Chapter

Jews and Politics in Hungary

András Kovács

in Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XI: Values, Interests, and Identity

Published in print May 1996 | ISBN: 9780195103311
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854585 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195103311.003.0004

Series: Studies in Contemporary Jewry

Jews and Politics in Hungary

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During the period that began with the emancipation of Hungarian Jewry and ended with the fall of communism, the participation of the Jews in Hungary's political life was governed by the maxim “never appear as a Jew or represent particular Jewish interests.” This stance reflected an unwritten assimilation contract between the liberal Hungarian nobility and the Jewish middle class that was concluded at the time of emancipation. The liberal Hungarian nobility was in favor of the emancipation of the Jews in 1867 and of legislation that placed the Jewish community on an equal footing with the Christian churches, and it worked to suppress antisemitic attacks against emancipation such as those occurring at the beginning of the 1880s. In return, Hungarian Jews were expected to demonstrate total loyalty to the Hungarian state, to accept the political hegemony of the nobility and to strive for complete assimilation within the Hungarian community.

Keywords: Hungary; Jewry; assimilation contract; nobility; middle class; emancipation; Jews; political hegemony; political life

Chapter.  7455 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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