US lawmakers welcome Hungary’s decision to cancel statue for Nazi collaborator


WASHINGTON (JTA) – Members of the congressional task force on combating anti-Semitism applauded the decision by the Hungarian government to cancel plans to erect a statue honoring a Nazi collaborator.

The Hungarian government canceled plans for the memorial to Balint Homan, a known anti-Semite and Nazi collaborator, last week. It was to provide the majority of funds for the life-size bronze statue in the central town of Szekesfehevar.

In a statement released Tuesday, the bipartisan U.S. Congressional Task Force for Combatting Anti-Semitism said it hopes the incident “serves as a reminder that the history of the Holocaust must be neither revised nor forgotten and the memory of the millions of victims must never be disrespected.”

Its members previously had sent a letter to Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, to “express our deep concern” over plans to memorialize Homan. The letter pointed out that Homan “spearheaded Hungary’s anti-Jewish legislation and paved the way for deportations of and atrocities against Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust.”

Homan’s actions were responsible for “the deaths of over a half million innocent Hungarians, nearly eradicating Hungary’s pre-war Jewish population,” the lawmakers wrote.

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