(Hungarian and German soldiers round up Jews in Budapest for deportation, 20./22. Oktober 1944/German Federal Archive)

Hungary’s main Jewish group voted on Sunday to boycott official Holocaust commemorations this year unless they more clearly show the role of local citizens in the Nazi deportation and killing of Hungarian Jews.

The Hungarian Jewish Congregations’ Association (Mazsihisz) decided to stay away from events marking the 70th anniversary of June 1944, when 437,000 Jews were sent to Nazi death camps within weeks, and set conditions for a change of position.

In total, about half a million Jews perished before the Budapest ghetto was liberated in 1945.

Mazsihisz chairman Andras Heisler said the group objected to plans for a Holocaust monument and memorial center in Budapest as well as the appointment of a new history institute director who seemed to excuse the Holocaust deportations.