Stanford University
Mapping Mobility in the Budapest Ghetto
Mapping Mobility in the Budapest Ghetto
Budapest was one of around 150 towns and cities in Hungary where Jews were restricted to urban ghettos in the spring and early summer of 1944, and just one of hundreds of towns and cities across occupied Europe where ghettos were created. The process of ghettoization was profoundly spatial -- where perpetrators explicitly used tools of concentration, and segregation to carry out their objectives.

In the summer and fall of 1944, Jews in Budapest lived in a dispersed ghetto (a published list of just under 2000 buildings) and were initially only permitted to leave their residences during a three hour window in the afternoons. This spatio-temporal restriction meant a shrinking in the everyday use of the public spaces of the city, and limitations on the ability of Jews to interact with each other. But in this three-hour window, Jews could breach the segregatory logic of ghettoization in the shared public space of the city streets. How much freedom did this offer?

In practice, it meant that Jews could merely trade the walls of their ghetto houses for invisible barriers formed by the time restriction itself. The fact that there were food shortages and long lines at the markets each day potentially meant that as Jews flowed out of their residences at 2pm, they formed a kind of self-organized ghetto moving along the shortest corridors to gather in the market halls.

This visualization seeks to represent these flows to answer several questions. What form did this new ghetto take? How visible was it to the rest of the city's inhabitants? Where were points of exchange and interaction?

Produced by:
Spatial History Project, CESTA, Stanford University

Lead Investigators:
Tim Cole, University of Bristol
Alberto Giordano, Texas State University

Design and Programming:
Erik Steiner, Stanford University

Audio Production:
Sophia Paliza-Carre, Stanford University

Archival Photo Credits:
Magyar Nemzeti Muzeum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Yad Vashem
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Special Recognition:
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)

"Without Redemption" by Kai Engel

Participation in the 2007 Summer Research Workshop, Geographies of the Holocaust, at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies contributed significantly to the development of the research presented in this project.
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