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Hungarian Jews Boycott State’s Holocaust Remembrance

April 2, 2014

Jewish women-Budapest-October 1944

Jewish women are captured in Budapest, Hungary in October 1944.

“There is no doubt that this persecution of Jews in Hungary and their expulsion from enemy territory is probably the greatest and most horrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world.”  (Winston Churchill, July 11, 1944)

Hungary’s Jewish community is boycotting state ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust to protest the Hungarian government’s efforts to downplay Hungary’s role in the World War II atrocities against millions of Jews and others.

“They decided to erect a monument depicting the German occupation, which suggests that all Hungarians were victims, neglecting the fact that the Jewish community was subject to a much greater danger,” the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary Andras Heisler said.  (Israel Hayom)

Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, said that the House of Terror Museum in Budapest developed its Holocaust-memorial museum “without any genuine, substantial involvement of the representatives of the Hungarian Jewish community.”

Today, it is just as important as yesterday that countries come to grips with their part in the Holocaust, as well as the anti-Semitism that has never ceased and is once again on the rise.  Not only that, many today no longer find it shocking or distasteful.

For instance, recently in the United States, the White House expressed “disappointment” when Saudi Arabia denied a visa to the only Jewish American attempting to cover President Barack Obama’s visit to the Middle East.  (Commentary Magazine)

As well, last Thursday in France, a Jewish teacher from Paris was cornered and pressed to the wall by three men who beat his chest and face, breaking his nose.  They also cursed him in Arabic, calling him a “dirty Jew,” and drew a swastika on his chest with a black marker.

Only when a passerby approached them did the attackers run away.

Arie Bensemhoun, president of the Jewish community of Toulouse, France, said Judaism can no longer be openly practiced in France without fear.

“I encourage the younger people to make aliyah [immigrate to Israel] or go elsewhere, where they can thrive in open Judaism, emancipated and without constantly fearing over what tomorrow will bring,” he said.

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