In This Review

The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion: Jews and Nationalism in Hungary
The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion: Jews and Nationalism in Hungary
By Vera Ranki
Holmes & Meier, 1999, 274 pp
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On D-Day, June 6, 1944, 12,000 Jews from northern Transylvania arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. At the day's close, twice as many of them had been killed as were Allied soldiers on the beaches of Normandy. The pace continued, day after day, until July 9. From mid-May to mid-summer, Nazis deported 440,000 Jews to the camps in their attempt to make Hungary judenrein. In the end, two-thirds of Hungarian Jewry were annihilated during the Holocaust. But Ranki does much more than recount these unspeakable events. She traces the fate of Jews in the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867 to 1918 (when they benefited from inclusion in the new Dual Empire's Hungarian half) to the interwar period, when they again suffered exclusion while the pathological foundations of nationalism and antisemitism were laid. She briefly but neatly explores how modernity and liberalism favored emancipation and assimilation -- and how stunted modernization and darker aspects of Christianity produced its opposite.