Holocaust Historian Returns Award to Hungary

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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.

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.

Hungarians protest against the erection of a statue of wartime leader Miklos Horthy in November 2013.Credit: Reuters

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