May 15th 1944 Jews of Hungary Begin to be sent to Auschwitz

The new premier of Hungary, Arrow Cross party leader Ferenc Szalasi, greets his troop commander in front of the Ministry of Defense in Budapest. 
Hungary was an Ally of the Germans during World War II and while the persecuted their Jews the government refused to allow them to transported and killed at the Death Camps. In March 1944 the Germans invaded Hungary and seized direct power. The Nazis began to deport the Jews and kill them at Auschwitz. 450,000 were transported in a three month period. The only Jews left were in Budapest, 80,000 of those Jews were killed in the fall of 1944 when Arrow Cross took power.

Hungary was allied with Nazis Germany from the beginning of the war. The Hungarian Germany persecuted the Jews of Hungary, forcing them out of government positions, seizing their property and making their life difficulty. However the Hungarian government refused to take part in the Final Solution and allow the Jews of Hungary to be killed. After Stalingrad the Hungarians began to try to back away from their Alliance with the Germans, something that the Germans would not allow.

In March 1944 the Germans invaded Hungary. They established a puppet government. Adolf Eichman commanded a Sonderkommando unit the accompanied the advancing German forces, his task to begin the extermination of the Hungary’s Jewish population. Judenrate were established throughout the country, and Jews were forced to wear the Yellow Star. By late April all the Jews were forced in ghettos. The ghettos however were in fact transit camps. Starting May 15th the Nazis began loading the Jews onto trains, whose next and last stop was the extermination camp at Auschwitz. The death trains to Auschwitz ended temporarily in July when the Hungarian regent Miklos Worthy stopped all the deportations. By this time 450,000 Hungarian Jews had been killed in the death camps. Most of the remaining Jews lived in Budapest. On October 15th 1944 Horthy announced that he was going to make peace with the Allies. The Nazis toppled the government and put in charge Ferenc Szalasi of the violently anti-semitic Arrow Cross Party. The Arrow Cross, immediately went on a rampage killing Jews in Budapest. AS many 80,000 were killed many shot on the banks of the Danube and then thrown into the river. Others were sent on death marches to the Austrian border. At the same time however, many of the Jews were saved due to interventions both by the Zionist led by Dr Israel Kasztner who among other things arranged for a train of 1,800 to depart for Switzerland and the activities of Swedish Raoul Wallenberg and Swiss Carl Lutz who provided false papers and used money often supplied by the US to buy Jews out of Hungary.

By the time Hungary was liberated by the Soviets in April 1945 568,000 of the Jews of Hungary had been killed.