Hungary’s Holocaust museum will address complicity, Jewish managers say

The museum will treat “popular support of Fascist movements” in Hungary and Europe “as a response to a perceived Communist threat.”

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ/JTA
June 4, 2019 04:17
1 minute read.
A World War Two memorial of mass killings on the banks of the Danube River is seen in Budapest, Febr

A World War Two memorial of mass killings on the banks of the Danube River is seen in Budapest, February 11, 2014. A main Jewish group in Hungary has recently voted to boycott official Holocaust commemorations this year unless they more clearly show the role of local citizens in the Nazi deportation. (photo credit: REUTERS/BERNADETT SZABO)

 
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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 organization, 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 labor camp, will “take care to avoid trivializing and politicizing 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 $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.

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