Hungary. Five months after its opening, "The House of Terror" became one of the most popular places in Budapest. Its aim is to perpetuate memory about victims of Nazism and communism in Hungary. At the same time, Jews in this country are worried because victims and perpetrators of both Nazism and communism are represented on an equal footing.
Characterizing Hungary as the victim of terror and failing to mention its collaboration with these odious regimes, the authorities of museum, following ultra-rightist Hungarian historians, make Hungarians not implicated in the death of 550 thousand of Jews. Only one chamber in this Museum is dedicated to the Holocaust. The Museum's conception, as viewed by the Jewish representatives, is that the communism is interpreted as a more sinister phenomenon that that of Holocaust, though the majority of Hungarian communists were Jews.
Many Hungarian Jews, who survived the Holocaust and stayed in Hungary, joined the communist party for many reasons, among them a gratitude to the Soviet troops having liberated them from ghettos, labour and death camps, idealism resulting from the communist propaganda which promised a society of equals, opportunism as the new power gave many Jews more opportunities for job. But some time past the war - in 1960 - many Jews were dismissed from high positions in the party.
The ultra-rightist government of a Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, which won the elections in 1998 - grudged no expenses to found the Museum with the Soviet tank parked near its exit. Orban's party "Fidesh" ("The young democrats") informed the public that they were going to bring out old bonds with the communist regime and the secret police.
At the same time Orban's reputation was damaged by nationalistic excesses and close contacts with an anti-Semitic "Party of Justice and Life". Before the elections of 2002 he started propagating national - patriotic views. It worried 100 thousand Jews who live in Hungary. "For the first time in my life I realized I should be afraid of something", - said a 33-year old Andrash Daraniy, an executive director of the Museum of Holocaust in Budapest. One of Orban's means of struggle against the opposition represented by socialists and liberals became "The house of terror".
"That's why funds for the construction were raised so quickly, and the Museum was built in very short terms", - thinks the former communist Tibor Vamos who survived the Holocaust. As he says, the main conception of the Museum is that socialists are successors to Stalin's regime.
The lady-director of the museum Shmidt, Orban's closest adviser, rejected these accusations.
Coalition of socialists and liberals won the elections of 2002. Some socialists promised that if they won the elections, they would rename the establishment into the "The house of memory and accord".
At the moment the coalitional government does not give any precise comments as for the further destiny of the museum.
At the same time Orban, who is in the opposition now, considers "The House of Terror" as one of the greatest achievements and appeals to stand up for it.
Slovakia. The Jewish community and the government of the country hoped to sign the agreement on compensations this summer to implement payments before the elections on the 20th of September.
Joseph Vaiss, deputy director of the community, informed they hope to obtain $18 mln, which is only 10% of the estate confiscated from Jews after the war.
Peter Mikloshi, Pal Kshaki's assistant, who runs the government committee for compensation payments, informed that they planned to pay $6.6 mln.
During World War II, when Joseph Tisso was in power, he created a Nazi puppet state. About 70 thousand of Slovakian Jews were deported and executed in concentration camps.
Nowadays about 4 thousand Jews live in Slovakia.
Mikloshi stated that the decision would be adopted before the elections; the new government will handle this case.
Anna Letougina, Jewish.ru