Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Hungarian Holocaust Memorial Is Smashed

(JTA) — A monument in Hungary commemorating Jewish slave workers later murdered in the Holocaust was defaced.

At least three marble plates signifying Jewish headstones were smashed Sunday in Balf, a town located 120 miles west of Budapest, the Jewish weekly Szombat reported Monday.

A government spokesman issued a “strong condemnation” of the act, which police are investigating. There are no suspects.

The monument, which comprises dozens of marble tablets in the shape of headstones, was unveiled in 2008. The positioning of the headstones evokes a group of people walking – meant to honor the memory of those forced to work there by pro-Nazi Hungarians before they were murdered.

Those commemorated in the monument are victims of what the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem calls the death marches of Hungarian Jews through Austria in the spring of 1945. The previous year, Hungarian Interior Minister Gabor Vajna pledged to provide the German Reich with 50,000 Jewish men and women as slave laborers.

By 1945, Hungary’s fascist Arrow Cross handed over 76,209 Jews to the Germans “on loan” until the end of the war, most of whom were murdered or died.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.