Stop Bálint Homan statue, Ronald Lauder urges Hungarian PM Orbán

The president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), Ronald S. Lauder, called on Hungary to stop the unveiling of a statue in honor of a Horthy-era government minister funded in large part by a grant from the Hungarian government. The life-size bronze statue honoring Bálint Hóman is to be unveiled this month in the city of Székesfehérvár by a private foundation. 

“It is quite outrageous that the Hungarian taxpayer should fund a monument for a man who was not only an anti-Semite, a key figure in the persecution of Hungarian Jews before and during World War II and a supporter of Nazi Germany and the fascist Arrow Cross regime in 1944, but who also remained unrepentant until his death,” Lauder said.
The WJC president called the statue an “affront to the many Hungarian victims of the Holocaust” and urged the Hungarian government to withdraw the funding for the statue. “Today, I call on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to intervene in this matter and to ensure that this statue is not built with public funds. If this happens, Hungary would send out the wrong message on how to deal with sensitive issues such as the Holocaust,” Lauder declared.

From 1931, Bálint Hóman served as a minister in several Hungarian governments and played a significant role in the drafting of anti-Jewish laws adopted in Hungary during the late 1930s.

The Székesfehérvár foundation said it wants to erect the statue to honor Hóman’s academic achievements. Hóman (1885-1951) is best known as the co-author of an eight-volume history of Hungary published between 1938 and 1941.

Add new comment

We welcome any comments you may have on this article. Comments are moderated and we reserve the right to edit or remove any which are derogatory or offensive. The WJC is not responsible for the content of any comments.



Mon, 07 Dec 2015

Orban’s regime is as fascist as Horthy’s was back then. Homan wrote to Horthy in Feb 1944, before the German ‘occupation’, in which he urged the deportation of Jews. Now they say he had nothing to do with the deportations. There were some 20 laws introduced against Jews in Hungary while he was minister for about a decade, some prepared by him. Orban says zero tolerance, while he funds statues like this. They say because he was a good historian, which is true. But there is not one single statue in Hungary for other historians – his will be the first one. And top it off, it will be on Bartok Square in Szekesfehervar. Bartok, who refused event o meet with Homan. OMG, what a country Hungary has become. Shame of Europe, shame of the world.

Jules Scher

Sat, 05 Dec 2015

This is an outrage! How can a man who committed war crimes, and remained unrependent of those crimes, be memorialized? Does Hungary want to praise a Nazi supporter and anti-semite?
I do not understand what Balint Homan has achieved for mankind that Hungary is so proud of. To me he is a man full of hatred and prejudices. I would be ashamed of such a man if he were my countryman. To memoralize such an idividual is a disgrace to Hungary, and the civilized world!!!

Leon Weintraub, MD, PhD

Sat, 05 Dec 2015

It is a scandal and a provocation to honour such a person

Aleksandar Veljic

Fri, 04 Dec 2015

In my book on Horthy's crimes I predicted the resurgence of anti-semitism in today's Hungary.

Irwin Kanefsky

Thu, 03 Dec 2015

Hungary needs to reverse this. It is the right thing to do.


Thu, 03 Dec 2015

Hungary, like many other countries and ultra nationalistic organizations, is whipping a frenzy of hysteria touting their "history" in order to excuse and implement their existing and past antisemitic activities.

Edward Laurson

Thu, 03 Dec 2015

Hungary still has anti-Jewish citizens who are active in persecuting them. This statue shouldn't even be erected, not with public funds or on public grounds.


Subscribe to our newsletter

WJC in the media