Munkaszolgálattal kapcsolatos gyűjtemény

  • Labour Service Collection
Language of Description
1938 - 1948
Level of Description
  • Hungarian
  • Latin

Extent and Medium

26 microfilm reels

Biographical History

The Hungarian institution of labor service (munkaszolgálat) during World War II was a discriminatory and unarmed form of military service imposed upon Jews and members of other minority groups who were collectively considered “unreliable” by the regime. Their ranks included left-wingers, members of certain Christian denominations who refused armed service, and some of the ethnic minorities, including Romanians, Southern Slavs, Ruthenians and Gypsies. However, the majority of labor servicemen were Jewish. At least ten percent of the estimated half a million victims of the Holocaust in Hungary died as labor servicemen. Labor servicemen were the members of the Royal Hungarian Army. Initially, the provisions and equipment for as well the treatment of labor servicemen was the same as for soldiers. However, due to gradual introduction of anti-Jewish (and anti-minority) restrictions from 1940 onwards, labor servicemen were deprived of most of the rights regular soldiers enjoyed, including wearing uniforms and national insignia, and using military equipment, with few exceptions. The National Superintendent of the Public-interest Labor Service System (Közérdekű Munkaszolgálat Országos Felügyelője) was appointed to head the labor service organization, operating as part of the Royal Ministry of Defense.

Archival History

The key archival collection pertaining to the labor service system, the records of the Public-interest Labor Service System (Közérdekű Munkaszolgálat Országos Felügyelője) was almost totally destroyed during World War II. However, a part of the documentation concerning labor service and labor servicemen survived in the records of various departments of the Royal Ministry of Defense and military units, most of all the Second Hungarian Army. The survived material was collected in the end of the 1940s and placed in the War History Archives in 1950.

Scope and Content

The collection holds selected documents concerning the establishment and maintenance of the labor service system, the implementation of anti-Jewish laws (Act IV of 1939 Act XV of 1941 and Act XXV of 1942) and decrees in the military as well as various antisemitic initiatives and administrative procedures exceeding the existing laws and decrees. Besides Jewish-related records, the collection also holds documents concerning other minority groups, including Christian denominations who refused armed service on religious grounds, such as Nazarenes, Pentecostals, Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses, left wingers and ethnic minorities, mostly Romanians, Serbs Ruthenians and Roma. Topics covered by the records include, but not limited to the following: various proposals, memoranda, correspondence, and protocols of meetings on the “solution of the Jewish question” in the Royal Hungarian Army; reports on the organizations of Jewish military officers and other attempts to oppose discriminatory legislation, emigration, citizenship and passport issues; reports about extreme right wing parties, movements, press and antisemitic propaganda, certificates of non-Jewish origin and exception cases, draft and recruiting issues, disciplinary measures, excesses against and cases of Jews and other minorities at the military court, aid and support provided for the family members of labour servicemen. The collection is divided into subunits according to the creator of the files, in Fond I. 31. Records of the Hungarian Royal Ministry of Defense, Presidential Departments ‘A’ and ‘B’, Departments no. 1/a-b and m-ny,, 8-10, 13, 15-18., 20., and 23. from the years 1938 and 1945. Reel 1: 1938, Reels 2-4: 1939, Reels 5-8: 1940, Reels 8-11: 1941, Reels 12-14: 1942, Reels 15-18 1943-45. Fond I. 89. Records of the Chief of the General Staff of the Royal Hungarian Army, 1938-1944 (Reel 19) Fond I. 1453.Records of the Second Hungarian Army (1940-1943), Fond II. 1239. Records of the Command of Army Corps no. 1. (Budapest) 1943-1944., Fond II. 1458 the records of the Eastern Occupational Group Command as well as various fonds of other military units and war production factories, 1941-1945 (Reels 19-20) various fonds of the records of labour service units, 1940-1945 (Reels 20-21) VI.37. Humanitarian records: (Reel 22-23), including various casualty lists of labour servicemen and the card files of the National Social Alliance of Hungarian Jews on captured and missing labour servicemen Miscellaneous Records of various commands of Army Corps, 1939-1944 (Reels 24-26.)

System of Arrangement

The collection is arranged by the name of the creator (ministerial departments, military units, etc.), and then in chronological order and by file numbers.

Finding Aids

Existence and Location of Copies

  • Hungarian National Archives USHMMA RG 39.004M Claims Conference International Holocaust Documentation Archive Yad Vashem Archives

Archivist Note

Description prepared by László Csősz. Source:

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0