Hungarian prime minister: Collaborating with Nazis was a ‘sin’

Hungary’s collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II was a “mistake” and a “sin,” Prime Minister Orban stated.

Hungary’s prime minister publicly conceded that his country’s collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II was a “mistake” and a “sin” as it failed to protect its Jewish community.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Tuesday that he told visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “this can never happen again,” as Hungary “will protect all its citizens.”

“I told the Prime Minister that we are aware of the fact that we have quite a difficult chapter of history behind us. And I wanted to make it very clear to him that the Government of Hungary, in a previous period, committed a mistake, even committed a sin, when it did not protect the Jewish citizens of Hungary,” Orban stated.

“I want to make it clear that it is our belief that every single Hungarian government has the obligation to protect and defend all of its citizens, regardless of their birth and origins. During World War II, this was something, a requirement that Hungary did not live up to, both morally or in other ways. And this is a sin, because we decided back then, instead of protecting the Jewish community, to collaborate with the Nazis. I made it very clear to the Prime Minister that this is something that can never, ever happen again, that the Hungarian government will in the future protect all its citizens,” the Hungarian premier stated.

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Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to visit Hungary since 1989, when Hungary was still under Communist rule. He is in the country for a two-day visit, during which he will also meet the leaders of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia in an effort to forge stronger ties and international support for Israel.

Under Admiral Miklos Horthy, the World War II-era leader, Hungary allied itself with Nazi Germany.

More than 420,000 Hungarian Jews were deported in less than 10 weeks, and some 550,000 Hungarian Jews perished in the Holocaust.

In one of the most notorious massacres of Hungarian Jews, an estimated 3,600 were executed by henchmen and allies of Hungary’s Arrow Cross, a pro-Nazi group that governed Hungary for a few months, on the banks of the Danube River near the end of World War II.

By: AP and World Israel News