Hungarian victims of the Holocaust were remembered by Minister of Public Administration and Justice Tibor Navracsics and Zoltán Pokorni, mayor of the 12th district of the capital in Budapest, at the Danube Memorial Shoes.
Tibor Navracsics said that in keeping with traditions, the Hungarian victims of the Holocaust are commemorated this year as well by the riverside with the lighting of candles and placing of memorial stones in their honour. He added that the reason why he came to the memorial together with Zoltán Pokorni is because the politician was the one who proposed while being Minister of Education, to declare the 16th of April as the Memorial Day for the Hungarian Holocaust.
Pokorni spoke on the fact that although in Europe the commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust is generally tied to the liberation of Auschwitz, this Memorial Day in April is linked to Hungarian events. As he phrased it, “Holocaust is not taken as a matter of a distant European country, but as a part of Hungarian history”. He added that “the killers were Hungarians and Hungarians were the victims too, so this is our business. “It may be recorded and considered”, as Zoltán Pokorni said, that all this happened during the German occupation of the country, but that is “only an explanation and not an excuse” for the Hungarian government and politics of past times. He spoke about school commemorations of this Memorial Day, which are very important as well and it would be good if those would not be “extra history lessons or necessary celebrations”, but rather a sharing of experiences of some personal kind.
The Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust was commemorated by János Áder, the President of the Republic of Hungary by placing a memorial stone and flowers, then lighting a candle at the memorial site.
According to the decision of the Parliament in 2000, the Memorial Day for the Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust is held every year on April 16 since 2001; remembering that in 1944 this very day marked the beginning of the closing of Hungarian Jews in ghettos. On the 70th anniversary of the Hungarian Holocaust, a Memorial Year is observed in Hungary in 2014.
(Ministry of Public Administration and Justice)