Jews victims of prejudice in Hungary
BUDAPEST: Hungary’s Jewish community, one of the biggest in Europe, is struggling with a rise in anti-semitism, according to recent surveys, even as Europe marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
A report by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) showed anti- Semitism has worsened across Europe over the past five years, facilitated by social media and file-sharing websites.
But it was Hungary, France and Belgium that reported the highest rates of anti-Semitism, as well as vandalism and open hostility in the street, the study showed.
The report was released ahead of the anniversary this weekend of the Night of Broken Glass pogrom, which saw Nazi thugs smash up Jewish businesses and synagogues throughout Germany in 1938.
“Older Jews, Holocaust survivors and their children are afraid…,” said Janos Gado, an editor with Hungarian Jewish newspaper Szombat.
A study by Andras Kovacs from Budapest’s Central European University pinned much of the blame on the openly anti- Semitic Jobbik party, which won 17 percent of the vote in 2010 elections.
In the past two years, Hungary’s chief rabbi was sworn at on a Budapest street, antiSemitic chants were heard at a football match against Israel and pig’s trotters were placed on a statue of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Budapest Jews in World War II.
The nationalist rhetoric adopted by prime minister Viktor Orban has also been blamed for anti-semitism. – Sapa-AFP