Elie Wiesel returns Hungarian government award over officials attending Nazi sympathizer ceremony
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and founding chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, is in attendance at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on April 23, 2012 in Washington, DC. / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
(AP) NEW YORK - Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel says he's "repudiating" a Hungarian government award he received in 2004 because top officials in Budapest attended a ceremony for a Nazi sympathizer.
That memorial rite weeks ago was offensive to the 83-year-old Holocaust survivor, whose parents were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz by wartime Hungarian officials.
In New York, Wiesel told The Associated Press in an interview that it was just "too close to home."
He wrote a letter this month to the speaker of the Hungarian parliament, Laszlo Kover, rejecting the award granted in 2004 by Hungary's president.
Wiesel says it's "outrageous" the parliament speaker participated in the May 27 ceremony honoring wartime parliament member Jozsef Nyiro. Wiesel calls him "a fascist ideologue."
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