Anti-Jewish Atrocities in the Post-War Political Transition in Central and Eastern Europe. A Case that Caused Controversy: Kunmadaras 21 May 1946

Tamás Lönhárt
Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca


Abstract: After the Second World War, the problem of reintegrating the survivors of the Holocaust occurred in the Hungarian society, as well. As the events of the Holocaust unfolded, the non-Jewish population stood by passively. In addition, it was impossible to erase anti-Semitism from public consciousness. The Communist Party attempted to hide all these matters and the survivors themselves behind a ‚wall of silence‛. Moreover, the communists called for the annihilation of the Jewish middle-class that was the enemy of the peasantry and of the working class. Because of these actions, and due to the drastic inflation in Hungary in 1946, there was a tension which led to anti-Semitic acts in Miskolc and Kunmadaras. The research conducted on the trials held after the events has revealed that certain members of the Communist Party inflamed the masses and also participated in the events. Afterwards, they tried to avoid responsibility for the direct role they had played in the events, blaming instead the Smallholders’ Party for what had happened.

Keywords: Hungarian anti-Semitism, Hungarian Communist Party, Holocaust survivors, post-Second World War pogroms, Kunmadaras