April-July-October 1944

April-October 1944

Although Hungary joined the Axis alliance in May 1940, German forces did not occupy the country until March 19, 1944. Between the middle of May and July 1944, approximately 440,000 Jews were deported from Hungary on more than 145 transports.  The majority of these trains were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where approximately 320,000 Jews were murdered in the gas chambers upon arrival. 

On October 7, 1944, prisoners assigned to work at Crematorium IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau rebelled by killing several guards and blowing up the crematorium.  The SS suppressed the revolt and killed the prisoners who were involved.  Six weeks before Auschwitz was liberated, the SS publicly hanged the female prisoners who smuggled the gunpowder into Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Without these women, the explosives used to blow up Crematorium IV could not have been made.

Photo: courtesy of the Photo Archives at Yad Vashem