Wallenberg Remembered By Public Dignitaries At Great Synagogue In Budapest

  • 11 Sep 2012 9:00 AM
Wallenberg Remembered By Public Dignitaries At Great Synagogue In Budapest
Speaking at the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Evening yesterday, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zsolt Németh underlined the importance of preventing anti-Semitic incidents and ensuring the safety of Hungarian citizens.

He emphasised that by attending this event, Hungary’s public dignitaries were expressing their solidarity towards every person subjected to atrocities with the full force of their authority.

The event, organised by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the March of the Living Foundation, was held in the Dohány street Great Synagogue and was attended by the President of Hungary, Hungary's retired Chief Rabbi József Schweitzer, Archbishop of Budapest-Esztergom Cardinal Péter Erdő, the Prime Minister's wife Anikó Lévai, Wallenberg's niece Louise von Dardel, ministers and other government officials, as well as representatives of the Jewish community, Hungary's political parties, and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

President of Hungary János Áder stressed in his speech the importance of repeatedly pronouncing that no one, under any ideology or political conviction can turn against his countrymen. He also noted that Hungary has been traditionally a welcoming country and quoted Saint Stephen's instructions in which Hungary's first Christian king warned his son to accommodate and support people coming from foreign lands.

Israeli Ambassador to Hungary Ilan Mor said that the events of the Holocaust must not be allowed to pass into oblivion. "The truth must be learnt and it must be pronounced," he said, adding that the Holocaust did not start with the concentration camps but with hatred spreading across the streets. He welcomed that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had called for zero tolerance against expressions inciting hatred and that the Government was paying attention to minorities.

Swedish Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter also spoke at the event, saying that "while there is hatred, Wallenberg's work remains unfinished".

The commemoration was one of the highlights of the Wallenberg Memorial Year, marking the 100th anniversary of the Swedish diplomat's birth. As part of the ceremony, the park of the synagogue was named after Wallenberg.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs - kormany.hu

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