The United Nations headquarters in New York opened an exhibition entitled A Remembrance of the Holocaust in Hungary: 70th Anniversary Exhibition, on Thursday evening local time.
The exhibition is part of the UN’s 2014 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Public Information at the United Nations, said it is extremely important to remember the unparalleled mass murder which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousand Hungarians, in order to successfully prevent that such events could ever happen again. An important lesson of the Holocaust is that it is necessary to take action against ethnic and religious hatred, including anti-Semitism.
Hungary’s UN Ambassador Csaba Korosi delivered the Hungarian government’s message that the Hungarian state had been guilty for the Holocaust firstly because it failed to protect citizens and secondly because it assisted in the mass murder and provided financial resources to it. The apology of the Hungarian state today must become part of national memory and identity, he added.
A message by Carl Lutz Foundation chairman Gyorgy Vamos was delivered by Maximilian Teleki, the head of the American Hungarian Coalition, because Vamos suffered a stroke two days before the opening event. He said history has shown that all forms of racism results only in tragedy.
Tom Lantos Foundation leader Katrina Lantos Swett said nearly 20,000 Jews were deported already in 1941, before the Nazi occupation of Hungary. She expressed outrage about historian Sandor Szakaly’s recent remarks according to which the deportation to Kamyanets-Podolsky of the first group from Hungary during WWII qualified as an “alien citizens’ procedure”. She said his remarks represented an unacceptable attempt to deny the “deep moral complicity” of the Hungarian government of the time. She noted that the Veritas Institute headed by Szakaly is receiving budget support in Hungary and called on the government to raise its voice against condemnable remarks and make the necessary steps to correct the current situation.
She expressed appreciation of Korosi, Hungarian Ambassador in Washington, DC Gyorgy Szapary, Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi and state secretary Zsolt Nemeth for raising their voice in protection of tolerance and minority protection.
Head of the Hungary Initiatives Foundation Tamas Fellegi said it is important to note that none of the mainstream parties in Hungary, on the right and on the left, are racist or anti-Semitic.