International Holocaust remembrance conference opens in Budapest

Julie Wiener

BUDAPEST (JTA) — Some 200 delegates representing 31 countries attended a concert kicking off the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance conference in Budapest.

At the klezmer concert on Tuesday in the Dohany Street Synagogue, Janos Lazar, Hungary’s state secretary, said that Hungary “could not achieve what it did in the past centuries without our Jewish brothers.”

At the biannual four-day conference, delegates are discussing the Holocaust as a contemporary political issue.

Lazar pledged to find the names of the 600,000 Hungarians who perished in the Holocaust and place the names on the “memorial tree” in the synagogue’s courtyard or on the Memorial Wall at the Budapest Holocaust Memorial Center.

He also reiterated a promise made earlier this year that the government’s planned Holocaust museum will not open until it is approved by Hungary’s Jewish community leaders. The museum has been criticized for omitting the culpability of Hungarians and focusing exclusively on the last year of the Holocaust, after most Hungarian Jews had already been deported.

An estimated 7,000 Holocaust survivors live in Hungary, which has a total Jewish population of more than 80,000.

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