BPR Mailing List Digest
May 14, 2000

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Subject: [BPR] - Hungary Textbooks Call Jews Enemies
Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 09:37:24 -0400

Hungary Textbooks Call Jews Enemies
By Eva Kekes

Associated Press Writer

Thursday, May 11, 2000; 5:00 p.m. EDT
BUDAPEST, Hungary –– Hungarian school textbooks fail to describe in
detail the horrors of the Holocaust, and some refer to Jews as
"murderers of Christ" and "enemies of Germans," a new study says. "We
found the Jews in two contexts, once in ancient times, and then, with a
big leap, in the 20th century," study author Monika Kovacs said
Thursday. The study reviewed 50 textbooks for teaching history,
geography and literature published in 1997 and 1998. It is part of a
series prepared for the Central and Eastern European Curriculum Review
Project of the New York-based American Jewish Committee. The study found
that in the history of ancient times, Jews are almost exclusively
mentioned as "the murderers of Christ." From the Middle Ages to the 19th
century, references to Jews are nearly entirely missing from textbooks,
before they reappear in sections on 20th century history. The Holocaust
is discussed in every textbook but not in sufficient detail, said
Kovacs, an assistant professor in social and educational psychology at
Budapest's Eotvos Lorand University. She is also chair of the Hannah
Arendt Association, which promotes Holocaust education among Hungarian
teachers. One textbook had only one paragraph on the Holocaust,
referring to it as "part of World War II,' and the Jews are referred to
as 'enemies of the Germans'," Kovacs said. Another book frequently
refers to Jews as "the capitalists of Germany." The AJC's first three
reports dealt with textbooks in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia,
and similar ones are planned for Ukraine, Russia, Croatia and Lithuania.
Similar findings were reported in the other countries surveyed. In
Slovakia, one textbook was found to be openly anti-Semitic and was
withdrawn as a result of AJC's intervention. There are over 100,000 Jews
currently living in Hungary, down from 1 million before the war. More
than 600,000 Hungarian Jews perished in the Holocaust.

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