NEWS ALERT: Lists Of Jews Compiled At Hungary’s Largest University February 20, 2013
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife reporting from Budapest, Hungary
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)-- There was an outcry in Hungary on Wednesday, February 20, over revelations that the country's largest university has been involved in compiling lists of presumed Jewish students at a time of growing antisemitism in this nation of some 10 million people.
The files were compiled annually on freshmen by the student council of the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), according to a list obtained by Hungarian television network ATV and seen by BosNewsLife.
Referring to Jewish origins, the 2009 list shows the letters I of the Hungarian word Igen ("Yes") and N for Nem ("No").
The practice resembled prewar Hungary, which introduced Europe's first antisemitic legislation as early as 1920.
Known as the 'numerus clausus law' it limited the number of Jewish students in universities, prompting intellectuals to emigrate, including scientist Edward Teller who left Hungary in 1933.
Critics say the legislation contributed to an atmosphere of hatred in Hungary, which eventually became a close ally of Nazi Germany during World War Two, when 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed.
It was not immediately clear how the ELTE lists would be used, but the student council that compiled them has ties to the influential far-right Movement For a Better Hungary (Jobbik) party, investigators said.
Recently, a prominent legislator of Jobbik suggested to draw up lists of Jews "who pose a "national security risk".
Jobbik's Marton Gyöngyösi said the lists were needed following the brief conflict in Gaza and should include members of parliament.
HUNGARIAN JEWISH ANCESTRY
"I know how many people with Hungarian ancestry live in Israel, and how many Israeli Jews live in Hungary," he told parliament in November. "I think such a conflict makes it timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian government, who, indeed, pose a national security risk to Hungary."
Jobbik has also supported several paramilitary groups, wearing uniforms and waving flags resembling the Nazi-era.
The Action and Protection Foundation -- a new Jewish watchdog on anti-Semitism in Hungary -- said it was concerned about reports that lists are already compiled at ELTE university over a period of at least six years.