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July 30: A Post-War Pogrom in Hungary

July 30, 2014
ghetto-1A workers’ demonstration became an anti-Semitic pogrom in Miskolc, Hungary on this date in 1946. The riot was part of a series of post-war pogroms that rocked Hungary. A contemporary report by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency called the rioters “a fascist mob,” yet the Communists, according to Peter Kenez’s Hungary from the Nazis to the Soviets, “explicitly approved... spontaneous demonstrations, and even lynching... by promising to hang black marketers. The leaders knew or certainly should have known that many of these traders were Jewish, and even if they were not, in the eyes of the common folk they were.... In effect, the party attempted to turn the powerful anti-Semitic currents, which were present in Hungarian society at the time, to its own advantage in the struggle for power.” Two Jews were killed and one wounded in Miskolc, an industrial town with a Jewish population of some 14,000 at the start of World War II, of whom little more than 100 were alive by 1945. The town served as a transit point for concentration camp survivors, however, and had a population of more than 2,300 at the time of the pogrom. The plaque reads: “On this site stood the Miskolc ghetto during the summer of 1944, from where the fascist authority carried off 14,000 Jewish-classified Hungarian city-residents to Nazi death camps. With everlasting reverence, we remember them and the other senselessly massacred Miskolc martyrs of the Holocaust of the Second World War.”