Székesfehérvár withdraws funds for statue of anti-Semite

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The mayor of the Hungarian city of Székesfehérvár has asked for the return of public funds being used to erect the statue of anti-Semite Hungarian minister Bálint Hóman (pictured), the mayor told the press today at the local council in Székesfehérvár, state news agency MTI reported. Hóman reportedly ordered the death of nearly 500,000 Hungarian Jews during WWII.

The Bálint Hóman Foundation earlier received funds from the state to cover the majority of the costs to erect a statue of the minister after which the foundation was named, but widespread criticism, prompted the local council to request that these funds be returned.

Cser-Palkovics said that the local council is not asking that the foundation abandon its plans altogether, because it is their democratic right to support such a cause, but he has ask that they not carry out the project with public funds.

The story of the Hóman statue garnered worldwide media attention when U.S. congressmen sent a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán objecting to the statue that would honor a man who was involved in drafting legislation in 1938 and 1939 to restrict the rights of Jews in Hungary and later, in 1944, ordering the deportation of 420,000 Jews to Auschwitz, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported last week.

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