Protesters read Shoah victims names during rally

Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party held a political rally in a former synagogue, despite protests.

Several hundred demonstrators protested the Feb. 15 rally in the town of Esztergom, 30 miles from Budapest. They stood outside the former synagogue, now a government-operated cultural center, and read the names of the 500 Holocaust victims who were deported to Auschwitz from the town in 1944.

Jobbik leader Gabor Vona told the demonstrators that “there is an atmosphere of hysteria due to the Holocaust memorial year in Hungary, which wants to make Hungarians feel guilty.”

Despite a heavy police presence at the rally, there were several scuffles. Hungarian authorities had given permission to Jobbik, whose ultranationalist platform is laced with anti-Semitism and anti-Roma policy, to hold its rally in the synagogue. — jta