The government does not plan to rehabilitate Admiral Miklos Horthy, Hungary’s regent from 1920 to 1944, Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said in a letter addressed to the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in July and obtained by MTI on Wednesday.
The government has neither the intention, nor any reason to take that step; it is up to relevant historical research to identify the right and wrong moves made by Horthy, as well as the errors he had committed, the minister said.
National daily Nepszabadsag’s Monday issue said that three Jewish advocacy groups, including AJC, had sent a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, protesting against the recent unveiling of Horthy memorials in some Hungarian localities.
Responding to the letter on July 18, Martonyi expressed Hungary’s unconditional commitment to protecting minorities, noting that its parliament had adopted one of the world’s strictest laws against hate crime. In addition, the Venice Commission concluded that Hungary’s law on minority rights provided the broadest possible protection envisaged by international conventions, he said.
This commitment is all the more justified as over two million Hungarians are living in neighbouring countries and these communities were deprived of their fundamental rights throughout most of the 20th century, Martonyi said.
Preventing the consolidation of far-right movements is a “historic mission” and a huge task for the government, he said.
“Extremists are our common enemies,” Martonyi said, adding that all suggestions that the government tolerates far-right parties’ actions or wants to rehabilitate controversial figures are false and even ill-intentioned.
The government deploys all constitutional and legal means in its fight against extremists, the minister said, noting as an example that the paramilitary Hungarian Guard had disappeared from the street.