Sixth stage of the "Grand Tour of Switzerland in Hungary": Budapest, „Glass House”

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Local news, 15.04.2016

On the occasion of their visit to Hungary, the President of the Swiss National Council, Christa Markwalder and a parliamentary delegation visited the “Glass House” in Vadász street, on April 15.

The President of the National Council and Prof. Szita in the Glass House © by Embassy of Switzerland
The President of the National Council and Prof. Szita in the Glass House

The “Glass House” is a former glass manufacturing building which was built by the Weisz family in the 1920s. Carl Lutz established here the Bureau for emigration of the Swiss Legation, Department for foreign interests, on the 24th of July 1944 and placed it under Swiss diplomatic protection.

Members of the Zionist organizations, who were busy organizing the emigration of the Jews to Palestine since 1930, worked together with vice consul Lutz in the Glass House issuing protection letters in excess, which saved thousands of lives. In times where the terror ruled, just after the violent seizure of power of the “Arrow Cross Party” in October 1944, Lutz offered diplomatic protection to thousands of Jews who found refuge in the Glass House. In November 1944 the building was already bursting at all seams. At the time of the liberation by the Soviet Army on January 18, 1945, between 2000 and 2500 Jews were hiding in the Glass House. 

The Carl Lutz Foundation set up a memorial room in the Glass House in 2005. Among other things, Carl Lutz’s rescue operations, the activities of the young hungarian Zionists as well as the Glass House, the way it presented itself in 1944, are shown. 

Thanks to the guided tour by Prof. Szabolcs Szita, director of the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest, as well as the presented photos, documents and newspaper clippings at the exhibition, the parliamentary delegation could gain insight into the activities and courage of the vice consul Lutz.