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1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 324 
A long line of Jews winds its way through the streets of Pabianice, Poland, on the way to deportation. In mid-May 1942 some 4500 Jews from the town were rounded up and deported to Chelmno, where they were executed. While the Jews of the town were sent to their deaths, the goods that they took with them to the death camp were sent back to warehouses in Pabianice.
Photo: Beth Hatefutsoth
Bending over their shovels and spades, Hungarian Jews till the muddy Ukrainian soil. Beginning in 1939, Hungarian Jews not serving in the military had been required to join labor battalions. This cruel and backbreaking work took on new danger when Jewish units were ordered to the Eastern Front. There they were mistreated by Axis military personnel and treated as the enemy when captured by the Soviets.
Photo: Beth Hatefutsoth

After the adoption of anti-Jewish laws in Hungary in 1938 and '39, Jews of military age were deemed "unreliable." Considered unfit to bear arms, tens of thousands of Jews were drafted into the Munkaszolgálat (Hungarian Labor Service System).

Instead of carrying guns, these Jews were given shovels and pickaxes. They worked construction and toiled in mines, and, during combat, performed such dangerous tasks as clearing mine fields.

Many Hungarian officers, viciously antisemitic, abused members of the Munkaszolgálat. They deprived Jews of their boots and rations and sometimes sadistically tortured them. They forced some Jews to participate in humiliating games of leapfrog and acrobatics. Other Jews, in the dead of winter, were doused with water and ordered not to move until the water iced up on their skin.

After Hungary declared war on the Soviet Union in June 1941, tens of thousands of Munkaszolgálat Jews lost their lives as casualties of war. Ironically, after the Nazis occupied Hungary on March 19, 1944, many Jews found refuge in Munkaszolgálat, where they performed the hard labor but avoided deportations
Photo: Safriat Hapoalim

 June 1942: The World Jewish Congress, based in New York, announces at a press conference that Eastern Europe is being turned into "a vast slaughterhouse for Jews."
 June 1942: At the Belzec and Sobibór death camps, more than 23,000 Jews are gassed.
 June 1942: Auschwitz is ravaged by an epidemic of typhus.
 June 1942: Germans invade Jewish hospitals in Sosnowiec, Poland, murdering newborns and tearing patients from operating tables. Ambulatory patients are sent to Auschwitz and gassed.
 June 1942: A young Sosnowiec Jew named Harry Blumenfrucht endures two weeks of Nazi torture, refusing to name his co-conspirators in a scheme to steal weapons. His suffering ends when he is hanged.
1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 324 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.