Kolumbusz utca Camp
Established on the spur of the moment when Kastner had to preempt any
Eichmann excuses and prove to him that a group brought in from Kolozsvár
could be accommodated. The so-called Kolombusz Street Camp was erected
overnight by Laci Devecseri with the purpose of furnishing temporary space
for designated passengers waiting to board the Musterzug to Switzerland
and future trains that will follow. The chosen site was the garden section
of the Wechslemann Institute for the Deaf, Mute and Blind in a leafy,
quiet neighborhood of Budapest. The entire camp became a part of the
Reichsgeheimnis, based on the deal between the Germans and the Jews from
which the Hungarians had to be kept away.
Eichmann furnished a contingent of SS guards, assigned to guard the little
camp against intruders. The Hungarians were strictly forbidden to come
near it let alone enter the camp. The Jews were free to come and go. The
picture of SS guards protecting Jews added a strong dose of incredulity to
the scene and endless frustrations to the Hungarian Gendarmerie, police
and Arrow-Cross as well as high officers, key officials and government
ministers who came along and were not only prevented from entering but
were ordered to leave the area.
camp was maintained after the Musterzug’s departure on 30 June, 1944 and
served as a hiding place for escapees from the Hungarian labor battalions.
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