Roskam, bipartisan task force applaud decision to stop construction of Hóman statue

A decision to cancel the construction of a statue in Hungary to a known anti-Semite and Nazi-collaborator was applauded on Tuesday by the co-chairs of the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combatting Anti-Semitism.

The majority of the funds for the statue of Bálint Hóman, a wartime political leader whose actions resulted in the near destruction of the Jewish population in Hungary during the Holocaust, were provided by Hungary’s government.

“We have learned through Hungary’s embassy in Washington that the civil-society organization responsible for the Hóman statue has canceled the project,” the co-chairs said. “We applaud this decision and hope it serves as a reminder that the history of the Holocaust must be neither revised nor forgotten and the memory of the millions of victims must never be disrespected. We are also pleased by the advocacy of the U.S. government, as well as many U.S. civil-society organizations, in conveying America’s principled and unambiguous stand against anti-Semitism and objecting to the plans for constructing the statue.”

The co-chairs raised concerns about the statue of Hóman in a Dec. 4 letter to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The letter called on Orbán to stop construction of the statue in the city of Székesfehérvár, Hungary. The letter was signed by U.S. Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Kay Granger (R-TX), Steve Israel (D-NY), Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL).

“Your words set a strong example and have a real effect on whether the scourge of anti-Semitism is on the rise or retreat in your country,” the letter said. “To that end, we urge you to publicly condemn Hóman’s role in the persecution of innocent Hungarians and to withdraw government funding for the construction of this or any statue in his honor. Doing so will send a clear and needed signal to those who would seek to forget the past or see it repeated, and it would be especially timely as Hungary concludes its chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.”

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