In 2017, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum publicly condemned attempts by Orban to reestablish the reputation of Miklos Horthy, an antisemite who aided the Nazis during the Holocaust. This was their full statement:
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum condemns any attempt to rehabilitate the reputation of Hungary’s wartime leader, Miklos Horthy, who was a vocal antisemite and complicit in the murder of the country’s Jewish population during the Holocaust. On June 21, 2017, Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban asserted at a public ceremony that the Hungarian nation was able to survive in the 1920s and 1930s due to “some exceptional statesmen like Regent Miklos Horthy….”
Identifying Horthy, who served as Hungarian head of state from 1920 to 1944, as an “exceptional statesman” is a gross distortion of historical fact and is the latest in a long series of propagandistic attempts of the Fidesz political party and the Hungarian government that Mr. Orban leads to rewrite Hungarian history. It constitutes an insult to the memory of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and once again prevents the honest confrontation with history that the citizens of Hungary deserve.
The Museum is firmly opposed to honoring leaders who played an important role in perpetrating the Holocaust because it creates the impression that the government of Hungary believes that antisemitism, racial and religious prejudice, and genocide merit praise rather than universal condemnation.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires leaders and citizens worldwide to confront hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit ushmm.org.