When it comes to the sensitive issue of remembering the Second World War, the German occupation and the Holocaust, every EU member state including Hungary has its own history to look back to.
It is true that the Germans played the crucial role in murdering Hungarian Jews. Yet, Not-Jewish Hungarians were anything but passive bystanders let alone victims of occupation.
No other country in Europe was more hospitable to Jewish immigration and assimilation in the 19th century or won more enthusiastic support from its Jews than the Hungarian Kingdom.
The situation after World War I split the country into opposing camps: a group with militant Christian ideology and fascist ideas on the one hand, and on the other, especially in the capital Budapest, a society with a wide range of opportunities to criticise the rigid social hierarchy, free press opinions and a judiciary that often ruled in defiance of government interests.
The anti-Jewish measures of the 1920s and 1930s were tightly intertwined with the recovery of the lost territories after WWI (Treaty of Trianon) and the ways that economic, social and political changes were dealt with.
After regaining large parts of these territories with the support of Nazi-Germany and Italy (the Vienna Awards of 1938 and 1940) and in view of the course WWII was taking, the government of Regent Horthy and Miklós Kállay, installed in March 1942, tried to counterbalance German and local fascist influences and attempted to reach a secret agreement with the Western Allies in early 1944.
German occupation of the country on 19 March 1944 can be seen as a reaction to this. Adolf Eichmann and his team of 100 officials wanted to fulfil the "Endlösung der Judenfrage" (final solution, annihilation of Jewish people) by any means. With the full support of local authorities, looked at by an indifferent population and with power to manipulate the Jewish people who still did not comprehend the situation the German task force immediately started to ghettoise and deport Hungarian Jews.
Even though the fact that many Hungarians in one way or another worked towards the deportation of their Jewish neighbours has been well established, Hungary has set up a memorial to commemorate all Hungarians as victims of the German occupation while at the same time she declared 2014 to be Holocaust Memorial Year. Critical voices in their own country emphasize that both forms of commemoration serve to cover up their own complicity in the persecution of Hungarian Jews. In addition, it is said that commemoration distracts from current anti-Semitism and anti-Ziganism in Hungary.