Photos of Nazi Victims Defaced at Holocaust Memorial in Hungarian Capital
A Budapest memorial to the Hungarian victims of the Holocaust was vandalized over the weekend, the Hungarian Free Press reported on Sunday.
Images accompanying the report show shredded remains of photos of Holocaust victims that had been part of the Living Memorial, located in Budapest’s Liberty Square.
According to the report, the vandalism occurred just weeks after a threat to destroy the memorial was published on the neo-Nazi Kuruc.info website.
The Living Memorial was set up in 2014 in protest against a “German occupation monument” built by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government, which critics described as an attempt to whitewash the role Hungarian authorities played in the crimes committed by the Nazis. The memorial was established adjacent to the controversial monument.
Over 600,000 Hungarian Jews — around 2/3 of the total Jewish population — were killed during the Holocaust.
Three weeks ago, the Hungarian Free Press report said, a person using the alias Alitea Guzmán wrote on Kuruc.info, “I promise that one night, in the beginning of September, I will walk by the ‘Living Memorial’ and I will pack up four or five kilograms of the display, which legally is considered to be garbage, into a strong bag. And putting that into my car, I will take it to where it belongs. Naturally, I won’t dump it into the Danube, because that is already very polluted.”
Following the vandalism, a statement released by the group that built and maintained the Living Memorial said, “With the exception of a few smaller incidents, respect towards the victims of the Holocaust always protected the memorial from the worst attacks. But yesterday something happened, which until now nobody dared to commit.”
The group filed a police report, but, it said, “We do not expect any meaningful response from the state.”
On Sunday, Sept. 18, the group is planning to hold a flash mob at Liberty Square to “show the provocateurs that we are not afraid.”
As reported by The Algemeiner, a survey commissioned by a Hungarian antisemitism watchdog group found that one-third of the general population in Hungary espouses varying degrees of anti-Jewish attitudes.
Last month, The Algemeiner reported that controversy had erupted in Hungary over the government’s decision to give a prestigious award to a journalist known for making antisemitic and racist comments.