The film “Budapest Diaries” follows the events of the last year of World War II and the Holocaust of the Jews of the city of Budapest in Hungary, as recorded in personal diaries, written in real time, by Jews and their Christian neighbors, residents of Budapest. The private diaries document from the different perspectives the daily deterioration, the persecution of the Jews, the battles that almost destroyed the city and the surveillance that came with the end of the war.

The diaries shown in the film were selected from 100 diaries, which were written by “ordinary people” and tell about the rumors, hopes, and bitter news. The diaries detail, in an intimate way and without any filters, the feelings of the writers, their worldviews and sometimes also reveal dark secrets.

The film follows the diaries and life stories of several key characters, including:

Dr. Maria Madi – a Hungarian doctor, who hid her Jewish friend and her seven-year-old nephew, even though she lived near the Gestapo headquarters. After the war, she was recognized as one of the “followers of the nations of the world”.

Fani Giarmati – the wife of the famous Jewish Hungarian poet, Miklós Radnoti. Fanny describes the distress from the moment of her lover’s disappearance to the days after the war, when she encounters the brutality of the new occupation, after a Russian soldier raped her.

Miklos Koblowski – a high school teacher who opposed the German occupation and tried to convince his students not to take part in the murders committed against the Jews. Miklos’ diary reveals his heated arguments with the students and the indifference he encountered in the teachers’ room.

Judith Orenstein – a Jewish student describing the exchange of letters she had with her relatives in a town in the east. Shares the uncertainty and fear of the shipments to the extermination camps. Orenstein met two young suitors during the war, and when the diary is discovered after her death, it is handed over to someone who was her friend at the time, who was surprised to discover between the pages of the diary that her love was for another guy.