On 16 April We Remember Hungarian Victims Of Holocaust

  • 15 Apr 2013 9:00 AM
On 16 April We Remember Hungarian Victims Of Holocaust
In 2000, the National Assembly designated 16 April as the Day of Remembrance for Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust. The first such memorial event was held in 2001. This year official Remembrance Day events will take place in Budapest at the Holocaust Memorial Center and the Danube Promenade Holocaust Memorial, and also in the cities of Hódmezővásárhely and Pécs. There will also be a memorial concert in the afternoon at Budapest’s House of Terror Museum.

There will be a day-long remembrance programme at the Holocaust Memorial Center (Budapest, Páva utca 39) between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., when access to the permanent collection and the temporary exhibition Memorial Pictures will be free of charge.

Relatives of victims who wish their lives to be commemorated by having their names added to the Wall of Victims should bring personal information and contemporary documentation relating to their loved ones to the registration desk. A memorial programme will start at 5 p.m., during which the 2013 Wiesenthal Awards ceremony will take place, and young people will show how they preserve the memory of our ancestors who enriched culture, but whose lives ended in tragedy.

Since 2008, on this day the Holocaust Foundation of Hungary has presented Simon Wiesenthal Awards to those individuals whose selfless volunteer work has helped to preserve the memory of Hungarian victims of the Holocaust.

During the memorial programme extracts will be read from prize-winning essays entered by high school students in the competition entitled Losses to Hungarian Culture. The essay competition was organised by the Memorial Center in 2012, with the aim of acquainting young people with the work of eminently talented and creative Hungarians who fell victim to the Holocaust. Throughout the day those who come to commemorate victims may light candles, lay stones of remembrance and pay tribute at the Wall of Victims.

Also at the Holocaust Memorial Center, Monika Balatoni (Minister of State for Public diplomacy and Relations at the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice) will open the temporary photographic exhibition “Memorial Pictures – Unforgettable 20th-Century Life Stories.” This has been organised for Holocaust Memorial Day to emblematically commemorate those outstanding figures of Hungarian culture whose fate was sealed by the tragedy of the Holocaust, but whose work still moves us and lives among us.

The exhibition organisers selected iconic figures from a number of fields of Hungarian culture who fell victim to the Holocaust. Whilst never forgetting other victims of the Holocaust, the focus here is on the fates of representatives from the theatre, literature, science, the circus, architecture and sport in Hungary.

When choosing who to include, consideration was given to the fact that currently an exhibition at the Bajor Gizi Actors’ Museum is commemorating the activities and artists of the Hungarian Jewish Educational Association (OMIKE), which was in existence between1910 and1944. The Jewish Museum is also commemorating Hungarian artists who died in the Holocaust in a temporary exhibition. The three exhibitions combine to portray a broad cross-section of this tragic period.

Due to his personal involvement and also the anniversary of his birth, it would be almost impossible for the temporary exhibition to overlook the unprecedented oeuvre of the Hungarian-born Robert Capa. Some original photographs from the Hungarian National Museum’s collection of Capa’s work – unique in Europe – will feature in the exhibition. The exhibition will be on show at the Memorial Center until 22 June 2013 – The Night of the Museums.

At 7 p.m. the closing event of the Day of Remembrance will be the lighting of candles, the placing of stones and a silent tribute to the victims at the Shoes on the Danube memorial on the Pest embankment.

In Hódmezővásárhely there will be a commemoration event from 10 a.m. in the ground floor assembly hall of the Bethlen Gábor Calvinist Secondary School. Representing the Government, Minister of Defence Csaba Hende will give an address, pupils at the school will perform a piece prepared for the occasion, and there will be an art exhibition of work by pupils and teachers on the theme of the Holocaust. Also in Hódmezővásárhely, there will be a conference in the conference room of the Emlékpont (Point of Remembrance in time) building, entitled “Rescue during the Holocaust”.

In Pécs the city's mayor – Zsolt Páva – will give a speech at the remembrance event starting at 3 p.m. in the main hall of the Nagy Lajos Cistercian Secondary School and Hall of Residence. Following this there will be a walk to places of remembrance, where wreaths will be laid, and then at 5 p.m. the opening event for a Holocaust exhibition in the district of the Zsolnay Porcelain Manufactory.

In relation to the Day of Remembrance for Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust, the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice has announced a competition for secondary school students. The aim of the competition is presentation of the scientific and cultural losses suffered during the Holocaust, through depiction of the careers of outstanding talents in Hungarian intellectual life: individuals whose creativity resulted in legacies of excellence in professional and aesthetic terms, but who are only famous locally.

The deadline for applications is 30 November 2013, with the results to be announced on 16 April 2014 – the Day of Remembrance for Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust and the 70th anniversary of the beginning of ghettoisation of Jews in Hungary. Entries will be exhibited as part of the associated series of commemorative events, and all entries selected by the jury will appear on www.holokausztaldozatai.kormany.hu.

Details of events are available in Hungarian on www.holokausztaldozatai.kormany.hu

Source: Ministry of Public Administration and Justice

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