In a response written to historian Krisztián Ungváry and jurist and head of the Clio Institute Ádám Gellért, MIMC Organisation founding member and historian László Bernát Veszprémy points out a number of falsified quotes and distortions that appeared in two reviews written about his highly acclaimed Holocaust book, Gyilkos irodák (Bureaus of Annihilation).(1)
Both authors accused Veszprémy of falsely claiming that a large number of bureaucrats were fired from their jobs or left their jobs after the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944.
Ungváry wrote as follows:
“The reader who believes that it is important that ‘a large section of the Hungarian state administration was changed after the German occupation’ will be be happy until he goes from this page (…) to the next chapter, where (Veszprémy) proves that (…) ‘the number of changes was not very high’.”
Gellért wrote in the same vein:
“According to him (Veszprémy) ‘the role of previous anti-Semitic legislation cannot be treated as the only factor’ because ‘a large section of the Hungarian state administration was changed'”.
As Veszprémy points out in his response, published in the 2020/4 issue of the journal Kommentár, in reality he wrote something very different in his book:
“In the part of my book in question the following was written: ‘The role of previous anti-Semitic legislation cannot be treated as the only factor, because if we compare (Hungary) with other European countries – like the Netherlands, where also a very high portion of Jewry perished – a large section of the Hungarian state administration was changed after the German occupation’. Later on I make it clear again: ‘The change was high in comparative perspective, but this does not mean that the whole or most of Hungarian state administration was changed’. Therefore in my book I clearly state that while few people were changed in absolute numbers in 1944, in international perspective their number did indeed count as a lot, because the few changed Hungarian bureaucrats were still more numerous than those changed in the Netherlands.”
Veszprémy therefore points out that both reviewers wilfully “mutilated” his quotes in order to arrive at a falsified conclusion, an effort which Veszprémy labels “sad”.
All quotes here are from Veszprémy’s review which can be read online.
This article has been updated to include an online reference to the rebuttal in question.