US Embassy in Budapest condemns Hungarian official's article comparing Soros to Hitler

US Embassy in Budapest condemns Hungarian official's article that drew parallels between American-Hungarian billionaire and the Nazis.

Elad Benari ,

Budapest
Budapest
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The US Embassy in Budapest on Monday condemned an article published by a Hungarian official that drew parallels between American-Hungarian billionaire George Soros and Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, The Associated Press reported.

The embassy posted on its Twitter account that it “strongly condemns” statements made in an article equating a debate over the European Union’s bid to bolster democratic standards within its member countries “with the horrific murder of millions of people during the Holocaust.”

Szilard Demeter, a government-appointed cultural commissioner, wrote in an opinion piece on Saturday in the pro-government Origo media outlet that "Europe is George Soros’ gas chamber. Poison gas flows from the capsule of a multicultural open society, which is deadly to the European way of life."

Demeter is the ministerial commissioner and head of the Petofi Literary Museum in Budapest. In the article, he compared Soros to Hitler, writing he was "the liberal Führer, and his liber-Aryan army deifies him more than did Hitler’s own."

The comments drew outrage from Hungary’s Jewish community as well as from the Israeli Embassy in Budapest.

Demeter on Sunday said he would retract the article "independently of what I think" and will delete his Facebook page.

"I will grant that those criticizing me are correct in saying that to call someone a Nazi is to relativize, and that making parallels with Nazis can inadvertently cause harm to the memory of the victims," he added.

On Monday, according to AP, several opposition lawmakers in Hungary’s parliament inquired how long Demeter would be permitted to remain in his position while others demanded his dismissal. Deputy prime minister Mihaly Varga, who is also finance minister, said that Demeter would remain in his position since he had “admitted his mistake.”

Soros has frequently been criticized by the Hungarian government over his alleged support for migration into Europe.

In recent years, Hungary has been in a protracted conflict with the European Union after Prime Minister Viktor Orban criticized the immigration policy and announced that Hungary would not accept more Muslim immigrants to its territory.

Jewish groups in Hungary have sometimes accused Orban's right-wing government, in power since 2010, of downplaying Hungary's role in the Holocaust during which some 600,000 Hungarian Jews perished.

Orban has also come under fire for failing to condemn the anti-Semitism of the extremist Jobbik party.

In 2015, Orban admitted his country’s role in the Holocaust, saying many Hungarians chose "bad instead of good" in helping deport Jews to Nazi death camps.



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