MP defends Hitler ally at antisemitism seminar

By Valentina Jovanovski, November 29, 2013

A politician from Hungary’s ruling party, Fidesz, tried to defend the legacy of Hitler ally and Hungarian wartime leader Miklós Horthy at a conference on antisemitism in Budapest on Monday.

“The phenomenon of Horthy should not be the victim of politics in an age when not even history… has had time to digest the matter,” said László Simon.

Mr Simon was referring to the unveiling earlier this month at a church in Budapest of a statue of Horthy, who was in power when hundreds of thousands of Jews were deported to concentration camps.

Politicians from the far-right Jobbik party attended the event.

On Tuesday, two Jobbik MPs tried to enter the conference, which was held at the British Embassy, but were denied entry, according to organisers.

Péter Krekó, director of the Political Capital think-tank, which organised the event, said: “We are open to debate with them but not in a conference like that because this conference was not about them.

“I think if they came here they could destroy the conference. We should be aware of the sensitivities of the participants.”

Some Hungarians revere Horthy for defending Hungarian territory and believe he saved Jews from being deported.

Last updated: 10:45am, November 29 2013