Hungary reflects on its responsibility during Holocaust

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BUDAPEST, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- "The Hungarian State bears responsibility for not having defended its citizens during the Holocaust," a minister was quoted by the government's official website as saying here on Monday.

"There is no collective guilt, but there is state responsibility," declared Gergely Gulyas, the minister heading the Prime Minister's Office, at a commemoration to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

At the event organized by the Holocaust Memorial Center, Gulyas added: "The Government has always spoken very clearly with relation to the responsibility of the Hungarian State. It is a fact that in the thirties the rise of anti-Semitism also reached Hungarian society, and was embodied in the intolerable restriction of Jewish rights, and it is a fact that the deportation of Jews began following the German occupation, but none of this cold have occurred without the activities of Hungarian public administration."

Hungary was an ally of Germany during World War II and the Hungarian government and armed forces actively participated in sending roughly half a million Jewish residents to their deaths as forced laborers or in death camps.

"Behind the numbers that indicate the multitude of victims, we must see the individual human fates, and we must preserve the memory of the victims, of those who were destroyed by the murderous dictatorship that was driven by the race theory," Gulyas underlined.

"The Government is proud of the fact that Jews and non-Jews can live side-by-side today in a flourishing cultural and religious life, and in safety," said the minister, adding "Hungary has learned from the past and knows that a common future must be planned and realized together with the Jewish community."

The loss is not only that of the Jews, but of all of Europe; is not only a loss for the Hungarian Jews, but for the whole Hungarian nation, Gulyas noted.

"The Holocaust was the result of disavowing Western civilization that rests on Jewish-Christian foundations, because both Jewish and Christian moral teachings regard human life as sacred," he concluded.

Israeli Ambassador to Budapest Yossi Amrani said: "The Holocaust is an inconceivable and indescribably tragedy, that it is our duty to remember. The survivors bear a heavy burden, an almost unbearable memory, and there is no consolation for their painful memories."

"One-third of the victims of the Auschwitz death camp were Hungarian Jews, and it is our task to preserve their memory to the younger generations so that this can never happen again," said Tamas Kovacs, director of the Holocaust Memorial Center.

The Auschwitz death camp was liberated on Jan. 27, 1945. On Jan. 1, 2005 The UN General Assembly declared Jan. 27 the International Day of Commemoration in memory for the victims of the Holocaust.

The unanimously adopted resolution states the "duty of commemoration and teaching" to ensure that future generations come to know the story of the Nazi mass murders, which claimed six million victims. Enditem

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