February 4, 2014
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The Hungarian government has allocated 1,5 billion forints (ca. 5 million Euros) for projects organised by NGOs in memory of the holocaust. However, the (Hungarian) Jewish community of Nové Zámky in Slovakia has refused to accept the 1,5 million forint (ca. 5000 Euro) allocated to them, since they find it inacceptable that the Hungarian government treats the dead as the loss of Jewry only, but not as killed Hungarian citizens, while shifting all resposibility to the Germans. They also object to a statement by Mr Sándor Szakály, who has been appointed director of Veritas Institute for History. The institute was founded recently with the mission to present Hungarian history in a way that strenghtens Hungarian national identity, and Mr Szakály has become notorious for his opinion that the deportation that led to the killing of ca. 15-18 thousand Jewish refugees who had been deported to the Ukraine in 1941, just after Germany entered war against the Soviet Union, was actually merely an administrative measure regarding foreigners.
More than 4000 persons were deported from Nové Zámky to German death camps. One third of those who died in Auschwitz-Birkenau were Hungarian citizens.
The biggest Hungarian Jewish community, MAZSIHISZ is still debating whether or not to boycott the memorial activities of the government.
June 26, 2012
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Hungarian Jewry is very Hungarian inasmuch they are prone to internal conflicts. Those of MAZSIHISZ (Magyar Zsidó Hitszövetség, Hungarian Jewish Religious Alliance) have somewhat escalated. Rabbi Mr Zoltán Radnóti was interrogated by the police as a suspect of abusing personal data that are especially protected by the law. He had made public that one prominent Jew who is playing an influential role in the Jewish Alliance is not full-blood Jew enough to be entitled to certain roles in Jewish liturgy, as his mother is not a Jew but a catholic.
The rabbi answered with an open letter in which he accused Mazsihisz leaders of letting the police intervene in purely religious matters, thereby violating religious freedom.
(Of course it’s racist to deny someone full participation in spiritual maters due to his/her descent or “race”, but then, why should this be worse than denying certain spiritual roles to someone because they happen to be female?)