Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel rejects Hungarian award

Elie Wiesel told the Associated Press in an interview that he wrote a letter this month to the speaker of the Hungarian parliament, László Kövér, rejecting the Grand Cross Award of the Hungarian Republic granted in 2004 by Hungary's president. Wiesel says it's "outrageous" the parliament speaker participated in the May 27 ceremony honoring a Nazi sympathizer and a wartime parliament member József Nyirő, "a fascist ideologue."



Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel said on Monday he is repudiating a Hungarian government award he received in 2004, because top officials in Budapest attended a ceremony for a Nazi sympathizer.
The 83-year-old Holocaust survivor’s parents were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz by wartime Hungarian officials.
In a letter addressed to Hungarian House Speaker László Kövér published by the Hungary-based MTI news agency on Monday. Wiesel criticized the Hungarian government for participating in attempts for the reburial of ethnic Hungarian author József Nyirő. “It is with profound dismay and indignation that I learned of your participation, together with Hungarian Secretary of State for Culture Géza Szőcs and far-right Jobbik party leader Gabor Vona, in a ceremony in Romania honoring József Nyirő, a member of the National Socialist Arrow Cross Parliament,” Wiesel said in the letter, as quoted by the news agency.He added that he was outraged that Kövér had participated in a ceremony honoring “a fascist ideologue of the [interwar Regent of Hungary Miklós] Horthy and Szálasi regimes”.
Wiesel was presented with the Republic of Hungary’s Order of Merit, Grand Cross, by president Ferenc Mádl in 2004.
He told The Associated Press in an interview on Monday that it was just “too close to home,” adding it is “outrageous” that the parliament speaker participated in the May 27 ceremony honoring Nyirő.

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Wiesel was a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald during World War II. After the war he moved to the Unites States. He has authored 57 books, including Night which is based on his experiences in the concentration camps. In 1986 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Source: Associated Press







Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11