A Message to Hungary: Resist the Dissemination of Hatred

November 5, 2013 5:08 pm 2 comments

A memorial to Hungarian victims of the Holocaust on the shore of Danube in Budapest. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The below speech was delivered on behalf of Rabbi Arthur Schneier at the Conference on Jewish Life and Anti-Semitism in Contemporary Europe in Budapest, Hungary on October 1-2, 2013.

Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

We are honored that our Trustee, His Eminence Cardinal Erdö, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and President of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe is representing the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.  We are pleased to join the Lantos Foundation and the Hungarian Government in support of Conference on Jewish Life and Anti-Semitism in Contemporary Europe.

Sadly, years after the Holocaust it is still a timely topic.  May I call to your attention that we meet on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the deportations of most of Hungarian Jewry to Auschwitz and other concentration camps.  I know because I was in Budapest experiencing man’s inhumanity to man during this tragic chapter in Hungarian history – I was here during the Nazi occupation.  It should be noted that the legal approval for the persecution of Hungarian citizens of the Jewish faith was done in this Parliament where we are meeting today and was enacted by Hungarian legislators.

We cannot change what was. We must learn from the past and be vigilant and alert to the reappearance of the scourge of anti-Semitism.  This is why our interfaith Appeal of Conscience Foundation has been in the forefront of helping advance religious freedom, human rights, peace and tolerance.

May we resolve to return to our homes determined to resist dissemination of hatred and to educate our children to respect the “the other” for the well-being and unity of our respective nations.  Let us strengthen the forces that unite and not divide us. Let us safeguard the democratic values that have earned Hungary and honorable place in the European Union and guarantee peace and prosperity on the European continent that experienced too many conflicts in the past.

Appeal of Conscience Foundation encourages all states, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and the media to promote through education a culture of mutual respect and tolerance for the diversity of religions, the collective heritage of mankind.

God bless you.

2 Comments

  • Christopher Szabo

    I am saddened and touched by this sad message.
    However, the gentleman is mistaken in claiming legislation was agreed in the Hungarian Parliament. Because the country was occupied in March 1944, there was no parliamentary activity at this time.
    Under Hungarian law, the Nazi deportation was illegal.

    • peterthehungarian

      Christopher let me quote the relevant sentence:
      …the legal approval for the persecution of Hungarian citizens of the Jewish faith was done in this Parliament… (my highlight)
      The so called “First Jewish Law” (Elso Zsido torveny – XV. torvenycikk 1938) was legislated in the Hungarian Parliament six years before the German occupation.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    JNS.org – Five months after Israeli forces tried to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in Gaza, Deif appears to have signed a letter that the terrorist group claims he wrote in hiding. The letter, addressed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, expressed Deif’s condolences for the death of Hezbollah terrorists during Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria. Deif is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, but he has not been seen in public for years. According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    JNS.org – The cracks that had been simply painted over for so long began to show in Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014, but in truth they had begun to open wide much earlier—on Saturday, July 13, 2013. That is when a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted George Zimmerman of culpability for the death of a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin. The cracks receded from view over time, as other news obscured them. Then came the evening of Aug. 9, 2014, [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Shining Light on Fiction During the North Korea-Sony saga, we learned two important lessons. The first is that there are two sides to this story, and neither of them are correct because ultimately we should have neither inappropriate movies nor dictators. The second is that we cannot remain entirely fixed on the religious world, but we also must see beyond the external, secular view of reality. It’s important to ground our Torah-based thoughts into real-life activism. To view our act [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    JNS.org – Hollywood has had its share of big-budget biblical flops, but until now, the Exodus narrative has not been among them. Studios have brought Moses to the big screen sparingly, but in ways that defined the image and character of Moses for each generation of audiences. The first biblical epic In 1923, director Cecil B. DeMille left it to the American public to decide the subject of his next movie for Paramount. DeMille received a letter from a mechanic [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a tale as old as time itself, to borrow a turn of phrase. It’s retold every Passover, both at the seder table and whenever “The Ten Commandments” is aired on television. But the latest adaptation—Ridley Scott’s epic film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—fails to meet expectations. Scott’s “Exodus” alters the source material to service the story and ground the tale, but the attempt to reinvent the biblical narrative becomes laughable. Moses [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Lifestyle ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    JNS.org - In December 2007, leaders of the Hazon nonprofit drafted seven-year goals for what they coined as the “Jewish Food Movement,” which has since been characterized by the increased prioritization of healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and food-related activism in the Jewish community. What do the next seven years hold in store? “One thing I would like to see happen in the next seven years is [regarding] the issue of sugar, soda, and obesity, [seeing] what would it be like to rally the [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    JNS.org – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.