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Churches, Holocaust

“You cannot excuse or explain what happened, but you can admit it and speak about it. And that will be the duty of this generation.” (Sándor Márai)
The CEC carries out international comparative researches examining the role of the historical churches in the anti-Semitism between the two world wars and in the Holocaust – paying special attention to the growing ethicise and nationalisms, and to the intensifying phenomenon of Holocaust denial.

The Foundation Civitas Europica Centralis gained support in 2015 from the Claims Conference seated in New York to carry out a research under the title  „Churches – Holocaust - Christian Churches in Three Countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Holocaust”.
The following study is the result of the research.
The CEC has been engaged in an international comparative research since 2013 on the role played by the historical churches in the anti-Semitism of the interwar period and the Holocaust with particular attention to the increase of nationalism and the revival of the denial of the Holocaust in the region. Analysing the clerical press and the archive documents in the interwar period you can get a clear view of the state of the societies in the different countries (Hungary, Slovakia and Romania) in the given age, the position of and the part played by different religions and – as country borders kept shifting – the response given by the clergy to the processes and political changes of the era. The results of the research indicate to us, people living today, that ‘terrible mistakes can be committed and the consequences can be abysmal when morals want to meet the alleged requirements of real politics’ (I. Bi bó). History, unfortunately, can repeat itself. Because the societies of Central-Eastern Europe have failed to acknowledge their past, the consequences are grave indeed. The actors of today have started to behave eerily like those in the interwar period. The churches in our region are silent in the best of cases. Pope Francis’s words arrive here in a much dampened form. So we believe our research is more and more topical with every day. Looking into the eye of the phenomena revealed may help to provide a humane answer to the challenges of the present time. (Erika Törzsök)

Collection of the texts referred to in the book

a Claims Conference által támogatott, "A study of the part played by the churches in the growth of anti-Semitism in Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania in the inter-
war period based on the contemporary press and archive documents" című kutatáshoz

The Foundation Civitas Europica Centralis has gained a support at a contest  in 2012 from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance /IHRA/  - the former Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, ITF – seated in Berlin, to carry out a research under the title  „The relationship between the historical churches and the Jewish community in Czechoslovakia and Hungary from 1920 until the Holocaust”.
The study that can be read here is the result of a full year’s research work.

The relationship between the historical churches and the Jewish community in Czechoslovakia and Hungary from 1920 until the Holocaust

The study was edited by:
Dr. Attila Jakab
Dr. Erika Törzsök
Participants of the Research:
Dr. Attila Jakab
Dr. Máté Gárdonyi
Zlatica Saposova
Tímea Veress
Attila Simon


Foundation Civitas Europica Centralis has organized a conference with the title: “Historic Churches and the Holocaust in Czechoslovakia and Hungary, 1938-1945” on 19 September 2013., with the participation of distinguished and internationally recognized experts on the topic.

Invitation and Programme

Soundtracks of the Conference:

Part I.
Introductory address – Mr.Gábor Hushegyi, Director of the Cultural Insitute of the Slovak Republic;
Introductory address – Ms.Erika Törzsök;
The relationship between the historical churches and the Jewish community in Czechoslovakia and Hungary from 1938 until the Holocaust - Attila Jakab;
The fate of the Veszprém Jewry from 1938 to 1944 – as reflected in Episcopal documents and the local Catholic press - Máté Gárdonyi;
The Holocaust and the Christian society of Dunaszerdahely (Dunajska Streda) - Attila Simon;
The fate of the Jewish community in Kosice after the German occupation of Hungary - Timea Veres;
Catholics and Jews in Óbuda (Old Buda) in 1938-1944 - Attila Jakab

Part II.
The Struggle of Papal Nuncio Mgr. Angelo Rotta for the Hungarian Jews in 1944 - László Karsai;
The body of Calvinist pastors has contributed to a great extent to the stagnating, swampy state of souls.” – Albert Bereczky’s Talks with Ottó Komoly in 1944 - Judit Molnár;
Conversion in 1938-1939 according to the Documents of the Neolog Jewish Community of Pest - Kinga Frojimovics