Wiesel returns Hungarian honor

Elie Wiesel has returned Hungary’s highest honor over the country’s recent honoring of a Nazi sympathizer.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner repudiated the Order of Merit, Grand Cross in a letter addressed to the speaker of the Hungarian Parliament. Wiesel received the award in 2004.

His action was sparked by the participation of several Hungarian lawmakers in a May 27 memorial ceremony for Jozsef Nyiro, a World War II member of Hungary’s Parliament who supported Hitler.

“Hungarian authorities are encouraging the whitewashing of tragic and criminal episodes in Hungary’s past, namely the wartime Hungarian government’s involvement in the deportation and murder of hundreds of thousands of its Jewish citizens,” Wiesel wrote.

“I do not wish to be associated in any way with such activities.” — jta