Vandals hit Budapest Holocaust memorial

BUDAPEST (JTA) — Vandals used pigs’ feet to desecrate a Holocaust memorial in Budapest.

The memorial, erected in honor of tens of thousands of Jews murdered by the Hungarian Nazi Arrow-Cross during the Soviet siege of this city at the end of World War II, was vandalized early Monday morning.

The attack follows the electoral success of the far-right Jobbik party in European Union parliamentary elections earlier this month. A mass rally is scheduled for Thursday at the memorial to protest the rise of neo-Nazism.

The memorial is made up of 60 pairs of abandoned shoes, fashioned in steel, marking one of the many spots along the Danube River where Arrow-Cross soldiers once stripped and shot their Jewish victims and threw their bodies, some still alive, into the icy waters. Many of the steel shoes are filled with flowers from time to time.

Vandals placed pigs’ feet into several of the shoes in the latest incident.

Tamas Suchman, a prominent Socialist politician, has called for a joint protest demonstration at the memorial Thursday by all major Hungarian political parties and democratic civil societies to condemn the recurrence of anti-Semitism in Hungary.

Peter Feldmajer, chairman of the Association of Hungarian Jewish Religious Communities, or Mazsihisz, the country’s largest Jewish organization, says the country has not experienced this much anti-Semitism since the 1940s. But he emphasized in an address delivered to a conference of the European Jewish Congress in Geneva after the EU elections that in his view, the major Hungarian political parties cannot be blamed for this development.
 

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