* Being a Jew (was Re: Center for Jewish History) #hungary


Tom Venetianer <tom.vene@...>
 

Dear Linda and all,

I am replying this message in public not because I wish to raise a
controversy but because history must be seen within the correct perspective
to make justice to those millions who have been murdered among us - not
only by the Nazis but by the Spaniards, Pollack, Ukrainians, Russians, just
to mention a few.

What Linda writes is of course correct - in America, the archetype of
freedom, one MUST profess what Linda professes. But for one single reason -
because Americans are *allowed* to be free.

But put yourselves in the shoes of Jews living in Europe and in the Middle
Eastern countries where they have been persecuted for centuries if not
millenia. Is the same attitude valid? Clearly not.

Just to come back to Hungary, the Hungarians *never* allowed Jews to be
free and full fledged citizens. To support this statement, please read the
book written by my famous ancestor Venetianer Lajos (A Magyar Zsidosag
Tortenete - the history of Hungarian Jewry) who was *requested* by the
Budapest Jewish community to write a book in DEFENSE of the Hungarian Jews,
demonstrating how good and decent citizens they were for centuries. The
book is dated 1922 when religious integration and assimilations were the
buzzwords. 20 years later the Arrow Cross were slaughtering us.

For G-d's sake, how can somebody feel himself a Hungarian Jew? If one
thinks antisemitism has changed this person is very very wrong - it is as
extreme as it was before Horty took over, before Queen Elisabeth expelled
us >from Hungarian territories, before other Hungarian Kings persecuted us
and made the lives of Jews miserable to extremes.

I am sorry to bring this up, but one joke that circulated in my country
(Slovakia) after liberation was the following: an American lady got news
from her family who survived the Holocaust. That letter informed that her
aunt has been murdered by the Nazi bastards. In answer she wrote the
following (in broken Hungarian) "Nagyon sajnalatos hogy Siszi neni meg
gyilkolta a lagerba mert o nagyon szimpatikus mindenkihez volt" (== it is
to regret that aunt Siszi was murdered in the lager because she was always
such a nice person to everybody). The moral of this was of course that
American Jews were *unable* to grasp the magnitude of the barbarism that
was committed against our people.

In my opinion it is an offense to the memory of all those brethren who died
because of persecutions to declare myself a Slovakian Jew. It's a mocking
of their martyrdom. I am sorry, I may be even sinning, but I will NEVER
forget!!!

In Peace and Harmony I wish you all Happy Holidays
May the Lord have mercy of my soul
Tom

--------------------
Linda Cohen wrote:

I am an American who is Jewish, and I am a Jew who is an American. I don't need any one to give me the right to be who I am. No one can take who I am >from me as what we are in our minds and hearts. So to further process my idea:If a person is Hungarian, he is. If he is Jewish, he is. Freedom means not having to choose between the two, nor put one first.


Barbara Kaufman <BABSK@...>
 

Dear Linda, Tom and All,

I think I can relate to what both of you have said. As an American, I
feel exactly as Linda does, but having just a month ago witnessed the
condition of the synagogues and cemeteries in Ukraine, Hungary and
Slovakia - and this many years after the real damage was done - Tom's
attitude is only too understandable. When I saw the bust of Monsignor
Hlinka in Presov, as if he were a hero, I thought for perhaps the tenth
time on the trip of how lucky I was that my grandparents, as young
teenagers, had the courage to make the frightening trip to America.

We have all read about the destruction of the synagogues and cemeteries
(I won't even include the people, since no one can ever understand that)
but when you actually see it the impact is unbelievable. No, we
Americans cannot possibly understand what it is like for those who have
to live among the people who did these things.

Barbara Kaufman


Gabor Hirsch <hirsch@...>
 

Dear all
About beeing a Hungarian Jew, as far as I know, all my ancestors lived in the part, which is Hungary today. But for similar reason as Tom Venetianer told, I have difficulty to feel myself as a patriot or a Hungarian Jew, but I am of Hungarian and Jewish origin. There seems to be some different feeling between those whose ancestors emigrated in an earlier time
and were raised in a Hungarian Jewish tradition, and the ones who spent WWII in the country and emigrated later or may be the ones who still live in Hungary.

There was some antisemitism in the country already in the 20ies there were some attrocities against the jewish population ("feherterror"[mod: means White Terror- refer to the reaction against the short lived Socialist takeover by Bela Kun, a Hungarian Jew] against the bolshevik, but unproportianally against Jews too). after WWI the Hungarian goverment was the first to exploit the "jewish question" Teleki 1920-21 & 1939-41 and promulage antijewish laws (Randolph Braham)
In the 30ies under minister and president Daranyi and Imredy the antijewish laws were intensified with the 2nd anti Jewish legislation ind Dec. 1938 by ministers Teleki & Tasnadi Nagy,and then the 3rd antijewish laws under Bardossy Aug. 1941.

In the murder at Kamanec- Podolsk of several thousand expelled (18,000) Jews who could not prove Hungarian citizenship for at least 2 generation,s Hungary at least was partly to blame, as well for the attrocities agaionst the Jews in Delvidek/ Ujvidek. Edmund Weesenmayer stated during the trial against Ferenczy Laszlo: (about the concentration and deportation of Hungarian Jewry) "To fufill such a big task in a three month period, was only possible with the enthusiastic help of the Hungarian authorities."

In the Ghettos, there were Hungarian, who tortured the women, to find out were valuables, jewellery etc. were hidden. A Hungarian speaking Slovakien friend of mine (>from Bratislava) told me, that he don't like Hungarians (including Jews) because as a child refugee (15 years), in Hungary he never got any help, not even >from the Jewish community. He
was deported with many Hungarians to Auschwitz.

I am definitly not again feeling Hungarian or whatever you want to feel, but I am against ruleing [mod: I could not guess the meaning of the word] and generalisations.

Best regards
Gabor Hirsch
----------------------------
Tom Venetianer previously wrote:

Just to come back to Hungary, the Hungarians *never* allowed Jews to be
free and full fledged citizens. To support this statement, please read the book written by my famous ancestor Venetianer Lajos (A Magyar Zsidosag
Tortenete - the history of Hungarian Jewry) who was *requested* by the
Budapest Jewish community to write a book in DEFENSE of the Hungarian Jews, demonstrating how good and decent citizens they were for centuries. The book is dated 1922 when religious integration and assimilations were the buzzwords. 20 years later the Arrow Cross were slaughtering us.

For G-d's sake, how can somebody feel himself a Hungarian Jew?
--------------------
Linda Cohen wrote:

I am an American who is Jewish, and I am a Jew who is an American. I don't need any one to give me the right to be who I am. No one can take who I am >from me as what we are in our minds and hearts


Blrosen@...
 

Barbara,

You could not have said it better --- my sentiments exactly. Having been in
the Ukraine and Hungary on the tour with you and seeing the empty synagogues
(because there are so few Jews left -- if any) has given me a whole new
perspective.

One thing that particularly upset me was hearing of the pogrom in Miskolc (IN
1946 -- AFTER THE WAR) instigated by the Hungarians themselves!

Betty Rosen


Alice Fleischmann levitin
 

I am a Jew who is an American, I hate to be the prevailer of bad thoughts
however it is becoming increasingly clear to me that what happened in Nazi
Germany could easily happen here. The old story of those who forget history
are destined to repeat it is unfortunately true. With the high holidays
approaching there are stories in the news about a school system in Cincinnati
where there are issues about taking off for the holidays. I currently am
fighting a battle with my employer (the Government of the state) to be allowed
to take off the holidays. So the moral is we should not become to complacent
with our situation even in this country. Remember that the German Jews all
thought they were all good Germans and look what happened to them. Perhaps I
am more negative because both of my parents are survivors.
I wish everyone at h-sig a happy and healthy New Year.
Alice Levitin majjongmav@aol.com


BABSK@...
 

Dear Alice,

When I read "Journey to Vaja" my reaction was exactly what you say. All
through history, including in Hungary, the Jews thought they were of the
nationality of their country and were shown to be wrong. As the
Holidays approach, let us pray that history does not repeat itself here.

Barbara Kaufman