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House Of Fates: Minister Urges Gaining Jewish Organisations' Support For New Holocaust Museum

Ferenc Sullivan 2015.03.03.

Hungary will not establish a Holocaust memorial without the support of Hungarian Jewish organisations, Minister of State for the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár has said.
“We either have a museum with their support or not at all,” he told journalists. The House of Fates is an important project which should not be about the disagreements of two individuals, he said, referring to earlier exchanges between Mária Schmidt, the historian in charge of the project, and Gusztáv Zoltai, the former head of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz).
“There is one single consideration I cannot and will not give up under any circumstances: no Holocaust museum or Holocaust memorial can be established in Hungary without the support of the Hungarian Jewish community and its representatives”, Mr. Lázár said. “In order to establish the museum and the memorial, organisers, designers, historians and the government all have to win the support of the Hungarian Jewish community”, he added, pointing out that in the absence of this, the House of Fates will not be built.
Mr. Lázár’s statement comes after the foundation headed by Ms. Schmidt that oversees the project claimed on Monday that he is deliberately delaying the opening of the House of Fates.
The government had earlier met Jewish representatives over the project, whose purpose is to honour the child victims of the Holocaust. Mr. Lázár has also contracted Mr. Zoltai to advise mediation between the government and the Jewish community. Ms. Schmidt said Mr. Lázár had failed to sign the necessary contracts or to provide the financial backing for them.
The leading historian, who also heads Budapest’s House of Terror Museum, has earlier criticised Mr. Lázár for appointing Mr. Zoltai as an adviser because of his Communist past.
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