To Taylor (17 August 1944)

From Karl Polanyi
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49A Hornsey Lane Gardens, N.

Dear Taylor,

Karolyi suggested that I let you have some material on the ghastly affair of the Hungarian Jews.

A careful perusal of the enclosed cutting from the Times gives the gist of the story up to 20th July. It ends, as you {note}, with a reference to the Red Cross negotiations which open the second, no less disgusting phase. But for the Jewish interests suggested with these negotiations and the {circumstances} that the Berlin generals' putch happened to coincide with the publications of the Horthy-Göbbelsian blackmail, the matter would have attracted much more attention. As it, Macartney and Co. succeeded to quash the affair even after its publication in the Times, and other papers.

The gist of the Times account is, of course, the attempt to drive a wedge between Britain and the USSR. While in the case of the Katyn affair the corpses were already there, in this case Göbbels had to provide them first which he did not hesitate to do. Although nothing is known about the number of Jews actually murdered in the Oświęcim (Auschwitz) camp, 30 miles West of Cracow, there seems to be no doubt about the very large number of Jews having been deported to that camp before the Red Cross compromise of 17th July.

As to this compromise. The Hungarian government agreed to [2/70] permit Jewish children under 10 to leave the country, if any country is ready to take them; also to allow Jews who possess visa for Palestine to leave for that country. Clearly this time the Jews should be used to poison the relationship of Britain and the USA (where Congress and both parties have officially endorsed the absurd thesis that the USA as a signatory of the Balfour declaration must compel Britain to lift all restrictions in regard to the immigration of Jews to Palestine).

Nobody will quarrel with Jews who imagine that their interests are served best by keeping quiet on the matter as long as they believe that Horthy is living up to the agreement (although making themselves the pawns in Göbbel's propaganda game doing so.) But why should the Hungarian Council be a part to this conspiracy of silence which is used in this country to build up the legend of a 'poor Horthy' that helpless victim of Göbbels, and so on? Horthy is still hoping to get away with it under the pretence of having been not the accomplice but the victim of Göbbels. Actually, he had committed himself to support Hitler militarily in exchange for the Vienna awards of Czech and Rumanian territory (confer. 'War and the Working Class'[1], June, 1944). Kallay in his speech made in Uzehorod on 20th October, 1942 boasted of Hungary's leading role in European fascism and claimed Hungarian hegemony on these grounds in the new Europe which is being born, the first place must go to those who were the prophets and pioneers of these new truths, he void Horthy was personally responsible for the assassination of Somogyi and Bacso, who suffered the fate of Matteotti. That he preferably hunted down 'red' Jews and did not mind playing at cards with the rich ones, should not excuse him.

Editor Notes

  1. Soviet Journal.

Document Informations

KPA: 47/14, 69-70