Gdje sam? Skip Navigation Links Vijesti i arhiva

Novosti News

23.12.2015. 9:42

Controversial inauguration of monument honoring WWII politician who helped in the deportation of Jews from Hungary postponed
Written by EJP

Thursday, 17 December 2015 10:24

Ira Forman, U.S. special envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, lights a menorah during a protest organized by a Jewish umbrella group against a planned statue of Balint Homan in Szekesfehervar, Hungary.

BUDAPEST (EJP)---Following numerous protests, the inauguration of a statue in Hungary honoring a WWII-era politician who helped facilitate the deportation of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, was postponed.

The life-sized statue of Balint Homan, known for his anti-Semitic views, was scheduled to be unveiled in city of Szekesfehervar, in central Hungary, on December 29 to commemorate the 130th anniversary of his birth.

From 1931, Homan, an academic and historian, served as a minister in several governments. He played a significant role in the drafting of anti-Jewish laws adopted in Hungary during the late 1930s
“The city of Szekesfehervar and its mayor have been subjected to serious attacks and threats which are unworthy of Balint Homan who did so much to build this city… We have decided to postpone the inauguration,” said Gabor Kovats of the Balint Homan Foundation.
Jewish leaders praised Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for his decision not to support the dedication of a statue to Homan.

Ronald S Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said a statue would have been “an affront to the many Hungarian victims of the Holocaust”.

He said: “Prime Minister Orban’s clear statement on this matter comes very late, but it is nonetheless welcome. I thank him for making the standpoint of the Hungarian government very clear: No honours must be given to those who prepared the ground for the mass murder of 600,000 Hungarian Jews by Nazi Germany in 1944.
The planned inauguration had drawn several hundred protesters to the monument’s building site last Sunday, including the US Special Envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, Ira Forman.

Forman took part in a Chanukah candle lighting and protest in Szekesfehervar organized by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary (Mazsihisz).
"From the US government perspective we feel very strongly that history and the damage that this man did to Hungarian citizens who happened to be Jewish cannot be ignored, and to put up that statue seems incomprehensible," he said.
''Honoring a man like that is shocking,'' Forman added.