"One prisoner in two was Hungarian, and Hungarian had become the second language in the camp "
A transport of Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz
With the deportations from Hungary, the role of Auschwitz-Birkenau as a key instrument in the German plan to murder the Jews of Europe became paramount. In three months, between late April and early July 1944, approximately 440,000 Hungarian Jews were deported, around 426,000 of them to Auschwitz. The SS sent approximately 320,000 of them directly to the gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau, and exploited approximately 110,000 as forced labour in the Auschwitz concentration camp complex. They then transferred many of these Hungarian Jewish forced labourers, within weeks of their arrival in Auschwitz, to other concentration camps in Germany and Austria.