Protesters blocked the unveiling ceremony of the statue to György Donáth, an antisemitic wartime Hungarian politician on 24 February in Budapest.
After the protest, the unveiling was cancelled by the official speakers, including Gergely Gulyás, vice President of Hungary’s governing party Fidesz who was due to deliver a speech at the unveiling ceremony at the scene - approximately 100 meters from the Holocaust Museum of Budapest.
György Donáth was a government member between 1939 and 1944, although he did not take part in part of the Hungarian fascist regime installed by the Nazis later. He was known for his strong support of anti-Jewish laws and his stand against the ethnic-German minority on a racist basis. He was executed for treason in 1947 at a show trial by the communist regime.
"One cannot turn a blind eye to Donath's shameful political role, even if after the world war he became a victim of communism”, Hungary's largest Jewish group Mazsihisz said in a statement. President Andras Heisler called a mistake to erect statues to people with extremist views which led to the Holocaust in Hungary.
“There are a number of respectable right wing actors in the Hungarian history” – commented historian Krisztián Ungváry and found strange that the government “has been canonizing only those who were open to antisemitism”.
Two days later the bust itself was removed from its pillar by the Community of Hungarian Political Prisoners, the initiator of the statue.
This incident occurred a few weeks after a similar conflict when the planned statue to Bálint Hóman, a key architect of the Hungarian anti-Jewish laws in the 1930s was cancelled in Székesfehérvár after protests of Jewish and civil groups and the pressure by the US government against antisemitism.