Jewish groups in Hungary oppose 1944 memorial

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Associated Press

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 21 at 11:05 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungarian Jewish groups say the government should cancel plans to erect a large memorial to the country's March 1944 occupation by Germany.

Critics see the statue as part of efforts by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban to blur the responsibility of Hungarian officials and security forces in the deportations.

Hungary is marking the 70th anniversary of the deportation of over 430,000 Hungarian Jews to Nazi death camps in just a couple of months after the German invasion.

The planned memorial includes the figure of Germany' imperial eagle swooping down on the archangel Gabriel, who symbolizes Hungary. It is expected to be set up in March on Freedom Square, a downtown area which also includes a Soviet war memorial, the U.S. Embassy and a statue of Ronald Reagan.

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