The Hungarian Gold Train: Background information when reading Love and Treasure

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Love and Treasure

by Ayelet Waldman

Love and Treasure
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2014, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2015, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lucy Rock

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Beyond the Book:
The Hungarian Gold Train

Although aligned with the Axis powers, Hungary avoided direct participation in World War II until 1941 and most Jews in the country were protected from deportation, although they were subject to anti-Jewish laws. This changed in 1944 when Hitler discovered that Hungary had been secretly engaged in peace negotiations with the USA and UK and, shortly after, German forces occupied the country - after which wholesale deportation of Jews and Roma to concentration camps began. By the end of the war it is estimated that upwards of 600,000 Hungarian Jews and 28,000 Roma had been killed.

Soon after taking over control in 1944, the pro-Nazi Hungarian Government, led by Ferenc Szálasi, ordered Jewish citizens to hand over the vast majority of their property to government officials. Shortly thereafter, as the threat of invasion from Soviet Russia became an ever-pressing issue, the combined forces of the SS (under the instructions of Adolf Eichmann) and the fascist Arrow Cross Party of ...

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