Press Releases 2014
United States Embassy Statement Encouraging Dialogue
April 22, 2014
The United States has supported the desire of the Hungarian government and society to commemorate the events of 70 years ago when Nazi forces and their Hungarian allies rounded up and deported Hungarian Jews, Roma, and other minorities. We have, however, noted significant concerns raised within Hungarian society to government proposals related to this anniversary year, among them its plans for a new museum and a memorial to the “victims of the German occupation of Hungary.” Hungarians from all walks of life, Jewish organizations, civil society groups and Hungary’s international partners have expressed reservations about these plans.
The government had indicated in February it would resume dialogue after Easter with stakeholders concerned about Memorial Year plans. The government also communicated that it was postponing completion of the Memorial until the end of May 2014. Constructive engagement between a government and its citizens is a hallmark of good democratic governance, and we were encouraged by promises of dialogue. Following the government’s election victory, genuine dialogue would demonstrate the government’s commitment to discussing openly and transparently important issues even with those who may at times disagree with the government position.
As a fellow democracy, we continue to urge the government to seek an honest, open, and factual assessment of the Holocaust in Hungary. This includes soliciting and considering the opinions of all segments of Hungarian society, and especially those who are rightly most sensitive to the government’s plans during this 70th anniversary year.