The introduction of a mandatory class on the history of the Holocaust is “counterproductive, professionally flawed and a dangerous precedent”, the radical nationalist Jobbik party said in respond to the news that the Catholic University will introduce a mandatory class on the history of the Holocaust from September. Gergely Farkas, the head of Jobbik’s youth arm, said in a statement that it was “likely” the university was acting on “pressure from Israel”. Farkas said the announcement had “caused a stir” at the university, adding that it was possible “the university could lose a number of applicants in the near future”.
Farkas said secondary school students take part in memorial services on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 as well as on April 16, Hungary’s Holocaust Memorial Day. This amounts to at least eight days a year, he said, adding that it is “doubtful” that students need to expand their knowledge about the Holocaust as part of their university studies. Farkas asked education policymakers “not to give in to international and liberal pressure” trying to influence education. The opposition Liberal Party said Jobbik’s remarks on the Holocaust class show that the party’s recent “cuteness campaign” has been in vain, and it is far from transforming itself from a “Nazi” organisation into a people’s party.
The Budapest-based Péter Pázmány Catholic University will introduce a mandatory class on the history of the Holocaust from September, the university’s rector said on Tuesday this week. In addition to the already compulsory “Introduction to the Catholic Faith”, students will be required to complete studies on the Holocaust as part of the basic curriculum and as a prerequisite for graduation, Szabolcs Szuromi said. Israeli ambassador to Budapest Ilan Mor welcomed the initiative, saying it was unique in Europe.
via hungarymatters.hu, MTI photo: alfahir.hu