Monday, December 15, 2014
ADSS 10.370 Rotta to Sec State - Hungarian Jews
Reference: Telegram number 305 (AES 7190/44)
Location and date: Budapest, 23.10.1944 @21.00, received Rome 24.10.1944 @ 19.00.
Summary statement: Steps taken in favour of the Hungarian Jews.
I received your telegram 326. (1)
In my telegram, number 302 (2) about recent events I also mentioned the resumption of the struggle against the Jews; all exemptions granted by the previous government were withdrawn and it would like to get to the dissolution of mixed marriages with Jews. There will be no deportations but work is obligatory in Hungary; numerous acts of cruelty were committed by members of the [Arrow Cross] party.
On the 18.10.1944 I conferred with the Foreign Minister (3) and on 21.10.1944 with the Prime Minister, Szalasi (4); I insisted strongly on behalf of the Holy See to improve the conditions of the Jews, especially because it is not possible to proceed to the declaration of the nullity of marriages and because concessions obtained prior to this retain their value; I was given good promises. The Prime Minister seems willing, but I do not have a lot of confidence because of the great influence of extremists within the party. I questioned the Prime Minister about the new government’s attitude towards the Catholic Church; the Prime Minister made a satisfactory statement, but I would not rely too much on it. (5)
(1) ADSS 10.365
(2) ADSS 10.359
(3) Gabor Kemeny (1910-1946), Foreign Minister 1944-1945.
(4) Ferenc Szalasi, Arrow Cross Leader and Head of State, 15.10.1944-28.03.1945; ADSS 10.359, n1.
(5) The minutes of the meeting of 21.10.1944 run to nineteen pages, and along with other documents of the Szalasi regime, can be found in the National Archives in the United States. T – 973, Roll 1: Frames 1153-1218.