The Holocaust is the tragedy of mankind without parallel, Hungarian President Janos Ader told a commemoration of Raoul Wallenberg in the Israeli Knesset on Tuesday.
The commemoration was held to mark the 100th birth anniversary of the Swedish diplomat, who saved thousands of Jewish lives in Budapest in 1944.
Wallenberg was “human in an inhumane world”, an example of a single man who changed the course of the world, Ader said at the event.
He said little was known of the secret of Wallenberg’s personality or how he managed to get his way in a violent and crazy world, though, armed with knowledge of his opponents’ way of thinking, he used this knowledge as a weapon against them.
Ader noted that Wallenberg ended up in the prison of the Soviet secret services, which he said showed that totalitarian regimes have no morality.
“For this reason, we must under all circumstances pursue a moral path, because where morality ends, mankind ends. The most important message of morality is respect, mutual respect and honour for each other, for life,” he said.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Swedish parliamentary speaker Per Westerberg both paid tribute to Wallenberg’s memory, saying this served as an example to others.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ader held talks with his Israeli counterpart in Jerusalem and invited Benjamin Netanyahu to personally see how Jewish culture thrives in Hungary.
Ader, who is on a three-day official visit in Israel, which started on Monday, told journalists after the hour-long meeting that sensitive issues in bilateral relations had not been addressed. But the rise of anti-Semitism in several countries in Europe had been discussed, he said, adding that steps against such phenomena must be taken together.
The Hungarian president also visited the Yad Vashem Institute and paid tribute to victims of the Holocaust.