Last week, JCPA held an informational conference call with community relations professionals and lay leaders because the Hungarian town of Székesfehérvár plans to erect a life-size bronze statue in honor of Bálint Hóman, a Nazi supporter and leading advocate for the anti-Jewish laws that led to the persecution and deportation of nearly 600,000 Hungarian Jews during World War II. Hóman was a minister of religion and education in Hungary’s government before and during the war.
The call featured Ira Forman, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism for the US State Department, and Samantha Dubrinsky, Director of Community Impact at the Birmingham Jewish Federation. Birmingham has a sister city relationship with Székesfehérvár.
Some members of the private group that raised the funds for the statue, the Bálint Hóman Foundation, are linked to the far-right Jobbik party. The group has also received both state and municipal funding for the statue, which will be located in the town of Székesfehérvár, a city of 100,000 inhabitants located about 37 miles southwest of Budapest.