|Expressions of Euphemism in Narratives of Hungarian Holocaust Survivors|
|The group of the Hungarian Jews was beside the polish one the second biggest national Jewish group in the concentration camp Mauthausen. Nevertheless the research of their fate began late.
In general, while the fighters of resistance were honored in Hungary as freedom fighters, the Jewish victims were suppressed. Whereas the Jewish community was responsible for drawing the most attention to the Holocaust, the Hungarian society was partially characterised by a new wave on Anti-Semitism which was built on the reproach of “Jewish revenge”. On the other hand, analysing the first years after the war it becomes clear that between 1945 and 1948 the official state level was at first characterized with a certain readiness to broach the issues of the Holocaust but as the communist regime became more radical, even using the word "Jew" was taboo and only circumscribed as “persecuted by fascism/national socialism” (fasizmus/nemzeti szocializmus üldözöttei).
By and large the collective memory of the Holocaust was suppressed for a long time and remains even now almost unacknowledged in the Hungarian collective memory.
Within the framework of the Mauthausen Survivors Documentations Project (MSDP) 57 interviews were made with Hungarian survivors of Mauthausen. For many of them it was the first time that they could speak in a general public about their experiences. In my lecture I would like to analyse these interviews and ask how Hungarian survivors experienced the return to Hungary after the liberation. Did they meet with disapproval in the Hungarian society or could they integrate themselves without any problems? How could they speak about their experiences after the commusist came into power? Did they suit their individual memories to the state-controlled “collective” memory? What kind of narratives, pattern of thoughts had they to take over, in order to find some kind of appreciation in the general Hungarian non-jewish population? Actually, did they speak in different context in different ways? How could they handle the fact that a big part of the Hungarian society made the persecution of the Jews possible, either as persecutors or eyewitnesses? Can we observe here differences between survivors who stayed in Hungary and those who emigrated? What kind of strategies did they develop to live with their experiences and memories? Did they keep one Jewish identity after World War II, became it even stronger facing the events or did they deny it? How did their attitude change after the political turn in 1989?
Overall I would like to compare protokolls made in the second half of the 1940s with Hungarian survivors of different concentration camps (protocolls of DEGOB) with interviews of the MSDP. For pointing out the questions outlined above I would like to try a comparison with MSDP-interviews made with Austrian survivors, where the confrontation with the past could proceed in a persisent democratic country.|