On 27 April, 25,000 people protested against anti-semitism in Hungary.
Every year, a march takes place in Budapest to commemorate the Hungarian Jews killed in the Holocaust.
This year, a record number joined the march, with many marchers protesting against the rise of anti-semitism in Hungary. Just three weeks earlier, elections had seen the far-right, anti-semitic Jobbik party win 21 per cent of the national vote.
600,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. Hungarians constituted the largest nationality amongst the victims of the notorious Auschwitz death camp. Sadly, anti-semitism was not merely a German import — the scapegoating and persecution of Jews was practised by the dictatorship of Miklos Horthy, and this tradition of anti-Jewish racism has been exploited by the modern hard-right.
Jobbik blames poverty and economic crisis on “Zionist” control of the economy, and has demanded the publication of a list of Jews in positions of power. Its paramilitary organisation also carries out physical attacks on Roma and other national and ethnic minorities.
The rise of racist scapegoating and anti-semitic conspiracy theory are not just a terrible threat to Jews and oppressed nationalities — they are also deadly poison for the workers’ movement. The demonstration is a hopeful sign of a potential to fight back.