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.


  • 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 *


  • Arts and Culture Blogs 10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    Ten major film studios are currently in production on projects that promote a decidedly pro-Israeli narrative. In famously liberal Hollywood, such a development has left mouths agape and set tongues a wagging. Since the Jewish State began defending itself from the thousands of rockets that Hamas has hurled at it – as well as ongoing terror attacks and murders, the overwhelming number of Tinseltown’s producers, directors, actors, and studio moguls have remained indifferent to the plight of millions of Israeli [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Sports So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    Israeli Judoka Yarden Gerbi (63kg), 25, of Netanya, on Thursday lost the final round at the Judo World Cup, and her world title to Clarisse Agbegnenou of France, at a match held in Russia. “I have mixed feelings,” Gerbi told Israeli Army radio. But, “I shouldn’t assume that I’d win the world Judo championship twice in a row,” she admitted. Gerbi won gold in Rio De Janeiro last year. “When I made my decision, I knew it was going to [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    “Jews Out!” was just the name of a child’s game that three little girls played in World War II Europe. But all is not as it seems because the three girls were Jewish, but hiding their true identities. In award-winning author R. D. Rosen’s riveting non-fiction work, Such Good Girls, “Jews Out!” wasn’t a game; it was a struggle for survival. The girls, Sophie, Flora, and Carla, grew up at a time and a place that did not allow them [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    JNS.org – “He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,” wrote Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994, following the Oct. 20 passing of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Twenty years later, more robust accounts of Carlebach’s life have come to the surface. Earlier this year, Natan Ophir published the book Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Life, Mission & Legacy. This past summer, Rabbi Shlomo Katz’s The Soul of Jerusalem hit the shelves. But even the authors will admit [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    As Hamas loses its grip on power in the Gaza Strip as a result of war, poverty and disillusionment, the Islamist terrorist group has developed an ingenious way to raise the moral of the 1.7 million Palestinian Arabs it was elected to serve. While currently focused on delivering a rocket into every Israeli home, Hamas has not left its own people behind. To gently wipe away the tears of children strategically placed inside kindergartens as human shields, the Hamas Interior Ministry has [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    In a strong statement that challenges the historic divide between Christianity and Judaism, Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “Inside every Christian is a Jew.” But if you look at Renaissance artworks that depict Jesus, you will not find any evidence of a Jew inside the Christianized Jesus — even though the Gospels in the New Testament tell us that Jesus was Jewish to the core. Getting that point across to the public is a daunting task, as I learned in interviews I [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

    Read more →

Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.