In the city of Subotica/Szabadka (Vojvodina, Serbia) on Monday, March 26 Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić jointly inaugurated the city’s newly renovated synagogue. The second largest synagogue in Europe, built in 1902, is a gem of Hungarian Secession-style architecture. After the Holocaust the building was abandoned for decades, awaiting restoration works which now have been jointly financed by the Hungarian and the Serbian State and local authorities.
|(Photo: Pannon TV)|
At the ceremony, Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán said:
“Central Europe is a truly wonderful place. This is a special corner of the world, where it is perfectly natural for a synagogue to be decorated with Hungarian folk art motifs, just as it is equally natural to consider the genre of the Hungarian nation’s anthem as a jeremiad. This cultural diversity has nothing in common with superficial multiculturalism. Here many centuries have moulded together the peoples who live alongside each other, and this is reflected in our songs, ballads and buildings. (…)
There is a good chance that 26 March 2018 will be seen as one of those days when Central Europe showed the world its most attractive face. What is happening here? The Serbian president and the Hungarian prime minister have come to Subotica/Szabadka together with deeply respected Jewish religious leaders to inaugurate Europe’s second largest completely renovated synagogue: our common cultural heritage, a sacred Jewish building of unique style, the gem of the city and an outstanding example of Central European Secessionist architecture. (…)
The salvage and renovation of the city's synagogue is a good example of the fact that we Serbs, Jews and Hungarians are capable of anything if we unite in the service of a noble cause. It is also a good example of the fact that we now live in times here in Central Europe when the past is not a burden, but the past opens the gate to a common future: a future in which Hungarians, Serbs and Jews will live and work together in peace and safety. Therefore we thank Serbia, we thank President Vučić, and we thank the Hungarians of Vojvodina/Vajdaság!”
(For the full speech see the PM's website)