Friday, June 22, 2012

Disturbing News from Hungary

Hungary, a landlocked country of just over 10 million is frequently ignored by the media.  Some recent developments suggest attention must be paid in light of a rise of right wing extremism that has led to a public square in Budapest being named after infamous leader Admiral Horthy.  

As the European Jewish Press pointed out,  Elie Weisel has returned his medal in protest at the country’s recent “whitewashing” of its WWII Nazi collusion. In a letter to Hungary’s Parliamentary Speaker Laszlo Kover, the 83-year old wrote:

“It has become increasingly clear that Hungarian authorities are encouraging the whitewashing of tragic and criminal episodes in Hungary’s past, namely the wartime Hungarian government’s involvement in the deportation and murder of hundreds of thousands of its Jewish citizens.”
Other incidents include "the Hungarian government ministers’ decision to participate in a ceremony last month to honour controversial wartime Hungarian MP Jozsef Nyiro, as well as a rise in anti-Semitic activity in the country, which saw the former Hungarian Chief Rabbi verbally abused, in addition to reports that renowned Hungarian actor Jozsef Szekhelyi was described as a “filthy Jew” in the official minutes of a local cultural board meeting in the northern town of Eger."
Greece has seen a rise too in anti-semitism as both Hungary and Greece suffer skyrocketing unemployment and bleak economic outlooks.   
We cannot ignore and stand by as the outrageous cruelty that was inflicted on Europe's Jews begins again in the 21st century. Letters must be written to the Prime Minister and to other leading Hungarians to warn them that the world is watching and will not allow history to be repeated either as tragedy or farce.  Hungary, as Randolph Braham, a Hungarian and specialist on the Holocaust in Hungary (whose lecture I attended the the other night at the Holocaust Museum) has still not come to terms with the Holocaust.  As Braham pointed out unlike in Germany where serious attention was given to countering Nazi ideology, the Holocaust has not been taught in the schools and has a long way to go to properly educate and inform its public about the role Hungary played in the destruction of its Jewish population.

No comments:

Post a Comment