print this page

Hungary commemorates victims of Roma Genocide


Hungary commemorated Roma and Sinti Genocide Remembrance Day in a number of memorial events held throughout the country.

Minister of Justice László Trócsányi attended a memorial event at Lake Grábler in Várpalota in Western Hungary on 2 August to commemorate the tragic fact that in 1945 more than a hundred Hungarians of Roma ethnicity from Várpalota and Székesfehérvár were murdered and their mass grave now lies under the waters of the lake. In his speech, he stressed that “what happened at Lake Grábler was the end result of a process, the darkest depths of a steep vortex that began by depriving citizens of their dignity, their equal rights, their property and freedom, and eventually their lives”.

This vortex must be checked at the very start, he said, also referring to Hungary’s Fundamental Law, which clearly states that human dignity is inviolable and that Hungary guarantees fundamental rights to everyone without discrimination.The Minister underlined that antisemitism, anti-Roma sentiment and all kinds of prejudice are a “slowly-acting poison”, for which the antidote is pure remembrance, support and sympathy.

“I want to represent a justice policy that protects the constitutional idea of equality and facilitates its enforcement”, Minister Trócsányi declared.

One the same day in southern Budapest, President János Áder made the following speech at the inauguration of a new centre dedicated to Roma history, culture, education and Holocaust remembrance.

On 4 August in Budapest an ecumenical service was organized by the Sant’Egidio Community to commemorate the Roma victims. The event was also attended by Minister of Human Resources Zoltán Balog in his capacity as a Reform Church pastor.

At the commemorative service, a message was read from Éva Faludi, who was a witness to the extermination of the Roma while a prisoner at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1944: “We must speak relentlessly about the past, as this is the only way to avoid its recurrence”, she wrote.

The commemoration was attended by former President of the Republic László Sólyom, Minister of State for Social Affairs and Inclusion Károly Czibere, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy to Hungary Maria Assunta Accili and Deputy Mayor of Budapest Tamás Szentes.




Photo1: Lajos Nagy/MTI

Photo 3: Gábor Bodó