Login | Register

Interethnic Relations, National Identifications, and ‘Bystanders’ to the Holocaust in the Northeastern Hungarian borderlands


Interethnic Relations, National Identifications, and ‘Bystanders’ to the Holocaust in the Northeastern Hungarian borderlands

Remz, Sean (2020) Interethnic Relations, National Identifications, and ‘Bystanders’ to the Holocaust in the Northeastern Hungarian borderlands. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

[thumbnail of Remz_MA_F2020.pdf]
Text (application/pdf)
Remz_MA_F2020.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.


This thesis addresses the conceptually ambiguous matter of the bystander during the Holocaust in the borderlands of ‘Greater Hungary,’ tracing the longer-term historical trajectory that led to a variety of responses to the ghettoization, plunder, and genocidal deportation of the Jews of Subcarpathia, (Southern) Maramuresh, and Northern Transylvania. It uses dozens of memoirs of Holocaust survivors from irredentist Hungary in order to explore this topic, while also taking note of the self-identification of these survivors.

This primary source evidence suggests that non-perpetrator ethnic Magyars who were neither peasant nor aristocratic tended to participate in the plundering of Hungarian Jewry. Conversely, it reveals that ethnic Romanians of Maramuresh provided support for ghettoized Jews, while Ruthenians often displayed an emotional distance from them. The specific history of these emotions requires analysis of language and education politics in interwar Czechoslovakia, and of the Hungarian invasion of autonomous Subcarpathian Ruthenia in 1939.

The causal factors explaining this ethnic difference in the behaviour of Holocaust bystanders arise from the relationship between a given ethnonational group and statehood. The Hungarian state explicitly privileged Magyars in the distribution of the plunder it allotted in 1944. Romanians in Southern Maramuresh and the northern partition of Transylvania awaited the return of the Romanian state, and perceived Hungarian authorities’ anti-Jewish persecution and genocidal opportunism as imbricated with the xenophobia against themselves. The Ruthenians’ national ambiguity and interethnic relations forces us to focus the conceptual debates around the viability of the term ‘bystander’ primarily on them.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Remz, Sean
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:August 2020
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bergholz, Max
Keywords:Holocaust, East-Central Europe (Hungary, Romania, First Czechoslovak Republic), borderlands (Transylvania, Subcarpathia), interethnic relations, nationalism, bystanders
ID Code:987358
Deposited By: SEAN REMZ
Deposited On:25 Nov 2020 16:44
Last Modified:25 Nov 2020 16:44


Secondary Sources

Alfasi, Yitzchak, Eli Netser, and Anna Szalai. The Heart Remembers: Jewish Sziget. Matan: The Association, 2003.

Bársony, János and Ágnes Daróczi, ed. Pharrajimos: The Fate of the Roma During the Holocaust. Budapest, New York: Romedia Foundation and IDEBATE Press, 2008.

Bartov, Omer and Eric D. Weitz, eds. Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2013.

Bergen, Doris L. War & Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust, 3rd edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.

Bergholz, Max. Violence as a Generative Force: Identity, Nationalism, and Memory in a Balkan Community. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2016.

--- “Sudden Nationalism: The Microdynamics of Intercommunal Relations in Bosnia-Herzegovina After World War II” American Historical Review 118, no. 3 (June 2013): 679-707. https://www-jstor-org.lib-ezproxy.concordia.ca/stable/23426239.

Braham, Randolph L. and András Kovács, eds. The Holocaust in Hungary: Seventy Years Later. Budapest / New York: Central European University Press, 2016.

Braham, Randolph L. and Brewster S. Chamberlin, eds. The Holocaust in Hungary: Sixty Years Later. New York: Columbia University Press, Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2006.

Braham, Randolph L. and Béla Vago, eds. The Holocaust in Hungary: Forty Years Later. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985.

Braham, Randolph L., Zoltán Tibori Szabó, and Kinga Frojimovics. The Geographical Encyclopedia of the Holocaust in Hungary. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2013.

Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary, Condensed Edition. Detroit: Michigan, Wayne State University Press. Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2000.

Braham, Randolph L. Genocide and Retribution: The Holocaust in Hungarian-Ruled Northern Transylvania. Boston, MA: Kluwer·Nijhoff Publishing (Holocaust Studies Series), 1983.

Braham, Randolph L., ed. The Tragedy of Romanian Jewry. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Braham, Randolph L. ed. Studies on the Holocaust in Hungary. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

Brubaker, Rogers, Margit Feischmidt, Jon Fox, Liana Grancea. Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006.

Brubaker, Rogers, et al. Ethnicity without Groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Butovsky, Mervin, and Kurt Jonassohn. "An Exploratory Study of Unpublished Holocaust Survivors Memoirs." MIGS Occasional Paper, February 1997. https://spectrum.library.concordia.ca/979948/

Carmilly-Weinberger, Rabbi Moshe. The Road to Life: The Rescue Operation of Jewish Refugees on the Hungarian-Romanian Border in Transylvania, 1936-1944. New York, NY: Shengold Publishers, Inc., 1994.

Case, Holly. Between States: The Transylvanian Question and the European Idea during World War II. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009.

Centropa Cinema, Introduction on Hungarian Jewish History (Hungarian Audio / English Subtitles) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLwe6ARfGi4 22 October 2012.

Cole, Tim. Traces of the Holocaust: Journeying in and out of the Ghettos. London, UK: Continuum Books, 2011.

--- “Writing ‘Bystanders’ into Holocaust History in More Active Ways: ‘Non-Jewish’ Engagement with Ghettoisation, Hungary 1944” Holocaust Studies 11, no. 1 (2005), 55-74.

Dicker, Herman. Pride and Perseverance: Jews from the Carpathian Mountains. New York: Sepher-Hermon Press, 1981.

Don, Yehuda and Victor Karády. A Social and Economic History of Central European Jewry. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1990.

Dragostinova, Theodora. Between Two Motherlands: Nationality and Emigration Among the Greeks of Bulgaria, 1900-1949. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011.

Dumitru, Diana and Carter Johnson, “Constructing Interethnic Conflict and Cooperation: Why Some People Harmed Jews and Others Helped Them during the Holocaust in Romania,” World Politics 63 no. 1 (2011). https://www-jstor-org.lib-ezproxy.concordia.ca/stable/23018796.

Eby, Cecil. Hungary at War: Civilians and Soldiers in World War II. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania University Press, 1998.

Finkel, Evgeny. Ordinary Jews: Choice and Survival during the Holocaust. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017.

Frojimovics, Kinga. I Have been a Stranger in a Strange Land: The Hungarian State and Jewish Refugees in Hungary, 1933-1945. The International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem: Jerusalem, 2007.

Gluck, Mary. The Invisible Jewish Budapest: Metropolitan Culture at the Fin de Siècle. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2016.

Grabowski, Jan. Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2013.

Gross, Jan T. Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press / Penguin Books, 2002.

Guesnet, François, Howard Lupovitch, and Antony Polonsky, eds. POLIN: Studies in Polish Jewry, Volume 31, Poland and Hungary: Jewish Realities Compared. Oxford: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2019.

Guiora, Amos N. The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust. Chicago, IL: Ankerwycke, 2017.

Győrffy, Gábor, Zoltán Tibori-Szabó and Júlia-Réka Vallasek. “Back to the Origins: The Tragic History of the Szekler Sabbatarians,” in East European Politics and Societies and Cultures, 32, no. 3. (2017): 566-585. 10.1177/0888325417740626 journals.sagepub.com/home/eep.

Hanebrink, Paul. In Defense of Christian Hungary: Religion, Nationalism, and Antisemitism, 1890-1944. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2006.

--- A Specter Haunting Europe: The Idea of Judeo-Bolshevism in Twentieth Century Europe. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Belknap University Press, 2018.

High, Steven and Stacey Zembrzycki. Oral History at the Crossroads: Sharing Life Stories of Survival and Displacement. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press, 2014.

High, Steven, ed. Beyond Testimony and Trauma. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press, 2015.

Hilberg, Raul. Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe, 1933-1945. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

Hirsch, Marianne. "The Generation of Postmemory," Poetics Today 29. No. 1 (2008): 103-128.

Hobsbawm, Eric. J., and Terence Ranger, eds. The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Ioanid, Radu. The Holocaust in Romania: The Destruction of Jews and Gypsies Under the Antonescu Regime, 1940-1944. Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Chicago, IL: Ivan R. Dee, 2000.

Jackson, Julian. France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Jelinek, Yeshayahu. The Jews of Subcarpathian Rus’ and Mukachevo, 1848-1948. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2007.

Judson, Pieter M. The Habsburg Empire: A New History. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2016.

Keren-Kratz, Menachem. “Máramaros, Hungary: The Cradle of Extreme Orthodoxy,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 35, no. 2 (2015): 147-174. https://muse-jhu-edu.lib-ezproxy.concordia.ca/article/580978.

--- “The Social and Cultural Role of Small Literary Centres: the Case of Sighet, Romania,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 16, no. 2 (2017): 179-197. https://doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2016.1225390.

Klein-Pejšová, Rebekah. Mapping Jewish Loyalties in Interwar Slovakia. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2015.

Koerner, András. A Taste of the Past: The Daily Life and Cooking of a 19th-Century Hungarian Jewish Homemaker. Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2004.

--- How They Lived: The Everyday Lives of Hungarian Jews 1867-1940, 2 Volumes. Budapest / New York: CEU Press, 2015-2016.

Kubátová, Hana, and Michal Kubát, “Were There Bystanders in Topol’čany? On Concept Formation and the ‘Ladder of Abstraction.’” Contemporary European History 27, 4 (2018), 562-581.

Kürti, László. The Remote Borderland: Transylvania in the Hungarian Imagination. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2001.

Laczó, Ferenc. Hungarian Jews in the Age of Genocide: An Intellectual History, 1929-1948. Leiden, NL: Brill, 2016.

Lendvai, Paul, transl. Ann Major. The Hungarians: A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004.

Magocsi, Paul. The Shaping of a National Identity: Subcarpathian Rus’, 1848-1948. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978.

MacMillan, Margaret. Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World. New York, NY: Random House, 2001.

--- The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2013.

Molnár, Judit, ed. The Holocaust in Hungary: A European Perspective. Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 2005.

Nagy-Talavera, Nicholas M. The Green Shirts and the Others: A History of Fascism in Hungary and Rumania. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1970.

Rittner, Carol, Stephen D. Smith, Irena Steinfeldt, ed. The Holocaust and the Christian World. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2000.

Segal, Raz. Genocide in the Carpathians: War, Social Breakdown, and Mass Violence, 1914-1945. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2016.

--- Days of Ruin: The Jews of Munkács During the Holocaust. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2013.

--- “Becoming Bystanders: Carpatho-Ruthenians, Jews, and the Politics of Narcissism in Subcarpathian Rus’” in Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History 16, No. 1-2 (2010): 129-156. https://doi.org/10.1080/17504902.2010.11087248.

--- “The Modern State, the Question of Genocide, and Holocaust Scholarship” in Holocaust and Genocide Studies 20, No. 1 (2018): 108-133. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623528.2017.1412887.

--- Lecture at Sonoma State University, CA, 12 February 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJH4NDfINE8 (uploaded 5 June 2019)

--- “Making Hungary Great Again: Mass Violence, State Building, and the Ironies of Global Holocaust Memory” in Kühne, Thomas and Mary Jane Rein, eds. Agency and the Holocaust: Essays in Honor of Debórah Dwork. Worcester, MA: Clark University, Palgrave Studies in the History of Genocide, 2020.

Silber, Michael K. Jews in the Hungarian Economy, 1760-1945. Jerusalem: Hebrew University Magnes Press, 1992.

Snyder, Timothy. Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. New York, NY: Tim Duggan Books, 2015.

--- The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003.

Solonari, Vladimir. Purifying the Nation: Population Exchange and Ethnic Cleansing in Nazi-Allied Romania. Woodrow Wilson Center Press: Washington, D.C.; The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, MD, 2010.

Straus, Scott. Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015.

--- The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2006.

Szapor, Judith. Hungarian Women’s Activism in the Wake of the First World War: From Rights to Revanche. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic Publishing, 2018.

Vági, Zoltán, László Csősz, and Gábor Kádár. (Documenting Life and Destruction: Holocaust Sources in Context) The Holocaust in Hungary: Evolution of a Genocide. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2013.

Zahra, Tara. Kidnapped Souls: National Indifference and the Battle for Children in the Bohemian Lands, 1900-1948. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008.

Zalc, Claire and Tal Bruttmann, eds. Microhistories of the Holocaust. New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2017.
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top