The pain of losing Hungary's freedom is the driving force behind the memorial to the victims of the German occupation in Budapest's Szabadság Square, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated in a letter of reply to thirty Jewish American members of congress.
The house representatives and senators posted an open letter on the website of the Jewish World Congress at the end of May, asking the Hungarian Prime Minister to reconsider constructing the monument.
Prime Minister Orbán stated that "In Hungary, the decisions to give moral and spiritual restitution to the members of the Jewish community, who had lived with us throughout history and had become an integral part of the Hungarian nation, have been taken. We established the Holocaust Museum, we introduced Holocaust Remembrance Day and we declared zero tolerance against anti-Semitism."
"As you surely know, we are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Hungarian Holocaust this year. I can assure you that my government is counting on the opinion and the participation of the Hungarian Jewish community regarding every important moment of the Holocaust memorial year."
"The monument that you referred to, which we are erecting on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Hungary's German occupation, and the loss of state sovereignty, is not a Holocaust memorial. Moving Holocaust monuments and memorial sites already exist in Hungary."
"The composition erected now is a freedom fighting people's memorial of the pain of having its liberty crushed. This monument, paying tribute to the memory of the victims, reminds us all that the loss of our national sovereignty led to tragic consequences, claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands, and brought immense suffering upon further millions, the entire nation."
"For Americans, for a nation that celebrates its independence so proudly, the devotion of Hungarians to freedom might seem natural, and the pain caused by the loss of our sovereignty and freedom might be comprehensible. From March 19, 1944 until 1991, occupying troops were continuously stationed on the soil of our country."
"The erectors of the monument are thus driven by the pain of losing our freedom, the aspiration to remind generations to come of the importance of freedom, and of the tragic consequences its loss has on the life of the nation. The inscription speaks clearly: 'The German occupation of Hungary, March 19, 1944, in memory of the victims'."
(Prime Minister's Office)