule to suit their needs. On “alternate days two trains of deportees, then three trains, should be dispatched.” Eichmann was directly responsible for the scheduling of evacuations from Budapest. This was detailed in the Veesenmayer ... ... middle of paper ... ...ated to do so because it would have eliminated their future chances to help, if given the chance. Also, there was concern that any intervention would comprise the Red Crosses ability to provide help of millions of military captives. Despite the Red Crosses complete lack of support for the holocaust victims; they were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1944. In conclusion, from local governments to large influential organizations, people around the world turned their back on the Jews during the Holocaust. Almost every day in our lives we have the opportunity to be more than a bystander. We should put aside our own individual fears in order to pursue fairness for others around us. Being a Boy Scouts has taught me to do for others “…to help other people at all times.” When I consider our oath, it reinforces how selfless we all must be to make the world a better place to live.

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