IHRA Chair’s Statement on House of Fates, Budapest

"On 4th June 2019, the IHRA Plenary agreed to appoint a group of IHRA experts to provide input or suggestions to the international advisory boards of the House of Fates museum in Budapest, Hungary. The IHRA has taken great interest in the House of Fates museum since 2014 as the previous concept was much criticized by domestic and international audiences.

The decision of the Plenary followed the presentation of a new preliminary outline for the House of Fates museum by the Hungarian delegation to the IHRA, led by Minister of State Szabolcs Takacs. The Hungarian Head of Delegation quoted Prime Minister Orban that there will be no museum if there is no peace around it and assured the IHRA Member Countries that the final concept of the museum, which has yet to be developed, will only be adopted if international and domestic support is secured. He emphasized that ‘inclusivity’ is central to the entire process. The IHRA therefore expects that the voices of all concerned Jewish communities in Hungary, which means besides the Chabad EMIH Jewish Federation in Hungary also the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (MAZSIHISZ), will be heard and that their input will be taken seriously.

The IHRA has not yet been shown the new concept in any detail. We welcomed the clear assurance by Rabbi Shlomo Köves (Chabad EMIH Jewish Federation in Hungary) and the Minister of State, that a highly controversial historian who had been involved in the drafting of an earlier concept had played no role in developing the new vision for the House of Fates and that this person would not be involved in the initiative moving forward.

IHRA Member Countries also called on Hungary to clarify the relationship of the House of Fates and the existing Holocaust Museum in Pava Street in Budapest, including an update on the previously announced financial support to the Pava Street Museum.

Hungary, as one of our 33 Member Countries, has committed itself to upholding the terrible truth of the Holocaust against those who deny or distort it. We look forward to supporting Hungary in its efforts to present a nuanced and self-critical history of the Holocaust in Hungary."

Ambassador Georges Santer
IHRA Chair


House of Fates museum, Budapest
The House of Fates museum, Budapest. Photo courtesy of Gergely Botár / kormany.hu