For the first time since the fall of communism a high-ranking government official has acknowledged that “the Hungarian State was also responsible for the Holocaust”.
In his opening speech to World Jewish Congress delegates in Budapest on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics said it was not until 1990 that Hungarians “were able to confront the fact that the government had turned on its citizens and had even helped with their destruction”.
Before that they had been taught that an “isolated class of people”, specifically “Horthy fascists”, was responsible for the Holocaust. “What they didn’t teach us we must teach our children,” said Navracsics.
The purpose of the two-day conference, “Jewish Life and Anti-Semitism in Contemporary Europe”, was to discuss possible responses to an alarming increase in anti-Jewish attitudes in Europe and particularly in Hungary.
(Photo: Holocaust memorial at the synagogue in Budapest: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)