[Budapest]: Unique unpublished manuscript, 1940. Manuscript. Softcover. Oblong octavo. Unpaginated.  loose pages, as issued. Original wrappers, with illustration pasted on front cover. This poignant and powerful work is Géza Winter's illustrated poetic diary documenting his personal experiences at labor service* in 1940. Winter was a Hungarian Jew from Budapest, and was enrolled to service in 1939. In the beginning, his company was serving around Budapest, later they were sent to Transylvania. The following cities are mentioned: Szentendre, Budakalász, Pomáz, Szatmámémeti (Satu Mare), Kolozvár, Krasznabéltek (Beltiug) and Szinérváralja (Seini). Géza Winter reports about the evil circumstances and the violent superiors in an ironic, sometimes comic way. The poems are episodic, not always in chronological order. Typewritten manuscript with 60 original illustrations in ink tipped in. Moderate creasing on wrappers. Some offsetting due to the glue used to paste the illustrations. Typed manuscript in Hungarian. Wrappers in overall good to good+, interior in good+ to very good condition. vg. Item #38360
Forced Labor Service in Hungary before and during WWII: In 1939, due to the anti-semitic legislation in Hungary, Hungarian Jewish men were excluded from serving in the regular armed forces as they were considered politically unreliable. Thus the government imposed an alternative to military service, the Labor Service which was performed in unarmed battalions. The paragraph of the 2nd Act on National Defense established this system on July 1st, 1939. By 1942, approximately 100,000 people had been drafted into the forced labor units. When Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, about 25,000 Jewish labor servicemen had been killed due to the proximity of the front, the harsh living conditions, famine, and the brutality of the Hungarian guards. After the Coup d'Etat of the Arrow Cross Party, the Hungarian fascist government handed over 70 labor service companies, 35,000 Jewish civilian forced laborers from Budapest, including 10,000 women to the German authorities. At the end of 1944 and early 1945, thousands of surviving Jewish labor servicemen were deported to Germany.