László Ferenczy

Lieutenant Colonel in the Hungarian Gendarme, in charge of establishing the ghettos and deporting the Jews of Hungary in 1944.

Ferenczy was born in 1898 in Viseul de Sus / Felsoviso, and began his career as a lieutenant colonel in the Hungarian Gendarmerie during WWII. Following the German invasion of Hungary on 19 March 1944, Ferenczy served as a liaison between the Gendarmerie and the SD (German Security Service). He was appointed head of the concentration of the Jews in the ghettos and their deportation to the camps, under the guidance of Endre László, Secretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior, responsible for solving the "Jewish Question." Ferenczy organized the deportation of the Jews in trains via Kassa. His office was located close to that of László, on Semmelweiss Street in Budapest. On the door of his office was a sign, "Moving Company."

On 7 July 1944, the Regent Miklós Horthy changed his policy in order to save his country from the destruction of war, and put an end to the deportations. Consequently, Ferenczy also changed his strategy. He held discussions with the "Jewish Council," declared that he would provide passports to thousands of Jews, and began to play the part of "savior." In return for his assistance, however, he demanded heavy payments.

After the 15 October 1944 putsch of Szálasi, leader of the Arrow Cross Party, Ferenczy was promoted to the senior position of minister, in charge of the affairs of the Jews remaining in Budapest. He planned their destruction, but failed. The Budapest ghetto was not liquidated, and some 60,000 Jews remained alive. Despite this, Ferenczy succeeded in gathering thousands of Jews at the Obuda brick factory and sending them on a death march towards Hegyeshalom to build a line of defense.

After the war, Ferenczy stood trial in Hungary and was handed the death sentence by a people's court. He was hanged on 31 March 1946.

The Ferenczy Report

During the deportation of Hungarian Jewry living in the periphery, Ferenczy's office was situated in Munkács. There he received a daily account from the deportation areas. According to these figures, he prepared reports every two days, which indicated that he was aware of what was taking place at Auschwitz. He sent these reports to the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior.

According to the reports, from 15 May to 7 June 1944, 92 deportation trains with 289,357 Jews aboard left Subcarpathian Rus', northeastern Hungary and northern Transylvania, including the Jews of the Munkács community.