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Int’l Holocaust Remembrance Alliance To Advise On the New Vision of Budapest Holocaust Museum

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Plans are being launched to build the House of Fates Holocaust Museum and Educational Center, to open in Budapest, Hungary. Photo Credit: Zsolt Demecs

Professional delegation members and political delegates of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) were presented Tuesday, June 4th, in Mondorf, Luxembourg with the outlines of the new concept of the House of Fates Holocaust Museum and Educational Center, planned to open in Budapest. The presentation was delivered by Rabbi Shlomo Koves, chief rabbi of the EMIH Jewish Community, and chief executive of the project, Mr. Yitzhak Mais, the chief curator of the new Steering Committee and State Secretary Mr. Szabolcs Takacs, chief delegate of the Hungarian state to IHRA.

Plans are being launched to build the House of Fates Holocaust Museum and Educational Center, to open in Budapest, Hungary. Photo Credit: Zsolt Demecs

The close to two-hour presentation included an elaboration of the creation process, an outline of the main historical guidelines, goals and themes of the future museum, all sections of the new vision document formatted by the new steering committee, and greenlighted by the Hungarian Government a few weeks ago. IHRA delegates have learnt of the composition of the new Steering Committee, with internationally acknowledged experts, including, between others, Mrs. Esther Farbstein, a historian, author and the Chair of Holocaust Studies at Jerusalem College for Women; David Marwell, an American historian and former director of New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, as well as of the other committees and advisories that are and will be active in the creation process.

The presentation was well received by the delegates, and though many have emphasized that it is not the capacity or responsibility of IHRA to open the new museum, or to approve a Museum content, the plenary of IHRA has accepted the invitation of the Hungarian Delegation, and has voted on mandating the IHRA chair to appoint a representative group of IHRA experts, reflecting IHRA’s areas of expertise to provide suggestions and comments to the international advisory boards of the House of Fates Museum.

Ambassador Georges Santer, IHRA Chair, said: 

“IHRA expects that the voices of all concerned Jewish communities in Hungary will be heard and that their input will be taken seriously.

 We welcomed the clear assurance by Rabbi Shlomo Köves (Chabad EMIH Jewish Federation in Hungary) and the Minister of State, that a highly controversial historian who had been involved in the drafting of an earlier concept had played no role in developing the new vision for the House of Fates and that this person would not be involved in the initiative moving forward.

 Hungary, as one of our 33 Member Countries, has committed itself to upholding the terrible truth of the Holocaust against those who deny or distort it. We look forward to supporting Hungary in its efforts to present a nuanced and self-critical history of the Holocaust in Hungary.”

Please follow this link to the full statement https://holocaustremembrance.com/statements/ihra-chairs-statement-house-fates-budapest

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