Last week, according to a video released by HírTV, Újbuda’s Democratic Coalition mayor Imre László was talking about Adolf Hitler at the district assembly in connection with a local petition, which would have renamed one of the district’s public areas after Nelson Mandela.
According to the video released last week, Imre László said during a debate of renaming a public area after Nelson Mandela, that in 1938, Adolf Hitler was deservedly chosen as the man of the year by Time magazine, because Germany had developed spectacularly during that time. The mayor put it this way: “Hitler’s work, which he had done until that point, had virtually brought about the spectacular rise of Germany, even after the world economic crisis.” He also added that Hitler’s “subsequent deeds” no longer fit into this picture.
László later apologized for his words and said that he was only referring to the fact that the work of every historical person can only be viewed as a whole. In a statement shared on his and DK’s official Facebook page, the Újbuda mayor said that he himself was of Jewish descent and that “whoever went down in history as a Nazi dictator, a murderer of millions – including a part of my family – cannot be retrospectively exempt from his acts by referring to certain periods of his life.”
He added that “in this case, however, I have worded my statement wrongly against my beliefs and contrary to my convictions. It was easy to misunderstand and I think it was perhaps the most unfortunate sentence of my life.” László also said that, of course, as a mayor, a resident of Újbuda, a leftist and a democrat, he believes “in the equality of the people and the universality of human dignity, and I reject anything that is contrary to it.”
However, a few days after his words about Hitler, the mayor of Újbuda made it into the headlines again due to a slip of the tongue. In a television show, Heti TV, talking about renaming the park and the infamous incident, Imre László accidentally mentioned Josef Mengele instead of Nelson Mandela when he was trying to explain his infamous statement at the assembly to presenter Péter Breuer. After he misspoke, he quickly corrected the name at the presenter’s signal.