1947. Letter: 1 folio, typewritten letter, text on both sides, signed in ink as “Ilona H.”, dated on May 1, 1947, presumably in Weilheim in Oberbayern. Size: ca. 210 ×145 mm. On watermarked, untrimmed letter paper. Folded once. Traces of creases, and a closed tear to the side edge. Otherwise in fine condition. / New Years Card: 1 folded leaf, oblong. Size: ca. 170 × 120 mm. With an original b/w panorama of Budapest (before war destruction; size: 128 × 76 mm), mounted onto the embossed rectangle on the front. Printed title “Unvergeßlich Budapest”, signed with printed “L”. Printed best wishes-text inside. In fine condition.
Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai’s signed letter to the former Swiss Vice-Consul in Budapest and later Righteous Among the Nations Carl Lutz. With Lutz’s New Year card, decorated with his panorama photograph of Budapest. Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai (1918–2013) was a Hungarian noblewoman, widow of István Horthy, son of Regent Miklós Horthy. Ilona’s husband István Horthy died in an airplane crash over the Eastern Front in August 1942. After Miklós Horthy’s unsuccessful attempt surrendering to the Allied and Operation Panzerfaust in 1944, the Regent was arrested by the Germans and taken to Bavaria where Ilona followed him and stayed with the family during the first years of the exile. In her letter to Carl Lutz, the former Swiss Vice-Consul in Budapest, Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai reports about the arrival of “Nicky” Miklós Horthy Jr. presumably to Weilheim, Bavaria (where the Horthy-family was in American custody at the time), thanks for Lutz’s advises and helps and reassures him about his professional plans. Edelsheim-Gyulai mentions a certain Mr. Zimmermann who the entire family is looking forward to meet, tells of a long letter sent to Bill Schott (former American diplomat in Hungary), and interprets the best wishes of the whole family particularly Miklós Horthy’s. Carl Lutz as Swiss Vice-Consul and the chief of the Department of Foreign Interest arrived in Budapest in early 1944. Soon after his arrival, the deportation of the Hungarian Jewry started and it progressed very fast, between 15 May and 9 July 1944, over 434,000 Jews were deported most of them to Auschwitz, where about 80 percent were gassed on arrival. Lutz began to cooperate with the Jewish Agency for Palestine and placed it under Swiss diplomatic protection, renamed it the “Department of Emigration of the Swiss Legation” and started to issue the so-called “letters of protection”. With these documents and other rescue activities, Lutz saved the lives of over 62,000 people, which is known as the largest rescue operation of Jews of the Second World War. For his deeds, Lutz was awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1965. In her memoir, Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai refers to him as a “dear friend”, reports their meetings after the war in Switzerland, and also about the frequently received parcels that Lutz sent the Horthy family during their custody in Germany. Literature: Edelsheim Gyulai, I.: Becsület és kötelesség 2. Budapest: Európa, 2001.