No Negotiations with Hungary for Emigration to Israel, Budapest Says

A denial that there are any negotiations in progress between Hungary and Israel and that there is any “mass trend” for emigration of Jews from Hungary was Issued in Budapest by Dr. M. Schoss, chairman of the Association of Hungarian Jews. The statement from the Jewish community leader, as received here, states:

“Of late there have been reports in the Western press to the effect that negotiations are in progress between Hungary and Israel in regard to large-scale Jewish immigration from our country to Israel. These reports are untrue. It is possible that the reports resulted from the fact that recently Rumania has permitted a number of its citizens to immigrate to Israel.

“There is absolutely no tendency toward immigration among the nearly 100,000 Jews in Hungary. Those who wanted to leave Hungary left in the early months of 1957 when emigration permits were issued without limitation. During that time about 10,000 Hungarian Jews did not emigrate to Israel. Now we hear very frequently about former Hungarian Jews in Israel who want to return to this country.”

Dr. Schoss asserts in his statement that anti-Semitism is “not a serious problem” in Hungary. “There had been a wave of anti-Semitism observed during the events of 1956, “Dr. Schoss says. The fact that there is still anti-Semitism in Hungary was implied when he declared that the country’s official press is now “constantly unmasking the sources of anti-Semitism.”

The Hungarian Jews, Dr. Schoss continued, have full liberty to conduct their own community organizations and to practice their religion. He said that there is a theological seminary training rabbis in Budapest, as well as two Jewish high schools in the city. The Hungarian capital also has, Dr. Schoss averred, 30 synagogues and a number of Jewish hospitals.

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