Hungary makes historic apology for its role in the Holocaust
Speaking at the United Nations in New York, Hungary has apologized for the first time ever for the role the country played in the Holocaust. News agency MTI reported today that the apology was made last Thursday by the Hungarian Ambassador to the UN, Csaba Körösi.
“Until today at this forum, no one has ever expressed, on behalf of the Hungarian state, its responsibility for its role in the Holocaust,” MTI quoted Ambassador Körösi as saying. The ambassador went on to say he would be making two separate statements of Hungarian responsibility that Thursday.
The ambassador made the apology during an event held at the UN on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust in Hungary, whose victims were Jewish and Romani people. He then repeated it at the opening of an exhibition called “Remembrance of the Holocaust in Hungary” which was put together by various organizations with the participation of the Hungarian mission to the UN.
“We owe the victims an apology because the Hungarian state was guilty of the Holocaust, on the one hand because the state did not manage to protect its citizens from annihilation, and on the other hand because it aided their mass murder and provided financial resources for it,” Körösi said during a press conference at the New York headquarters of the United Nations to launch a series of events dedicated to the Holocaust. Hungary is commemorating the 70th anniversary this year of the transport of more than 430 000 Hungarian Jews to the Nazi death camps, deportations that began shortly after the German invasion of the country.
The problem of anti-Semitism is currently alive again in Hungary due to the controversial ultra-right Jobbik movement there. Its members reject Hungary’s responsibility for the murder of Jewish people during WWII and are notorious for making anti-Semitic declarations.
Recently the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán generated even more bad blood with a plan to erect a large monument in Budapest to be unveiled on the anniversary of the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944. Representatives of Hungary’s Jewish communities protested the move, which critics consider part of efforts to obscure the responsibility of the former representatives of Hungary and its local security forces at the time for the deportation of the Jews.
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