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12th district mayor praised for confronting family history

January 23rd, 2020

A rabbi welcomes Budapest 12th district mayor Zoltán Pokorni’s courage in facing up to his family history and publicly discussing his grandfather’s involvement in the murder of Jews in World War Two.

Zoltán Pokorni, former Fidesz President and Mayor of the 12th district in Budapest learned recently that his grandfather participated in the murder of Jews in 1944. Struggling to hold back his tears at a public commemoration of the victims, Mayor Pokorni spoke about the crimes of his grandfather. He underscored that both the perpetrators and the victims were Hungarians, and therefore the murder of Hungarian Jews should be considered as part of Hungary’s national history. He noted that those who participated in the murder of Jews cannot be acquitted by blaming the horrors on the invasion of the country by Nazi Germany. Zoltán Pokorni also ordered the removal of his grandfather’s name from a local memorial commemorating the victims of World War Two.

On Index, Rabbi Zoltán Radnóti praises the district mayor for confessing his grandfather’s involvement in the murder of Budapest Jews in Nazi occupied Hungary. Radnóti agrees with Pokorni that the Hungarian Holocaust is part of the national history. He welcomes Pokorni’s effort to face his family history and acknowledge his grandfather’s involvement in horrific crimes. Radnóti thinks that facing the past and underscoring the common Hungarian identity of victims and perpetrators facilitates reconciliation and strengthens national solidarity.

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