Hungary Applies Zero Tolerance To Anti-Semitism, Says Official In US

  • 20 Jun 2015 9:00 AM
Hungary Applies Zero Tolerance To Anti-Semitism, Says Official In  US
The Hungarian government applies zero tolerance and takes a categorical stand against all manifestations of anti- Semitism, the deputy state secretary in charge of European affairs said in Washington D.C. A performance by the Glass House Orchestra and the world-famous Muzsikás folk band at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, held on the sidelines of a Jewish festival dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust, received a standing ovation late on Thursday, local time.

Addressing the event, held under the auspices of the current Hungarian presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and jointly organised by the Hungarian embassy in Washington and Hungary’s Balassi Institute, Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky thanked people for attending “on behalf of Hungarian generations who after several centuries are able to take control over their lives without external or internal totalitarian pressure.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has always condemned a denial or belittlement of Nazi crimes in any form, he said. Under his governments, key events related to the Holocaust have been declared memorial days and the lessons of anti-Semitism have been made part of school curricula, he added.

He underlined what government office chief Janos Lazar had said at a session of the IHRA in Budapest earlier in June, that “the Holocaust was not only unchristian and inhumane but also a betrayal of the country.” “Hungary does not seek excuses for the inexcusable,” Szalay-Bobrovniczky said, adding that Hungary was committed to keeping memories alive and committed to the present as well as the future.

During his visit to the US Szalay- Bobrovniczky held talks with Sara Bloomfield, head of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Daniel S. Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, and Nicholas Dean, head of the US delegation for IHRA.

While some elements of the Hungarian government’s memory policies were criticised by the US side, overall the Hungarian IHRA presidency received praise at the talks, he told MTI. Hungary was encouraged to follow the path it had embarked on, he added.

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