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Hungarian Jews to Erect Monument to Defender

(J. T. A. Mail Service)

Hungarian Jewry has decided to erect a monument to Karl Eotvoes, who defended the Jews accused in the blood libel of Tisza-Eszlar in 1882. The monument will be erected in a prominent position in Budapest.

The Tisza-Eszlar blood libel agitated the whole country at the time. Kossuth, who was then living in exile in Italy, raised his voice in denunciation of the authorities in stirring up medieval prejudices. Karl Eotvoes, who was amember of Parliament and a prominent journalist came forward to defend the accused Jews and he also addressed a protest to the Minister of Justice against the manner in which the prisoners were tortured. His protest, however, had no effect.

After dragging for months, the case ended in August 1883 with a unanimous verdict of acquittal and the release of the prisoners, most of whom had languished fifteen months in prison. The verdict was the signal for a series of uprisings in Budapest and other parts of the country and the released prisoners and the lawyers for the defence were scandalously insulted by the crowds.

A Jewish boy of fourteen, Moritz Scharf, the son of one of the prisoners, intimidated by torture and threats, told a story in court of how the ritual murder had been carried out. The glaring contradictions of his story, however, and the falsity of his accusations as exposed by an inspection of the alleged scene of the murder, convinced the court that his evidence was invented. After the trail, the boy, whom the anti-semites had alienated from his faith and his co-religionists, returned to his parents and fully redeemed his terrible past, supporting his father until his death in 1905.

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