Paris: Astra, 1922. First edition. Softcover. Quarto. 128pp. Original illustrated wrappers.
Illustrated with 14 full-page b/w illustrations (including front cover) by Marcel Vertès, this work is an early testimony of the persecution of the Jews in post-WWI Hungary. All but one of these images were first published the previous year in the scarce illustrated work by Vertes, 'Rajzai a Maygar Pokobol' (Vienna, 1921).
After November 1918, with the defeat and dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hungary would be forced by the Allies to adhere to the Treaty of Trianon, which ceded to neighboring nations fully two-thirds of Hungary's imperial territory and two thirds of its population, including a third of its ethnically Magyar citizens and many Jews. These losses provoked deep anger and hostility in the remaining Hungarian population. The first post-war government was led by Mihály Károlyi, and was the first modern effort at liberal democratic government in Hungary. But it was cut short in a spasm of communist revolution (March 21, 1919), which would have serious implications for the manner in which Hungarian Jews were viewed by their fellow-countrymen. All but the one Sándor Garbai, the revolution's leaders, including Béla Kun, Tibor Szamuely, and Jenő Landler - were of Jewish ancestry. As in other countries where Communism was viewed as an immediate threat, the presence of ethnic Jews in positions of revolutionary leadership helped foster the notion of a Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy.
Kun's regime was crushed after four and a half months when the Romanian army entered Budapest; it was quickly followed by the reactionary forces under the command of the former Austro-Hungarian admiral, Miklós Horthy. The sufferings endured during the brief revolution, and their exploitation by fascist and ultra-nationalist movements, helped generate stronger suspicions among non-Jewish Hungarians, and undergirded pre-existing anti-Semitic views. Beginning in July 1919, officers of Horthy's National Army engaged in a brutal string of counter-reprisals against Hungarian communists and their allies, real or imagined. This series of pogroms directed at Jews, progressives, peasants and others is known as the White Terror.
Spine cocked. Closed tear at tail of spine. Some soiling along edges of covers. Fore-edge of pp 91/92 with minor creasing and closed tear (not affecting lettering). Text in French. Wrappers in overall good-, interior in good+, plates in very good condition. g- to vg. Item #40290