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Why Hungary’s Jews Are the Safest in Europe

Jewish life across Europe is increasingly militarized, but not in Budapest.

Chancellor Scholz Receives Hungarian Prime Minister Orban
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Turning down Krystalgade, the security barrier sticks out like a sore thumb. It resembles a military checkpoint, out of place in a cobblestoned neighborhood of Copenhagen. Surely the machine guns, the bollards, and the security cameras must indicate the residence of a senior politician or royal family member. 

It is actually something far less noteworthy: the simple presence of Danish Jews. The Great Synagogue of Copenhagen had twice been the target of terrorist attacks. Palestinian militants bombed the shul in the 1980s, and thirty years later an Islamic fundamentalist shot and killed a community member. Copenhagen’s renowned synagogue is now a militarized place of worship.