The National Heritage Institute held a commemoration in honour of the civilian victims of the siege of Budapest during the second world war, which ended 77 years ago, on Sunday.
Addressing the commemoration, Róbert Répássy, state secretary at the justice ministry, said that the hundred-day siege was one of the most devastating during the war, after those of Berlin and Stalingrad.
Some 100,000 people died, 38,000 civilians among them, he said. Some 15,000 of them were Jewish, 7,000 of whom were murdered by Hungarian Fascists, he said. Most of them were shot into the Danube, Répássy said.
Meanwhile, others were locked in a daily fight for survival, as the lack of clean water, food, the cold and illnesses decimated the civil population, he said.
Their sacrifice “teaches us to cherish human life, the survival, freedom and independence of our country, and peace,” Répássy said. “We also have to respect the freedom and culture of other nations, and strive for cooperation with each,” he said.
Afterwards, participants laid wreaths at two memorials on the Buda side of the city, erected to commemorate the civilian victims of explosions there.