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American Embassy on the Nazi Occupation Memorial

April 24th, 2014

A leftist daily describes a statement issued by the US Embassy as another clear warning to the government, while its right-wing counterpart finds it strange that a the Embassy takes a view of a Hungarian issue.

The US Embassy in Budapest issued a statement on 22 April urging the government to engage in dialogue with the critics of the Monument to the Victims of Nazi Occupation, which is under construction in Szabadság (Freedom) Square, close to the American Embassy, opposite the Soviet memorial column. (See BudaPost April 12)

In its lead story, Népszava interprets the statement as another in a series of warnings to the government. They quote former Socialist Foreign Minister, László Kovács who describes it as “a polite but firm warning” and not the first addressed to PM Orbán. Népszava recalls critical statements by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Ambassador Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis over the past two years.

In her front page piece in Magyar Nemzet, Ágnes Győr finds it curious that the Embassy issued this statement at all. She deems it hypocritical to claim, as some protestors do, that the Nazi invasion was not the main event behind the Holocaust, since MAZSIHISZ, the Association of Jewish Religious Communities holds remembrance events on the anniversary of the invasion every year and its general secretary is on record as saying that it was that invasion that sealed the fate of Hungarian Jewry. She also remarks that the US Embassy “failed to respond to a question put by this newspaper” on a call from the editor of “American Népszava” (a leftist online newspaper edited in the United States),” to blow up the monument on Szabadság Square.

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