The European Jewish Congress condemned the erection near Budapest of a statue of Balint Homan, a notorious anti-Semitic politician who contributed to the massacre of hundreds of millions of Jews from Hungary during the Holocaust.
The private Balint Homan Foundation in Szekesfehervar, west of Budapest, wants to honor Homan who was minister of religion and education before and during WWII. Homan was a proponent of anti-Jewish laws, supporter of the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews and a Nazi enthusiast to the end of the war. After it he was jailed and died in prison in 1951.
“It is a shocking display of insensitivity towards the Jewish People that a man who played a direct role in the killing of so many people is being honored in such an open and public manner,” EJC President Moshe Kantor said. “It is sending a strong message that Jewish lives do not matter.”
“These people were Hungarian citizens so to call this man a Hungarian patriot is simply disturbing and unconscionable.”
“Hungary must do a far better job of dealing with its past and this statue is turning back the clock and engaging in direct Holocaust revisionism by rehabilitating a man with so much blood on his hands,” Kantor said.
A broad coalition of human rights and civil rights organizations from the United States – including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) – and from Hungary have also joined together in denouncing the decision to honor Homan.
‘Seventy years after the end of WWII, the notion that a democratic country – not to mention, the Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – would honor a key figure in the persecution of Hungarian Jews is shameful,’ the coalition said in a statement.
‘Honoring Homan, a man who so vehemently advocated for the subjugation and segregation, and later on the deportation of Hungarian Jewry, sends a hateful message to all communities in Hungarian society as well as to the international community.’
The coalition of organizations urged Huingary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban ‘to uphold his commitment to a zero tolerance policy for anti-Semitism, use all legal means to prevent it from being erected, and ensure that no public funds are contributed to this horrific project.’