Self-financing Genocide: The Gold Train, the Becher Case and the Wealth of Hungarian Jews (Google eBook)

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Central European University Press, 2004 - History - 413 pages
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Discusses the process of the economic annihilation of the Jews in Hungary, who- from the economic point of view - were more influential than any other Jewish community in Europe. Following the German occupation in March 1944 the collaborating Hungarian government attempted to assert its claim concerning the complete confiscation of Jewish assets at all stages of the road leading to the extermination camps. The cooperation with the Germans proved to be the most problematic in this area. The story of the Jewish Gold Train is a relatively small but all the more emblematic chapter of the economic annihilation. The circumstances of the freight's assembling, the German-Hungarian conflicts concerning the train, the looting attempts, the fate of the assets seized by the Allies (double victimization of the survivors) provide the reader with an insight into the history of the repeated looting of the Hungarian Jewry. The book analyzes the role played by SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Kurt Becher, one of the most controversial and mysterious figures in the Hungarian and universal history of the Holocaust. Becher, delegated to Hungary by Himmler, administered and benefited from the confiscation of an enormous amount of Jewish assets.
  

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Contents

the German occupation of Hungary
9
AuschwitzBirkenau the German
12
The Reich occupied Europe and Operation Reinhard
111
budget and the postwar fate of Hungarian Jewish property and the Melmer deposits
124
The profit to the Hungarian budget
135
The fate of Hungarian Jewish assets at the end of the war and after 1945
143
THE STORY OF KURT BECHER
175
Soldier businessman bureaucrat mass murderer? Bechers career until 1944
179
Bechers personal gain
249
Assessment of Bechers character
257
THE STORY OF THE HUNGARIAN JEWISH GOLD TRAIN
281
The trains journey
287
The trucks and Toldys journey
294
International legal background and problems of definition
296
The fate of those contents of the Gold Train which fell into American hands 19451957
302
Hungarian attempts to recover the contents of the Gold Train
318

Bechers position in Hungary
192
The Weiss Manfred affair
195
The Kasztner affair
209
Stopping deportations and death marches from Budapest
219
Halting the mass extermination of the Jews
225
Savior of the Pest ghetto and Chief Inspector of the concentration camps?
233
Removal of the Hungarian industry to the Reich
244
Critique of U S restitution policy and practice pursued in relation to the Gold Train
322
The fate of the treasure that fell under French control
332
The value of the contents of the Gold Train
340
The historiography of the Gold Train
345
APPENDIX
379
INDEX OF PERSONAL NAMES
399
Copyright

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Page xiii - Assets. Findings and Recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States and Staff Report, Washington, DC, December 2000.

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