Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Little Jewish History

A colleague of Tevye's recently spent a few days in Budapest, where she discovered an unusual tourist attraction - the Great Synagogue, reputed to be the largest synagogue in Europe, and the second largest in the world. Anticipating Tevye's interest, she brought him back a postcard, and I have been meaning to find out more about it ever since.


Built in the nineteenth century, it is an extraordinary mix of architectural styles (Moorish, Byzantine and Gothic), and is impressive both inside and out. It was badly damaged by bombing in World War II and was restored in the 1990s, with the restoration largely funded by the cosmetics queen, Estée Lauder, herself a Hungarian Jew.


In the early 1940s the Jewish population of Budapest was 246,000, or whom nearly half died in the holocaust. The number of survivors was much higher than elsewhere in Europe because Hungary sided with Germany and was not occupied until March 1944. It was only after this that the Jews of Budapest were forced into a ghetto and subjected to the murderous attentions of the Nazis. Many were protected by the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who issued them with Swedish identity documents. Today the Jewish population of Budapest is around 80,000, the largest Jewish community in eastern Europe.

Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, was born in a house next door to the synagogue. The house no longer exists, but the plot is now the site of a Jewish Museum.

2 comments:

Melanie B said...

Very interesting.

Ojalanpoika said...

You might be interested on the "Sins of the fathers" in the Bush family. Prescott Bush and his father-in-law George Herbert Walker were running the slave coal mines that needed Jewish and other camp laborers in Poland. Bush continued his business transactions with Fritz "I Paid Hitler -author" Thyssen even after US had been in war with the Nazi Germany already for a year.
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Bushism_sins_of_the_fathers.htm

I think GW Bush was repenting over the sins of his fathers during his era. But "Thou Shall Not Take the Name of the Lord in Vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless whosoever uses His name in vain", said the decalog, Ten Commandments to the hypocrite fake believers. Not to your own ends. I pray for the Republican quasi-royal families, I wish them all good. An analogous process of blood money laundring was going on in the richest family of the "impartial" Sweden, the Wallenberg's. They funded the Nazi's during the hyperinflation at the 1920's, when money from abroad determined who's gonna get the power. SA was a private and PAID army with its 350,000 x2 arms. They were no boy scouts but demanded money. Four times larger private army than the Wehrmacht field army of Germany!

A longer version in English with Scientific backround of Western race hygiene in general (first a scanned text from a classic volume of professor Daniel Gasman, then my own 50 page research with 100 references):
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Gasman.htm

Recovering from hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of the brain,
Pauli.Ojala@gmail.com, evolutionary critic
Helsinki, Finland
Biochemist, drop-out (MSci-Master of Sciing)