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March 31 2014 | TATABÁNYA, HUNGARY

Anti-Semitic acts in Hungary. Sant'Egidio is close to Hungarian Jewish Communities

The letter sent to the president of the Jewish communities after the recent desecration of some graves in a cemetery near the capital.

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A few days ago some people not yet identified desecrated Jewish graves in the cemetery of Tatabánya, near Budapest, with swastikas and phrases that glorify Nazism and rise concern, such as: "there was no Holocaust but there will be".

The Community of Sant'Egidio expresses outrage at the incident and full solidarity with the Hungarian Jewish communities, as reported in a letter sent by Péter Szőke, of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Budapest, to the President of the Jewish Communities of Hungary, Andras Heisler:

To Mr. András Heisler
Alliance of Jewish Communities in Hungary

Illustrious Mr. President,
On behalf of the Community of Sant'Egidio I would like to express our outrage at the recent desecration of graves in the cemetery of Tatabánya. Any insult to piety itself is serious and worthy of condemnation. But in the present case is of particular concern the written text with which the profaners promise explicit violence, the destruction of the Jews. Furthermore, it is especially painful that this happened almost simultaneously with the national holiday of 15 March, the day when we celebrate the Hungarian Revolution. In fact, the message of this festival is equality and fraternity. It is known to all how much the Jews sacrificed themselves for the revolution and the struggle for independence of 1848-49. The authors of the crime of Tatabánya have offended not only Jews but all Hungarians, their traditions and the noblest ideals.
Those that painted their hateful messages on the graves want to bring us into the most obscure of the twentieth century. They want to poison the atmosphere, make peaceful and civil coexistence impossible. But we want to look forward.

The more serious the situation is, the more necessary hope is. The sowers of hatred can not prevail on those that want to live in peace and brotherhood. Pope Francis, in his recent message to the participants in the march on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the Roman Jews writes: "The memory of the tragedies of the past becomes for all a commitment to adhere with all our strength to the future that God wants to prepare and build for us and with us".

The Community of Sant'Egidio, while saying "no" to anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred, also says 'yes' to a future without violence, rich in humanity and brotherhood. It wants to serve such future with concrete actions and initiatives in our country, in Europe and in the world. As the participants in the International Youth Meeting expressed in their appeal proclaimed in Auschwitz-Birkenau on 21September 2012: We want to build together a world without violence, with the understanding of culture and the power of love. A movement of hearts starts again that wants to infect other young people like us, to be better and make our countries more human in a Europe of peace!"
I would like, Mr. Chairman, to ensure our solidarity and friendship to you and all our Jewish compatriots.

Szőke Péter,
Community of Sant'Egidio
Budapest, 18 March 2014

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