Professor Braham's dissection of the Hungarian phase of the Holocaust is masterful in scope and depth, even in the condensed version. The tragedy of Hungary's Jews is perhaps the most poignant of all, in that the community ran the emotional extremes from complacency to terror, euphoria to despair, in such a compressed time.
Also telling is the attitude of the non-Jewish majority. For every Nazi collaborator eagerly assisting the roundups, deportations, or worse, there was another Hungarian doing what s/he could to resist it, although few engaged in the kind of active resistance that could have stymied the Germans or rescued Jews or overthrown the Horthy regime. The Admiral himself is a fit symbol of the country's and its majority's moral legacy: while opposing the deportations once it became incontestible what the Germans really meant by "resettlement," his reactionary prejudices still encouraged and enabled Nazi plans until it was too late to stop them.
The author skirts the delicate issue of collaboration on the part of local, regional, and especially the national Jewish Councils. He hesitates to say so, but it is obvious that the aristocratic leadership of the Hungarian Jewish community felt little regard for the "common Jews" of the community, especially its "foreign element." Like true aristocrats they identified the community with their own persona and willingly sacrificed its "common members" to buy time, believing that by saving themselves they were thereby "saving Jewry." The opportunism is all the more uglier in its exploitation by Eichmann, giving the Council its crucial role in pacifying and deceiving the Hungarian Jewish community into cooperation up to boarding the very trains for Auschwitz.
One of the best local surveys of the Holocaust, and likely the best ever to be written on Hungary.