László Ferenczy

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László Ferenczy (born 9 March 1898 in Felsővisó, Austria-Hungary; died 31 May 1946 in Budapest) was a Hungarian police officer of the rank of lieutenant colonel during World War II and a perpetrator of the Holocaust.


László Ferenczy was a soldier in the First World War, joined the Hungarian gendarmerie in 1920 and was stationed in Debrecen. After the Hungarian reclamation of large parts of Slovakia in the First Vienna Arbitration, he was assigned as a police officer in Košice from November 1940 until July 1942.

After the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Ferenczy became liaison to the Eichmann command set up by the SD in Budapest.[1] The deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz, negotiated by Edmund Veesenmayer and Adolf Eichmann with Hungarian Minister of the Interior Andor Jaross, was directed by Jaross’s state secretaries László Endre and László Baky and operationally executed by the gendarmerie. Meanwhile, Eichmann’s small staff (150 persons) supported the ghettoization of the Jews by the Hungarian gendarmerie and took over the transport trains at the intermediate stop in Košice. From his command post in Munkács and his office on Semmelweis Street in Budapest[1] ferenczy, as recorded in his two-day reports, directed the ghettoization and deportation of 289,357 Jews on 92 railway trains in the north and east of Hungary between 15 May and 7 June 1944.[1] According to a report by Ambassador Edmund Veesenmayer, a total of over 437,000 Jews were deported from Hungary and its dominions during this period. Ferenczy wrote in his reports that the Jews would be subjected to “selection” at Auschwitz.[2]

The deportations were stopped by the Géza Lakatos government appointed in July 1944, Jaross and his secretaries of state Endre and Baky were dismissed from office on 7 August,[3] and Ferenczy changed tactics. He now negotiated with the Budapest Jewish Council for relief and the issuance of passports in an attempt to establish a reputation for himself in the postwar period.[4][5]

When the Lakatos government and Reichsverweser Miklós Horthy began secret armistice negotiations with the Allies in August 1944, a coup d’état was launched by German ambassador Veesenmayer on 15 October 1944. Ferenczy was appointed “Plenipotentiary General for the Jewish Question” by the puppet government now in place under the leadership of the Arrow-Crusader Ferenc Szálasi[6] ferenczy was appointed “General Plenipotentiary for the Jewish Question. The deportations were to start again,[7] but this was stopped by the Germans due to the progress of the war. Some of Budapest’s Jews were ordered by Ferenczy to march westwards in order to be used as forced labourers in the earthworks of the Southeast Wall.[1]

In 1945, Ferenczy fled to the German Reich with members of the Arrow Cross government. He was arrested there by the Americans, who extradited him to Hungary, since the Three Powers had agreed in the Moscow Declaration of November 1, 1943, that all war criminals, except the major war criminals, should be tried in the countries where they had committed their crimes.

Ferenczy was tried for crimes against humanity before a Hungarian People’s Tribunal, sentenced to death and hanged.[1]


  • Randolph L. Braham: The politics of genocide. The Holocaust in Hungary, 2 vols., Columbia University Press, New York 1981

Web links

Individual references

  1. a b c d e László Ferenczy, at Yad Vashem
  2. Randolph L. Braham: The politics of genocide, New York 1981, p. 717
  3. Randolph L. Braham: The politics of genocide, New York 1981, p. 770
  4. Randolph L. Braham: The politics of genocide, New York 1981, p. 458, p. 469, p. 770 f
  5. Section Ferenczy “to the Rescue”, in: Randolph L. Braham: The politics of genocide, New York 1981, pp. 787-791, also: pp. 411 f.
  6. Randolph L. Braham: The politics of genocide, New York 1981, p. 469
  7. Randolph L. Braham: The politics of genocide, New York 1981, p. 823