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Hungary sets up disputed 1944 memorial

July 20, 2014

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Workers in Budapest have completed the main elements of a disputed memorial to the 1944 occupation of Hungary by Nazi Germany, working in the middle of the night and guarded by police.

The memorial has been widely criticized by Jewish groups and others who see it as an attempt by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government effort to downplay the Hungarian role in the Holocaust. They object to the depiction of Hungary as a victim of the Nazis given that it was a wartime ally of Germany. The government stresses that both Jews and non-Jews suffered during the war.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, workers began adding the figures of Germany’s imperial eagle swooping down on the archangel Gabriel, which symbolizes Hungary, to the monument, which has stood for several weeks.

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