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Hungarian Jews arrive at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Seventy-five percent will be sent directly to the gas chambers.
Deportation routes to Auschwitz
|Date||14 May–9 July 1944|
|Incident type||Mass deportations to Auschwitz|
|Victims||320,000 Hungarian Jews|
|Survivors||About 50,000, including Elie Wiesel|
Operation Höss (German: Aktion Höss) was the codename for the mass deportation of Hungarian Jews and their murder in the gas chambers of Birkenau extermination camp as part of the Holocaust. Between 14 May and 9 July 1944, 420,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz from Hungary, or about 12,000 per day. About twenty-five percent of each transport was selected for forced labor; the rest were immediately gassed.
The name came from Rudolf Höss, who returned as the commandant of Auschwitz to increase the killing capacity and ensure the transports could be accommodated. After the war, SS official Adolf Eichmann, who had organized the deportations, said that Operation Höss was "an achievement never matched before or since."
Following the murder of Soviet Jews by Einsatzgruppen death squads and the killing of most Polish Jews in Operation Reinhard, Hungary had the largest Jewish population in occupied Europe with almost a million Jews. However, the Hungarian fascist regent, Miklós Horthy, had been reluctant to deport Jews because he suspected that Germany would lose the war and was trying to make a separate peace with the Allies. In order to preempt this possibility, Germany invaded Hungary on 12 March 1944. SS official Adolf Eichmann was sent in with a staff of 100 in order to supervise the deportation of Hungary's Jewish population.
Diplomatic pressure on Horthy caused him to order a halt to deportations on 7 July.
Of the 437,000 Hungarian Jews deported as part of Operation Höss, only about 50,000 survived the war.
- Bauer, Yehuda (2002). Rethinking the Holocaust. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300093004.
- Braham, Randolph L. (2002). "The Axis, the Allies, and the neutrals. The Holocaust in Hungary: a retrospective analysis". The Holocaust and History: The Known, the Unknown, the Disputed, and the Reexamined. Indiana University Press and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. ISBN 0253215293.
- Cocking, Dean; Hoven, Jeroen Van den (2018). Evil Online. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781119471202.
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