Holocaust memory in Hungary is not a plaything to reward political friends

(Brussels, September 17, 2018) – The European Jewish Congress (EJC) expresses shock and sadness at the decision of the Hungarian government to exclude the lived experience and historical expertise of the Hungarian Jewish community in the preservation of the memory of the Holocaust which saw almost half a million Hungarian Jews sent to their deaths by the Nazis.

The preference of the Hungarian government to whitewash this Holocaust memory in its sponsorship of the House of Fates in Budapest and to appoint a director who has specifically minimised the participation of the Hungarian collaborationist government of Admiral Horthy during WWII and its sponsorship of antisemitism is unworthy of a country which claims to abide by the norms of democratic governments in the European Union.

Moreover, its decision to override the institutions of the representative organisations of Hungarian Jewry and institutional authorities such as Yad Vashem – the World Holocaust Remembrance Center is unacceptable. The Hungarian government favours a Jewish organization that has no tradition and no historical roots in Hungary and enjoys no support of the Hungarian Jewish community.

“The Holocaust and the memory of the last terrible act of the Holocaust, the systematic deportation of more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews in the space of only eight weeks in the summer of 1944 to Auschwitz, is not a plaything for the Hungarian government to award to its political supporters,” EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor said.

The European Jewish Congress stands in full solidarity with its affiliate, the representative body of Hungarian Jewry, the Mazsihisz, in its work to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and to represent the interests and the collective direct memory of Hungarian Jews.

“75 years on, as the last survivors are sadly leaving us, we call on the Hungarian government to reverse its shocking decision over the House of Fates and to engage in a real dialogue and collective work with the institutions of Hungarian Jews to memorialise the Holocaust in a manner that is inclusive and recognises historical truth and all those responsible for it.” Dr. Kantor said.


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