Summary of the General Comment No. 1/2020 of the Minority Ombudsman

General Comment No. 1/2020 of the Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities,
On the preservation of the nationality cultural values of the Old Swabian Cemetery (Neufriedhof) in Zsámbék

SUMMARY

The Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities received a complaint about the difficulties of maintaining the Old Swabian Cemetery (Neufriedhof) in Zsámbék. The complainant complained about the work on the cemetery, which he said might pose a risk of the graves being destroyed and demolished. The petitioner turned to the Deputy Commissioner in order to preserve the historical and ethnographic heritage and the cultural objects of the German nationality in Hungary.
According to the Fundamental Law of Hungary and the Act CXI of 2011 on the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights (Ajbt.), it is the primary duty of the Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities to monitor the enforcement of the rights of nationalities living in Hungary, to provide regular information on the experience gained in this field and to raise the awareness of the general public and of the affected institutions to the threats of the injuries of the rights of nationalities. The Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights may, in the performance of her duties, issue a general comment. The comment is intended to draw the attention of the legislator and the public to the importance of taking steps to safeguard the individual and collective rights of the members of national minority communities, to the situations and practices which threaten to undermine fundamental nationality rights or equal treatement, and to highlight good practices that serve the more efficient enforcement of the nationality rights.
On the basis of a complaint concerning the graves of the Swabian Old Cemetery in Zsámbék, the Deputy Commissioner initiated an investigation, which concluded with a general comment. During her investigation, the deputy commissioner contacted the municipality notary of the Town of Zsámbék, the parish priest of the Roman Catholic Parish of Zsámbék, and the head of the office of the Budakeszi District Office of the Pest County Government Office, she personally visited the Swabian Old Cemetery in Zsámbék, and she had a personal meeting with the parish priest of the Roman Catholic Parish of Zsámbék.

The full text of the summary of the General Comment is available here.