Irony in Budapest

The sight of thousands of Arab migrants marching in a large column north from Budapest evokes many emotions.  Yes, we feel sorry for them.  But, when was the last time such a scene transpired in Budapest.  It was in fact in 1944, and then it was Jews not Arabs who were being forced to march north from Budapest. But, in that case it was the Hungarian fascist government under German direction who were expelling Hungarian Jews from their homes and their lives.

Now the Hungarian Government has decided to act on the incredible invasion of their country by tens of thousands of Arab migrants and refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  Most of them don’t want to stay in Hungary, so they are heading north to Austria and Germany.  Since the Hungarian Government stopped the trains, amid scenes of chaos, many of the migrants have taken to the road to go north to what they hope will be their promised land. And irony of ironies, the promised land for these Muslim migrants is …Germany.  Unfortunately, when the Jews were brutally driven along the same route only 71 years ago, they were being forced to march to Auschwitz in Poland, that is 200 miles from Budapest, and there those that survived the march, without food and water, were murdered, over 100,000 were killed.

Those who think this scenario is too extreme, too incredible to be true, should consult the history books, particularly “The Summer that Bled” by Anthony Masters.  Why was this particular episode of the Holocaust of Jews in Europe during WWII handled in this particularly brutal way.  First the war was coming to an end and Germany was losing.  Of the ca. 450,000 Jews in Hungary, by 1944 ca. 100,000 of them had been murdered by the Hungarian fascist Arrow Cross.  But, that was not enough, so the arch murderer of Jews, Adolf Eichmann, was dispatched to Hungary to deal with the remainder. When Germany invaded Hungary in March, 1944, the deportations by train to Auschwitz began, resulting in the murder of ca. 300,000 Jews.   But, as they were losing the war the Germans did not have enough trains to transport the final large Jewish community in Europe to the gas chambers in Auschwitz, so they organized the death march. Instead of fighting the Russians the German soldiers with Hungarian help were busy killing Jews.   So consider how comparatively fortunate the poor Arabs are now.


One thought on “Irony in Budapest

  1. Exactly my thought as I watched the sea of humanbeings. I thought “they are much more fortunate than than the Hungarian and Polish Jews who were marched to their deaths.


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