A “new Jewish renaissance” is under way in Hungary, and the Hungarian state is proud of being a part of it, the defence minister said on Friday, marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Hungarians are paying respect to the victims of a European tragedy that Hungary was part of, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky told an event at the Holocaust Memorial Centre, adding that “we are remembering our own people”. Neither should the heroes who endeavoured to rescue the persecuted at the risk of their own lives be forgotten, he said, referring to Raoul Wallenberg, Sára Salkaházi, Gábor Sztehlo and Ferenc Koszorús.
Noting today’s “difficult times”, he said there were “cracks in the institution of international security”, with a war in Hungary’s neighbourhood and a recent attack against the Jewish state. “A new type of anti-Semitism has reared its head in the free world,” the minister said. Jewish communities have come under pressure and Molotov cocktails have been thrown at synagogues, he added. Hungary has been baselessly accused of anti-Semitism despite the fact that “this country is a safe place for Jews”, he said. “Peace requires strength and Hungary must be strong enough to protect its citizens”, he added.