Before World War II, approximately 200,000 Jews lived in Budapest, making it the centre of Hungarian Jewish life.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Budapest and its surrounding area was a safe haven for Jewish refugees. Some 5,000 Austrian and German Jewish refugees arrived in Budapest before the war. Budapest was relatively secure until the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944.
Between April and July 1944, the Germans and Hungarians deported Jews from the Hungarian provinces. By the end of July, the Jews in Budapest were virtually the only Jews remaining in Hungary and they were not immediately ghettoised.
It was a haven for a number of the Boys, who were not born in the city.
On 8 November 1944, the Hungarians forced 70,000 Jews from Budapest on a death march to camps in Austria and Budapest was made a closed ghetto for the remaining Jews.
Budapest was liberated by Soviet forces on 13 February 1945. More than 100,000 Jews remained in the city at liberation.