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Sights & Monuments in Budapest
In 2005 the Carl Lutz Foundation has opened a Memorial Room to commemorate the outstanding work of the late Swiss vice-consul in Budapest, Carl Lutz, and the members of Zionist youth movements in 1944/45. The Memorial Room is in the so called Glass House, which had a very important role in their work. More than two and a half thousand people survived the awful period of the autumn of 1944 and the winter of 1944/45 in this
house. The owner of the building was the Weiss family. It was built as a glass plant and shop. The family asked the architect to build every product of the company into the new building. It was called Glass House because of it. It was a very modern building at that time. In 1944 due to the negotiations between the Swiss vice-consul, Carl Lutz, the Swiss Ambbassador, Maximilian Jaeger and the Hungarian Prime Minister, Döme Sztójay, the building was put under the protection of the Swiss Embassy. This fact helped the members of the youth movements to do their illegal work also. After the declaration of war, Great-Britain was represented by the Swiss Embassy in Budapest. It meant that the issue of the emigration to Palestine was also managed through the Swiss Embassy, and it was the ground of the work of Carl Lutz, his department and Hungarian Jewish leaders. Some co-workers of the Embassy moved to the building of the Embassy of the United States in Szabadság tér, after its opening. The Palestine Office took refuge here also. It had a major role when the Glass House was chosen. When the action began it was said that its participants would be collected. Carl Lutz and his colleagues were afraid that the Nazis could deport them by-passing the Hungarian authorities as it happened earlier in the case of Körmend internment camp. After they had discussed this question with Arthur Weiss they chose the Glass House as the building where the people would be collected because it was close to the Szabadság tér and the officials of the Embassy could act quickly if there were any problems. After October 15-16th 1944, when the Arrow Cross Party took over the power in Hungary, the Glass House became refuge for more than two and a half thousand people. The building was attacked three times, once by the gendarmerie, twice by the militants of the Arrow Cross Party. It was liberated on January 18th 1945. Almost everyone who took refuge here survived. After the war, the building became the property of the state, and there were industrial facilities and flats in it. After the change of system civil organizations worked here.
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