Thousands of WWII Registry Forms for Budapest Jews Found Stashed in Wall of House Near Hungarian Parliament
Renovations at a house in Budapest have uncovered thousands of historical documents registering the Jewish residents of the Hungarian capital, Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reported on Wednesday.
The 6,300 documents — dated 1944 and used to register Jewish residents from four districts in Budapest — were discovered by the landlord after inspecting a fissure in the wall, according to the report.
The forms were apparently ordered by the Budapest authorities on May 30, 1944 and sent to all homeowners — with orders to fill them out, specifying which of the owners and tenants were Christians, and which Jews — within 24 hours. Just a few weeks later, hundreds of thousands of Jewish residents were rounded up and deported from the city, most of them to their deaths.
Istvan Kenyeres, director-general of the Budapest City Archives, said the authorities were unaware why the documents were stashed inside the wall of this home, or who sought to store them there. He said the forms were historically important and gave insight into Budapest’s demographics at the time of WWII. He also expressed the opinion that many more such documents probably exist.
Over 600,000 Hungarian Jews were slaughtered between 1941 and 1944, mostly in Nazi extermination camps, and almost 50,000 Jews remain in the country today.