Marking Memorial Day of the Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust on Tuesday, the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK), Socialists and LMP called for the rejection of violence and hatred. Ferenc Gyurcsány, the leftist DK’s leader, noted in a statement that the forced ghettoisation of Hungarian Jews started on April 16, 1944. “Some deny the Holocaust ever happened,” Gyurcsány said. “But we remember that day 75 years ago.”
Gyurcsány said today was also a commemoration of all the atrocities committed against Hungarians during the second world war. “As long as we bow our heads and remember the hundreds of thousands … who were stripped of their rights by human evil and the Nazi madness, we also stand in the way of this ever happening again,” he said. The Socialists said in a statement that the Hungarian government in 1944 had betrayed the victims of the Holocaust by “exposing them to a politics of hatred and by cooperating in robbing them, rounding them up and deporting them; and, in effect, in their murder.” The memory of the victims is “sullied by the fact that … those ideas can be openly promoted in Hungary today,” the statement added. Hungary’s current government “draws up lists of freethinkers and scientists, falsifies history and looks to the anti-Semitic pre-war Horthy era as an example,” it added. “So many years after the Holocaust, we are forced to watch as the government of [PM Viktor] Orbán builds a post-Fascist system,” the Socialists’ statement said.
LMP co-leaders Márta Demeter and László Lóránt Keresztes said in a statement that the memorial day should be dedicated to grief, commemoration and should serve as a warning to future generations that everyone is responsible for the protection of human dignity and equality. “There should be no second-class citizens in Hungary. The various identities, cultures and traditions are all assets of our shared homeland,” LMP’s statement said. April 16 was declared Memorial Day of the Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust in 2000.