STATEMENTS AND LETTERS
Statement by the President on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day
The Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was liberated on 27th January 1945 by troops of the First Ukrainian Front. The United Nations Organization declared this day International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Despite being several hundreds of kilometers from our country, Auschwitz forms part of Hungarian history. This death camp was the site of the inhuman suffering, humiliation and the death of close to half a million of our compatriots.
Seventy years ago, following the German occupation of our country in 1944, the will of Hitler’s Nazi Germany seemed to be fulfilled by the Nazi governors and the Hungarian state authorities collaborating with them. Within barely half a year they mercilessly executed their program of creating ghettos and deported the entire Hungarian Jewry living in the countryside.
We shall never forget that in that tragic year seventy years ago, an endless convoy of death trains left the Hungarian territories for Nazi concentration camps. We shall never forget either that several hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens herded into ghettos would have also suffered the same fate, had the war evolved according to the intents of Hitler’s Germany and its Arrow Cross puppets.
The tragedy of Hungarian Jews is the pain and the irreplaceable loss of our entire political nation.
Therefore I call on Hungarian radios and televisions, asking them to contribute within their means to help us observe 70 seconds of silent mourning at 7 PM on 27th January 2014 in memory of our innocently slain compatriots.
Let this silence be common mourning, the silence of the shared pain felt for our compatriots.
By honoring the hundreds of thousands of innocent children, elderly, women and men let us express the unity and the resolve of our nation that the citizens of the free and democratic Hungary will not identify with any inhuman concept or ideology, nor with those, who committed unredeemable sins against their fellow citizens in the name of the Hungarian state during the course of our 20th century history.
I believe that the power of the shared silence of our silent respect will help us recognize the good in each other and to condemn evil together.
President of the Republic of Hungary