As proud Hungarian-Americans and as longtime activists in the fight against rising anti-Semitism, we are calling on the Hungarian government to forcefully and unequivocally oppose the plans to erect a statue of Bálint Hóman in the city of Székesfehérvár later this month. Hóman was a Hungarian government minister who spearheaded Hungary’s anti-Jewish legislation and, in 1944, called for the deportation of Hungarian Jews. In fact, over 400,000 innocent Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz in that year and Hóman shares shameful moral responsibility for the tragic events during this dark chapter of Hungary’s history.
We wholeheartedly echo the outrage expressed by many organizations and citizens of conscience who have spoken out against this proposed statue. The US House of Representatives Bipartisan Task Force for Combatting Anti-Semitism has expressed its “deep concern” about the statue and has called on the Hungarian government to “publicly condemn Hóman’s role in the persecution and deportation of innocent Hungarians”. We add our voice to theirs in asking the government of Hungary to make it absolutely clear, in word and deed, that they oppose this monument and any efforts to rehabilitate or whitewash the terrible legacy of Bálint Hóman. It will not be sufficient for the government to suggest that this is a matter of local concern and control. The honor and reputation of the Hungarian people cannot be held hostage to the reprehensible decision of local officials to honor a man whose legacy is stained with the blood of thousands of innocent victims of the Holocaust.
President of the Hungarian American Coalition
Katrina Lantos Swett
President of the Lantos Foundation