At the March of the Living remembrance event at Auschwitz on Monday, Mónika Balatoni – Minister of State for Public Diplomacy and Relations at the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice – said that ‘Remembrance is not only a duty, but also an opportunity to ensure that human life is never again allowed to become a target for groups or individuals who declare themselves to be superior.’

Two hundred young Hungarians – mostly students – attended the memorial event this year in Poland. In her commemorative address outside the Hungarian barrack, Ms. Balatoni, who accompanied the delegation, said that the kind of humiliation to which people were subjected at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp because of their religion or origins should never be allowed to occur again. Quoting János Pilinszky, she continued, "Within its walls the past [...] is present among us, with an infinite weight and simplicity which is always the most intimate possession of reality, and the fact that it has come to an end only makes it more real and more valid." The Minister of State reminded the young Hungarians present at the commemoration that they are the ones who will "carry forward" the message of what happened in the past, and that they can make permanent the "stones of remembrance".
In a telephone interview given at the event to the Hungarian press agency MTI, Ms. Balatoni said that thousands of commemorators wearing blue coats took part in the March of the Living, with people from every region in the world marching behind signs indicating their countries. That morning each nation held a separate, intimate memorial service at Auschwitz. Following this, participants made their way on foot to Birkenau, where the central, international commemoration event was held. Because of the blue coats and blue-and-white Israeli flags worn by participants, the march resembled a body of water flowing along the 3.5-kilometre route. On arriving at Birkenau each marcher was given a small wooden plaque, on which they could write their name, a quotation or a message. These were then placed on the stones bordering the railway tracks leading to the camp, like messages to future generations.

The Minister of State highlighted that most of those on the March of the Living were young people, and that thus the event was also educational: young people had attended a "living history class" in what had happened during the Holocaust.

(Ministry of Public Administration and Justice)