Monday, May 19, 2014

Hungary: "They said he's a rich, bad Jew who makes them proud to belong to an antisemitic party"

Writing about an antisemitic incident is easy.  Writing about an antisemitic atmosphere is extremely difficult.

This is why the recent ADL survey is important, but it does not give the whole picture.

"Hungary for Hungarians"
A car in the Jewish quarter of Budapest

Johanna Frändén writes in Aftenposten of her visit to Budapest.

She met three young people in the Jewish Lauder Javne school: Bálint (who is Christian), Daniella and Oliver.  The three travel around the country in order to teach children about the history of Jews in Hungary.  They see themselves as a Resistance against the rewriting of history.

When they first meet, Bálint tells that on the way, the air-conditioning on the bus had broken down.  He heard the elderly men sitting behind him blaming it all on the head of the Budapest public transport system.  "They said he's a rich, bad Jew who makes them proud to belong to an antisemitic party".

Do they hear denigrating comments?  Of course.  Bálint says such things happen every week.

Daniella says she's usually spared insults, but when she was twelve she met a group of skinheads.  "They shouted after me that I was a dirty Jew. I know I look very Jewish, I'm proud of it."

Frändén spoke to dozens of Jews in Budapest.  As much as they told her, there was a lot that went unsaid.  "I really don't think we'll end up there again, but...", "Even if it's only 1% risk that...", "So far it's okay, but if the situation becomes more difficult in the future then..."

In Hungary, she sums up, Hungarians feel unsafe in their own country, because they are Jewish.

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