Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jewish Hungary

Many people don't know that Hungary once had one of the largest populations of Jewish people in Europe.  Until a group of terrorists rounded them up and shipped them to their deaths.  In Budapest I've heard it said that one in every five people killed at Auschwitz was Hungarian.  At one time Hungary was the last place Jewish refugees fled to in Europe until the Nazis invaded this final escape and hope.  Memorials throughout Budapest honor and remind us that these horrors happened.  Synagogues are still hidden throughout the city, part of apartment courtyards, unnoticeable unless you're looking.  The Old Jewish Ghetto still serves kosher food to its community.  The Grand Synagogue gives tours to help us never forget.

Yet sixty years later anti-semitism still plagues Hungary.  Prejudice seems to be a common theme amongst politicians and rioters, co-workers and friends.  The craziest part?  Many of those politicians who align themselves with these openly anti-semantic political parties are discovering they are actually Jewish too.  A mother, a grandfather, a relative who escaped, a grandparent who died in a concentration camp.

A recent article, A Letter From Budapest, reiterated how serious this issue really is.  How seriously people fear and hope and hate and want change.  Read it.  It's really worth it: A Letter From Budapest.

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