28th April 2014

Speech of President János Áder at the March of the Living memorial event held at the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp

Distinguished Guests,
Polish friends,
My fellow Hungarians,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Yesterday, barely nine years after his death, Pope John Paul II was canonized in Rome. Karol Wojtyła, the first Polish Pope, left us an important and eternally relevant message when he reaffirmed on several occasions that anti-Semitism cannot be reconciled with Christianity. He was the Pope who called the events that took place in the Auschwitz death camp a triumph of the devil, the darkest chapter in history. He was the Pope who called Auschwitz a place which preserves for later times the memory of the tragic consequences of darkness conquering the spirit, the conscience and the heart. He was also one who cautioned us about the need to liberate mankind from the nightmare of racism, exclusion, enslavement and xenophobia.

There is not a single person of virtue in the world who would disagree with this. All those wishing to find excuses, to relativize or to question such a crime commit an immorality. Thus they themselves are tainted by guilt.

Because every excuse made, every indulgent, self-justifying gesture may lead to right back to where we are standing now, and may lead to what should never be allowed to happen again.

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