Tuesday, February 17, 2015
ADSS 10.424 Rotta to Kemeny - Hungarian Jews
Reference: No number. (AES 6452/45)
Location and date: Budapest, 23.12.1944
Summary statement: New joint request for the Jews of Hungary.
The undersigned Representatives of the Neutral Powers accredited in Budapest who have already had the honour to address the Royal Hungarian Government twice to intercede on behalf of the Jews who are persecuted and outside the law. (1) Now that the Royal Government believed – for reasons that cannot be discussed here – that they must shut the Jews in the Ghetto, the Representatives of the Neutral Powers take the step of asking that the children be exempt from this provision.
Indeed it would be incomprehensible to chastise the innocents or take defensive measures against beings absolutely incapable of causing harm. Although it was deemed necessary to guard against the possibility of disorders, it would be inconceivable to have such fears concerning children. We hear that the Jews are the enemies of Hungary; but even in the state of war, law and conscience condemn any act of hostility against children. So why force these innocents to live in a place that is very close to being a prison, where the small poor ones should not have to endure the spectacle of the misery, suffering and despair of old men and women, persecuted only because of their race?
All civilised people had always respected children, and the world would be sadly surprised if Hungary, traditionally Christian and chivalrous would act so severely against the little ones.
The Representatives of the Neutral Powers have confidence that the Royal Government would wish to accommodate this request and allow all children )with mothers if the children are infants) to remain outside the Ghetto in places of refuge and protection provided by the Diplomatic Legations or various institutions of the Red Cross. In the execution of this action, which has an exclusively humanitarian purpose, they will have to choose the staff very carefully. They must be impeccable from a political point of view and be able to give the children a proper patriotic education. (2)
(1) See ADSS 10.308 and 409, Appendix. This time the signatories were:
Angelo Rotta, Apostolic Nuncio; Carl Ivan Danielsson, Swedish minister; Harald Feller, Swiss charge d’affairs; Jorge Perlasca, Spanish charge d’affairs; Comte de Pongrac, Portuguese charge d’affairs.
(2) On the same date, 23.12.1944, the Nuncio protested against the “hostile acts against the Church”, especially the arrest of Mindszenty and other church leaders. (To the Minister of Foreign Affairs, nr 2822/44, AES 6464/45, not published in ADSS).