“The Military Labor Service System in Hungary, 1939-1945: A Comparative Study”
Dr. László Csősz is senior historian at the Holocaust Memorial Center, Budapest (Hungary). He received his PhD from University of Szeged, Hungary in 2011. While in residence at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Dr. Csősz worked on his project entitled, “The Military Labor Service System in Hungary, 1939-1945: A Comparative Study.”
Dr. Csősz is co-editor of The Holocaust in Hungary, a source volume in the Documenting Life and Destruction series by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2013). He has written several articles including "Land Reform and Race Protection: The Implementation of the Fourth Jewish Law in The Holocaust in Hungary: A European Perspective" (2005), and several entries to Randolph L. Braham’s The Geographical Encyclopedia of the Holocaust in Hungary (2013).
For his Tziporah Wiesel Fellowship, Dr. Csősz expored the institution of the Hungarian military labor service during World War II. Despite a rich historiography of the topic, a number of primary sources remain largely unexplored and several issues have not yet received analytical attention. In addition to presenting a broad history of the service’s evolution during the interwar years, its various phases and ramifications during the war, and its post-war legacy, Dr. Csősz investigated the topic from a comparative perspective. He compared the Hungarian case with the policies of other countries, particularly independent yet Nazi-allied Romania, Bulgaria, and Finland. He utilized important primary sources such as diaries, letters, personal files, oral history interviews and testimonies of survivors, and post-war trial records. Particular sources of interest included, but were not limited to, the Randolph L. Braham Collection, records from the Hungarian Ministry of Defense, and the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive. Dr. Csősz aims to publish a comprehensive monograph on the history of the military labor service system in Hungary and its international dimensions.
Dr. Csősz was in residence at the Mandel Center from 1 August 2013 to 31 March 2014.