17th July 2012

Speech of the President of the Republic, János Áder at the ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Raoul Wallenberg at the Israeli Parliament

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen!

We are here with a common objective. To remember a man with a peculiar fate. To remember a man, who lived for months in Budapest in the shadow of death, and still managed to become an angel of life.
Today, when we praise the achievements of Raoul Wallenberg who was born 100 years ago and who died at a painfully young age, we are remembering a man, who served the lives of others. Since he served the lives of others, we are therefore only worthy of remembering him if when doing so, we also remember others. If we pay respect to those who acted like he did and followed what their conscience dictated, saving tens and tens of thousands of people from certain death.Hungarians and other nationals, who stood on the side of life and togetherness and the side of active solidarity even in those ominous times.
Wallenberg is also the symbol of their sacrifice. Here and now, we also have to pay our respect to those who were not granted a chance of salvation.
We cherish the memory of 6 million of such people.
6 million men and women.
6 million children and adults.
6 million creatures conceived in love and born to love.
6 million lost dreams and hope.
6 million tortured victims, deprived of their human dignity and life.
Among them several hundreds of thousands were our fellow Hungarian,
Jewish compatriots and it pains us to this day that the Hungarian state failed to protect them.

With them in our minds, we have to say again and again: it is an insurmountable tragedy of our created world that this could have happened. When we bow our heads in memory of the victims of the Shoah, we have to say also that the “final solution” of Hitler’s reign was directed against the whole of the Jewish community living in diaspora around Europe.
The national-socialist empire was the root and the cause of countless grave tragedies of historic scale. However the Holocaust is not simply one of the greatest dramas to have happened to mankind. It is an incomparable story of suffering turned into an incomprehensible and insurmountable tragedy by the death factories operated on an industrial scale and with systematic savagery.

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