Destinations Magazine

Hungary and the Holocaust: Statue of Limitations

By Stizzard
Hungary and the Holocaust: Statue of limitations The eagle and the angel

THE Hungarian government’s Holocaust memorial year has got off to a bad start. Randolph Braham of City University of New York, a historian of the genocide of Hungarian Jews, has returned an award given by a former president. A survivor himself, he has also asked for his name to be removed from Budapest’s Holocaust museum. Hungarian Jewish leaders are threatening to boycott the government’s programme.The cause of their anger is a planned statue to commemorate the Nazi invasion of 1944. The 7.5-metre statue shows the German imperial eagle attacking the Archangel Gabriel, symbolising an innocent and virtuous Hungary. The statue is to be unveiled in Freedom Square on March 19th, the 70th anniversary of the invasion. Both Jewish leaders and historians condemn it for portraying Hungary as a victim of the Nazis, not as a willing collaborator. More than 430,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944, with the active help of Hungarian officials.Professor Braham says the planned statue is just the latest attempt to whitewash the era of Admiral Horthy, Hungary’s ruler from 1920 to 1944. He calls…

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