New York, NY, December 15, 2015 … A broad coalition of human rights and civil rights organizations from the United States – including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights – and Hungary – including the Action and Protection Foundation (TEV), the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ), Romaversitas, and Hatter – have joined together in denouncing the decision to honor Balint Homan, a notorious anti-Semitic politician.
Plans are currently underway for the construction of a statue in the city of Székesfehérvár in honor of Homan, who served as Hungarian Minister of Religion and Education during World War II under the anti-Semitic Horthy regime.
The coalition issued the following statement:
As organizations from both Hungary and the United States that work to fight discrimination and bigotry and to protect the civil and human rights of all, we join together in solidarity to denounce the dedication of a life-size statue to Balint Homan, a staunch anti-Semite responsible for proposing and advocating laws to degrade and deprive Hungarian Jews of any rights during World War II.
Seventy years after the end of World War II, the notion that a democratic country – not to mention, the Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – would honor a key figure in the persecution of Hungarian Jews is shameful. While Homan’s academic contributions as a historian are notable, his bigoted, anti-Semitic, and hateful policies disqualify him from being celebrated for any reason.
Honoring Homan, a man who so vehemently advocated for the subjugation and segregation, and later on the deportation of Hungarian Jewry, sends a hateful message to all communities in Hungarian society as well as to the international community.
Our organizations represent diverse civil society in both Hungary and the United States. However, we are bound together in our understanding of the danger of honoring xenophobes, let alone dedicating a public memorial to one.
We urge Prime Minister Orban to uphold his commitment to a zero tolerance policy for anti-Semitism, use all legal means to prevent it from being erected, and ensure that no public funds are contributed to this horrific project.