Hungary's brief, golden age lasted from 1867 until 1914, during the half century of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Even though Budapest was badly destroyed in the Second World War and subsequently suffered from four decades of Communist-era neglect, the city is still a marvel of fin-de-siecle architecture, and we can see and feel her greatness.
During these times, Jews came fully out of the ghetto and into society and were passionately patriotic. There were Jewish bankers and industrialists, Olympic winning athletes and Nobel Prize winning scientists, award winning playwrights and internationally known novelists. There were even Jewish counts and barons. But this golden age died in the First World War, and while Hungary's Jews had a difficult time between the wars, nothing would prepare them for the horrors that swept down upon them in March 1944.