Hungarian Jews battle against anti-Semitism


It's a morning like any other at the Frankel Leo Synagogue in Budapest.

But today, Rabbi Tamas Vero makes an unpleasant discovery in the lift.

SOUNDBITE 1 Tamas Vero (man) Rabbi (Hungarian, 7 secs):

"We found this swastika, the last one we found this weekend was engraved on the wall."

Anti-Semitic feeling is so strong, that on the Jewish Sabbath, two security guards are posted to keep an eye on people attending the Synagogue.

This rise in anti-Jewish feeling, reawakens the ghosts of old - half a million Hungarian Jews died in gas chambers during the second world war.

SOUNDBITE 2 Tamas Vero (man) Rabbi (Hungarian, 30 secs):

"On the one hand anti-Semitism has increased because commemoration services about the war never really took place. Also, the arrival of Jobbik in parliament has permitted anti-Semitism more openly at the heart of the national assembly. So if it's allowed in parliament, that kind of talk is allowed in the street. "

Subtle shifts in Hungary's government are taking place - parliament recently annulled passages from the country's Penal Code, banning the use of symbols associated with Nazi dictatorships.

Here on the hills surrounding Budapest a march is taking place.

Neo-Nazi groups are commemorating the German and Hungarian resistance against the Russian Red Army in 1945.

SOUNDBITE 3 Tamas Szabo (man) Member of the National Revolutinary Party (Hungarian, 8 secs):

"Today is very important for us because on this day our fathers and grandfathers fought against the invasion by the Soviets."

It's this shift in attitude that is proving too much for Julianna.

This senior executive lives in Hungary, but wants to leave the country and move to Israel.

SOUNDBITE 4 Julianna Veégh (woman) Hungarian Jew (Hungarian, 21 secs):

"I have two children and I do not want them to experience hatred or aggression. It's not only that I can't stand anti-Semitism, but also all this stupid hate and ferocity against Romas, homosexuals or Jews. It's the worst thing about this country, and that's why we're leaving."

Hungary is home to more than 100,000 people. And while few would go so far as Julianna and leave the country, many share her fears for the future of the Jewish community.


Budapest, Hungary, 15 -18 February 2013

(source: AFPTV)

-MS of Rabbi Tamas Vero getting into a lift

-CU of Rabbi Tamas Vero looking at the swastika


-VAR of exterior of the synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath

-MS of Rabbi Tamas Vero walking through the synagogue

- MS of graves deported in 1945 in the village of Kaposvar (July 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV)


-VAR of the Blood and Honour march by Hungarian neo-nazi groups


-VAR of the Veégh family


-WS of a Jew waiting in front of a restaurant in the Jewish quarter of Budapest

-MS of people walking through the Jewish quarter