Members of Parliament, Distinguished Leaders of the Jewish Community

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Members of Parliament,

Distinguished Leaders of the Jewish Community,


Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

And last but not least – dear Students!

Ladies and Gentleman,

In 2005, the UNGA designated JANUARY 27 as the annual international day of commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust, also known by its Hebrew name – SOA = שואה.

This date marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The UN resolution rejects the denial of the Holocaust and condemns discrimination and violence based on religion and ethnicity. Accordantly, this year’s moto is "The Holocaust and Human dignity”.

We are here today also as part of Hungary’s obligation, as a member of the U.N, to honor the memory of the Holocaust victims and to develop educational programs as part of the promise to help prevent future acts of genocide.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This day, the 27th of January, is a day for reflection, when we remember the victims of the Holocaust and try to understand what happened more than 70 years ago, when racism, prejudice and hatred were left unchecked.

Understanding the reasons is also relevant to our present days.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to remind all of us, that the Holocaust did not begin with the Concentration and Death-Camps. The systematic extermination of 6 million Jewish people did not start in Auschwitz.

It all began, with a brick breaking the windows of Jewish businesses, with the desecration of Synagogues, with words of hatred spewed on the streets against Jews, all - because of anti-Semitic views and hate feelings, based on ignorance and fear.

This was the beginning. Auschwitz was the end result of it.

Dear Guests,

The fight against Anti-Semitism is not only a Jewish issue but a global challenge that affects all of us and needs to be fought by all of us!

But – one cannot fight what one doesn't understand.

We must understand how anti-Semitism really operates. For this - we must listen to how it is being expressed and how its supporters justify it...

In order to explain to you what anti-Semitism is all about, I would like to use the words of the French philosopher, Bernard-Henri Levy:

"..The anti-Semites usually have said: "We hate the Jews because they killed Christ".

This is Christian anti-Semitism.

They say: "We hate them because, by producing monotheism, they invented Christ".

This is anti-Semitism of the Enlightenment, which wanted to do away with religion altogether.

They have said: "We hate the Jews because they belong to another species, recognizable by traits observed in them alone and that pollute other species".

This was and is racist anti-Semitism.

They even say: " We have nothing against the Jews as such – no, nothing at all…Our complaint is just all of them are plutocrats, bent on dominating the world and oppressing the humble people".

That was the socialism that throughout Europe infected the workers' movements at the time of the Alfred Dreyfus Affair.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, for this old infections virus, anti-Semitism, to continue its attack on people's souls, to inflame crowds of ordinary people like you, young and old, men and women, to hate the Jews, new reasons should be introduced and added.

In today's new anti-Semitism there are 3 main elements, which you must add to the already know elements, in order to understand the severity of the problem:

  • The Jews are detestable because they are assumed to support an evil, illegitimate, murderous state – Israel.

This is anti-Zionist racism aimed at the re-establishment of the Jews in their historical homeland.

  • The Jews are all the more detestable, because they believed to base their beloved Israel on imaginary and exaggerated suffering.

This is the infamous denial of the Holocaust. Holocaust denial is an expression of anti-Semitism.

Here I would like to give you an example:

Iran denies the Holocaust.

Iran proposes an historical revisionism – trying to change the narrative of the Holocaust by holding State-sponsored anti-Semitic conferences and an international cartoon/caricature contest on the Holocaust.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a result of these and other deplorable attempts to deny the Holocaust, the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, are being murdered twice:

The first time was, more than 70 years ago, when they were physically exterminated.

The second time, in which they are murdered once again, is when their memory is distorted and erased by those who deny the basic fact that the Holocaust did happen!

Let me remind all of us again: The Holocaust did not JUST happen; it was carefully planned and systematically executed.

Unfortunately, also here in Hungary there are politicians and ordinary Hungarians who deny the Holocaust and would like to re-write or reinterpret the history of the Holocaust in this country and elsewhere.

  • The third and final “crime”, which the Jews commit, is to impose on all of us the memory of their dead and to overshadow other martyrs throughout history.

Here we come face to face with the modern-day scourge, the stupidity that is competitive victimhood. That is modern anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism of today needs these three formulations, like the three vital components of a moral atomic bomb.

Each taken separately would be enough to discredit a people, to make it abominable once more.

All of them together, are a recipe for another disaster as we saw 72 years ago in Europe.

Anti-Semitism has to be anti-Zionist, it must deny the Holocaust, and it must feed the competition of pain - or it will not thrive.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Very few people in the world remain unaware that all those anti-Semitic arguments resulted in the Holocaust.

BUT - the question is: what lessons we learn from the dark time during the 1930s' that we apply today?

The lesson is that we can't fool ourselves.

We can't keep saying: "It won't get worse, we can live with it, and we can tolerate it." That's what happened under Hitler.

Everybody said "It could be worse, we can live with it".

No. We cannot.

Once we acknowledge and admit that anti-Semitism – the mother of all evil – is happening, we have to draw the line and to say out loud: “There has to be zero tolerance for intolerance!

Then after, by condemning it publically whenever it arises, we can reach out and join forces in actively fighting it.

As anti-Semitism violence often coincides with protests against the State of Israel, political leaders must also forcefully reject the notion that violence and hate crimes against the Jews are a legitimate mode of political expression. They are absolutely NOT! Allowing this violence to go unanswered also fuels the problem of anti-Semitism at home.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

An influx of 1.1 million asylum seekers to Germany last year, many fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, has raised fears among the German’s Jewish community that anti-Semitism could raise.

The German Canceler, Angela Merkel, addressed these fears, this week in Berlin, and said, that these concerns were to be taken seriously:

“…Anti-Semitism is more widespread than we imagined…that is why we must act intensively against is important to educate young people, especially those from countries in the Middle East, where hatred towards Jews is widespread, in order to combat anti-Semitism…”. Mrs. Merkel added: “…It should also be clear: Anti-Semitism has no place in our society…we must simply put clear limits…”

Dear Guests,

On this continent, Europe, anti-Semitism still remains a living stain on its soul more the 72 years after the Holocaust.

But - Europe is not just a place; it is an idea – of rights-respecting democracies that reflect liberal ideals of tolerance and openness.

Europe's citizens including you, the future generation of Hungary, must understand that there is no logic in anti-Semitism.

You must embrace the truth that fighting anti-Semitism is everyone's duty, as part of a common effort to maintain the human dignity for all its citizens in Europe as it used to be…

Moreover, if you believe in human dignity, freedom and tolerance, than you must stand up for and with your fellow Jewish citizens – together, succeeding in defending liberty and democracy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me share with you an additional thought:

We do not need more monuments commemorating the Jews who were murdered in Europe – there are, unfortunately, enough of these.

What we do need is a strong and enduring commitment to the living Jews of Europe.

The days when Jews were the world's victims are over.

We will never again be helpless and we will never again remain silent. Today we have the State of Israel standing guard.

Dear Friends,

French PM VALLS declared very clearly:

"When the Jews of France are attacked France is attacked, the conscience of humanity is attacked".

This you should know: A world without Jews indeed would not be a world.

A world in which the Jews once again became the scapegoats for all people's fears and frustrations, would be a world in which free people could not live and breathe normally and the enslaved would be even more enslaved.

It is up to every one of you to act.

The words we say, and those which we do not say, have meaning.

Silence in the face of hatred is cowardly; keeping silence in face of anti-Semitism is dangerous.

So I ask you:

Do not be silent and do not submit to indifference.

Stand for human rights and human dignity by taking a stand against anti-Semitism!

The lesson from history, on this important day, is that we should not give our enemies the upper hand, as well as a license to continue to spread the virus called anti-Semitism.

It is not what our enemies do – it is what we fail to do!

Dear Guests,

I call on very citizen of Hungary to stand tall beside the Hungarian Jewish citizens in refusing to allow this evil virus called anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and racism to have the upper hand.

Stand up not only against the hate speeches and condemn whoever makes them!

By doing so, you will maintain your human dignity.

Thank you.

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