Budapest (MTI) – The human resources minister commended Hungarian Roma culture and history at an event in Budapest held to remember the Roma Holocaust.
Zoltán Balog said late on Tuesday that it is “our duty to liberate the huge reserves of power” in Roma culture “to serve our common future.”
He said Hungarians by now had no excuse not to be aware of the “dreadful tragedy” of the Roma Holocaust.
The minister said the change in political system in 1989-90 had created the freedom and the possibility to “confront out past and thereby rediscover those with whom our common fate lies … in communist times we could hardly know about each other.”
Church communities, national minorities and civic communities that did not officially exist had to discover each other, their stories and their wounds, he said, adding that this was hard since everyone at first was only concerned with their own suffering and losses.
The Hungarian Roma community has been pushed to the end of the line with its story of suffering, he said, adding that 25 years was needed to pay our debt “and take care for those who are at the end of the line”.
Szabolcs Takács, prime ministerial state secretary for EU affairs and current chairman of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association, noted that Tuesday’s cultural programme was the ceremonial opening of a series of conferences to be held in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on Wednesday in conjunction with the Budapest Tom Lantos Institute and the Jesuit Roma College.