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Anti-Semitism

US joins international protest over statue in Hungary to antisemitic politician

A life-size bronze statue of Balint Homan, architect of anti-Jewish laws, has been planned for the city of Szekesfehervar

Balint Homan Hungaria pro nazi

A Hungarian privately-run foundation plans to erect a statue honoring 130th anniversary of a World War II government minister who pushed for the slaughter of Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

The private group behind the statue, the Balint Homan Foundation, whose its members are linked to the far-right Jobbik party, has received both state and municipal funding for the statue.

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The life-size bronze statue of Balint Homan, has been planned for the city of Szekesfehervar. It is scheduled to be unveiled 29 December.

“Honoring a man like that, we are shocked by it, ” U.S. special envoy for anti-Semitism Ira Forman said Sunday in Budapest.

“From the U.S. government perspective, we feel very strongly that history and the damage that this man did to Hungarian citizens who happened to be Jewish cannot be ignored, ” Forman told Reuters.

Forman joined Israeli and Canadian diplomats and members of the Hungarian Jewish community in lighting candles on the eighth and final night of the ancient Jewish festival of Hanukkah Sunday. All of them openly denounced plans for the Homan statue.

Homan was a Hungarian minister of religion and education in the pro-Nazi government. He was responsible for many of the country’s anti-Jewish laws, along with plans to deport Hungarian Jews to Nazi death camps.

Homan was arrested after the war and died in prison in 1951.

Reuters reports that the town’s mayor, who initially did not object, is now urging the foundation to rethink its plans or repay the public funding it got if it goes ahead.

Several ministers with the right-wing Fidesz party also say they object.

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