The debate over whether there is a debate between Jewish organizations 

The prestigious international Jewish news agency, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), reported last week in a lengthy article on the new exhibition concept of the House of Fates Holocaust memorial center. Then, in response to a journalist’s question, Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, said at a government briefing on Thursday that the realization of the memorial center was delayed, among other things, because of disagreements between Jewish organizations in Hungary. However, the head of Mazsihisz said there was no difference of opinion between his organization and EMIH, which is in charge of developing the exhibition concept for the House of Fates and its future operation.

Commenting on the JTA article, Shlomo Köves, the chief rabbi of EMIH, confirmed to our paper last week that the project is proceeding smoothly and that the team he leads has not encountered any government obstacles in planning the exhibition.

The Chief Rabbi also said:

  • The name of the new exhibition concept will be “Etz Hayim” (“Tree of Life”), which symbolizes the ancient Jewish symbol of universal values that can never be overcome, and to the uniquely continuous Hungarian-Jewish coexistence.
  • The new concept has been presented to several renowned Holocaust historians and museum professionals. Their critical comments are currently being incorporated, and it is hoped that the concept will be made available to the general public early next year.

Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, said at the government briefing on November 18 that the implementation of the memorial is being slowed down by the opposition of Mazsihisz:

“We are waiting for this not to be a matter of dispute between Jewish organizations, but a step that is generally considered to be the right one,” the minister said.

The minister was contradicted by Andras Heisler, president of Mazsihisz, on Monday when he said as a guest on Heti TV:

“I would like to dispel the misconception that this memorial could not be realized because of any kind of conflict between Jewish organizations.”

Heisler also confirmed that there had been no previous dispute between Mazsihisz and EMIH on the issue. According to the president:

“When the Hungarian government handed over the management and development rights of this memorial to EMIH, Mazsihisz did not consider the decision to be correct, but accepted it.”

The topic of the House of Fates can be found at 7:47 minutes of Heti TV’s interview with András Heisler.

PIRKADAT: Heisler András – Magyarországon 1600 olyan zsidó temető van, aminek nincs tulajdonosa – YouTube