The Auschwitz Report

The Impact of Its Revelations in Switzerland and Hungary


  • Frank Baron University of Kansas



Hungary, World War II, Vrba–Wetzler report, Auschwitz Protocols, Regent Miklós Horthy, Oskar Krasnansky, Hungarian Holocaust, Deportations, German occupation of Hungary


The escape of Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler from Auschwitz on April 7, 1944, was extraordinary in its daring, courageous execution, and impact. The challenging task of the two escapees was to inform the world of previously unimaginable crimes, and to do so in a way that made the unbelievable believable. Because the deportations to Auschwitz were still in progress, it was essential to inform the threatened Jewish populations that they were slated by the Germans to be part of the “final solution.” When and how the transmission of the resulting Auschwitz Report took place, made all the difference, and that is this paper’s focus. Decisive transmissions involved secret networks in Switzerland and Hungary, taking place independently. Despite the presence of the Gestapo and the German army, finally, in early July, 1944, two independent, increasingly powerful efforts engendered by the report converged in Budapest. Only then could one of the most remarkable rescues of World War II take place.

Author Biography

Frank Baron, University of Kansas

Frank Baron, PhD, is professor emeritus of German at the University of Kansas. Having specialized in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century literary history, as well as twentieth-century studies, he has published books and articles in both German and English on the European Faust tradition and on the works of Rainer Maria Rilke, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, and the artist/author Albert Bloch. Experiences as a child in Hungary during World War II prompted his interest in the Holocaust and resulted (in collaboration with Hungarian journalist Sándor Szenes) in books about Hungary and Auschwitz.


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