New York, NY, December 18, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the halt of a plan to erect a statue honoring Balint Homan, a notorious anti-Semite who served as a minister of religion and education in Hungary in the 1930s and 1940s and was a key figure in the persecution and deportation of Hungarian Jews during World War II.
The initiative to honor Homan by erecting a statue in the city of Szekesfehervar, about 40 miles from Budapest, drew opposition from members of Congress and the U.S. administration and a coalition of Jewish and non-Jewish American and Hungarian civil and human rights groups.
Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, and Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
We welcome the decision to withdraw this honor from an unabashed Nazi supporter and anti-Semite who was responsible for deporting Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. And we are especially gratified by the diversity of government and civil society stakeholders who came together to express their moral outrage.
We commend the efforts of U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Ira Forman, and those lawmakers who demonstrated America’s commitment to mobilize a strong moral voice against anti-Semitism.
We salute those civil society voices who came together to demonstrate that all communities share a stake in pushing back against anti-Semitism and the hatred that honoring a Nazi sympathizer symbolizes.
In July, ADL called on the Hungarian government to cancel the plans to erect the statue. Earlier this week, ADL joined in a public statement with a broad coalition of human and civil rights organizations to denounce the decision to honor Homan.