New EU-Member Countries Have More Established Anti-Semitism

May 5, 2004

Source: Ha-Aretz

On May 5, 2004 Ha-Aretz reported, "The stronger, more established hatred of Jews in the Eastern European countries that joined the EU this week could intensify criticism of Israel. About 80,000 Jews from 10 communities joined the European Union this week. Nine of the communities have populations of a few hundred or a few thousand Jews, and one larger community, Hungary, has a population that numbers over 55,000. These communities come with the shadow of 5 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and whose ashes are scattered throughout Eastern Europe, once the center of Jewish culture...The fascist anti-Semitism was replaced by communist anti-Semitism and the survivors of World War II continued to survive by hiding their Jewish identity. Those who chose to remain in their original countries instead of immigrating to Israel or the West continued to feel the old anti-Semitism seething beneath the surface - from the Kielce pogrom, which took place in Poland in 1945, to the memorial days to the Latvian S.S. battalions, which are still held to this day. The Jews who remained in Eastern Europe tried to revive the destroyed communities. Many of them felt that in addition to the establishment of a Jewish country in Eretz Israel, the renewal of Jewish life in the countries of the Holocaust would be an answer to the Final Solution. Only the decades after they have joined the EU will prove if their efforts have been successful."