Victims of the Holocaust were commemorated at the March of the Living in Budapest on Sunday. The path of the march ran between two memorials to forced labourers.
Gabor Gordon, who heads the board of trustees of the March of the Living Foundation, said this year’s march paid tribute to the memory of forced labourers, noting that over 100,000 Jews and non-Jews from Hungary were used as forced labourers from 1939, and 60,000 of them didn’t survive.
European Commission Coordinator on combating anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life Katharina von Schnurbein acknowledged the thriving Jewish life in Budapest, but said eight of ten Hungarian Jews still say anti-Semitism is a problem. She welcomed the Hungarian government’s efforts to draft its own national strategy against anti-Semitism.
Israeli Ambassador to Hungary Yacov Hadas-Handelsman pointed to the important role education plays in abolishing anti-Semitism and said today’s youth must be made aware of the crimes committed during the Holocaust. He added that the March of the Living is also “about speaking out, especially against inequality and intolerance”.
United States Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman said the March of the Living serves the purpose of remembering and educating, but also provides an opportunity for people to recommit to engaging with others with whom they don’t see eye to eye, and to standing up against those who target the vulnerable.