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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31Poland and Hungary: Jewish Realities Compared$
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François Guesnet, Howard Lupovitch, and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764715

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764715.001.0001

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Holocaust Remembrance in Hungary after the Fall of Communism

Holocaust Remembrance in Hungary after the Fall of Communism

(p.427) Holocaust Remembrance in Hungary after the Fall of Communism
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31

Zsuzsanna Agora

Liverpool University Press

This chapter reflects on Holocaust remembrance in Hungary after the fall of communism. In the decade after the war, the remembrance of the Holocaust was divided. Jews regarded 1945 as a liberation, while for the majority of the population the end of the war was a defeat and the Soviet occupation traumatic. Conflicts between Jews and the majority population were triggered by claims for the restitution of property confiscated in 1944, by the increased use of antisemitic utterances by certain parties, mainly the Hungarian Communist Party, and by the admission of Jews to positions in the civil service which had not been open to them during the Horthy era: this became the primary complaint of the extreme right. Very few non-Jewish Hungarians acknowledged the difference in scale of Jewish suffering compared to that of the general population, and thus Jewish claims for restitution were seen as arbitrary. The People's Tribunals also divided public opinion, and several 'sympathy pogroms' occurred between 1945 and 1948. These same issues still divide the remembrance of the Holocaust in Hungary today, more than seventy years later.

Keywords:   Holocaust remembrance, Hungary, communism, Jews, antisemitism, Hungarian Communist Party, Jewish suffering, sympathy pogrom

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