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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


Before the eyes of the EU: Orban removes books by the writer and Auschwitz survivor Imre Kertesz from the curriculum in Hungarian schools

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Auschwitz survivors are angry and shocked at the continuing consolidation of dictatorial trends that are being promoted in Hungary by Viktor Orban. Whilst in Europe the dangers and threats to European societies by extreme right-wing and racist groups and parties are becoming increasingly evident, the Hungarian autocrat Orban is working surreptitiously, yet before the eyes of Europe. He is continuing to take every opportunity to eradicate critical thought from the public sphere. He is also helping to revive the old toxic vocabulary and phrases of dictatorship, National Socialism and their representatives, and establish them as ongoing elements of a Hungarian state doctrine.

In Berlin Christoph Heubner, the executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee stated:

"Orban and his willing helpers have once again excluded one of Hungary’s greatest writers from Hungarian schools: the Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertesz. He carved a memorial in world literature to the annihilation of the Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust and in Auschwitz with his novel Fatelessness, but his books have now been removed from the curriculum of Hungarian schools in January 2020, 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz. Auschwitz survivors around the world see this act as an expression of the shameless and shabby mind-set in Hungarian politics, where increasing attempts are being made to erase from public memory any references to the involvement of the Hungarian right wing in preparing and promoting the persecution and mass murder of Hungarian Jews.

Auschwitz survivors are outraged by the fact that this is happening before the very eyes of the EU in one of its member states. They are hoping that Imre Kertesz will now gain the European attention and solidarity that the Hungarian Jews repeatedly, and painfully, have been forced to forfeit in their history."


For further Information

Christoph Heubner

Executive Vice President
International Auschwitz Committee
Phone ++ 49 (0)30 26 39 26 81