JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today issued a statement of support for the strong protest by the leadership of the Hungarian non-Orthodox Jewish communities (Mazsihisz) against efforts by the Hungarian government’s “Veritas Institute” to falsify the narrative of the Holocaust in Hungary and attempt to hide the important role played by locals in the mass murder of Hungarian Jewry.
In a statement issued here today by its Israel director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center expressed its strong opposition to the recent statement by Veritas Institute director Sandor Szakaly, who referred to the summer 1941 deportation of about 16,000-18,000 Jews from Hungary to Kamenets-Podolsk (now Kamianets-Podilskyi) in German-occupied Ukraine, where the overwhelming majority were murdered, as a “police action against aliens,” when in reality it was clearly a crime against humanity and the initial massacre of the Holocaust of Hungarian Jewry.
The Wiesenthal Center also expressed support for the call by Mazsihisz to all politicians to refrain from abusing the 70th anniversary of the mass deportations of Hungarian Jewry to Auschwitz in the upcoming elections and for a halt to falsifying the past in a disrespectful manner which will destroy the credibility of the events scheduled during 2014 to mark the tragedy.
Zuroff commented that
“The recent attempts to rewrite the history of the Holocaust, which have become extremely common in post-Communist Eastern Europe, and especially in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Romania, and Croatia, are an insult to the memory of the victims of the Nazis and their numerous local volunteer collaborators, as well as to those who fought to save Europe from Nazism.
“The fact that all these countries are currently members of the European Union should be an embarassment to Brussels, but in the meantime, almost nothing is being done by the EU to stop the rewriting of the accepted narrative of the World War II and the Holocaust. A failure to do so, will doom Europe to a resurgence of fascism, along with a rise in xenophobia, racism, hate crimes and anti-Semitism.”