Hungary has suffered two anti-Semitic attacks in the past week, mere days after the Jewish community’s watchdog on anti-Semitism reported that anti-Jewish attitudes were decreasing in the European nation.
An open-air Holocaust exhibition in Budapest was defaced Saturday, the Action and Protection Foundation (TEV) reported on Sunday. News sites picked up the story Wednesday.
According to the TEV report, a group of unknown vandals splashed red paint on 14 separate portraits showing Holocaust survivors together with members of their families.
The exhibition was organized by the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation and consisted of 24 portraits total. It was set up near the Madach Theater in the capital city's center.
The purpose of the exhibit was to commemorate Hungarian Jewry, after the community was decimated during the Holocaust. Of the 800,000 Jews living in the country before the war, only 180,000 survived.
Currently, 120,000 Jews live in Hungary, predominantly in Budapest.
Hungary's Human Resources Ministry was quick to condemn the vandalism, calling it both "shocking and appalling."
“The perpetrators desecrated not only Holocaust survivors, but the entire Jewish community, the whole of the Hungarian nation, all decent Hungarians by their mindless, vandal act,” the ministry said.
In addition to defacing the Holocaust exhibit, vandals on Friday graffitied a swastika in front of a synagogue on Wesselenyi Street in Budapest - only five miles away from the Madach Theater.
Both the Nazi symbol and the paint from the survivor's portraits were removed shortly after being discovered.