The Hungarian Government regards it an honour that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has undertaken to be chief patron of Holocaust Memorial Year 2014, Minister of State Heading the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár said yesterday.

The attention that the Memorial Year will receive in 2014 thanks to UNESCO is both an opportunity and a responsibility, the Minister of State stressed, adding that the patronage makes it possible for every Hungarian compatriot killed in Nazi death camps to be commemorated worldwide.

Samuel Pisar, UNESCO’s Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education, said that he had witnessed the destruction in which hundreds of thousands of Hungarians were killed. His book entitled Of Blood and Hope is based on these memories and its foreword is dedicated to the young generation of Hungary in the belief that they will be committed to democracy and tolerance.

Photo: Gergely Botar

The remembrance will play a key role in the Hungarian education system next year. Every school from which children or teachers were deported during World War II will display a commemorative plaque in memory of the victims, Minister of State Lázár added.

He also mentioned that an education centre will be set up at the Józsefváros Train Station in Budapest, which will present the history of World War II, including the Holocaust. The project is receiving EUR 20 million in funding. In addition to this, EUR 5 million will be allocated to memorial events organised by NGOs, education institutes and churches; their applications will be assessed in December.

On Monday and Tuesday, Samuel Pisar will perform the libretto, an imaginary dialogue with God, which he wrote to Leonard Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony, at the Hungarian State Opera.

(Prime Minister’s Office)