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East European Perspectives: October 31, 2001

31 October 2001, Volume 3, Number 19
HUNGARY AND THE HOLOCAUST: The Nationalist Drive To Whitewash The Past (Part 2)*

The Post-Communist Era

Since the triumph of democracy in 1989, the Holocaust has emerged as an "embarrassing" topic for the various governments that succeeded the Communist regime. Driven largely by domestic and international political considerations, the elected national leaders of the new democratic society have publicly acknowledged the wartime tragedy of the Jews and committed themselves, especially during the Holocaust remembrance periods, to combat the scourge of anti-Semitism. With a few exceptions, however, they have so far failed to come to grips with Hungary's wartime record. They have failed to confront the Holocaust openly and honestly, let alone publicly assume national responsibility or apologize for it.

The historical memory of the Holocaust is clearly under siege. Given the political climate of the post-1989 era, including the absence of unambiguous and unequivocal moral guidance on the Holocaust, the history cleansers appear to have been given the green light to "safeguard the national honor of Hungary" by absolving it of any responsibility for the catastrophe that befell Hungarian Jewry. Under control during the Communist era, the controversy over the Jewish question in general and the Holocaust in particular surfaced almost immediately after the systemic change. It became particularly venomous following the publication of a statement by Sandor Csoori, one of Hungary's most celebrated writers, claiming, among other things, that "liberal Hungarian Jewry wanted to 'assimilate' the Magyars in style and thought." The implicit claim that the surviving remnant of Hungarian Jewry was a threat to the Christian Magyars was reminiscent of the anti-Jewish campaign of the Horthy era (Csoori, 1990, p. 6).

The history cleansers of the post-Communist era appear to have been encouraged, indirectly at least, by some of the judicial decisions and governmental policies that impacted negatively on the historical memory of the Holocaust and the interests of the Jewish community. These included:

-- Judicial revision of the People's Tribunals Act and the subsequent reversal of verdicts in many war-crimes cases;

-- Inequitable and demeaning handling of restitution and reparation;

-- Difficulties relating to the acquisition and transfer of archival materials; and

-- Plans for a new exhibition at the Hungarian pavilion in Auschwitz.

The historical memory of numerous survivors was jolted early on 11 January 1994, when the Constitutional Court ("Alkotmanybirosag") that was established in late 1989 adopted its Decision No. 2 of that year ("Az Alkotmanybirosag hatarozatai," 1994), nullifying many provisions of the People's Tribunals Act (Law no. VII of 1945) relating to the establishment and operation of the people's courts. As a result, the conviction of many individuals involved in the Final Solution was reversed. Arguing that the wartime activities of the convicted individuals were not deemed criminally punishable at the time of their commission, the court enabled the rehabilitation of many of those who were involved in the roundup, expropriation, ghettoization, and deportation of the Jews.

Another setback endured by the survivors related to the inequitable handling of the issue of restitution and reparation. The successive Hungarian governments since 1945 have failed to come to grips with this issue. Citing a variety of domestic economic and political factors, they handled this matter in a dilatory manner while the rightful owners of the properties expropriated by the Hungarian state in 1944 were gradually dying out. While the various Communist regimes ignored the issue almost altogether, citing the requirements of socialist construction, the post-Communist regimes became preoccupied with compensating the victims of Communism. The overshadowing of the Holocaust by a politically guided preoccupation with the horrors of the Communist era has led, among other things, to giving priority to the compensation of the victims of Communism over those of Nazism. To add insult to injury, an indeterminate number of the Christian victims who were compensated for properties nationalized by the Communist regime had, in fact, "legally" or fraudulently acquired them from Jews during the Nazi era. Compounding this virtual obscenity, the government of Viktor Orban sought in late 1998 to ease the collective conscience of the nation by offering to compensate survivors by paying approximately $150 for each member of their particular immediate families, provided they can prove that their loved ones were in fact victims of the Holocaust.

From the point of view of scholarship, perhaps the greatest challenge to the preservation and perpetuation of the historical memory of the Holocaust was provided by the many judicial acts and governmental regulations that virtually prohibited the acquisition of pertinent archival materiel and its transfer abroad. The "personal data protection" provisions of various legislative acts and judicial decisions, presumably designed to protect public officials who had formerly been associated with either the Nazi-collaborationist or the Communist regime, impose considerable restrictions on the activities of scholars, especially foreign nationals (Varga, 2001, pp. 159-199).

The frustration over the failure to acquire Holocaust-related documentation from Hungary has been felt not only by individual scholars but also by world-renowned archival and research centers such as Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Miles Lerman, then chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, expressed this frustration in a letter addressed to Orban on 17 June 1999. Among other things, he stated: "After several rounds of discussions with Hungarian officials and archivists and a series of unfortunate experiences, we have reached the regrettable conclusion that Hungary has failed to cooperate with the Museum in its efforts and stands nearly alone among countries in Europe in its failing to make available its records on the Holocaust."

The most scandalous assault on historical memory was launched in 1999, however, in connection with a plan initiated by several governmental agencies to "update" the Holocaust-related exhibit in the Hungarian pavilion in Auschwitz. The original plan called for merely reconstructing the exhibit, which had originally been built by -- and allegedly reflected the position of -- the Communists. However, the experts in the Ministry of Culture subsequently decided to shelve the reconstruction plan altogether and create a new exhibit that was to be opened with appropriate pomp and circumstance by Orban on 9 May 2000. The ministry entrusted the planning and creation of the new exhibit to the Hungarian National Museum. The head of the museum, Tibor Kovacs, apparently had no problem in finding the "right person" for the job: Istvan Ihasz, the chief of the Museum's Contemporary History Division. An unabashed rightist, Ihasz had already established his nationalist credentials as the creator of the museum's highly controversial "Twentieth Century Hungary" exhibit, which is still one of the museum's most popular exhibits. In my assessment and that of many other scholars, it virtually glorifies the Horthy era and denigrates the tragedy of Hungarian Jewry.

Ihasz began working on the new assignment in December 1998, preparing a script and collecting the visual and archival materials he wanted to use in the new pavilion. He pursued his task with the assistance of a committee of three experts: Maria Schmidt, a chief counselor to the prime minister; Tamas Stark, an associate of the Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; and Jozsef Schweitzer, the chief rabbi of Hungary. The first draft of the script was finished early in the spring of 1998. Following the experts' input during several consultations, a second draft -- dated 9 April 1999, and bearing the names of the three experts -- was forwarded to the Ministry of Culture early in June. Apparently convinced that the main purpose of the script was informational rather than educational, Ihasz reportedly recommended that no further experts be consulted. The ministry, however, followed a more cautious approach and forwarded the script for evaluation to Szabolcs Szita, the chief historian of the Hungarian Auschwitz Foundation of Budapest; Ilona Radnoti, the historian associated with the Janus Pannonius Museum of Pecs; and Robert Turan, the head of the Jewish Museum of Budapest. Shocked after its first reading, Turan decided to forward copies of the draft to Laszlo Karsai, a leading expert on the Holocaust, and Emil Horn, an expert with many museum exhibits to his credit, for their reaction and input.

The reaction of all five experts was prompt and virtually unanimous. They individually concluded that the script (a) basically falsified the history of the Jews in Hungary in general and the Holocaust era in particular and (b) appeared to have a political objective: the rehabilitation of the Horthy era by transferring almost all responsibility for whatever crimes were committed in Hungary almost exclusively to the Germans. In connection with the pre-Holocaust era, for example, the planned exhibit failed to deal with various aspects of the anti-Jewish drive, including the anti-Semitic manifestations of the pre-World War I era; the agitation of the so-called Patriotic Associations; the pogroms by the counterrevolutionary forces during the White Terror; the enactment of ever harsher anti-Jewish laws; the shared responsibility of the Christian churches for reinforcing the climate of anti-Semitism by approving the adoption of virtually all anti-Jewish measures; the inequities of the forced labor service system; the deportation and subsequent murder of close to 18,000 "alien" Jews in the summer of 1941; and the mass murder of Jews during the so-called Delvidek raids early in 1942.

The planned exhibit also attempted to portray a veritable symbiosis of Hungarian and Jewish life since the emancipation of the Jews in 1867, downplaying the many anti-Jewish acts and manifestations as mere aberrations in the otherwise enlightened history of Hungary. It focused attention on the positive aspects of Jewish life in the country, emphasizing the flourishing of the Jewish community between 1867 and 1944, the rescue activities of those identified as Righteous Among the Nations, and Horthy's saving of the Jews of Budapest.

Almost three weeks after these reports were forwarded to the leadership of the Jewish community, the chief rabbi decided to resign from Ihasz's committee. Stark, reportedly upset that his name appeared on the second draft of the script without his authorization, informed Maria Schmidt about his displeasure. Only Schmidt is reported to have expressed her basic satisfaction with the unfortunate script. Ihasz, for his part, must have felt vindicated. He received a prestigious state award on 20 August, a national holiday, on the recommendation of the prime minister's office.

The Ministry of Culture decided to shelve the plan in early September 1999 when "Nepszabadsag," which is Hungary's most influential daily newspaper, revealed the Jewish community's unhappiness with it, provoking a national debate about the scandal. It should be said that Tamas Stark denied seeing that version of the document before it was submitted. Stark, for one, has himself criticized that version, and the rabbi withdrew from the committee. At the request of the Ministry of Culture, another script was prepared with the cooperation of Ferenc Szikossy, a museum specialist associated with the Hungarian National Museum, and Szabolcs Szita, one of the main critics of the original text. It was made public in late September 2000. While better than the first version, the second, too, suffers from many shortcomings.

In a related matter, the Hungarian authorities also appear to delude domestic and international public opinion by their alleged dedication to bring about the establishment of a Holocaust Museum in Budapest. Toward this end they promised to help reconstruct the former synagogue on Pava Street, but have so far placed only minimal means at the disposal of the project. According to some well informed sources, the Orban government's objectives in connection with the planned Holocaust Museum are twofold: firstly, by providing financial support, it will presumably arrogate the right to influence, if not determine, the content of the exhibit; and, secondly, it can be used as justification for a lavishly financed new museum dedicated to the victims of Communism located at 60 Andrassy Road, the former headquarters of the dreaded Nazi-type Arrow Cross ("Nyilas") and, after the war, the feared Communist secret police.

While the planned Pava Street museum is generally expected to deflect attention from Hungary's responsibility for the Holocaust by placing almost exclusive blame on the Germans, the Andrassy Road museum is designed to perpetuate the memory of the victims of Communism at the expense of the infinitely larger number of victims of the Nazis and their Hungarian accomplices. The drive to juxtapose and counterbalance the Nazi and Communist dictatorships apparently aims to "demonstrate," among other things, that "the Jewish persecutions were a response to the Red Terror of 1919, and that Jews led the Communist state in the 1950s and took a disproportionate revenge on the Hungarians." Reportedly, the new museum glosses over the fact that many of the victims of Communism were in fact Jews who were persecuted not only for the sins of Zionism and cosmopolitanism, but also for their religious and class affiliations.

The new museum appears not only to honor those who lost their lives during the uprising against Soviet tyranny, but also to advance a contemporary political agenda. In some respect it is part and parcel of the nationalist drive to rewrite Hungary's history and to bring about the rehabilitation of the Horthy era. The history cleansers appear to be working in tandem with those dedicated to the re-creation of a national-Christian Hungary -- a course through which "conservative Hungarians would once again be proud of their past." The cleansing of the Horthy era requires, almost by definition, the whitewashing of the Holocaust. The techniques used by the Hungarian history cleansers are almost identical with those used by their counterparts elsewhere in former Nazi-dominated Europe.

The most frequently and effectively used technique is that of "denationalization," which constitutes absolving the nation of any guilt by transferring responsibility for the Holocaust exclusively to the Germans. The history cleansers who are championing this approach give no credence to the evidence that the Germans would have been largely helpless without the full and wholehearted cooperation of the Hungarians. The few among them who admit that the anti-Jewish excesses were in fact also committed by some Hungarians consider the tragedy of Jewry as an aberration in Hungarian history and blame almost exclusively the "Nyilas," the Right radicals whom the Horthyite aristocratic-conservative regime had feared even more than they did the Jews. By blaming the "Nyilas" alone, these cleansers apparently aim not only to protect the historical integrity of the Horthy era but also to bring about the rehabilitation of the Regent, a process that actually began with the reburial of his remains in early September 1993 (Braham, 1993).

The Horthy apologists overlook the historical evidence that the liquidation of Hungarian Jewry took place with the consent and cooperation of a stable, non-"Nyilas" government that was formally and constitutionally appointed by the Regent while he was still head of state. While Hitler and his cohorts sympathized with the ideological purity of the Arrow Cross ("Nyilas") Party, they clearly preferred the stability and support of the Horthy-appointed government, which was a "legitimate" body that was dedicated not only to the continuation of the war but to the "solution" of the Jewish question as well. They decided to embrace the "Nyilas" only on 15 October 1944, when Horthy announced Hungary's withdrawal from the Axis and asked for an armistice.

In their drive to deflect attention from the Hungarians' responsibility for the tragedy of the Jews, many history cleansers also resort to a variety of disingenuous explanations. Some go so far as to identify the Jews themselves as primarily responsible for their own tragic fate. The most disgusting among the cleansers claim that the Holocaust was in fact intentionally brought about by rich Jews who had supported Hitler (Monus, 1996, p. 366). Others, including Istvan Jani, the former gendarmerie captain in charge of a unit guarding the ghetto of Szombathely, in an apparent attempt to deflect attention from their own involvement in the anti-Jewish drive, blame the Jewish Councils for the suffering the Jews endured in the ghettos (Duna TV, 6 December 1998).

Another favorite history-cleansing technique is that of "generalization." This approach is used by those claiming that the tragedy of the Jews was part and parcel of the general catastrophic consequences of a war in which many others suffered as well. Some even find a linkage between the tragedy of the Jews and the trauma endured by Hungary at Trianon. Others, who are eager to disclaim Hungary's 1936�1945 pro-German stance, argue that the country was in fact Nazi Germany's last victim rather than its last ally. In this revised version of history, the Hungarian people also are identified as victims themselves who suffered as much, if not more, than the Jews.

Insisting on the commonality of suffering, many history cleansers have dedicated themselves to the preservation of "collective" historical memory. They generalize the Holocaust by amalgamating the losses of Jewry with those incurred by the military forces and civilian population during the war. Thus the many memorial plaques, monuments, and books dedicated to communal casualties transmogrify Holocaust victims into war casualties. The equation of the martyrdom of armed soldiers -- who died as heroes in the service of their country, and of Christian civilians, who were killed in the wake of the hostilities -- with that of the Jews, who were murdered irrespective of their age or sex, is often politically motivated. This approach enables history cleansers to demonstrate that the combined military-civilian casualties incurred during the Holocaust by the Christian population far exceeded those suffered by the Jews. Many communities in Hungary have erected plaques and monuments honoring the local martyrs of the war, listing them alphabetically irrespective of the circumstances of their death. With this approach, which amalgamates Jewish and non-Jewish civilians into a single category, the authors of memorial works can demonstrate that the number of Christian casualties was higher than that endured by the Jews. In the case of Somogy county, for example, some historians were able to show that Christians suffered almost three times as many casualties as the Jews during the war (Szabo and Szily, 1993, pp. 179-536).

Still another technique frequently employed by history cleansers is that of "trivialization and relativization." Denying the uniqueness of the Holocaust, the destruction of the Jews is viewed as just another chapter in the long history of man's inhumanity to man. The apparent main objective of this group of cleansers is to safeguard Hungary's honor by demonstrating not only that the Holocaust, to the extent that it took place, was in fact preceded by other examples of mass murder (e.g., the massacre of Indians in the Americas and the genocide of the Armenians by the Turks), but also and above all that the destruction of the Jews was dwarfed in scope and magnitude by the atrocities committed by Communist regimes the world over. In this context, many in this group also argue that the Jewish suffering, like that of many other ethnic-national groups, was war-related. Champions of this group argue, among other things, that the suffering of the Jews was due to the fact that they had sided with the Allies and actually participated in revolts in many ghettos and concentration camps. One of the most ardent spokesmen of this position is Istvan Lovas, an unsavory character who articulates the most viciously anti-American and anti-Israeli views in contemporary Hungary. (Lovas, 1999). In September 2001, he echoed the views of the Islamic fundamentalist extremists by blaming the United States and Israel for the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington (Lovas, 2001).

The nationalists dedicated to the cleansing of the Horthy era have found a new and effective ally in recent years in the person of Maria Schmidt, one of Prime Minister Orban's chief advisers and a rising young scholar in Holocaust studies during the Communist era. Following the systemic change of 1989, her original academic ambition appears to have shifted to a preoccupation with anti-Communism, which is a somewhat politically risky undertaking in a country in which Communism has been claimed by sundry anti-Semites since 1919 to be Jewish in origin and character. Like many other nationalists, she apparently concluded that by unmasking the crimes of the Soviet-dominated Communist regimes in general and those perpetrated by the Hungarian Communists in particular, she would not only help mitigate the impact of the Holocaust but also contribute to the defense of the domestic and foreign policies of Horthy's Hungary. Whatever her motivations, she emerged as a vociferous advocate of the idea that the same yardsticks must be used in the assessment of the Nazi and Communist-type totalitarian regimes and of the crimes perpetrated by them. By mechanically applying this methodology, Schmidt, like her apparent ideological counterparts, overlooks the many historical, socioeconomic, and moral factors that differentiate these regimes, concluding that -- in terms of numbers -- the crimes committed by the Communists the world over far exceeded those perpetrated by the Nazis (Schmidt, 1999). While this is statistically correct, she reveals her political bias and intellectual dishonesty by failing to note that while the Communists, cruel and despotic as they were, never aimed at exterminating an entire ethnic-national group, irrespective of their age, sex, and residence, as was the case of the Nazis and their accomplices. Her references to Hungary in this context are particularly misleading since the Hungarian victims of Communism were miniscule in comparison with the magnitude of the crimes the Nazis and their Hungarian accomplices committed against the Jews.

Presumably the same bias and dishonesty also played a role in her becoming a champion for the rehabilitation of the Horthy era in general and of some of its worst elements in particular. To the great delight of the far right, she appears to be working toward a "better understanding" of Gyula Gombos, the man primarily responsible for linking Hungary's domestic and foreign policies with those of the Third Reich ("Magyar Hirlap," 16 January 1998). Schmidt has emerged as a crusader for the rehabilitation of former Prime Minister Laszlo Bardossy, who was, in her view, a victim of a show trial by a "Communist-dominated" People's Court (Schmidt, 1998, pp. 217-230).

She first publicized her views on Bardossy at the Vienna Conference of 2-5 November 1995, held under the sponsorship of the Institut fuer die Wissenchaften von Menschen. This writer took pains to remind her and the audience that the former prime minister was not only the statesman she basically portrayed him to be but also the man during whose relatively brief tenure as head of government (4 April 1941 -- 7 March 1942), Hungary, among other things, declared war first on the Soviet Union and then the Western Allies; adopted the Nuremberg-type Third Anti-Jewish Law; aggravated the status of the Jewish labor servicemen; rounded up close to 18,000 so-called "alien" Jews, who were deported and subsequently murdered near Kamenets-Podolsk; and massacred more than 3,300 men, women, and children in and around Ujvidek.

Schmidt's cause was embraced by the Hungarian Justice and Life Party, the highly anti-Semitic fascist party led by Istvan Csurka, a self-confessed former informer of the Communist regime. A demagogue specializing in anti-American and anti-Israeli diatribes, he joined Lovas by asserting that the Islamic terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on 11 September were "a consequence of American policies and globalization," evoking the public displeasure of Janet Garvey, the charge d'affaires of the U.S. embassy in Budapest ("Magyar Hirlap" and "Magyar Nemzet," 21 September 2001).

In late October 1999, Csurka gave Gyorgy Dancsecs, a top-ranking leader of the party, the green light to initiate the retrial and possible rehabilitation of Bardossy. Dancsecs formally filed an application to this effect with the Prosecutor-General's Office on 18 January 2001. It appears that one of the main objectives of those pushing for the retrial of Bardossy is not only to rehabilitate the Horthy era, but also to deflect attention from the great responsibility the Hungarians must bear for the destruction of the Jews.

Schmidt caused a considerable political uproar in early November 1999 when she spoke extensively before a largely rightist group on an accustomed theme: the supposed use of two yardsticks in the evaluation of Nazi and Communist crimes. She expressed profound disappointment that only the Holocaust of the Jews was being recalled in connection with World War II. In her view, the idea that the Holocaust was unique and indisputable was being advanced and propagated by a segment of the intelligentsia who dominated the mass media, whereas, in fact, "the Holocaust, the extermination or rescue of the Jews represented but a secondary, marginal point of view not among the war aims of either belligerent" (Schmidt, 1999). The reaction of the Jewish community leaders and many intellectuals was immediate and caustic. In a press release, the Jewish leaders characterized Schmidt as "the best Hungarian student of Jean-Marie Le Pen," the French far-right leader who referred to the Holocaust as a "detail" of history. Others, including Tamas Gaspar Miklos (Gaspar Miklos, 1999) and Sandor Kopatsy (Kopatsy, 1999), to cite only two of the many well known intellectuals, questioned her historical analysis and intellectual integrity. Still others expressed disapproval of her activities as head of the newly established and financially well-endowed Twentieth Century Institute. In this capacity and with a huge budget at her disposal, Schmidt reportedly has the power to determine which historians and projects will receive state funding. According to a published report, "she also backs the unrestricted publication and distribution of "Mein Kampf," "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," and other anti-Semitic tracts, which are selling well in many Budapest bookstores in new Hungarian editions" (Jordan, 2000). The numerous protests and criticisms notwithstanding, she continues to play an influential role because of the support she receives from various nationalists and, above all, because she continues to enjoy the confidence and support of the prime minister.

Yet other elements among the Hungarian history cleansers have taken the anti-Communist crusade a step further. Counterbalancing the accounts of the Holocaust, they emphasize almost exclusively the crimes perpetrated by the Communists. Identifying Communism and Bolshevism as Jewish in origin and character, these cleansers insist that the wartime suffering of the Jews was matched, if not actually exceeded, by the pain the Jews supposedly inflicted upon the citizenry during the Communist era. This was particularly the case during the Stalinist period when, in their view, "the Jews" exploited their power to avenge the suffering they had endured during the Holocaust.

Anti-Semites and ultranationalists continuously emphasize that most of the leaders of the short-lived proletarian dictatorship of 1919 were "Jews," overlooking the fact that these Communists of Jewish origin were in reality "Magyarized internationalists" whose class-oriented social and economic policies hurt the Jewish community even more than the Christian society. Bigoted as they are, these anti-Semites also always fail to note that the counterrevolutionary forces that succeeded the proletarian dictatorship killed many more human beings -- Jews and non-Jews alike -- than the Communists.

As to the postwar Communist era, they fail to note that the Communist Party of Hungary had more than 800,000 members in the late 1980s, among whom the percentage of Jews was relatively small (the total Hungarian Jewish population was only around 80,000). Moreover, the top leadership of the party, like its membership in general, consisted overwhelmingly of ethnic Hungarians, the Jews having been largely purged in the wake of the anti-Zionist and anticosmopolitan campaign that began in the Stalinist era.

The identification of Jews and Communists has also seeped into parliamentary debates and other public forums. Even "moderate" politicians occasionally feel compelled to remind their compatriots of the Jewish factor during the Soviet era by selectively identifying former Communist leaders by their original Jewish names. A notorious example of this was the comment by Agnes G. Nagyne Maczo, a representative of the Smallholder's Party and one of the vice presidents of the Hungarian Parliament. During a speech on 17 March 1997, the former member of the right-of-center Hungarian Democratic Forum reminded Imre Szekeres, the leader of the Hungarian Socialist Party faction, that his predecessor was "the Hungarian-hating Mano Roth," which was a clear reference to Matyas Rakosi, the Stalinist leader of Jewish origin.

Another ploy in this context is the tendency to equate Auschwitz with the Gulag, "balancing" the suffering of the Jews with that endured by Hungarian POWs and other political prisoners in Soviet camps. Borrowing a page from their counterparts elsewhere, some Hungarian revisionists claim that Auschwitz was modeled on the Gulag. In so doing, these people at best reveal their ignorance about the fundamental differences in the operation and objectives of the Nazi death camps and the Soviet penal establishments.

*This paper is an updated and expanded version of the author's "Assault on Historical Memory: Hungarian Nationalists and the Holocaust," a study that appeared in "Hungary and the Holocaust: Confrontation with the Past," November 1999 symposium proceedings published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in January 2001. The content of that earlier contribution is reprinted with the permission of the museum. The present version of the study is limited to the identification of some of the approaches used in cleansing the historical record of Hungary during the Nazi era by denigrating, distorting, and, in some cases, denying the Holocaust. It does not aim at an overview of the various factions of the Right in contemporary Hungary.

The author is the distinguished professor emeritus of political science at The City College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York.


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