Hungarian Refugee Cards, 1956-1957, Now Available in JDC Names Index

December 14, 2012

The JDC Archives Names Index now includes Hungarian Refugee Cards from 1956-57 from JDCs office in Vienna. Researchers and interested family historians can access these cards via the Names Index. The JDC Archives holds 10,000 Hungarian refugee registration cards, which contain biographical information, including birthplace and nationality, profession, temporary address in Austria, and destination, and country of destination. Over 4,000 of these cards are available in the Names Index, with more cards added regularly!

Hungarian Refugee Registration Card, 1956-1957

Some 170,000 refugees, among them more than 18,000 Jews, fled from Hungary to Austria after the Hungarian Revolution in October 1956. Voluntary agencies were called upon for aid, and JDC was charged with the task of helping Jewish emigrants waiting for resettlement in other countries. Local personnel were recruited from every JDC office, and by the end of the year, JDC was housing and feeding nearly 11,000 refugees. JDC assisted with lodging in hotels, private dwellings, and camps, supported two kosher kitchens in Vienna, provided kosher food for residents of the camps, and furnished medical care and religious supplies. While some refugees remained in Europe, others emigrated to the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Latin America.

Many of these refugees later attained prominence in various fields, such as Lszl Kovcs, a renowned cinematographer, whose registration card is pictured above.