Guests Encouraged to Remember, Learn, and Face Present Dangers
New York, NY– Holocaust in Hungary, a moving historical exhibit documenting the horrific events that took the lives of 550,000 Jews in Hungary during the Holocaust, opened on January 23 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The exhibit is sponsored by the Carl Lutz Foundation, Budapest; the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice; and the Hungarian American Coalition, with support from The Hungary Initiatives Foundation and the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations. “Holocaust in Hungary” will remain at the United Nations until January 31, and will be on exhibit in Washington, DC later this winter.
Under-Secretary General Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal welcomed more than 150 guests and joined Csaba Kőrösi, Ambassador of Hungary to the United Nations, in remembering those who lost their lives, as well as those Hungarians who had the courage to help save their fellow citizens from death camps.
Coalition President Maximilian Teleki acted as Master of Ceremonies, and also represented Mr. György Vámos, President of the Carl Lutz Foundation and read his personal remarks. Mr. Vámos’ message was clear: “The history of the Holocaust in Hungary – which this exhibit introduces through key information and selected photographs – is proof that racism of any form can only lead to tragedy. Anti-Semitism, racism and anti-Gypsy sentiment are all based on a terrible power: that of hatred, based on misunderstanding, ignorance, and gullibility.”
Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, daughter of the late Congressman Tom Lantos, a survivor of the Hungarian Holocaust, also addressed the attendees. “We are here tonight not only to remember and to learn, but even more importantly, to prepare and to arm ourselves to face the very real dangers of the present moment.” Lantos Swett was referring to recent remarks by a prominent Hungarian historian that dismissed the 1941 deportations and ultimate deaths of nearly 20,000 Hungarian Jews as a “local police action against illegal aliens,” and she called on the Hungarian Government to stand firm against such attempts to revise history.
Dr. Tamás Fellegi, President and CEO of The Hungary Initiatives Foundation, speaking on behalf of the foundation’s Board of Trustees, delivered the closing remarks: “We mourn our dead. We draw lessons for the present and the future. We take note about the threats and dangers of racism and extremism. It is all the more important to register that the mainstream political forces in Hungary, be they Right or Left, are neither racist nor anti‐Semitic. There is a clear line of demarcation between political anti‐Semitism and mainstream political parties, regardless of right or left, and this is very important.”