It is the Government’s unequivocal standpoint that every manifestation of radicalism must be driven back and this has to be realised in everyday life as well, Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér said, addressing the Yad Vashem Institute’s “Righteous among the Nations” awarding ceremony where the Hungarian “For Courage Honours” was also presented. Ambassador of Israel to Hungary Ilan Mor also spoke at the event, stating that tribute is being paid to those who did not remain indifferent bystanders during the Holocaust.

Minister Pintér emphasised that the Government deems it important to remember the victims of the Holocaust, therefore declared 2014 the Holocaust Memorial Year on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Shoah and also established a memorial committee. He stated that the majority of Hungarians agree with the fact that no anti-Semitic, racist, hate-inciting group or party support has a place in politics. Every effort must be made to ensure that the memory of horrific dictatorships remains only a memory and never again should it be possible to exclude, humiliate and murder people based on their origin or religion, he said.

Photo: Noémi Bruzák

In his speech, Israel’s Ambassador Ilan Mor stressed that in 2014, the 70th anniversary of the Hungarian Holocaust will be remembered. He said during those times many Hungarians were indifferent about the fate of their Jewish compatriots and there were people even assisting the Nazis. Now, however, tribute is paid to those who were ready to risk their freedom or lives in order to save Hungarian Jews, he underlined. The Ambassador welcomed the Hungarian Government’s decision to declare 2014 the Holocaust Memorial Year. He also expressed his hope that, within the framework of the Memorial Year, the Holocaust and the tragedy of Hungarian Jews will be remembered as one of the darkest chapters of Hungarian history.

The eight “Righteous among the Nations” honours were granted to relatives of the rescuers; the award of one individual, who does not have a living family member, will be kept in the Yad Vashem Institute in Israel.