27th January 2013

President János Áder's letter to Péter Feldmájer, president of the Mazsihisz and József Schweitzer Retired National Chief Rabbi on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Esteemed Chief Rabbi,
Distinguished President,

Death camps are memorials to disgrace.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp liberated on 27th January 1945 has served for 68 years as a memento to the final stage of the darkest aberration in European history so far.

Remembering those who were taken to the death camps is tantamount to facing the facts: any one of us could have been among the innocent victims. Among those who were just like us, who live today. They yearned for success, happiness and love. They yearned to stand up to the challenges of everyday struggles.

Losing them was a loss for the whole of Europe.

We remember them on this day to remind ourselves and each other from time to time, where the insanity of racial discrimination leads to. The insanity of total dictatorships.

This Memorial Day is not only about bereavement for us Hungarians. The message of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp is that those following nefarious ideals can never triumph over those on the side of life. Those, who seek to serve the expansion of human and civil rights in accordance with the best humanist traditions. The message of our common history and culture is that dictatorships are the sources of human suffering and death; that only democracy can create a life worthy of humans for citizens of any nation.

On International Holocaust Memorial Day, when we pay our respects to the memory of the victims, the tortured and the persecuted, we also confess our belief that every person shall have the right to human life and dignity, on which we - the Hungarians of the 21st century - shall insist in all circumstances.

Yours sincerely:

Dr. János Áder
President of the Republic of Hungary

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