(MTI) – The opposition Socialists have called on Zoltan Balog, minister for human resources, to resign over his recent remarks concerning the Roma Holocaust.
Deputy head of parliament’s cultural committee, Agnes Kunhalmi of the Socialists, said in a statement on Tuesday that Balog had told public Kossuth Radio that no Roma were deported from Hungary during WW2.
“His words contradict all historical research and were clearly untrue and intolerable,” Kunhalmi said. The government’s efforts to relativise and deny the Porajmos, the Roma Holocaust in Hungary, are beyond European norms and beyond the point where a position could be discussed and explained, she added.
Balog said in his interview at the weekend that Roma had been deported from Austria and not from Hungary.
“It is important to know that no kind of Gypsy deportation took place from Hungary. It happened from Austria: Hungarian Gypsies were taken from there and so this really did affect Hungary,” he said.
Ruling Fidesz, in response, said that the previous governments had “done nothing” to uncover the Roma murders in Hungary and failed to pay compensation to the victims’ families.
“The left now seeks to smear Balog as a minister, who had paid tribute to Roma victims in his previous capacity before at ecumenical commemorations held each year to mark the anniversary of the Holocaust, and on several other occasions,” the party said in a statement.
The party called it “outrageous” that for political reasons the left has “misinterpreted and distorted a single sentence taken out of context” in a phone interview the minister gave in connection with a commemoration, the party said.
Photo: MTI – Noemi Bruzak