Master of Arts in Art History (M.A.)
Type of Paper/Work
Heather M. Shirey
This qualifying paper explores how government funded Holocaust memorial sites
in Hungary depict a distorted version of history that community-created counter-
monuments rectify. The government is deciding what to remember and what is best left forgotten. With the reelection of the Fidesz government in 2003, a resurgence of interest in memory took place surrounding the sixtieth anniversary of the Holocaust and Holocaust memorials appeared across Budapest. Many of these memorials, such as the “Memorial to the Victims of the German Occupation,” are completely government funded, while others, such as the “Living Memorial” and the “Memorial to the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs,” are privately funded and can be classified as counter-monuments; created by the people, for the people.
Applying memory theory and deconstruction to these sites, I will explore how
politics plays a role in the memorialization of the victims of the Holocaust in Hungary. I
will also assess how the current government selectively remembers their history by
funding and erecting their own memorials in order to invalidate the voices and
perspectives of the Hungarian people. Counter-monuments erected by the people
subsequently bring their voices to fruition, and allow them to contribute their thoughts
and opinions, while maintaining a place to mourn and reflect on the horrors of the
Holocaust in Hungary and the people who endured them.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Balogh, Lauren Marie, "Remembering the Holocaust in Hungary: An Examination of Political and Popular Memorials in Budapest" (2018). Art History Master's Qualifying Papers. 24.