Hungarian Jewish leader Gusztav Zoltai resigns

By JTA
April 10, 2014 21:50

 
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Gusztav Zoltai, the director of Hungary’s federation of Jewish communities, or Mazsihisz, resigned in what community leaders said was a protest against the government over Holocaust commemorations.

But Szombat, the Hungarian Jewish newspaper, published an article on Wednesday alleging that Zoltai quit because of financial irregularities connected with Budapest’s main Jewish cemetery on Kozma Street and other affairs.Zoltai, who is in his 70s, has served as Mazsihisz’s director since the early 1990s. Mazsihisz has accused the government of promoting plans that whitewash Hungarian Holocaust-era complicity.



Zoltai “and all Holocaust survivors are frustrated by what is happening in public life,” Mazsihisz President Andras Heisler said in an interview Wednesday for the ATV news station.

In the interview Heisler — a reform-minded leader who took the helm last year following a no-confidence vote that ended his predecessor’s term — denied the claims about Zoltai in the Szombat article. But a source who is familiar with internal processes within Mazsihisz told JTA on condition of anonymity that ascribing Zoltai’s resignation to the commemoration issues was designed to allow Zoltai a dignified way out.

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