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August 6, 2012 1:18 pm

After Discovering Jewish Roots, Member of Neo-Nazi Apologist Party Meets With Rabbi

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Hungarian Chabad Rabbi Shlomo Koves.

After leaving his Neo-Nazi apologist party following an uproar over the discovery of his Jewish roots, former Hungarian Jobbik party member Csanad Szegedi has met with a Chabad rabbi.

Recounting his reaction to the request, Rabbi Shlomo Koves said that he “was stunned,” according to the Wall Street Journal,“But as a rabbi, it is my duty to receive anybody who requests advice or help,” he said in explaining his decision to agree to the meeting.

Hungarian news website Nepszabadsag reported that Szegedi apologized to the rabbi, saying, “Had I made any comments in the past years that offended the Jewish community, I ask for forgiveness.”

“Szegedi is in the midst of a difficult learning process of self-awareness and re-evaluation,” said the rabbi in an email to The Algemeiner “we all hope that it will end positively. Whether this will happen or not depends on his own free will.”

Szegedi also expressed a desire to visit the Auschwitz, where his grandmother was held by the Nazis. “Now that I have been faced with my Jewish roots, that I do not regret at all, keeping in touch with the leaders of the Hungarian Jewish community has become especially important for me,” said Szegedi.

The rabbi expressed reserved encouragement to the ex-Jobbik vice-president following the meeting. “I wish for him that he be able to redeem the past years. He can do that best, if, apart from getting to know his own roots, he does everything in his power to keep others from being led astray, like he had been,” said Koves.

“I call on my own community and the general public to await the outcome of the case and not to set hasty judgment,” concluded the rabbi.

In an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner last month Koves, who was challenged to a debate by Gabor Vona, leader of the Neo-Nazi apologist party, outright declined the request. “Here is a party which makes openly anti-Semitic comments,” he said at the time, “what is there to debate about.”

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