Jewish officials say Hungary’s Holocaust museum to address complicity
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Jewish officials say Hungary’s Holocaust museum to address complicity

Presentation suggests the museum will deal with Hungary’s collaboration with Nazi Germany during the Holocaust –

Budapest's Holocaust memorial. Shoes on the river bank
Budapest's Holocaust memorial. Shoes on the river bank

Hungary’s Holocaust museum will deal with the complicity in the genocide of that country’s pro-Nazi rulers, the managers of the controversial institution said.

A delegation from EMIH, a Chabad-affiliated Hungarian Organisation, is on Monday set to unveil for the first time their vision for and some content from Budapest’s House of Fates museum to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA.

A copy of the presentation, seen by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, suggests the museum will deal with Hungary’s collaboration with Nazi Germany during the Holocaust – a major point of contention that has kept the museum closed for years past its scheduled opening date.

The museum will treat “popular support of Fascist movements” in Hungary and Europe “as a response to a perceived Communist threat,” reads the document for the presentation in Luxembourg, with is the rotating head of IHRA.

The museum, an 80,000 square-foot space featuring a recreated forced labour camp, will “take care to avoid trivialising and politicising difficult questions of morality and responsibility when dealing with topics such as action and inaction, complicity and defiance,” EMIH wrote.

EMIH in September took over from the government managing the museum, which costs £15.8m ($20 million) to construct.

The government put EMIH in charge following a boycott on the museum before it even opened by several Jewish groups and Yad Vashem, Israel’s state museum on the Holocaust, amid speculation that it would whitewash Hungarian complicity.

Expectations for House of Fates’ opening vary from six months to two years, according to the document.

Ambassador Georges Santer, IHRA Chair, said: IHRA expects that the voices of all concerned Jewish communities in Hungary will be heard and that their input will be taken seriously.

We welcomed the clear assurance by Rabbi Shlomo Köves (Chabad EMIH Jewish Federation in Hungary) and the Minister of State, that a highly controversial historian who had been involved in the drafting of an earlier concept had played no role in developing the new vision for the House of Fates and that this person would not be involved in the initiative moving forward.

Hungary, as one of our 33 Member Countries, has committed itself to upholding the terrible truth of the Holocaust against those who deny or distort it. We look forward to supporting Hungary in its efforts to present a nuanced and self-critical history of the Holocaust in Hungary.”

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