NEW YORK (Feb. 1)
Hungary would consider reparations to victims of Nazism and other persecutees, but financial burdens preclude it from happening now, the president of the Hungarian Parliament, Istvan Fodor, said here Wednesday.
“Our final determination of this issue is only dependent on our financial capabilities,” he said at a news conference at the Pierre Hotel, before a benefit dinner of the Emanuel Foundation for Hungarian Culture.
He admitted that Hungary was largely silent about the collaboration of many Hungarians with Nazis during the Holocaust.
But discussing reparations to the victims of Nazism is no longer taboo, he said.
“We are touching here on an issue that for a long time was even forbidden to mention,” he said.
It is “a question which is very much” in the area of discussion “of the Hungarian government, the Hungarian Parliament, as well as public opinion.
“I must admit and add that the consequences of the Holocaust” affected “not only the victims of Nazism but also those who fell victim to other events after Nazism,” including the deportations of Hungarians to the Soviet Union, Fodor said.
“A great number of people were severely persecuted. An offer of proper reparations for them has not been taken,” he said.
Speaking “not in my official capacity” but as an ordinary citizen, Fodor denied there is anti-Semitism in Hungary now but admitted he could be wrong.
He explained that Hungarian law forbids racial or religious persecution and imposes substantial punishment for such acts.