Gyuri’s Story 2 – Communist Era 2019-02-05T15:46:04+00:00


Keeping the flame of Judaism
alive against all odds

Friends of JCC Budapest Our Past Communist era Martin Laszlo

The Communist era

Life Behind the Curtain

During the Communist era, many Hungarian Jews lived their Jewish lives “behind the curtains” as Gyuri puts it. “Maybe by lighting a candle on Friday evening or maybe a light on Hannukah. But, before doing that, most Jews closed their curtains.”

”In big places like Budapest, people would go from one district to another. People thought you could go to a synagogue and afterwards, when you return to your own neighborhood, they will not find out that you are Jewish.“

Gyuri learned early that the attempt rarely worked.

“Others did not reveal their Jewish identity at all, even to their own family. When I was young, I knew a boy who liked to speak loudly of “the son of bitch Jews.”  Then, at 16, his parents finally told him he was himself Jewish. The parents had never spoken of it.

JCC Jewish Life Today

The thousands who visit the JCC Budapest every month could each tell a story like Gyuri’s, each a unique victory of hope over despair.

Still, there are tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest who have not been ready to come out of the shadows to embrace their Jewish roots. Help us welcome them in. Help us help them to be strong even in difficult times. Balint JCC is the first open door through which they can view Jewish life without first “closing the curtain.”

Be part of the story. Connect with the JCC Budapest.