Minister condemns racism but says it’s “sinful” to falsely label people as racist
06/08/2012 – On the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, Zoltan Balog, the minister of human resources, condemned anti-Semitism and Roma baiting, but said accusing a person of being racist was a sin equal to racism itself.
Speaking at a commemoration held in the Holocaust Memorial Centre in Pava Street in Budapest, Balog said when political rivals slung accusations of racism around for political gain this merely harmed the real victims of racism. Also, when lawmakers in parliament denigrate someone else on the basis of their origin, people must speak up, he said. In the age of the internet, bandying about racist slurs was easier than in the past, he added.
Balog said it was important that the next generation should learn: “we will never form alliances with such ideologies.” At the same time it is essential, he said, to come to an agreement with Jewish organisations on how to teach the history of the Holocaust in a worthy and fair manner. He noted that the history of the Roma had been included in the national curriculum for the first time under new education legislation.
Balog also emphasised that the founding of the Holocaust Memorial Centre had been at the initiative of the first government of Viktor Orban (1998-2002), and when the centre opened in 2004, officials of Fidesz, then in opposition, had attended.
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