(JTA) – A Catholic priest in Slovakia sparked outrage by blaming the Jews for the hatred against them during the Holocaust and warned the Roma are following suit.
Emil Floris leveled the accusation last month during a ceremony in Cadca, located 120 miles northeast of the capital Bratislava, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising against Nazi Germany and the collaborationist government.
“From all over Europe, they took the Jews to concentration camps. And do you know why? Because there was hatred toward them, but those who are hated often do it to themselves,” Floris said, according to the news website zpravy.e15.cz.
“Now there is a risk for some Roma. And you know why? Because of abuse of the system and the kindness of others,” he added. Roma also are known as Gypsies.
The Federation of Jewish Communities in Slovakia said in a statement posted on its website last week that Floris’ statement “contained untruths and anti-Semitic cliches, diminishes the suffering of the Jewish people during the time of the First Slovak Republic and insults the memory of victims.”