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Hungarian Prosecutor Vindicates Heroic Jewish Comrades

May 24, 1923
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In autumn last year elections were to take place in the little town of Toertel for the appointment of a medical officer. Of a total of 24 members of the Town-Council, 20 desired the appointment of Dr. Isadore Heinrich. The President of the local bench, however, ruled out Dr. Heinrich’s nomination on the ground that he was not a Christian. The members of the Council who supported Dr. Heinrich consequently abstained from voting as a demonstration of protest.

The anti-Semitic paper “Cegledi Kereszteny Ujsag”, reporting the incident, utilized the opportunity for launching a virulent attack against the Jewish population as a whole. The Jews, it wrote, are, of a degraded Syrian cast, riding roughshod over Christian Hungary. “Have you forgotten,” it asked, “that the Jewish doctors hounded our Christian boys to the Front even when they were already half dead, in order to find easier service for the hook-nosed progeny of Israel?”

The Public Prosecutor instituted proceedings against the writer of the article, Michal Ivan, on the charge of inciting to violence against members of the Jewish faith. The trial came up yesterday. The Prosecutor said that general remarks of such nature should not be allowed to be made. It was quite possible that certain people had got out of doing their duty at the Front. “I was at the Front, however,” he went on, “and saw that in my battalion all the Jewish officers did their duty bravely like men. They were the first in the firing line, and in the name of these heroic comrades of mine, and in the name also of all honest Jewish citizens, I bring this action before the court and ask it to find Ivan guilty and to pass sentence accordingly.”

The court found Ivan guilty of inciting one class against another and sentenced him to a term of fourteen days’ imprisonment. The court declared, however, that at the same time that in view of their religion, their social life in common, their customs and traditions and the specific Jewish conception of life, the Jews constitute a group living together in common and must therefore be regarded as a class and not as the members of a faith.

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