Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Budapest against anti-Semitism, as Hungarian police prevented a neo-Nazi demonstration for the third time in two weeks.
The march Sunday against anti-Semitism was part of the annual March of the Living, which usually draws a few thousand people who commemorate the victims of the Holocaust with a solemn walk along the Danube.
This year, however, tens of thousands showed up with Israeli and E.U. flags in what many said was a tour de force against the ideas promoted by the ultra-nationalist Jobbik Party and neo-Nazi fringe groups, Reuters reported.
In parallel, police banned on Sunday a group of extreme-rightist bikers from holding a rally in front of the city’s main synagogue during the March of the Living event. The biker group already applied for a permit earlier this month and was refused. They rallied under the slogan “give gas” – a possible reference to the extermination of Jews during the Holocaust.
Over the past few weeks, several fringe groups have requested permission to hold a protest against the planned gathering next month of the World Jewish Congress plenary meeting in Budapest.
On Saturday, police officers in Pecs in southern Hungary detained 18 people who police said belonged to the Pax Hungarica Movement and who participated in a rally in honor of Adolf Hitler’s 124th birthday on April 20. They were charged with disturbing public order, according to a report by the MTI Hungarian news service.