On the occasion of the Memorial Day for the Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust, a plaque was installed remembering child victims and teachers rescuing children in secondary schools of Makó and Pécs this Wednesday.

Monika Balatoni, Minister of State for Public Diplomacy and Relations of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice recalled in her speech at Makó the fact that seventy years ago, the 16th of April in 1944 marked the start of the closing of Hungarian rural Jewish people in ghettos.

As she emphasized, “it should not be allowed that the passing of years let fade the pain and loss what the world and the country had to endure”. The Minister of State said that she forms part of a generation that could not know the truth even by history books. She had to face the fact as an adult that seventy years ago the victims of the Holocaust were Hungarians, but also Hungarians were the perpetrators. The memorial plaque located in the entrance hall of the Makó School lists the names of the murdered six Jewish students and former high school teacher Ármin Fried.

At the county seat of Baranya, also as part of the official programme of the Government, Government Comissioner János Hargitai and mayor Zsolt Páva unveiled a memorial plaque. Third of the students of the former ‘Reáliskola’ (Science High School) in Pécs were Jewish at the time of the Holocaust, because the institution had not limited the religious composition of students. The plaque remembers those 33 students and two teachers who were taken to death camps from the school seventy years ago. András Schönberger, Chief Rabbi of Pécs said at the memorial that everyone is obliged to remember the horrors which were committed during World War II, as it strengthens too the will to never again see such an atrocity occur either in Hungary or in the world.

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. The initiative was authored by Zoltán Pokorni, former Minister of Education, who made a proposal for high schools on 18 January 2000, marking the 55th anniversary of the liberation of the Budapest ghetto, to commemorate the Holocaust on April 16 each year. On the 70th anniversary of the Hungarian Holocaust, a Memorial Year is held in Hungary in 2014.

(Ministry of Public Administration and Justice)