On 15 May 1944 the first deportations of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau commenced. The first gassings took place the following day. A week earlier, Rudolf Hoess had been sent back to Auschwitz to oversee final preparations for the murder of an expected 800,000 Hungarian Jews.
Friday, July 11, 2014
ADSS 10.196 Amleto Cicognani (USA) to Luigi Maglione
Reference: Telegram 1975, (AES 3190/44)
Location and date: Washington, 16.05.1944 @ 05.58 (arrived Rome 17.05.1944 @ 17.00)
Summary statement: Request for intervention for Hungarian Jews and Jews interned in Vittel. Hungarian Jews are being deported from Russian Sub-Carpathia. Numbers 24,000 to date.
The Office of the President of the United States for war refugees has started receiving reports of the deportations of the Jews of Hungary from Russian Sub-Carpathia, in addition to general deportation of Polish refugees known to the Hungarian police. (1) It also affirms that those who presented themselves at the Turkish Consulate suspected of asking for visas to that country have been arrested and transported to unknown places. The same office trusts in the intervention of the Holy See. (2) Referring to telegram 1527 (3) the same office greatly appreciates the action of the Holy See, but points out that recognition by some of the Latin American republics, does not necessarily imply immigration to those countries. Once out of German occupied territory, the Government hopes you will find a place to send them. The committee for Jewish refugees asks the Holy See to intervene with the Spanish government so that 238 Israelites, who have South American passports and who have been transferred from Vittel camp to an unknown place … return to that concentration camp since it appears that the documents only grant them permission to leave German occupied territory. (4)
(1) This may be an inaccurate communication. In a similar telegram sent at the same time we read: “ … from Hungary and Hungarian controlled areas has begun and 24,000 deported from Sub-Carpatho-Russia to date, in addition to general deportation of Polish refugees whose names are known to Hungarian police …” (FRUS 1944, I General, p 1043).
(2) Telegram sent to Angelo Rotta on 20.05.1944 (Telegram 238, AES 3190/44). See too ADSS 10.209. Amleto Cicognani was informed (Telegram 1596, 2994/44).
(3) See ADSS 10.158.
(4) See ADSS 10.200