Decisions amid chaos: Jewish survival in Budapest, March 1944 - February 1945 Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Somogyi, Allison
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • The Jews of Budapest are completely apathetic and do virtually nothing to save themselves, Raoul Wallenberg stated bluntly in a dispatch written in July 1944. This simply was not the case. In fact, Jewish survival in World War II Budapest is a story of agency. A combination of knowledge, flexibility, and leverage, facilitated by the chaotic violence that characterized Budapest under Nazi occupation, helped to create an atmosphere in which survival tactics were common and widespread. This unique opportunity for agency helps to explain why approximately 58 percent of Budapest's 200,000 Jews survived the war while the total survival rate for Hungarian Jews was only 26 percent. Although unique, the experience of Jews within Budapest's city limits is not atypical and suggests that, when fortuitous circumstances provided opportunities for resistance, European Jews made informed decisions and employed everyday survival tactics that often made the difference between life and death.
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  • In Copyright
  • Bryant, Chad
  • Master of Arts
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  • 2014

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