Protesters with a huge mirror at the monument for the victims of Nazi occupation in downtown Budapest | Zoltán Máthé / MTI

Controversial monument not inaugurated

July 22, 2014

A monument that the Hungarian government says is that of the victims of the Nazi occupation in Hungary was completed under the cover of darkness in downtown Budapest in order to avoid protests. The government says there will be no inauguration.

As described by the website Hungarian Spectrum, "the monument depicts Hungary in the guise of the Archangel Gabriel as an innocent victim of German aggression when, in fact, Hungary was an ally of Nazi Germany. By extension, the present Hungarian government puts the blame for the Hungarian Holocaust entirely on Germany, although they do admit that some civil servants shamefully collaborated with the commandos of Adolf Eichmann."

The main part of the statue that many say is aimed at diminishing the Hungarian role in ordering the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews in World War II was put in place with heavy police presence at dawn. With the news spreading, protetors appeared and threw eggs at the memorial.

In the lack of an inauguration ceremony, presumably not held due to the protests, Prime Minister Victor Orbán issued a statement, which says that "we installed a public work of art, the mission of which is to express the pain and ordeal that the Hungarian nation experienced and suffered as a result of losing its freedom."


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