Child Survivors of the Holocaust in Hungary: Orphanages, Schools, Memory

Principal investigator: Viktória Bányai

Participants: Kinga Frojimovics (Wiener Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies), András Lénárt (Holocaust Memorial Center, Budapest), Eszter Gombocz (John Wesley Theological College), Kata Vörös (Jewish Theological Seminary – University of Jewish Studies, Budapest)

Period: 2019-2021

Grant, funding agency: Association of Persecutees of Nazism, JDC Hungary

Research questions and objectives:

In 2019, on the 75th anniversary of the Holocaust the National Association of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime invited the former students of the orphanages of the Jewish Community in Budapest and of the children’s homes run by Zionist organizations to a meeting. About a hundred people attended the meeting, and several sent their previously unpublished memories, while others indicated that they would be ready to record their memories in an interview. The largely unspoken stories of orphaned and half-orphaned Jewish children separeted from parental care were unknown in Hungarian historical research so far.

The former students, asking the support of NGOs took the initiative to have their memories edited in a volume, supplemented with historical context and glossary. The initiative joins other Holocaust documentation and research projects in collecting the memories of survivors.

Elements of the planned project:

1. Volume on the memories of surviving children raised in residential homes

Interview with 20 Holocaust survivors

Editing materials submitted in writing or previously published (31 authors)

Collecting and organizing photos

Historical background and glossary

2. Volume on the memories of day care homes, Jewish schools, youth organizations

3. Website

Locality-based (according the former orphanages) interactive interface for recollections, photographs and other archival materials e.g. contemporary children's writings from newspapers

Motion picture materials e.g. Joint promotional films, historic films

Pedagogical aids based on published sources: lesson plans, worksheets for different ages

Recommended literature, bibliography and full text publications, Useful links

4. Conference on the Child Survivors of the Holocaust in Hungary

Press coverage (in Hungarian):