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Köves, Slomó

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Magyar Narancs - Hungary | 21/02/2013

Slomó Köves on Hungarians not confronting their past

Hungarian society is reluctant to subject the dark chapters of its history, particularly World War II and the Holocaust, to candid scrutiny, Rabbi Slomó Köves writes, arguing in the left-liberal weekly Magyar Narancs that it is just as important for a society to face the dark side of its past as it is for individuals: "Our internal, mental self-defence mechanisms often make our memory selective. Instinctively we try to remember only the good and to forget the bad or see it in a different way. This is the case not just with individual memory, but also with the collective memory of a society or nation. Human self-knowledge is doomed to failure if it avoids examining the dark stains in its personal history and uncovering the circumstances and the lessons of the past. The same is true for the collective self-knowledge of a nation. The horrors must be laid bare, the wounds must be cleaned, and in the end one must draw the right lessons from the past."

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