Emissary missions from July 1-December 23, 1944


Emissary missions during the siege of Budapest

By this time the deportation of the Jews from the country towns to Auschwitz had already been completed. The main goal of these missions was to locate members of the various youth movements in the scattered units in the forced labor camps still remaining in Hungary. The emissaries provided the appropriate forged documents, a change of clothing, money and instructions on how to slip away from the camp and reach Budapest. There the refugees were absorbed into the youth movement ranks and joined the various rescue operations of the underground Zionist Youth Resistance Movement.

One such “group desertion” was arranged for 20 young people, including Joseph Scheffer from Gordonia-Maccabi Hatzair, Joseph Meir from Hashomer Hatzair and Shmuel Szántó from Dror Habonim, from labor camp 4/3 near the town of Mohács. All of the “deserters” were immediately integrated into and dedicated themselves to the success of the various operations of the Halutz underground.

Toward the end of December, the emissaries set out, carrying documents from the International Red Cross and Schutzpass Swiss protection certificates, to rescue Jews from the brick factory and from the death march toward Austria.

During this period at least 29 emissaries undertook at least 39 missions.