5. Guide to the detailed processing of documents
5.1. Characteristics of the sources.
5.1.1. In Hungary, the state and local authorities carried out the Holocaust by administrative ways and means.
5.1.2. Executive orders were issued by the almighty Military Authority in Carpatho-Ruthenia and by its successor: the Governorship of Carpatho-Ruthenia. Due to historical circumstances mentioned in the Preface, only a fraction of documents is at our disposal. This source was found by Ferenc Gáspár.( "Múlt és jövo", 1992, 3. sz. ) The seat of the Government Commission was in Kassa. The town belonged to Slovakia since 1920. Documents of the then Hungarian Government Commission can be found there. The remaining 4 boxes ( appr. 25 linear meters ) of documents are there. Research would take 10 days; the quantity of copying can be appraised only in the course of research.
5.1.3 Following the introduction of so-called civil administration, the chief prefect appointed by the Minister of the Interior, became the head of each county. He co-ordinated and supervised the measures taken by the authorities. As I mentioned already, the sub-prefect was the head of practical implementation. The next stage of the machinery under his command were the regional and district notaries, the mayors in towns, as well as the village mayors. The county directorates of central authorities - among others the Financial Directorate, Agricultural Directorate, the technical departments, Hungarian State Railways, etc. - were the depositories of the "professional timetable" of Holocaust. Parallel with the extermination of Jews, the Ministry of Education and Culture elaborated a strongly subsidized, so-called plan of magyarization, above the law.
5.1.4. The solution of "daily tasks and things to be done" was incumbent upon the local authorities. The gendarmerie was the most active zealot. ( Its documents were destroyed. We demonstrated its structure in the present study. Data in the documents of the gendarmerie could be reconstructed from the documents of local authorities, as instructions arrived simultaneously to towns and villages too. )
5.1.5. The specific role of social institutions and organizations must not be underestimated. The anti-Jewish and antinational group supporting the government, the associations of tens of thousands of civil servants selected to execute tasks in connection with occupation, the local groups of "vitéz" ( gallant ) having been awarded land and other properties, - these all took part at a certain level in the persecution of Jews and were its beneficiaries. Thus the reports, official and non-official standpoints of these, as well as their proposals and printed press are valuable sources.
5.1.6. The reconstruction of contemporary maps, indicating the then and the present names of localities, would also be necessary for the demonstration of the dates and memories of the Holocaust of 1944. There are detailed maps with sociological, cultural and economic indicators of settlements among the files for the preparation of the peace talks in Paris.
5.1.7. The very accurate reports of the German occupation authorities are to be found on films in the film archive of the Hungarian National Archives, as well as among Eichmann’ s and Veesenmayer’ s reports.
5.1.8. The records of lawsuits, scanty though, are also characteristic. It becomes evident: who and to what extent supported the Jews, what kind of manifestations of Jewish self-defence were there, how did the horthyite, later on arrowcross courts pass judgement.
5.1.9. In March 1944, the law-abiding Jewish communities also handed in lists of names of their office-bearers and their members paying tax to the community. The lists are not complete. A list was compiled about the members of communal institutions in then Hungary. This list covers the area of Carpatho-Ruthenia, too. We already mentioned the book published by the Judasitic research group in Budapest.
5.1.10. After the Second World War, within the framework of international actions, commissions investigating Nazi crimes were set up in the Soviet Union, too. The commissions prepared lists on the loss of human lives. A detailed cadastral was prepared about the new proprietorship. ( It was so detailed that even the social picture of late Jewish communities in certain towns can be drawn out of that. ) In case the compilation of collective claims would take place later, the land registers could also be used, though these registers were kept very inaccurately after nationalization.
5.2. Concerning preliminary appraisal
5.2.1. Out of the general inventory, we indicated the record groups of offices and leaders having played a role in the Holocaust structure.
5.2.2. We concentrated our research on documents 1939-1944.
5.2.3. We used a random sample to verify whether offices and officials, thought to be competent, had really taken measures or not, and is there any written trace of their steps.
5.2.4. We went on unravelling these subject-wise, page by page.
5.2.5. We did not survey the documents piece by piece. We did not survey the documents matter-wise, theme-wise either; this summary was compiled on the basis of titles of documents. Within this, we could count the number of pages only. Out of this, the number and importance of documents, and the time needed for lifting out can be established.
5.2.6. An independent Ukrainian Archives was set up following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The regional archives do not have independence, they are just branches of the central archives. At the maximum I can get a permit in principle to carry on research work. Through personal contacts and with full knowledge of conditions in the Ukraine, I can say with conviction that we cannot count upon official, personal technical assistance whatsoever.
5.2.7. Money at our disposal, the expenses of travel and stay, the circumstances of stay, as well as the lack of technics limited our further efforts. All this would require more work, but the necessary financial means are not at my disposal. The almost 100,000 names in various documents would contribute to the world-list of the Holocaust Museum.
5.3. The Holocaust in Soviet sources.
By today the so-called retrospective documents originating in 1945, during the Soviet period, are of historical significance. The so-called peoples’ committees appointed by Soviet authorities compiled the list of Jews deported and of those returned home. The work of the committees was ordered by the government of the Soviet Union on May 7 and June 17. According to the "directives", lists were set up from town to town, from district to district on territories occupied by Germany and her allies. The lists contained the description of crimes committed against and the damages caused to the population by the German conquerors.
The lists contained: the name of the head of the family, the address of the apartment, the number of family members, the number of dead and the number of survivors. A separate heading contained the size of the home Value was indicated at 1945 prices. Minutes were taken up in each and every family. That is hundreds of minutes were drawn up in connection with 6400 deportees from Munkács and the 800 persons who returned home. These documents are available.
With one of my colleagues, we got hold of, copied and authenticated the register of 3067 persons, taken by Soviet authorities in Munkács. The register was taken on April 9, 1946, by "Munkacsevszkij narodnij komitet v Munkacsevo." It contains 44 numbered pages.
The document drawn up in Uzsgorod ( Ungvár ) and containing 38 pages recalls the traces of 2538 men who returned from concentration camps. It is an important document with regard to claims and compensations too, as besides the particulars of birth, the name of the concentration camp and the number of the prisoner are also given everywhere.
I enclose one page and the original questionnaire.
On the basis of these lists the Soviet Union - on behalf of the Jews of Carpatho-Ruthenia, then Soviet citizens already - claimed compensation from Hungary in 1947. In the first round of research I found the correspondence from among the files on compensation. Further research is needed to find out whether paying did take place or not. The Jews in 1945, when they returned home, received 500-1000 Pengos respectively.
We found Hungarian Internal Ministry documents containing lists compiled by the Jewish community from Nagyszöllős.
In conclusion, I again draw the attention of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture and the attention of all those who will read this study in 1998 that
a./ There is a world-wide demand to complete the list of the dead. This part of the list, containing the names of almost 100,000 persons, is obtainable;
b./We get nowhere if we try the official way, as the documents are scattered about. Only with the help of my Carpatho-Ruthenian colleagues and Jewish scientists well served in the conditions there, now living in Hungary, shall we be able to acquire these documents;
c./The documents could be of use for and an important contribution to the Claims Conference and the delegations negotiating with the Ukraine;
d./ We must act immediately, as there are strong efforts to centralize the collecting of documents. Later on, the documents will be destroyed. Our connections will disappear.