Self-financing Genocide

The Gold Train, the Becher Case and the Wealth of Hungarian Jews
ISBN: 
978-963-9241-53-4
cloth
$105.00 / €90.00 / £85.00
Publication date: 
2004
440 pages, includes illustrations

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-Obersturmbannführer 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.

Introduction: Economic and social position of Hungarian Jewry before the German occupation 

Part I The story of the Gold Train of Hungarian Jews 

Part II Legend and truth about Kurt Becher 

Part III The economic annihilation of Hungarian Jews

Bibliography

Index