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Organizers vow to keep protesting Hungary Holocaust memorial

Disputed statue downplays country’s complicity in Shoah, say leaders of ‘Living Memorial’

Passersby look at the Holocaust-related and other memorabilia left by citizens protesting the monument to the 1944 German occupation, under construction behind sheeting across the street in downtown Budapest. (Photo credit: JTA/Ruth Ellen Gruber)
Passersby look at the Holocaust-related and other memorabilia left by citizens protesting the monument to the 1944 German occupation, under construction behind sheeting across the street in downtown Budapest. (Photo credit: JTA/Ruth Ellen Gruber)

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Organizers said they plan to continue a year-long exhibit and protest against a statue critics see as deflecting Hungary’s responsibility in the Holocaust.

A statue of Germany’s imperial eagle swooping down on the archangel Gabriel, symbolizing Hungary’s innocence, was set up in July on Freedom Square in the middle of the night and has never been officially inaugurated.

It commemorates Nazi Germany’s 1944 invasion of Hungary, which was followed by the speedy deportation of 437,000 Hungarian Jews to death camps. Hungarian authorities helped carry out the deportations.

Art historian Andras Renyi said Monday at a rally that that there were no plans to close the “Living Memorial” — opposite the disputed statue— which includes pictures of Holocaust victims, candles and the Jewish tradition of stones left on graves.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press

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