The Yellow Star and Everyday Life under Exceptional Circumstances: Diaries of 1944-1945 Budapest


  • Louise O. Vasvári



Hungarian Holocaust, life writing and war, gendered life writing, war diary


In this article, a follow-up of her 2014 contribution in this journal on Hungarian women’s Holocaust diaries, Vasvári discusses six war diaries from 1944-45, which until recently lay forgotten in archives or in private hands. Two of the diaries are by Jewish victims, Anna, Mrs. Sándor Devényi (referred to in the article by her pseudonym, Margit Stellar, Mrs. József Krauss) and Jenő Lévai, who describe their persecution, while the others are by one cleric, Pius István Zimándi, and by three gentile women of various backgrounds, Dr. Mária Mádi, Klára Szebény, and Mrs. Miklós Horthy. Mádi, who kept the longest diary among all five diarists, from 1941 to 1945, consistently condemned the political situation in Hungary, before and after the Nazi occupation, while Zimándi did not. Szebény wrote only about the period after December 1944, when she and her children were trapped in Buda during the siege of Budapest, and Mrs. Horthy avoided all comment about what happened in Hungary before her family was taken prisoner by the Nazis in November 1944 and subsequently kept under house arrest in Germany.






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