Jobbik MP: Auschwitz museum may not reflect facts

Israeli envoy to Hungary seeks legal opinion after MP Gaudi-Nagy said school children shouldn't be forced to visit site.

May 26, 2013 01:40
1 minute read.
Students participate in March of the Living .

Students participate in March of the living 370. (photo credit: Yossi Zeilger )

Ambassador to Hungary Ilan Mor is consulting with a local lawyer after comments casting doubt on the Holocaust, made by an extreme nationalist lawmaker, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

During a debate in parliament on Thursday, Jobbik MP Tamas Gaudi-Nagy announced that he believed that the museum at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland “may not reflect real facts.”

His comments came during a debate over a proposal to send Hungarian schoolchildren to the camp as part of their education.

Holocaust Remembrance Year in Hungary is coming up in 2014 and there has been discussion in the country regarding the integration of Holocaust education in the curriculum.

The Hungarian news agency MTI reported that Gaudi-Nagy said the site “may not reflect the real facts of history,” and that schools should not be “forced to take up such an expensive venture.”

While Israel has yet to officially respond to Gaudi-Nagy’s statement, one of a long line of proclamations deemed anti-Semitic by both the American State Department and local Jewish community, Mor told the Post that “the embassy is asking a legal opinion and, depending on this, will consider further actions.”

According to Hungarian law, “publicly denying the crimes of National Socialism” is considered a crime. However, Mor said, he has not heard any talk from Hungary’s political classes regarding possible legal action against Gaudi-Nagy.

Dr. Mikecz Peter, a representative of Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Jerusalem for consultations with the Foreign Ministry and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, told the Post on Thursday that Hungary has a “zero-tolerance” policy on anti-Semitism.

Gaudi-Nagy’s statement drew condemnations from Hungary’s ruling party as well as from its leading Jewish group.

“Nobody has the right to question the Holocaust, the suffering and death of millions of people,” the leader of the ruling Fidesz party, Antal Rogan, said in a statement Thursday.

The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, or Mazsihisz, called on “democratic deputies in parliament” to reject Gaudi-Nagy’s remarks and also called on the house speaker “to initiate legal proceedings to restore the reputation of parliament.”

Neither Gaudi-Nagy nor Jobbik responded to requests for comment.

JTA contributed to this report.

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