The United Orthodox Congregations Of New York condemned in a letter published on Thursday “the instigation against the honorable Prime Minister [Viktor Orbán] accusing him of tolerating and promoting individuals who were associated with the Nazi regime”.
Last week, at the ceremonial opening of the revamped Klebelsberg castle in Budapest Orbán said the “second and third decades of the twentieth century were seriously trying times” in Hungarian history and it was thanks to statesmen like governor Miklós Horthy, one-time prime minister István Bethlen and Kuno Klebelsberg, who served as interior minister and culture minister during that time period, that Hungary “had not got buried under history” after losing the first world war, experiencing the Red Terror under the Hungarian Soviet Republic and the signing of the WWI Trianon peace treaty.
“Without a governor there is no prime minister and without a prime minister there is no minister. This fact cannot be questioned despite Hungary’s lamentable participation in the second world war,” Orbán said.
Several Jewish organisations raised objections in connection with the speech, including the Jewish World Congress and its leader Ronald S. Lauder.
The United Orthodox Congregations Of New York, however, said that “in our dealings with the prime minister and his government to help restore and maintain the cemeteries in Hungary that were desecrated by the Nazis during the second world war, he and his government have been outstanding in their commitment and help towards this and any other issue related to the orthodox Jewry”.
“We are, and always be indebted to them for their continued help and cooperation, and look forward to continue this positive relationship. Those leading the instigation do not represent us or any other group of the orthodox Jews,” the statement signed by 11 rabbis showed.