Hungarian rescuers

János Abavári (1910-1989) – parish priest, Dédes
He wrote applications for saving Jewish families, saving people from prisons and camps.

Vilmos Apor (1892-1945) – diocesan bishop of Győr
On 15 June 1944 he wrote a letter to Cardinal Jusztinián Serédi, prince primate of Hungary, protesting against the confinement of Jews in ghettos and their deportation, and calling on him to review the ambivalent attitude of the Catholic Church to Jewish persecutions. He also sent letters of protest to the Home Minister and the Prime Minister for the protection of persecuted people. In support of the Jews inhumanely crowded in the ghetto of Győr, he contacted the local commander of gendarmerie, the police and the Gestapo headquarters. He took every reasonable step to help persecuted people, harbouring opposition members and Jews. On 31 October 1944, he drafted a memorandum of protest against the Arrow Cross dictatorship together with József Mindszenty, bishop of Veszprém, Lajos Shvoy, bishop of Székesfehérvár, and Krizosztom Kelemen, archabbot of Pannonhalma.

Dr. Ferenc Bády (191?-1984) – chaplain of the Bakáts tér Catholic church
He acquired 100 to 150 protective passports from the Swedish Legation and baptised hundreds of persecuted people. He was also forced to hide from Arrow Cross men.

István Benkő (1914-1977) – teacher of religion of Budapest
He participated in the activity of the anti-Nazi Hungarian Front and in the rescue of persecuted people. On 19 December 1944 he was deported to Dachau.

Dr. József Buzás (1920-) – parish priest of Mosonszolnok
In 1943 he aided Hungarian Jewish forced labourers as the priest of a hospital in Vienna. In 1944 he prevented the execution of several Jews in Mosonszolnok.

Dr. Antal Csertő (1901-1973) – teacher of religion, Pápa
In 1944 he helped several persecuted Jews. On one occasion he was also captured. Once freed by one of his students, he continued to help the refugees.

István Eglis (1913-1963) – secretary of a parish division of workers
He participated in the activity of the Hungarian Front and acquired false documents for Jews. On 19 December 1944 he was carried to Dachau, where he helped his fellow inmates as a nurse.

Dr. András Egyed (1913-1984) – Piarist monk
In 1944 he took every reasonable step to save the lives of persecuted Jewish families.

Dr. Gábor Ervin (1912-1944) – teacher of religion of Budapest
He harboured Jewish refugees in his home at Maros utca 44. Since he was qualified of Jewish origin, he was executed by Arrow Cross men in December 1944.

János Esterházy (1901-1957) – Hungarian politician in Czechoslovakia (later Slovakia)
Of aristocratic descent, János Esterházy was the first Member of Parliament in Slovakia to vote against Jewish deportations on 15 May 1942. Soon afterwards he prevented the expulsion of Jews from the Hungarian Party of Slovakia (legal successor of the United Hungarian Party), of which he was the chairman: he kept on record the affected members under pseudonyms. During Jewish persecutions in Slovakia, he helped several people flee to Hungary with a false passport. Also, he harboured families in his home. At Christmas 1944 he was arrested by Arrow Cross men and became the target of a Gestapo manhunt. In 1945 he was taken to the Soviet Union and died in a Czechoslovakian prison in 1957. In 2011 he posthumously received the Jan Karski Award for Courage and Service from the New York-based Anti-Defamation League.

János Farkas (1890-1976) – parish priest, Németlövő
He was arrested as early as 1940 for his anti-Nazi statements but he was released at the intercession of his faithful. A German officer asked him to warn forced labourers to flee or they would be shot dead the next day. Despite the help of the parish priest, only seventy people escaped. Afterwards, he harboured and fed two Jews in the attic of the parish office.

József Freesz (1903-1951) – director of a parish division of workers
He participated in the activity of Hungarian Front and in the rescue of persecuted people.

Dr. Béla Halmos (1893-) – chaplain of Etyek
In 1941 and 1942 he baptised Jews at his flat in Budapest, pre-dating the documents. In 1942 he was held in pre-trial detention, then removed from service.

Endre Hamvas (1890-1970) – Catholic bishop of Csanád, Member of the Upper Chamber
In 1944 he protested repeatedly against Jewish deportation and gave voice to his indignation in public. He also tried to intercede with the Ministry of Home Affairs in support of persecuted people.

Dr. Elemér Huszár (1872-1960) – parish priest of Zugliget

He baptised hundreds, or thousands according to other data, of endangered Jews in 1943 and 1944.

Géza Izay (1916-) – Jesuit monk
He acquired false documents, and found shelter and food for Jews in hiding in 1944.

Ferenc Kalló (1894-1944) – archdeacon of military ordinate
After the Arrow Cross takeover, he harboured Jews, leftists and runaway soldiers in military hospitals, hiding those in the greatest danger at the infectious ward. He personally issued false certificates of baptism to many persecuted people. In late October he was carried off by Arrow Cross men on the pretext of being called to a dying person. Then he was tortured and shot dead. In 2004 he posthumously received the decoration Righteous among the Nations from Jad Vasem Institute.

Katalin Karády (1910-1990) – actress, singer
After Hungary’s German invasion in 1944, she was held in a Gestapo prison for three months. Once released, she took part in rescuing people: she interceded for the liberation of forced labourers and harboured close acquaintances. She retrieved a group of children from Arrow Cross men in exchange for gold and jewellery, saving them from execution on the Danube bank. She moved the children to her flat and looked after them until the end of the war.

Dr. György Gyula Kis (1914-) – parish priest, Bakonyszentlászló
In summer 1944 he participated in the mass religious education of Jews awaiting Christianisation in Budapest.

Dr. Miklós Magass (1913-1987) – secretary of a parish division of workers
He prepared false certificates of baptism and marriage for Jewish families. In many cases he personally went to see persecuted people in the ghetto.

Áron Márton (1896-1980) – Catholic bishop
He was the bishop of Gyulafehérvár from 1938. In May 1944 he was the first to speak against racial discrimination and Jewish deportation from the pulpit of Saint Michael Church in Kolozsvár. On 22 May he wrote a letter of protest to Prime Minister Döme Sztójay, Home Minister Andor Jaross, the Lord Lieutenant of Kolozs County and to the Police chief of Kolozsvár, for which he was expelled from Kolozsvár. In 1999 he posthumously received the award Righteous among the Nations from Jerusalem-based Jad Vasem Institute.

Ferenc Matos (1924-) – student of theology
He gave refuge to persecuted Jews in the building of the seminary in Nagyvárad.

Tibor Mészáros (1919-) – episcopal archivist and ceremoniarius, Veszprém
He saved ten interned Jews from the brick factory in Budakalász with false certificates of baptism.

László Miklósi (1910-1973) – parish priest of Leányvár
He issued certificates of baptism to persecuted Jews.

József Mindszenty (1892-1975) – prince primate, archbishop, cardinal
The last prince primate of Hungary was consecrated Bishop of Veszprém on 25 March 1944. He played a major role in drafting the June 1944 circular of Transdanubian bishops in protest against Jewish deportations. On 19 June he wrote a letter to Regent Miklós Horthy in support of Christianised Jewish children. In September he wrote a circular in Latin, calling on Catholic parishes, schools and associations to refrain from claiming or seizing the chattels and properties left behind by deported Jews. Written in November, his study titled Juramentum non is a denouncement of any cooperation with Arrow Cross men. On 27 November he was arrested on suspicion of failure to lodge soldiers in the Episcopal Palace. He was kept prisoner in Veszprém then in Sopronkőhida. He was finally transferred to the Daughters of the Divine Redeemer Nunnery in Sopron, where he remained incarcerated with his companions up until 1 April 1945.

Tibor Nagy (1921-) – chaplain, Mezőkovácsháza
He acquired Vatican protective passports in Budapest and sent them to persecuted people, smuggling people out of Budapest.

Dr. Kálmán Nyéki (1908-1877) – teacher of theology, Budapest
He harboured nearly seventy Jewish children in the cellar of the seminary for months.

József Nyitrai – parish priest, Nagyhantos
He prepared, and often ante-dated, false certificates of baptism.

László Ocskay (1893-1966) – Hussar captain
In 1944 he harboured nearly 2,500 people who gathered and repaired clothes for German soldiers, officially as members of a forced labour company, in the Jewish Grammar School in Abonyi utca, Budapest (today ELTE Radnóti Miklós Teacher Training Grammar School). Arrow and Cross men tried to break into the building several times but Ocskay had agreed with an SS squad to protect the Jews from any act of violence.

Dr. Sándor Pintér (1910-1987) – parish priest, Balatonalmádi
He delivered certificates of baptism to persecuted people and harboured Jews.

Dr. Antal Pungucz (1888-1946) – Mechitarist monk
In 1944 he participated in the saving of Jews. He saved the lives of several persecuted people. Their exact number remains unknown.

Pál Püspök (1902-1949) – chaplain, Szekszárd City
In 1944 he saved the lives of several Jewish families. On 19 October he was also arrested and interned in Pécs.

Sára Salkaházi (1899-1944) – nun of the Social Sisters’ Society
A former journalist, Salkaházi cooperated with several members of the Social Sisters’ Society to take an active part in saving persecuted people in the Holocaust. The nunneries of the Society in and outside Budapest were full of people hiding with false documents. Approximately a thousand people owe their lives to them, nearly a hundred personally to Sára Salkaházi. On 27 December 1944 Arrow Cross men took to the Danube bank Sister Sára and several fellow nuns from the Society’s nunnery in Bokréta utca and executed them. In 2006 she was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI.

Dénes Sándor (1904-1958) – teacher of religion in Budapest
He took every reasonable step to save persecuted people, harbour endangered people and promote resistance operations.

Imre Sass (1911-1974) – Jesuit monk

In 1944 he organised the rescue of several university students of Jewish origin.

Margit Slachta (1884-1974) – Catholic nun, Member of Parliament
The first Hungarian woman to be elected Member of Parliament, and a leading figure of the Christian Women’s Camp and the Social Sisters’ Society, she already protested against the anti-Jewish laws and later spoke for forced labourers and against the deportations in Kőrösmező. After the announcement of the total dejewification of Slovakia (8 February 1943), she went to Rome to persuade Pope Pius XII to act against Jewish persecutions. In 1944 she and several fellow nuns harboured persecuted people in the Society’s nunnery in Thököly út, including Jenő Heltai and the wife of Miklós Radnóti.

Gábor Sztehlo (1909-1974) – Lutheran priest
With effect from March 1944, Calvinist bishop Sándor Raffay appointed him to serve as Lutheran representative of the Good Shepherd Committee, established to aid Jews who had converted to Protestantism. By December he had set up 32 homes for persecuted children with the help of the Swiss Red Cross and International Red Cross, saving the lives of hundreds of Jewish children. In 1972 he received the title Righteous among the Nations from Jad Vasem Institute.

János Tamás (1915-1993) – Jesuit monk
He took part in saving Jews in the Jesuit monastery in Horánszky utca, Budapest.

Dr. József Tiefenthaler (1884-1951) – Principal of Saint Emery College
As head of the institution he received and harboured several persecuted people in 1944.

Dr. Zoltán Török (1883-1967) – parish priest of Budapest-Törökőr
Starting from 1942 he issued false certificates of baptism to endangered Jews.

Antal Uhl (1902-1982) – Hungarian priest in Paris

In 1942 he smuggled 500 certificates of Hungarian citizenship to Hungarian born Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris. He issued membership cards of the Hungarian Catholic Mission to hundreds of Hungarian Jews in Paris.

Béla Varga (1903-1995) – parish priest of Balatonboglár, Member of Parliament
He helped not only persecuted Jews, but also Polish refugees and French prisoners of war who contacted him. In early 1943 he smuggled microfiches of the already operating Auschwitz death camp to Switzerland. He was in hiding for several months.

József Vid (1898-1952) – Jesuit monk

With the assistance of P. Raile, P. Jánosi and P. Elemér Reisz, he hid over a hundred persecuted Jews in the Order’s monastery in Budapest.

Oszkár Worschitz (1907-1961) – priest in Budapest
He sent false certificates of baptism to persecuted Jewish families.