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Thursday, April 17, 2014 | return to: news & features, international


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Hungarian Jewish leader resigns

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Gusztav Zoltai, the director of Hungary’s federation of Jewish communities, or Mazsihisz, resigned in what community leaders said was a protest against the government over Holocaust commemorations.

But Szombat, the Hungarian Jewish newspaper, published an article on April 9 alleging that Zoltai quit because of financial irregularities connected with Budapest’s main Jewish cemetery and other affairs.

Zoltai, who is in his 70s, has served as Mazsihisz’s director since the early 1990s. Mazsihisz has accused the government of promoting plans that whitewash Hungarian Holocaust-era complicity.

Zoltai “and all Holocaust survivors are frustrated by what is happening in public life,” Mazsihisz president Andras Heisler said in a recent TV interview.

The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban is planning to commemorate the invasion of Germany into Hungary 70 years ago by unveiling a statue of an angel being attacked by an eagle — imagery that Mazsihisz and other critics said whitewashed the complicity of Hungary’s pro-Nazi government in the murder of approximately 586,000 Jews during the Holocaust. — jta


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