English versionFrench version

NEWS - News of the Lodges

Bratislava, Slovakia, 2nd December 2013

by Eva Salnerová, President of B'nai B'rith Tolerancia Bratislava
On December 2, B´nai B´rith Tolerance in Bratislava, Slovakia hosted the Bridges of Tolerance (MOSTY TOLERANCIE) project. The event took place in the old historic building of Pisztory Palace which was confiscated in the past by the Communist government and turned into Lenin´s Museum. Among the invited guests was the Senior Vice-president of B'nai B'rith Europe, Erika van Gelder. The first event was a discussion entitled „Bridges of Tolerances versus Antisemitism". The guests were prominent personalities from Slovak political and cultural life. Member of Parliament and head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, František Šebej; a historian specializing on the war-time Slovak State, Ivan Kamenec, and a political analyst and director of the Institute of Public Affairs, Grigorij Mesežnikov. The moderator of the debate was Ľuba Lesná, a writer and journalist, member of B'nai B'rith Tolerance.

                                             SEBEJ               KAMENEC

                                                         Frantisek Sebej                                                        Ivan Kamenec

The discussion focused on the increasing number of antisemitic incidents across Europe, its manifestations, causes, consequences. Kamenec quoted pieces of legislation and statements during the Holocaust in Slovakia and drew parallels with the situation in Slovakia. Mesežnikov offered results of a survey dealing with attitudes to the Jews, stressing that hatred and intolerance of Jewish people has had a growing tendency all over the Europian Union. Šebej highlighted the fact that intolerance of Jews often hides behind anti-Israel sentiments.

In the evening a monodrama written by BB Tolerance member Ľuba Lesná was based on the story of Mahler´s niece Alma Rose who was a prisoner in Auschwitz concentration camp. It was followed by a presentations by two leading experts, Ján Vyhnánek and Adrian Rajter. Vyhnánek presented photographs and stories about Jewish musical life in Bratislava and Rajter, musician and son of a well known Slovak musician recalled the work and life of his father and his Jewish contemporaries.

The audience included many personalities from Bratislava cultural and social life. They showed great interest and took an active part in our event.

We would like to thank B'nai B'rith Europe, but especially Erika van Gelder for initiating the project. We would also like to express our appreciation to our sponsors the Hilleel Lodge Amsterdam and the Lodge from Copenhagen.