British Diplomats and the Jews in Poland, Romania and Hungary during the Communist Takeovers

By Kochavi, Arieh J. | East European Quarterly, Winter 1995 | Go to article overview

British Diplomats and the Jews in Poland, Romania and Hungary during the Communist Takeovers


Kochavi, Arieh J., East European Quarterly


With the end of the Second World War, the largest remaining Jewish communities in Eastern Europe, with the exception of those in the Soviet Union, were in Romania, Poland, and Hungary. There was considerable similarity between the situation of the Jews in the three states - the result, among other things, of the similar circumstances in which these then found themselves. Between the world wars Communist activity had been forbidden by law in each of the three; now, after the war, considerable numbers of Red Army soldiers occupied all three countries. It was, of course, the Red Army that put the minority local Communists in control, although the pace of the takeover differed in each country.(1) In all three countries, however, the campaign for power had a decided influence on the condition of the Jews. The British, who feared that an inundation of illegal immigrants into Palestine would affect their standing in the Middle East in general and in Palestine in particular, paid close attention to the situation of the Jews in Romania, Poland, and Hungary, which were considered the principal reservoirs for such a migration. This article will follow the situation of the Jews in the three countries from 1945-1947, as reflected in the reports of British diplomats there. An attempt will be made to indicate points of similarity and difference in the Jewish condition among the three cases.

The largest Jewish concentration was located in Romania: some 430,000 Jews. With the entry of the Red Army into Romania in August 1944, British fears of illegal immigrants sailing from Romanian ports were once again aroused. Romania had constituted the central base for illegal sailing to Palestine during the first three years of the war. Early in 1945, British diplomats in Bucharest reported that more than 100,000 Jews had registered for emigration to Palestine; furthermore, the Romanian Red Cross was encouraging the Jews to move to Palestine by any and all possible means.(2)

A wide-ranging report on the condition of Romanian Jews and their aspirations to migrate was sent at the beginning of August 1945 by John H. Le Rougtel, the British Political Representative in the country. He classified the Jews into two groups. The first included some 250,000 persons who had lived in Romania throughout the war and had been subjected to persecution by the Romanian Fascists and the Nazis. The second group consisted of two sub-groups: (1) Romanian Jews who had been forcibly deported from the country and who survived the war and returned, and (2) non-local Jews who had entered Romania after their liberation from concentration camps in Poland, Hungary, Austria, and Slovakia. Their number was estimated at 150,000. The condition of the first group, according to Le Rougtel, was generally "not very badly off." The condition of the poor among them, as he described it, was no worse off than that of the rest of the population; and "the richer Jews control the Stock Exchange and have already largely regained their manipulation of industry and trade." Although many Romanian Jews had lost their property, their ability to rehabilitate themselves seemed to Le Rougtel greater than that of the rest of the Romanian population. The British official argued that the Jews in the first category were able to be absorbed in Romania. At the same time, he emphasized, they greatly desired to emigrate to Palestine. This aspiration was motivated by the fear that the Russians, who were beginning to show signs of anti-Semitism, would permit the Romanians to "discriminate against" the Jews once again. In a similar vein, he judged that the prosperity of the Jewish community depended on foreign trade, the future of which was not assured.

In contrast to this group, the situation of the Jews in the second category in Le Rougtel's evaluation was more gloomy. The only way of rehabilitating them, he offered, was to transfer these camp survivors to places where they could regain their self-respect. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

British Diplomats and the Jews in Poland, Romania and Hungary during the Communist Takeovers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.