After 2015, the Hungarian and Polish governments voiced their vehement opposition to the idea of the European Union distributing refugees among its member states in a quota system while at the same time cherishing the history of Hungary welcoming Polish refugees during World War II. This episode in history fits into the proverbial tradition of camaraderie between the two countries. Meanwhile, aid to refugees in 1939 was strongly tainted by selective discriminatory criteria—as today (refugees from Ukraine: yes, from Syria: no)— which shows a repetition of regional practice toward refugees. Reading against the patterns of historiographical and commemorative traditions of both countries, this article discusses the sinusoidal presence of this refugee topic in Hungary and Poland. The recent discourses created around this case of international solidarity have depended strongly on political decisions and major debates taking place in both societies, including their coming to terms with the Holocaust and the refugee situation unfolding in Europe after 2015.

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