JHE coordinator Ruth Ellen Gruber has written an article in Tablet Magazine about the debate surrounding plans for a controversial new government-sponsored Holocaust memorial museum slated to be opened in April in a long-disused train station.
She writes about “the powerful mix of political, emotional, and ideological passions that the plans for the new complex have ignited” in a sharply polarized country since they were announced in September by the Fidesz party government, headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
The new institution is to center mainly on the experience of children during the Holocaust—but also on Hungarians who rescued Jews. It will be located in the disused Józsefváros train station in Budapest’s rundown Eighth District, once a teeming Jewish neighborhood, and will be called “House of Fates,” a name that harks back to Nobel Prize-winning author Imre Kertész’s novel Fatelessness, which narrates the experiences of a teenaged boy during the Shoah.
The facility, which is to combine a permanent exhibit with an interactive learning center and other services, will be a centerpiece of a nationwide effort to mark the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust in Hungary, but almost ever facet of the project has come under criticism or question.
We publish here some site drawings of the planned new complex, by the designer Attila F. Kovacs.