Genocide in the Carpathians
War, Social Breakdown, and Mass Violence, 1914-1945
Raz Segal

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Introduction

The lands of Eastern Europe—often referred to somewhat vaguely as east-central Europe and central Europe1—have attracted considerable scholarly attention since the end of World War II. The last twenty years, in particular, have seen the emergence of a large and diverse literature on that area of the world, ranging from social and political histories, to investigations of mass violence, to multidisciplinary analyses of literature and film. The borderlands of eastern Europe, however, have received limited treatment, and they remain under-researched or, as in the case of Subcarpathian Rus', almost completely neglected.2 One reason for this lacuna may lie in the use of the term borderland and the images associated with it, which have elicited both idyllic and demonized interpretations of societies that live in such regions.3 When used simply in a descriptive manner, however, the term need not raise preconceived notions that impede analytical clarity. The problem, rather, concerns the privilege enjoyed by research in the framework of nation-states, which affords short shrift to locations—both geographic and conceptual—that spill beyond it.4 Genocide in the Carpathians shifts the lens, focusing on the margins of Czechoslovakia and Hungary during the interwar and World War II periods, respectively, both as viewed by the authorities and as experienced by the inhabitants of one region.

Addressing the potential of regional histories, historian Celia Applegate has captured the promises of centering (so to speak) the periphery: “What is at stake . . . is the extent to which a renewed engagement with the regional level of experience—an engagement sensitive to the interactions of society, identity, and place—can productively destabilize our perceptions of European history. . . . It remains to be seen how a focus on the regional level of experience can help us once again to think big.”5 More recently, the political scientist Charles King has identified and advocated for “a micropolitical turn” in the study of social violence, noting how macrolevel concerns about the reasons of violence have overshadowed a host of research questions about social mobilization, its impact on collective identities, and the vicissitudes of mass atrocities.6 Holly Case’s study of another borderland area in wartime Hungary—Transylvania—deals precisely with these issues. Case shows how Hungary and Romania sought to take advantage of World War II and their roles in Nazi Germany’s Axis alliance in order to realize violent political visions of nation and state building that clashed in Transylvania.7

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MAP 1. The Subcarpathian Rus' counties in northeastern Hungary (Ung, Ugocsa, Bereg, Máramaros) in the early twentieth century. Based on Paul Robert Magocsi, The Shaping of a National Identity: Subcarpathian Rus', 1848–1948 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978), 10. All maps adapted for use with permission from Professor Paul Robert Magocsi.

Assuming a similar analytical lens, Genocide in the Carpathians draws on a diverse set of primary sources in Hungarian, Yiddish, Hebrew, and German, as well as English—correspondence and reports of state authorities, personal documents such as letters and postcards, and postwar testimonies and memoirs—to illuminate the social and political dynamics of multiethnic and multireligious Subcarpathian Rus' from the nineteenth century until immediately after World War II. During that period the region came under the rule of six different regimes and occupiers and was ultimately engulfed by the global conflagration of World War II and its immediate aftermath.

Subcarpathian Rus' consisted of four counties (vármegye)—Ung, Ugocsa, Bereg, and Máramaros—situated in the northeastern corner of the Hungarian Kingdom within the Austro-Hungarian Empire until World War I (map 1). Part of the Eastern Front moved back and forth in the region, and fighting went on until 1920 between Romanian, Hungarian, and Czech forces. Eventually, the territory became the easternmost part of interwar Czechoslovakia. In two stages, in November 1938 and March 1939, the Hungarian army occupied the region and crushed the autonomous Carpatho-Ukraine that existed during those few months within the Second Czecho-Slovak Republic. Another occupying force came in March 1944, as the Wehrmacht strolled into Hungary without so much as firing a single shot. Finally, after the Hungarian authorities and German occupiers joined hands enthusiastically in ghettoizing and deporting the region’s Jews to Auschwitz in April, May, and June, the Soviet army took the area in October 1944. Within less than a year, in the summer of 1945, it turned into a part of Soviet Ukraine.

MAP 2. Hungary in the twentieth century. Based on Paul Robert Magocsi, Historical Atlas of Central Europe (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002), 147.

From 1938 the inhabitants of Subcarpathian Rus'—non-Jews as well as Jews—experienced a range of mass violence planned and implemented by the Hungarian authorities. These episodes included state-sponsored robbery, sporadic violence and uncoordinated expulsions, full-fledged deportations, and mass killings. An ethnonational vision fed this onslaught. The end of World War I and the Trianon Treaty (1920), which took from Hungary two-thirds of its prewar territories and three-fifths of its population, set the stage for the emergence of a revisionist consensus in Hungary and the longing to establish a “Greater Hungary” with a marked Magyar majority.8 This vision entailed a multilayered attack against non-Magyars, first and foremost in the multiethnic and multireligious borderlands—northeastern Hungary and Subcarpathian Rus', northern Transylvania, and Bácska and Baranya, which Hungary occupied from Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia, respectively, between November 1938 and April 1941 (map 2).9

The view of the state from the time of Hungarian rule before World War I sharpened in the turmoil of national defeat and humiliation, assuming exclusivist and violent dimensions. Whereas Budapest perceived minority populations in the borderlands of the Hungarian Kingdom as backward and had tried to “magyarize” them aggressively before World War I, from 1938 onward, as the Hungarian army occupied these regions, the authorities turned increasingly to mass violence in order to shape their societies into integral parts of a Magyar-dominated state. Although different from colonialism and imperialism in a number of ways, the idea of a “Greater Hungary” derived from the colonial binaries of civilization and backwardness that marked the cultural boundaries of Europe. Asserting primacy and eliminating difference in the borderlands of “Greater Hungary” involved “civilizing” projects and efforts at assimilation. Various considerations and opportunities rendered large-scale deportations and mass murder a desirable option at certain points in time, and changing circumstances induced processes of de-escalation to less lethal forms of mass violence and oppression. While the state rather than a settler population designed and carried out mass violence and other measures, the regime aimed, in a way similar to colonial violence, to facilitate the expansion of “Greater Hungary” through cultural and social destruction.10

Indeed, the designs, plans, and policies of Hungary reveal significant continuities that stretch before and after March 1944—when Nazi Germany invaded Hungary—shifting the focus from the typical treatment of the Holocaust in Hungary in the frame of the German “final solution” to the Hungarian drive to remake society and the state. Understanding the specific victimization of the Jews in Subcarpathian Rus' thus rests on an exploration of modern Hungarian history and an appreciation of the links between different layers of violence and measures that the government aimed at groups under its control.

The multilayered mass violence that descended on the inhabitants of the towns and villages in the mountains and on the slopes of the Carpathians changed their social fabric. Genocide in the Carpathians traces and explains the relations between Jews and their Carpatho-Ruthenian neighbors, the majority population in the region, as both groups faced a violent state.11 The persecution and destruction of the Jewish communities in Subcarpathian Rus' is thus viewed through the lens of intergroup relations under the impact of external political and military processes.

Subcarpathian Rus': Historical Background

Subcarpathian Rus',12 today the Transcarpathian (Zakarpats'ka) oblast in western Ukraine, is an eastern European borderland inhabited by a multiethnic and multireligious population (more multi in the past, but still so today), with a history replete with examples that show how peripheral societies face and respond to rapid national, military, economic, and social changes. The region stretches from the Carpathian Mountains (the Polonyna Beskyds and Hutsul Alps) to the south, with its main towns (Uzhhorod, Mukachevo, Berehovo, Vynohradovo, and Khust) at the foothills, where the Hungarian plain begins. Carpatho-Ruthenians, the majority population in Subcarpathian Rus' (about 445,000 people in 1930, or 63 percent), have stoked debate about their ethnic and national identification. Four competing interpretations have vied for supremacy since the second half of the nineteenth century: Russian, Ukrainian, Carpatho-Ruthenian, and Hungarian.13 Religion also divides Carpatho-Ruthenians; struggles between the Greek Catholic (Uniate) Church and the Orthodox Church punctuate the history of the region.14

The ethnic mosaic of the region prior to World War II consisted, in addition, of Magyars (ethnic Hungarians, 115,000, 15 percent) and Jews (100,000, 13 percent), as well as small numbers of Czechs, Slovaks, Romanians, Germans (Karpatendeutschen), and Roma.15 Romanians dominated in the southeastern part of the Hungarian county of Máramaros (Rumanian Maramureş), most of which, south of the Tisza River, became part of Romania after World War I. Local Germans, who had immigrated to the region from the early eighteenth century on, lived mainly in the vicinity of Munkács and Huszt and in the mountainous areas of Máramaros.16 And almost completely overlooked by scholars, groups of Roma have inhabited the region since the fifteenth century.17

Coexistence marked interethnic relations well into the interwar period, particularly between Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians. This situation, because of the seclusion of the region until after World War I and the strength of local identities that transcended ethnic and religious divides, changed as Subcarpathian Rus' opened to the world around it. Archival and oral history sources suggest that no significant anti-Jewish sentiments existed among Carpatho-Ruthenians until the 1920s, when the new officials from Prague who arrived as agents of Czech state building governed in a way that induced the perception of Jews as disloyal to their longtime neighbors. As we will see, concerns about loyalty and disloyalty, tied to ethnic groups and to their imagined threat to the social order and the state, became dominant markers that decided the fate of people under Hungarian occupation.

Research Approaches

The multiethnic and multireligious character of society in Subcarpathian Rus' sits at the heart of this book.18 My analysis locates the persecution and annihilation of Jews in Subcarpathian Rus' in the context of plans and policies of the Hungarian state to obliterate diversity and create a Magyar majority through various state measures and, whenever national and international opportunities allowed, mass deportations. As we will see, these schemes targeted Carpatho-Ruthenians and Roma in addition to Jews. Such contextualization challenges much of the existing scholarship on the Holocaust in Hungary and focuses attention on multilayered mass violence, where interrelated attacks take place in the same territory. Focusing in this way on processes rather than outcomes elucidates the destruction of Jewish communities in Subcarpathian Rus' during World War II as rooted primarily in Hungarian contexts and circumstances that intersected with German plans and industrial mass killing in Auschwitz.

Combining and integrating several points of view fleshes out those Hungarian contexts. Because of the problems of reading the histories of Jews in Europe as culminating deterministically in the Holocaust or, alternatively, with the Holocaust bracketed out of them, Genocide in the Carpathians explicitly bridges the history of Jews in Subcarpathian Rus' before and during World War II.19 It also treats the modern history of Jews in Europe as an integral part of modern European history. While this frame may seem obvious, existing scholarship on the region consists of parallel rather than intertwined accounts.20 The study of the Holocaust underscores this kind of divide, as only recently and with much controversy have scholars begun to draw lines from the genocide of Jews in Europe to mass violence in modern Europe before, during, and after World War II.21

My narrative, then, looks at links and connections rather than comparisons, which have given rise to conceptual and methodological problems associated with the hierarchies created by the terms Holocaust, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.22 Thinking about the Holocaust as unique, using whatever word or rhetorical device, has overshadowed other processes and events in human history. Such scales have also marginalized an integrated picture of World War II, which challenges the strict isolation and separation of these categories and, in the case of Hungary, points to new interpretative frameworks concerning the destruction of Jewish communities and the mass murder of more than half a million Jews.

Numerous stories of individuals, families, communities, villages, and towns portray the intra- and intergroup dynamics within this history in Subcarpathian Rus'. Foregrounding them, Genocide in the Carpathians confronts all too common assumptions about social relations in eastern Europe, particularly between Jews and their neighbors. It discusses the ways in which common feelings among Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians of a shared society gave way to hostility and conflict, tearing the social fabric apart even as both groups came under attack from outside.

Methodologies

Survivors’ Accounts

Deciphering the ways in which social interactions changed with shifting political, social, and military situations, as tens of thousands of Jews and non-Jews in the region faced foreign occupation and increasingly harsh state measures and violence, calls for engagement with survivors’ accounts. In addition to the window these sources open on to personal experiences, they illuminate the political atmosphere of persecution and mass murder, the actions of killers, and the responses of onlookers.

The methodological pitfalls posed by the use of postwar testimonies in writing Holocaust history have received much attention, especially concerning the incorporation of patterns of collective memory, rumors, and intentional as well as unintentional mistakes into survivors’ descriptions and narratives. Yet prompted by earlier work of literary scholars and by current studies in anthropology, particularly on the significance of “raw memories” and “subaltern subjectivities,” a growing consensus among historians treats testimonies as indispensable.23 Key studies in recent years on the Holocaust and on other cases of mass violence have furthermore relied on survivors’ accounts specifically to gain insight into intergroup dynamics.24 Genocide in the Carpathians thus turns to several collections of postwar testimonies of Holocaust survivors (recorded at different times, in a number of places, and in several languages), as well as personal accounts of non-Jews—such as testimonies of Roma who lived in the region during World War II and suffered persecution at the hands of the Hungarian authorities25—in order to shed light on the changing nature of social relations in Subcarpathian Rus' in the first half of the twentieth century.26

Recasting Terms: Antisemitism and Bystanders

Fine-grained scrutiny of the relations between Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians raises new questions on the meanings of two key terms: antisemitism and bystanders. These concepts are so commonly invoked that scholars rarely define them. The historian David Engel has posited that the general and all-encompassing usages of the word antisemitism have rendered it a rather blunt concept that betrays a lack of analytical attention to historical contingency.27 In his study of discrimination and violence against minorities in medieval Europe, historian David Nirenberg made a similar point, asserting that “quests for the origins of European intolerance have much in common. All take the long view, seeking to establish a continuity between the hatreds of long ago and those of the here and now. This focus on the longue durée means that events are read less within their local contexts than according to a teleology leading, more or less explicitly, to the Holocaust.”28 Treating anti-Jewish persecution and violence in local contexts pushes us to identify, describe, and explain the connections between these events and processes and others that happened at the same time and place, including other instances of mass violence. Yet although widening the lens to include such links would follow standard professional practice, histories of antisemitism have remained largely severed from such relevant contexts, reflecting the central role of the term in formulating both the history of Jews and the Holocaust within and beyond that history as unique. Saul Friedländer’s Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939–1945 (2007), a central and widely celebrated contribution in Holocaust scholarship of the last decade, exemplifies the perspective that separates the Holocaust from key events that affected non-Jews during World War II.29 In his introduction Friedländer summarizes (not entirely accurately) important scholarly trends only to marginalize them and place them beyond his purview:

The persecution and extermination of the Jews of Europe was but a secondary consequence of major German policies pursued toward entirely different goals. Among these, the ones most often mentioned include a new economic and demographic equilibrium in occupied Europe by murdering surplus populations, ethnic reshuffling and decimation to facilitate German colonization in the East, and the systematic plunder of the Jews in order to facilitate the waging of the war without putting too heavy a material burden on German society or, more precisely, on Hitler’s national-racial state. Notwithstanding the vistas sporadically opened by such studies, their general thrust is manifestly incompatible with the central postulates underlying my own interpretation.30

Friedländer’s “central postulates,” as he explains in the next sentence, consist of the “ideological-cultural factors as the prime movers of Nazi policies in regard to the Jewish issue.”31 Thus, Friedländer’s much vaunted “integrated history”—a narrative that seeks to combine the viewpoints of perpetrators, victims, and the surrounding world—integrates rather selectively. By asserting that the examination of the messy and complex world of mass atrocities during World War II holds merely sporadic merit, Friedländer in effect limited the explanatory potential of his major analytical concept, “redemptive anti-Semitism.”32

Indeed, the old controversies in Holocaust historiography between intentionalists and functionalists and the more recent debates about the Holocaust in the frame of Nazi colonial mass violence show, beyond the lingering disagreements, that the term antisemitism may easily blur complex realities, in which anti-Jewish ideas, positions, and policies intermingled with other interests and evolved into actions in pursuit of multiple goals.33 A number of scholars have demonstrated how exploring multidimensional pictures in German-occupied areas in Poland and the Soviet Union sheds new light on the Holocaust.34 This perspective also charts a new research path in the study of Hungary during World War II and, more broadly, of the Axis and German-occupied states in southeast Europe. In-depth research on Romania and the Ustaša regime in Croatia, for example, moves us beyond the traditional focus in Holocaust scholarship on the role of Nazi Germany35 or the area that historian Timothy Snyder has labeled “the Bloodlands”36 and holds much potential for new ways to think about, understand, and connect World War II to other wars and mass atrocities in modern Europe.37

Like antisemitism, the term bystanders deserves critical attention. Although many comprehensive accounts of the Holocaust have focused on either perpetrators or victims, few have treated in detail the standpoint of bystanders under direct German or Axis rule.38 The existing scholarship also tends to use bystanders as a static category, similar to the prevalent treatment of perpetrators and victims;39 as with the way that antisemitism appears in many studies, specific conditions rarely figure in the discussion. Furthermore, although social psychologist Ervin Staub analyzed bystanders in genocide as active agents in The Roots of Evil (published in 1989),40 it took more than a decade for his ideas to spur additional explorations. Historian Tim Cole and, more recently, political scientist Ernesto Verdeja have shown the way by emphasizing the dynamic quality of the bystander position.41

Examination of the contexts that framed the interactions between Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians provides a fresh perspective on bystanders both as a research category and as active people, notwithstanding the dangers and constraints of mass violence in Subcarpathian Rus'. More specifically, we learn of the particular nature of the anti-Jewish enmity that emerged among Carpatho-Ruthenians before and during World War II and why, in most cases, it failed to turn into physical aggression. Contrary to much received wisdom, Genocide in the Carpathians suggests that animosities not rooted in well-established public discourses carry little potential to become violent. The debate around Jan Gross’s work on the Jedwabne pogrom in German-occupied Poland (summer 1941) has given rise to scholarship that emphasizes communal violence against Jews in eastern Europe during World War II. Yet a broad European—even only eastern European—perspective suggests that such violence happened much less frequently than we imagine.42 Jews in Subcarpathian Rus' and in the other wartime border territories of Hungary suffered the violent demise of their worlds and lives with very little communal violence, if at all. This raises questions about social crises in which many people see and hear state violence without taking part directly in the carnage.

Emotion-Based Approach to Mass Violence

Emotions play an indispensable role in human affairs, especially when it comes to the formation of group identities and related behavior patterns in times of turmoil. Yet, as historian Joanna Bourke has argued, emotions as an analytical subject have been overshadowed as a result of an “emphasis on rationality following the belief that arguments about change over time can be constructed only through the analysis of ideology or economic structures. . . . Focusing on human rationality seemed a more respectful way of interpreting people’s behavior in the past.”43 While some scholars certainly adhere to such reasoning, political scientist Roger Petersen has pointed out that “no one denies that emotions exist, but few have tried to systematically link them to ethnic conflict.”44

Indeed, social psychologists Daniel Bar-Tal, Eran Halperin, and Joseph de Rivera have stressed that “emotions constitute a central element of the human repertoire and that the study of their functioning is a prerequisite for the understanding of individual and collective behaviors.” However, “research on the role played by emotional climate and other collective emotions in conflicts and conflict resolution is only at its primary stages.”45 Social psychologists Colin Leach and Larissa Tiedens have explained, more generally, that weaving “together emotional experiences and expression with social relationships, the emotional is seen as very social and the social as very emotional.”46 Recognizing the significance of emotions in the history we seek to understand, Alon Confino has observed that “the persecution and extermination of the Jews was fueled by emotions, and all interpretations that avoid, deny, or ignore this are bound to miss a fundamental human element embedded in the event.”47 As my critique of the terms antisemitism and bystanders drills down exactly on the human element, asking how Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians lived together and drifted apart, work on the history and sociology of emotions affords a new lens to interpret these social dynamics.

Building on historian Barbara Rosenwein’s programmatic essay on emotions in history48 and on Roger Petersen’s study of emotions in eastern Europe throughout the twentieth century,49 Genocide in the Carpathians discusses the meanings that Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians attached to identities, social encounters, and shared memories, as they tried to make sense of political and social changes. More specifically, anti-Jewish animosity emerged among Carpatho-Ruthenians for the first time in the 1920s and 1930s, framed by a sense of crisis engendered by the policies of the Czechoslovak state. The government in Prague would not grant Carpatho-Ruthenians autonomy, as stipulated in the agreements it signed after World War I. As we will see, the real and perceived role of Jews in maintaining this decision bred much resentment. This emotion, in turn, functioned as an affective disposition through which many Carpatho-Ruthenians interpreted events and responded to them as both they and their Jewish neighbors faced mass violence under Hungarian occupation.50

While many accounts implicitly or explicitly associate antisemitism with hatred and, by implication, a potential for violence, the social fabric in Subcarpathian Rus' before and during World War II disintegrated without violence between neighbors. Evoking hatred also often marginalizes the relational aspect and the particular histories that framed contact between people. Yet what Jews felt toward non-Jews and how they engaged with them—and vice versa—figure as essential elements in this study, as it focuses on the political processes through which social relations generated emotions that, in turn, realigned ties across society.51 Scholarship on emotions thus helps to move us beyond the generalizations and limitations imposed by the terms antisemitism and bystanders in describing and explaining the motivations, choices, and forms of behavior of Carpatho-Ruthenians and Jews as these had changed from one world war to the next.

Subcarpathian Rus' in the Twentieth Century: An Integrated History

Genocide in the Carpathians assumes a broad view and constructs a narrative of the intertwined pasts of the groups that together composed the society and culture that came under pressure and attack by several central and regional state authorities as they strove to realize visions of nation and state building. The integrated approach in this study, therefore, draws on scholarship in several fields—the histories of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, Holocaust history and genocide research, the history of Jews, and Ukrainian studies. This frame casts a wide net to show how the changes and tribulations that punctuated the history of Subcarpathian Rus' in the first half of the twentieth century tell us much about central issues in the history of modern Europe.

Paul Robert Magocsi’s monumental work The Shaping of a National Identity: Subcarpathian Rus', 1848–1948 (1978)—still a rare contribution in Ukrainian studies on the region52—traces the emergence and trajectories of national movements and related issues of language among Carpatho-Ruthenians. It addresses mostly the period prior to World War II, focusing on the perceptions and actions of state authorities and Carpatho-Ruthenian leaders with very little consideration of how they affected social relations in the region. Genocide in the Carpathians builds on this analysis by exploring the interactions within the region’s multiethnic and multireligious society rather than just one group, for significant aspects of the formation of national identities in the region emerged out of these social dynamics.

The interwar period, in particular, when Czechoslovakia ruled Subcarpathian Rus', proved crucial to the crystallization of national movements, in part as a response to state-building policies envisioned in Prague that changed the nature of relations between Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians. This work thus foregrounds a region overlooked by recent scholarship on interwar Czechoslovakia, contributing to the shift of emphasis from that state as an exceptional democracy in central and eastern Europe at the time to the characteristics it shared with its increasingly more authoritarian neighbors, including discriminatory measures against minorities.53

If thinking of nationalism among Carpatho-Ruthenians with little reference to other groups tells a partial story, concentrating exclusively on Jews proves equally problematic. While the few scholarly works that deal with Jews in the region provide important viewpoints to consider, as well as fascinating material, they hardly discuss the experiences of Jews in light of the varied composition of the region’s population and its history as a whole.54

Insufficient grounding in broad historical contexts particularly impedes examination of the annihilation of Jews and Jewish communities in Subcarpathian Rus' in the spring and summer of 1944. Randolph Braham’s two-volume magnum opus The Politics of Genocide will most probably remain the single most important reading for students of the destruction of Jews in Hungary.55 Yet it pays only scant attention to the crucial links between policies and actions against Jews and assaults aimed at other groups in the frame of the political vision of “Greater Hungary” before and after March 1944. While the work of historians Christian Gerlach and Götz Aly on Hungary places more emphasis on the role of the Hungarian state, they still train their lens on the period after the German invasion of Hungary and, for the most part, disregard the historical trajectory of Subcarpathian Rus'.56

Two elements mark the literature on the Holocaust in Hungary. First, it addresses mostly Budapest and the provinces within the Trianon borders, reflecting thereby a more general tendency in scholarship on the history of Jews in Hungary.57 Tim Cole’s Traces of the Holocaust, an influential contribution in the field, is a social history with eye-opening insights. It deals, however, almost exclusively with areas within the pre-1938 borders of Hungary—that is, before the occupation of the wartime border territories between November 1938 and April 1941—but in the post-March 1944 period, even though around half of the approximately half-million victims of the Holocaust in Hungary had lived in the borderlands.58 Encompassing a larger span of time, Paul Hanebrink’s In Defense of Christian Hungary, another central work, provides a masterful examination of the persecution and destruction of Jews in modern Hungary as part of a Christian anti-Jewish project.59 But Subcarpathian Rus' and the other borderlands of “Greater Hungary” appear in the text only sporadically. Hence, while the book certainly discusses Christian Hungary as a western Christian project, it pays no attention to the ways in which this political endeavor excluded not only Jews but also Orthodox and Slavic Christians, namely Romanians, Serbs, and Carpatho-Ruthenians, albeit in different ways.

Scholarship on the Holocaust in Hungary, furthermore, ascribes mass violence in Hungary mostly to German influence and, after March 1944, German policies, while portraying pre-1944 mass atrocities as anomalies to a general atmosphere that provided Jews with safety, even as they faced stigmatization and a whole host of restrictions and discriminatory measures.60 Almost all the (limited) scholarship on the mass deportations of summer 1941—a central episode of mass violence discussed extensively in Chapter 4—adheres to this line of interpretation.61 Building on recent research on other borderlands in wartime Hungary, this study not only shifts the focus from the center to the borderlands but also reverses this argument, laying bare how the destruction of Subcarpathian Rus' Jews flowed from the vision of “Greater Hungary” and the designs and initiatives of Hungarian authorities with regard to the treatment of Jews and other groups.62

Moving beyond accounts formed exclusively around national or ethnic groups and the limiting construct of the nation-state, Genocide in the Carpathians incorporates the perspectives and sources produced by the authorities of the states that governed the region and the people who lived there in the era of two global wars and shifting borders. It explores the intricate web of relations and interactions among the groups in the region, and the linkages between state policies and mass violence aimed at them both separately and collectively.

Chapters 1 through 3 follow the lives of Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians until World War II. Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians maintained porous collective boundaries in the nineteenth century and led lives that, in many ways, flowed into each other and constituted together a society and culture that was larger than the sum of its parts. This situation pertained to occupational choices, residential patterns, and, significantly, to popular religious worldviews anchored in beliefs about supernatural powers. These shared experiences came under pressure when the region became part of Czechoslovakia after World War I. The interests and policies of the government in Prague proved detrimental to the collective aspirations of Carpatho-Ruthenians, who, in turn, believed that Jews preferred to support a foreign power rather than their neighbors, mostly by sending their children to Czech rather than Carpatho-Ruthenian schools. This political constellation gave rise to anti-Jewish resentments, exacerbated by local Ukrainophile activists and Ukrainian nationalists who crossed into the region from the other side of the Carpathian Mountains.

While nationalists deepened the emerging conflict in interwar Subcarpathian Rus' along ethnic lines, political and religious tensions fractured the social setting within groups. The Jewish communities in Subcarpathian Rus' saw some of the most bitter and aggressive conflicts between Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Judaism at the time. In an effort to gain and secure communal power, both camps, along with Zionists Left and Right, threw themselves into the fray of a highly contentious scene in itself of local, regional, and national politics in Czechoslovakia. A parallel struggle pitted Greek Catholic against Orthodox Christian Carpatho-Ruthenians, which also intermeshed with political clashes between Carpatho-Ruthenian Ukrainophile and Russophile nationalists and between each faction and the state. This situation of social segmentation heightened the problems associated with choosing allies and maintaining or breaking loyalties, thus rendering all the more intense the evolving fissure between Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians.

This intergroup tension played a part in the small-scale anti-Jewish violence that erupted during the Ukrainophile-dominated autonomous Carpatho-Ukraine in late 1938 and early 1939, though foreign Ukrainian nationalists figured prominently among the organizers and perpetrators. As the Hungarian army invaded the region and destroyed Carpatho-Ukraine, it engaged in several days of mass killings of Carpatho-Ruthenians—mainly local Ukrainophile militiamen but also noncombatants. Jews witnessed these killings; even if some of them wished to help their neighbors, they feared the consequences—and rightly so. Many Jews, however, saw the Hungarian soldiers as rescuers, even though the new rulers wasted no time in making their aggressive intentions against all non-Magyars in the region painfully clear, with Jews singled out as especially foreign, disloyal, and dangerous. A society immersed in tensions and conflict faced this concerted attack of the Hungarian occupation that would last five years.

Chapters 4 and 5 elaborate on how the Hungarian authorities sought to transform the region’s society to fit their vision of “Greater Hungary.” This translated into systematic discrimination and persecution that, in moments of opportunity, morphed into mass violence against Jews, Roma, and Carpatho-Ruthenians. These chapters assume an analytical lens that looks at the links between the layers of violence against different groups rather than the more common tendency to think about the fate of Jews in comparison to that of another group. Jews figured at the top of the Hungarian authorities’ list of victims and faced a sustained attack on a larger scale than Roma and Carpatho-Ruthenians. Yet the analysis of the connecting threads in this multilayered system of violence illuminates the persecution and deportation of the Jews in a new way by considering Hungarian policies as a whole.

Looking at the broad picture rather than just a segment—such as the common tendency in Holocaust scholarship to view the period after the German invasion of Hungary in March 1944 and the destruction of Jewish life there as a separate time and event—reveals the continuities that marked the activities of the Hungarian occupiers before and after Adolf Eichmann arrived in Budapest to make the necessary arrangements for a swift genocide. The Hungarian campaign for ethnonational “homogenization” since 1938 thus becomes a necessary element in the account of the ghettoization and mass deportations of Subcarpathian Rus' Jews in the spring and summer of 1944. This broader perspective also underlines how the general term antisemitism actually blurs the Hungarian state’s anti-Jewish policies and actions by concealing the drive to renounce the claims of belonging of non-Magyars in Subcarpathian Rus'—non-Jews as well as Jews—an essential goal in the planned transformation of the region’s society and its integration into “Greater Hungary.”

Finally, chapters 4 and 5 chart the demise of the relations between Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians, which meant that, for the most part, they faced persecution and state violence apart. Yet anti-Jewish resentments failed to push the shared past completely out of people’s memories, and we therefore encounter almost no cooperation of Carpatho-Ruthenians with the Hungarian occupiers against Jews. We also see no anti-Jewish communal violence during the war and none after the war, when Jewish survivors returned to the region in search of property and family. This pattern of Carpatho-Ruthenian behavior offers another opportunity to engage critically with the concept of antisemitism, now concerning social relations rather than the view of the state and with regard to another general term: bystanders. Scrutinizing the meanings of these concepts in the history of Subcarpathian Rus' paves the way for our understanding of the social breakdown caused first because of policies of state building that extended from Prague to the region for almost twenty years after World War I, followed by the onslaught of the Hungarian occupation during World War II that aimed to transform the Carpathians into the northeastern reaches of an ethnonational “Greater Hungary.”

Subcarpathian Rus' is a small place. But, to return to the words of historian Celia Applegate, it is small places that help us to “think big.” Focusing on Subcarpathian Rus' indeed turns our attention to a central problem in the history of modern Europe—changes in the sense of belonging and in conceptions and perceptions of citizenship as articulated both by state authorities and between neighbors, and whether, how, and why these ideas, emotions, and interactions assumed violent and destructive dimensions. This perspective and these questions contribute to our understanding of the Holocaust as a nexus of multidimensional processes of mass violence. Some of these unfolded independently of the German drive for continent-wide genocide but, at certain junctures, helped turn the “final solution” into a truly international campaign of mass murder. Furthermore, dominant images of foreignness and disloyalty to the Hungarian state linked the attacks against Jews with the assaults on other groups. Highlighting in this way political as well as ideological elements illuminates the impetus to eliminate Jews and Jewish communities not only in Subcarpathian Rus' but also across Axis states in southeast Europe. Grounding the events and processes that we call the Holocaust in European contexts places them within discussions of modern genocides around the globe not as exceptional or paradigmatic points of reference but as integral parts of the political and social systems of the modern and late modern world.

Notes

1. These terms and their mis/ab/uses have drawn many comments, much criticism, and often whole essays. The composite “east-central Europe” seems rather awkward; an effort to avoid the politicized Eastern Europe of communist times by a geographic reconciliation that would content all sides. The resulting geography, however, remains fluid and unclear (which states or regions are included and why—and who decides?) and invites questions about the absence of a “west-central Europe.” “Central Europe,” when applied to eastern Europe, raises even more geographical question marks with related political and ideological dimensions. My choice of “eastern Europe” here relies on the longer perspective of the construction of the West-East divide in modern European history, beginning with the Enlightenment and thus predating the geopolitical considerations of the second half of the twentieth century. See Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994). Indeed, the state authorities that ruled the region during the first half of the twentieth century imagined it in the frame of this West-East divide, which translated into specific policies.

2. A major exception is the recent two-volume study of Mark Levene, The Crisis of Genocide (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), vol. 1, Devastation: The European Rimlands, 1912–1938, and vol. 2, Annihilation: The European Rimlands, 1938–1953. See also Omer Bartov and Eric D. Weitz, eds., Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013).

Piotr Wandycz’s important study, The Price of Freedom, demonstrates the contrast between the potential inherent in studying Subcarpathian Rus' and its neglect. In his introduction Wandycz used the example of Uzhhorod, the provincial center, to describe the effects of frequent border changes, but the region all but evaporates from the rest of the text. Piotr S. Wandycz, The Price of Freedom: A History of East Central Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present (London: Routledge, 2001), 8.

3. Tara Zahra, Kidnapped Souls: National Indifference and the Battle for Children in the Bohemian Lands, 1900–1948 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008), 8, refers to the illuminating case study of the post–World War II Julian March on the border between Italy and Yugoslavia by Pamela Ballinger, History and Exile: Memory and Identity at the Borders of the Balkans (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), esp. 261–265.

4. For a critical view on this issue see Holly Case, Between States: The Transylvanian Question and the European Idea During World War II (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009). In a penetrating study of Last Judgment iconography throughout the Carpathian Mountains between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, historian John-Paul Himka addressed this methodological issue, admitting his “habit of working for years within the normal paradigms of my discipline, the national paradigm.” This initial position led him to think he “would be able to trace the evolution of Ukrainian Last Judgment iconography,” indeed, “that there was one single [Ukrainian] iconographic tradition, of which the Carpathian icons were just surviving examples.” The evidence, however, uncovered “a local, sometimes even microregional, tradition,” unrelated to the medieval traditions of Kyiv. As his research unfolded, he thus understood that “shedding assumptions . . . was about as important as discovering the facts” and that this procedure of writing history points to “possibilities that have not been fully realized by the historical profession.” John-Paul Himka, Last Judgment Iconography in the Carpathians (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), 3–4, 6, 10, 94, 140–142, 194–200.

5. Celia Applegate, “A Europe of Regions: Reflections on the Historiography of Subnational Places in Modern Times,” American Historical Review 104, no. 4 (1999): 1182.

6. Charles King, “The Micropolitics of Social Violence,” in Extreme Politics: Nationalism, Violence, and the End of Eastern Europe (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 55–76, esp. 69–76.

7. Case, Between States. Two recent studies that provide challenging accounts of nation and state building from the local and regional perspectives are Uğur Ümit Üngör, The Making of Modern Turkey: Nation and State in Eastern Anatolia, 1913–1950 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), which focuses on the Diyarbekir Province; and Ward Berenschot, Riot Politics: Hindu-Muslim Violence and the Indian State (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), which deals with Ahmedabad, the largest city in the Indian state of Gujarat.

8. For an analysis that concentrates on “Greater Hungary” as a eugenic vision, see Marius Turda, “In Pursuit of Greater Hungary: Eugenic Ideas of Social and Biological Improvement, 1940–1941,” Journal of Modern History 85, no. 3 (2013): 558–591.

9. Subcarpathian Rus' and northeastern Hungary together made up the Felvidék, the area that Hungary had occupied in November 1938 and March 1939 during the violent disintegration of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany. Hungary took northern Transylvania from Romania in August 1940, according to the Second Vienna Accord, and the Hungarian army entered the Délvidék—mostly the Bácska and Baranya regions in northern Yugoslavia—as it joined Nazi Germany’s attack and dismemberment of Yugoslavia in April 1941.

10. For discussions of colonialism and genocide see A. Dirk Moses, ed., Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History (Oxford: Berghahn, 2008). On Hungarian policies in the Hungarian-Slovak border territory of the Felvidék see Leslie M. Waters, “Learning and Unlearning Nationality: Hungarian National Education in Reannexed Felvidék, 1938–1944,” Hungarian Historical Review 2, no. 3 (2013): 538–568. On the Hungarian settler colonial project of transferring in 1941, following an agreement with the Romanian government, more than three thousand families (altogether around fourteen thousand people) of the Bukovina Székely—essentially an entire group of Magyars beyond the borders of Hungary—to Bácska, see Enikő A. Sajti, Hungarians in the Voivodina, 1918–1947 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), 250–272.

11. This study focuses on relations between Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians, as both groups lived throughout the region and many towns and villages were home only to Jews and Carpatho-Ruthenians. Magyars (ethnic Hungarians) lived almost exclusively in the areas in the southwest of the region, at the foot of the Carpathians, primarily in the larger towns (see map 2). Even there, however, they lost their numerical dominance in the 1920s and 1930s, owing in large part to emigration following the defeat of Hungary in World War I. In Mukačevo (present-day Mukachevo in Ukraine), for example, Magyars numbered a bit more than 12,500 in 1910 among some 7,500 Jews and less than 1,500 Carpatho-Ruthenians, but only 5,500 in 1930 alongside more than 11,300 Jews and almost 6,500 Carpatho-Ruthenians, the increase of the latter two groups a result mainly of high birthrates and movement from villages and smaller towns to larger towns in the region. See data in Paul Robert Magocsi, The Shaping of a National Identity: Subcarpathian Rus', 1848–1948 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978), 356.

12. This work follows Paul Robert Magocsi, the foremost specialist on the history of the region and its Carpatho-Ruthenian population, in the choice of the name Subcarpathian Rus'. See Magocsi, Shaping of a National Identity, 277–281. Names of places throughout this study correspond to the forms in use in the different periods of the region’s history. When a location in Subcarpathian Rus' is mentioned for the first time, its present-day form in Ukrainian is provided in parentheses. Other spellings of place names remain as they appear in quotes and titles. See also Paul Robert Magocsi, “Mapping Stateless Peoples: The East Slavs of the Carpathians,” Canadian Slavonic Papers 39, no. 3–4 (1997): 301–331.

13. Magocsi, Shaping of a National Identity, 105–129.

14. For an account centered on the Greek Catholic perspective see Athanasius B. Pekar, The History of the Church in Carpathian Rus' (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992).

15. Kárpátalja Településeinek Vallási Adatai (1880–1941) (Budapest: Központi Statisztikai Hivatal, 2000), 16–17.

16. Eduard Winter, ed., Die Deutschen in der Slowakei und in Karpathorussland (Munster: Aschendorffsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1926). Large numbers of Germans had settled in the region before the Ottoman occupation of Hungary (1526), but they fled the wars and tribulations of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the aftermath of World War I many Germans left the region for Germany and Austria.

17. Claude Cahn, The Misery of Law: The Rights of Roma in the Transcarpathian Region of Ukraine, European Roma Rights Center, Country Reports Series, no. 4 (1997), 8. On the Carpathian groups of Roma, which include those in Subcarpathian Rus', see Lev Tcherenkov and Stéphane Laederich, The Proma, vol. 1, History, Language, and Groups (Basel: Schwabe, 2004), xxviii, 4–5, 7, 95–99, 429, 442–445, 447, 448–450, 503, and 507–508. I use the word gypsy only when quoting sources of the Hungarian state that include the word cigány, when quoting from other studies, or when the word appears in titles of books and articles.

18. According to Paul Robert Magocsi’s assessment in 2011, a study of Subcarpathian Rus' “based on a multiethnic approach” had yet to appear. See his “Concluding Observations on the Symposium,” Nationalities Papers 39, no. 1 (2011): 132.

19. For a penetrating historiographical analysis arguing that a central trend among historians of Jews accounts for a wall between their field and the study of the Holocaust, see David Engel, Historians of the Jews and the Holocaust (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010). See also Dan Michman, “The Integration of the Holocaust into Modern Jewish History: The Attempts of Leading Historians,” in The Holocaust in Jewish History: Historiography, Consciousness, and Interpretation (Hebrew), ed. Dan Michman (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2005), 45–67.

20. Studies of ancient Jewish societies have demonstrated the analytical advantages of “integrat[ing] the Jews into the history of the ancient eastern Mediterranean, allowing us to see how they were simultaneously like and unlike all other subjects. The Jews may thus be made to serve in some ways as exemplary—even in their difference—filling in part of a larger picture of the effects of Roman domination. . . . In other words, considering the wider political and social worlds in which ancient Jews lived can help explain why the evidence is the way it is . . . why the archaeology of Jewish Palestine in the second and third centuries seems so similar to that of the eastern Roman Empire in general.” Seth Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 B.C.E. to 640 C.E. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001), 291–292. This methodological observation holds true for the modern era as well.

21. For a paradigmatic account in this vein see Donald Bloxham, The Final Solution: A Genocide (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). And see the rather heated debate around the book, with critical reflections by Jürgen Matthäus, Martin Shaw, Omer Bartov, Doris Bergen, and Donald Bloxham’s response, in “Review Forum,” Journal of Genocide Research 13, no. 1–2 (2011): 107–152. Debórah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt, Holocaust: A History (New York: Norton, 2002), serves as an earlier landmark in situating the Holocaust within modern European history.

22. See A. Dirk Moses, “Conceptual Blockages and Definitional Dilemmas in the ‘Racial Century’: Genocides of Indigenous People and the Holocaust,” Patterns of Prejudice 36, no. 4 (2002): 7–36; Robert M. Hayden, “Schindler’s Fate: Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, and Population Transfers,” Slavic Review 55, no. 4 (1996): 727–748; Mark Mazower, “Violence and the State in the Twentieth Century,” American Historical Review 107, no. 4 (2002): 1158–1178.

23. Christopher R. Browning, Collected Memories: Holocaust History and Postwar Testimony (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), 37–85, presents a strong argument supporting the utilization of survivors’ accounts in research on Holocaust history. See also Christopher R. Browning, Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp (New York: Norton, 2010). Debórah Dwork, however, pioneered the recording, collection, and use of oral histories of Holocaust survivors with her groundbreaking book Children with a Star: Jewish Youth in Nazi Europe (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991). The literary scholar Lawrence Langer contributed greatly to this discussion with his Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991). The work of anthropologist Victoria Sanford on testimonies of Maya survivors of the genocide in Guatemala in the early 1980s is exemplary in uncovering the overlapping qualities of testimonies as memory constructs, essential elements in historical reconstruction and understanding, and subaltern subjectivities. Testimonies thus undermine hegemonic narratives and open for survivors political spaces in the face of oppressive discourses of distortions and silences that in some places, as in Guatemala, rely on threats of renewed violence. See Victoria Sanford, “What Is an Anthropology of Genocide? Reflections on Field Research with Maya Survivors in Guatemala,” in Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation, ed. Alexander Laban Hinton and Kevin Lewis O’Neil (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009), 29–53 (“subaltern subjectivity” on p. 29, and “raw memories” on p. 34); and Victoria Sanford, Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

24. See, in particular, Omer Bartov, “Wartime Lies and Other Testimonies: Jewish-Christian Relations in Buczacz, 1939–1944,” East European Politics and Societies 25, no. 3 (2011): 486–511; and Yehuda Bauer, The Death of the Shtetl (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009). On survivors’ accounts of the Rwanda genocide, also concerning social relations before and during the genocide, see Samuel Totten and Rafiki Ubaldo, eds., We Cannot Forget: Interviews with Survivors of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011).

25. See the following testimonies at the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education: El'sbeta Gabor, interview no. 37402; Kalman Sabo, 36366; Danil Gerich, 36870; and Kalman Kish, 37384—all from Beregszász (today’s Berehovo); Iurii Fenesh, 50135; Germina Beniak, 50134; Bozhena Buchko, 46674; and Iolana Tokar, 43593—all from Ungvár (Uzhhorod); and Iosif Teifel, 38740—from Munkács (Mukachevo).

26. The bibliography lists the collections of survivors’ testimonies used in this study.

27. David Engel, “Away from a Definition of Antisemitism: An Essay in the Semantics of Historical Description,” in Rethinking European Jewish History, ed. Jeremy Cohen and Moshe Rosman (Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2009), 30–53.

28. David Nirenberg, Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), 4–5.

29. Saul Friedländer, Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939–1945: The Years of Extermination (New York: HarperCollins, 2007).

30. Ibid., xvi–xvii.

31. Ibid., xvii.

32. See Saul Friedländer, Nazi Germany and the Jews, vol. 1, The Years of Persecution, 1933–1939 (New York: Harper Perennial, 1998), chap. 3. For a thorough critical engagement with Friedländer’s concept see A. Dirk Moses, “Redemptive Antisemitism and the Imperialist Imaginary,” in Years of Persecution, Years of Extermination: Saul Friedländer and the Future of Holocaust Studies, ed. Christian Wiese and Paul Betts (London: Continuum, 2010), 233–254.

33. For a recent historiographical review of these debates see Dan Stone, Histories of the Holocaust (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 68–72, 222–242. See also the excellent analysis in Thomas Kühne, “Colonialism and the Holocaust: Continuities, Causations, and Complexities,” Journal of Genocide Research 15, no. 3 (2013): 339–362; and the essays in “Scholarly Forum on the Holocaust and Genocide,” Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust 27, no. 1 (2013): 40–73.

34. Götz Aly, “Final Solution”: Nazi Population Policy and the Murder of European Jews (London: Arnold, 1999); Karel C. Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2008); David Furber and Wendy Lower, “Colonialism and Genocide in Nazi-Occupied Poland and Ukraine,” in Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History, ed. A. Dirk Moses (Oxford: Berghahn, 2008), 372–401; Wendy Lower, Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005); Christian Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde: Die deutsche Wirtschafts- und Vernichtungspolitik in Weissrussland 1941 bis 1944 (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1999); Christoph Dieckmann, Deutsche Besatzungspolitik in Litauen, 1941–1944 (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2011).

35. Friedländer, The Years of Extermination, and, in a very different manner, Mark Mazower, Hitler’s Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe (London: Allen Lane, 2008) both address almost exclusively the German-occupied territories in eastern Europe. Stone, Histories of the Holocaust, the latest large-scale survey of scholarship on the Holocaust, takes a German-centered perspective, also when discussing very briefly Hungary, Romania, and other Balkan states.

36. Timothy Snyder, The Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (New York: Basic Books, 2010).

37. On Romania see Vladimir Solonari, Purifying the Nation: Population Exchange and Ethnic Cleansing in Nazi-Allied Romania (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010). On the Ustaša regime and the Independent State of Croatia see Alexander Korb, Im Shatten des Weltkrieges: Massengewalt der Ustaša gegen Serben, Juden und Roma in Kroatien, 1941–1945 (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2013). On the Balkans in general see Mark Biondich, The Balkans: Revolution, War, and Political Violence since 1878 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). Mark Mazower’s earlier work on Greece pioneered this direction. See his Inside Hitler’s Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941–1944 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1993). See also Mazower’s locally focused but much more historically wide-ranging Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews, 1430–1950 (New York: Vintage, 2006).

38. See Victoria J. Barnett, Bystanders: Conscience and Complicity During the Holocaust (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999), who drew on Gordon J. Horwitz, In the Shadow of Death: Living Outside the Gates of Mauthausen (New York: Free Press, 1990).

39. Political scientist Raul Hilberg coined this rigid typology, which retains its force. See his Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe, 1933–1945 (New York: HarperCollins, 1992). This tripartite division constitutes an example of the problems associated with decontextualized attempts to sort human behavior into neat types.

40. Ervin Staub, The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989). See also Ervin Staub, “Transforming the Bystanders: Altruism, Caring, and Social Responsibility,” in Genocide Watch, ed. Helen Fein (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992), 162–181.

41. Tim Cole, “Writing ‘Bystanders’ into Holocaust History in More Active Ways: ‘Non-Jewish’ Engagement with Ghettoization, Hungary 1944,” Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History 11, no. 1 (2005): 55–74; and Ernesto Verdeja, “Moral Bystanders and Mass Violence,” in New Directions in Genocide Research, ed. Adam Jones (London: Routledge, 2012), 153–168.

42. Jan T. Gross, Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001). And see Wendy Lower, “Pogroms, Mob Violence and Genocide in Western Ukraine, Summer 1941: Varied Histories, Explanations and Comparisons,” Journal of Genocide Research 13, no. 3 (2011): 217–246. Lower discusses, among other issues, the far fewer instances of anti-Jewish communal violence in German-occupied central and eastern Ukrainian areas as compared to western parts. Diana Dumitru and Carter Johnson, “Constructing Interethnic Conflict and Cooperation: Why Some People Harmed Jews and Others Helped Them During the Holocaust in Romania,” World Politics 63, no. 1 (2011): 1–42, confirmed this pattern when they found no attacks at all by Ukrainians against Jews in Romanian-controlled Transnistria, in contrast to their occurrence to the west in Bessarabia, mostly in summer 1941.

43. Joanna Bourke, Fear: A Cultural History (London: Virago, 2005), 289. See also Cheshire Calhoun and Robert C. Solomon, introduction to What Is an Emotion? Classic Readings in Philosophical Psychology (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), 31–32.

44. Roger D. Petersen, Understanding Ethnic Violence: Fear, Hatred, and Resentment in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 254.

45. Daniel Bar-Tal, Eran Halperin, and Joseph de Rivera, “Collective Emotions in Conflict Situations: Societal Implications,” Journal of Social Issues 63, no. 2 (2007): 441–442. Similarly, “the role of emotion in international politics is relatively unexplored terrain.” Khaled Fattah and K. M. Fierke, “A Clash of Emotions: The Politics of Humiliation and Political Violence in the Middle East,” European Journal of International Relations 15, no. 1 (2009): 67–93, 69.

46. Colin Wayne Leach and Larissa Z. Tiedens, “Introduction: A World of Emotion,” in The Social Life of Emotions, ed. Larissa Z. Tiedens and Colin Wayne Leach (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 7.

47. Alon Confino, “Why Did the Nazis Burn the Hebrew Bible? Nazi Germany, Representations of the Past, and the Holocaust,” Journal of Modern History 84, no. 2 (2012): 388.

48. Rosenwein called to “recognize various emotional styles, emotional communities, emotional outlets, and emotional restraints in every period,” and “consider how and why these have changed over time.” Barbara H. Rosenwein, “Worrying About Emotions in History,” American Historical Review 107, no. 3 (2002): 821–845, 845 (emphasis in the text).

49. Petersen, Understanding Ethnic Violence.

50. I borrow “affective disposition” from Ronald Grigor Suny, “Thinking About Feelings: Affective Dispositions and Emotional Ties in Imperial Russia and the Ottoman Empire,” in Interpreting Emotions in Russia and Eastern Europe, ed. Mark D. Steinberg and Valeria Sobol (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2011), 102–127.

51. This formulation draws on Sara Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotions (New York: Routledge, 2004). See also research on “intergroup emotions theory” in social psychology, examining dynamic interactions between groups and the emotions involved in them. Diane M. Mackie and Eliot R. Smith, eds., From Prejudice to Intergroup Emotions: Differentiated Reactions to Social Groups (New York: Psychology Press, 2003), esp. chap. 7: Thierry Devos, Lisa A. Silver, Diane M. Mackie, and Eliot R. Smith, “Experiencing Intergroup Emotions,” 111–130. In the conclusion to the volume the editors stress “the new research questions that arise once one conceptualizes prejudice in terms of discrete emotions rather than in terms of simple negative evaluations” (290).

52. The field of Ukrainian studies has dealt sparingly with Subcarpathian Rus', providing only scattered remarks and information in large-scale narratives of Ukrainian history. See Andrew Wilson, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002); Serhy Yekelchyk, Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007); Orest Subtelny, Ukraine: A History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000). Anna Reid’s journalistic account, Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999), does not include a chapter on Subcarpathian Rus'. Indeed, it is dismissed as “somewhere in the middle of nowhere” (110–111). See also Anne Applebaum, “Across the Carpathians,” in Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe (New York: Pantheon, 1994), 232–245; Applebaum quotes Andy Warhol (born Andrew Warhola to parents who had immigrated to the United States from the Carpatho-Ruthenian village of Miková in northeastern Slovakia), who described the region as “nowhere” (241).

53. See, e.g., Mary Heimann, Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007); and Mark Cornwall and R. J. W. Evans, eds., Czechoslovakia in a Nationalist and Fascist Europe, 1918–1948 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).

54. See mainly Yeshayahu A. Jelinek, The Carpathian Diaspora: The Jews of Subcarpathian Rus' and Mukachevo, 1848–1948 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007); Ilana Rosen, “In Auschwitz We Blew the Shofar”: Carpatho-Russian Jews Remember the Holocaust (Hebrew) (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem and the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University, 2004); and Dov Dinur, The Holocaust of Subcarpathian Rus' Jews: Uzhorod (Hebrew) (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1983).

55. Randolph L. Braham, The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary, 2 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994).

56. See Christian Gerlach and Götz Aly, Das letzte Kapitel: Realpolitik, Ideologie und der Mord an den ungarischen Juden 1944/45 (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 2002). Gábor Kádár and Zoltán Vági, Self-Financing Genocide: The Gold Train, the Becher Case and the Wealth of Hungarian Jews (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2004), also stress the role of the Hungarian state, highlighting continuities before and after March 1944, but with very little reference to Subcarpathian Rus'.

57. See Howard Lupovitch, Jews at the Crossroads: Tradition and Accommodation During the Golden Age of the Hungarian Nobility, 1729–1878 (New York: Central European University Press, 2007), 15–18. As Lupovitch has noted, this trend reflects the general stance of many Jews in Budapest toward Jews elsewhere in Hungary, especially in the northeastern parts of the country, including Subcarpathian Rus'. Such attitudes account for the sparse references to Subcarpathian Rus' Jews in the literature on Jews in Hungary, as, for instance, in the 730-page book of Raphael Patai, The Jews of Hungary: History, Culture, Psychology (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1996).

While the last three years have seen the publication of several general surveys in Hungarian about Subcarpathian Rus', they address mainly the post-1945 period and fit into recent academic, public, and political discourses about Magyars who today live in lands formerly ruled by Hungary. See, e.g., Béla Baranyi, ed., Kárpátalja (Budapest: Dialóg Campus Kiadó, 2009); Fedinec Csilla and Vehes Mikola, eds., Kárpátalja, 1919–2009: Történelem, Politika, Kultúra (Budapest: MTA Etnikai-nemzeti Kisebbségkutató Intézete, 2010).

58. Tim Cole, Traces of the Holocaust: Journeying In and Out of the Ghettos (London: Continuum, 2011). For statistics and discussion on the number of victims of the Holocaust in Hungary see Braham, The Politics of Genocide, 2:1296–1300.

59. Paul A. Hanebrink, In Defense of Christian Hungary: Religion, Nationalism, and Antisemitism, 1890–1944 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2006).

60. An important exception is Kinga Frojimovics, I Have Been a Stranger in a Strange Land: The Hungarian State and Jewish Refugees in Hungary, 1933–1945 (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2007). László Karsai, a central figure in the study of the Holocaust in Hungary, has recently argued that Hungary served as a safe haven for Jews before March 1944 owing to a “protective policy vis-à-vis the Jews [in which] humanitarian considerations played a role.” See László Karsai, “The Jewish Policy of the Szálasi Regime,” Yad Vashem Studies 40 (2012): 119–156, 121. Historians Zoltán Vági, László Csősz, and Gábor Kádár formulate the matter in a different way: “During the war, Hungarian Jews lived under continually deteriorating conditions. Tens of thousands perished in the Labor Service; others lost their jobs and social prestige. They were largely excluded from the universities and often humiliated by the public administration. Despite all of this, before the German occupation, one could see Jews in Hungary living a normal life compared to those in many other parts of Hitler’s Europe.” An example concerning Jews in Budapest follows this description, which omits the mass violence perpetrated by the Hungarian state in the borderlands before March 1944, even though the authors discuss these events in the book. See Zoltán Vági, László Csősz, and Gábor Kádár, The Holocaust in Hungary: Evolution of a Genocide (Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2013), xlvii (quote), 61.

61. The scholarship concerning the mass deportations of 1941 is limited and references many of the same sources. See Randolph L. Braham, “The Kamenets Podolsk and Délvidék Massacres: Prelude to the Holocaust in Hungary,” Yad Vashem Studies 9 (1973): 133–156; Judit Fejes, “On the History of the Mass Deportations from Carpatho-Ruthenia in 1941,” in The Holocaust in Hungary: Fifty Years Later, ed. Randolph L. Braham and Attila Pók (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), 305–328; Frojimovics, I Have Been a Stranger in a Strange Land, 104–134. These accounts in English rely to a large extent on earlier work in Hungarian: Artur Geyer, “Az első magyarországi deportálás,” Új Élet Naptár, 1960–1961 (Budapest: MIOK, 1960), 75–82; Tamás Majsai, “A kőrösmezei zsidódeportálás 1941–ben,” A Ráday Gyűjtemény Évkönyve IV–V (1984–1985), 59–86. See also Maria Ormos, Egy magyar médiavezér: Kozma Miklós, 2 vols. (Budapest: PolgART, 2000), which offers a biography of Miklós Kozma, the appointed governor (Kormányzói Biztos) of Kárpátalja (Subcarpathian Rus') from September 1940 until his death in December 1941.

62. See Holly Case, “The Holocaust and the Transylvanian Question in the Twentieth Century,” in The Holocaust in Hungary: Sixty Years Later, ed. Randolph L. Braham and Chamberlain S. Brewster (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006), 17–40; Krisztián Ungváry, “Deportation, Population Exchange, and Certain Aspects of the Holocaust,” in The Holocaust in Hungary: A European Perspective, ed. Judit Molnár (Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 2005), 97–98. See also Krisztián Ungváry, “Vojvodina Under Hungarian Rule,” in Serbia and the Serbs in World War II, ed. Sabrina P. Ramet and Ola Listhaug (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 70–91.