Holocaust survivor and historian Randolph L. Braham says he is returning a high state award to Hungary to protest what he says are government efforts to rewrite history and exonerate the country from its role in the Holocaust.
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Braham also has asked the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest to remove his name from the BrahamTheque Information Center, which collects his research results and publications.
Braham's two-volume "The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary," from 1981, is considered one of the most important books about the subject.
Braham, born in Romania in 1922, said in a letter quoted Sunday by state news wire MTI that the "last drop" leading to his decision was the government plan to erect a statue commemorating the March 1944 invasion of Hungary by the Nazis.
After the design for the monument - which shows an angel representing Hungary being attacked by an eagle representing the Third Reich - was unveiled last week, opposition figures and Jewish community leaders objected that it completely failed to acknowledge official Hungarian complicity in the wholesale slaughter of a large part of the country's Jewish population.
The proposal was announced just a day after an election was called for April, leading some to accuse the governing conservative Fidesz party of stoking nationalism in order to see off the challenge from the far-right Jobbik party.