Hungarian town nixes naming of square for WWII leader Horthy

BUDAPEST, Hungary (JTA) – A town just outside Budapest reversed a decision to name its main square for Hungary’s Nazi-allied World War II leader Miklos Horthy.

The mayor of Gyomro, on the southeast outskirts of the capital, said it had been a “mistake” to rename Freedom Square in honor of Horthy, according to the Hungarian news agency MTI. Levente Gyenes apologized to “anyone hurt by it,” MTI said.

Starting Monday, the town’s council voted this week, the square will be known simply as Main Square.

The 2012 decision to name the square for Horthy, who ruled Hungary from 1920 to 1944, had sparked protests in the town of 15,000. A councilor from the far-right Jobbik party had introduced the motion.

Hungary’s main Jewish organization is boycotting official events marking the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust in the country, citing as one reason the state’s distortion of its Holocaust history, including the role of Horthy’s regime.

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