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Hungary to erect statue to convicted war criminal Bálint Hóman

The Bálint Hóman Cultural Foundation reaffirmed on Tuesday its intention to erect a controversial statue to Hóman, a notorious anti-semite whose conviction for war crimes was overturned posthumously by the Budapest court this year. The court acted primarily on testimony provided by a member of the so-called Veritas Institute for Historical Research led by revisionist historian Sándor Szakály.

Index.hu reports that a group opposed to the Hóman statue will form a human chain to prevent it being erected.

Speaking at a press conference at the statue site in Székesfehérvár, south of Budapest, Hóman foundation president Gábor Kováts said the foundation “cannot turn away” from its plan.

“Székesfehérvár and its mayor have endured dastardly attacks and threats which are irreconcilable with Bálint Hóman nation-building activities,” Kováts said.

The Hóman foundation will announce later when it will unveil the statue.  Originally the date was set for December 29.

Kováts said the foundation will pay back all public funds used to build the statue with the help of a crowdfunding campaign to be launched on Facebook.

Judit Földi, a Democratic Coalition (DK) city councilwoman, has criticised the foundation for going ahead. She says she and her supporters will form a human chain to halt the statue’s erection.

In the face of strong opposition by domestic and international Jewish organizations, Székesfehérvár’s Fidesz mayor has made a public show of backing away from the project, despite supporting it until last week, and has called on the foundation to return the HUF 2 million grant it received from the city.

Hungarian  Jewish organization Tett és Védelem Alapítvány (Deed and Defense Foundation) said it would file a complaint with prosecutors and government offices because of the unlawfully named foundation.  Hungarian law forbids foundations from naming themselves after convicted war criminals.

Benjamin Novak :