Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




The First Deportation of Hungarian Jews in World War II, 1941
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Location Note

1219 International Affairs Building
420 W 118th St, 12th floor

This event is in-person for CUID card holders only. In-person attendees must be in compliance with Columbia University’s health protocols for returning to campus. Pre-registration, valid CUID card, and valid green pass are required for admittance. All other attendees may participate virtually on Zoom or YouTube.


Please join the East Central European Center at the Harriman Institute for a lecture by Tamás Stark, moderated by ECEC co-director Christopher Caes.

This talk emerges from a book project examining the history and events leading up to the first deportation of Hungarian Jews in 1941. During the first weeks of the campaign against the Soviet Union, the wartime Hungarian government deported more than 20 thousand “foreign” Jews to occupied Soviet territories. Most of them became the victims of the massacre of Kamenetsk-Podolsk in late August. This crime ushered in the period of the Holocaust that Father Patrick Desbois and Paul A. Shapiro have called the “Holocaust by bullets.” The talk returns to and takes up the question of “alien Jews” in the period between 1919 and 1941 in East-Central Europe in general and in Hungary in particular, examining how government decrees were used by state authorities in Hungary and in Romania to make it very difficult for Jews to prove their citizenship. The authorities were thus able to ‘create’ ‘aliens’ out of unwanted Jews almost without limit. An analysis of these processes exposes the techniques used by nationalist regimes to incite hatred against different groups in society.


Tamás Stark is senior research fellow at the Institute of History Research Center for the Humanities at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He is author of Hungarian Jews During the Holocaust and After the Second World War, 1939-1949. A Statistical Review (2000), Magyarország második világháborús embervesztesége (1989), Hadak Útján. A Magyar Királyi honvédség a második világháborúban (1991), Zsidóság a vészkorszakban és a vészkorszakban és a felszabadulás után (1939–1955) (MTA Tortenettudomanyi Intezete 1995), among other publications.

Featured image: Procession of Jews in Kamenets-Podolsky. Photo taken secretly by Gyula Spitz, a Hungarian labor service driver (Source: National Museum)



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