Budapest Holocaust museum shows pre-Nazi oppresion

A permanent exhibition opening Tuesday at Budapest's Holocaust Memorial Center illustrates how Hungarian political and religious leaders helped lay the groundwork for the persecution of Jews in the decades before the Holocaust. The exhibit goes beyond the Holocaust deaths of the 550,000 Hungarian Jews and 50,000 Roma killed by the Nazis during World War II by illustrating the oppression Jews faced even in the 1920s and 1930s. By touching upon the role Hungarians played in facilitating the Holocaust - instead of simply blaming the Nazis - the collection is expected to cause controversy. Hungary first passed laws limiting Jews' rights in 1920 and by 1938, they were declared second-class citizens as Hungary sought to "curb the expansionist moves of Jews in public life and the economy," according to one of the displays.