Huge Holo­caust doc­u­ment cache found in wall cav­ity

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY JC RE­PORTER

THE OWN­ERS of a Bu­dapest apart­ment have dis­cov­ered a huge trove of doc­u­ments re­lat­ing to the Hun­gar­ian Holo­caust in a wall cav­ity.

The 6,300 pa­pers are part of a 1944 cen­sus of Bu­dapest’s Jews that was car­ried out to lay the ground for their ex­ter­mi­na­tion.

The doc­u­ments con­tain a build­ingby-build­ing record of res­i­dents sur­veyed and whether or not they were Jewish.

Brigitte Berdefy, one of the own­ers of the apart­ment, said that a work­man de­tected the pres­ence of pa­per af­ter stick­ing a screw­driver into a crack in a wall. Af­ter care­fully re­mov­ing some bricks, she lifted 135lb of doc­u­ments out from be­hind the plas­ter.

Bu­dapest city ar­chives chief, Ist­van Keny­eres, told AFP: “The con­tent and scale of the find­ing is un­prece­dented.

“It helps to fill a huge gap in the history of the Holo­caust in Bu­dapest… Jewish peo­ple filled in the forms hon­estly. They re­fused to be­lieve where this might end up.”

The May 1944 Bu­dapest cen­sus aimed to iden­tify houses that could serve as hold­ing lo­ca­tions for Jews be­fore be­ing moved to a walled ghetto in the city’s sev­enth dis­trict.

Af­ter the cen­sus, around 200,000 Jews were moved into 2,000 se­lected build­ings, “Yel­low Star Houses”, with the Star of David painted on the doors.

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