March of the Living in Budapest
Budapest, April 16 (MTI) – Thousands of people participated in the March of the Living commemorating the victims of the Holocaust in Budapest on Sunday afternoon.
The event held for the fifteenth time began at the “Shoes on the riverbank” memorial honouring the memory of Holocaust victims killed on the banks of the Danube, where participants placed stones, candles and flowers. The memorial march led across the Chain Bridge to Clark Adam Square on the Buda side.
The aim of the event is to allow participants to pay their respects to victims of the Holocaust together regardless of their religious and political affiliation and to express their commitment to solidarity and democratic political culture.
Speakers warned of the dangers of discrimination and strengthening anti-Semitism and the importance of remembering and learning the lessons of the past.
Gábor Gordon, chairman of the board of the March of the Living Foundation, said this year Easter Sunday coincides with the 6th day of the Jewish Passover and Hungary’s Holocaust Memorial Day.
For Christians, he said, today is the celebration of resurrection and salvation. For Jews it means liberation from slavery in Egypt, but it warns Christians and Jews alike of the dangers of discrimination, of the tiny, day-to-day, barely visible steps that constitute a process that could lead to irredeemable tragedy.
Yosef Amrani, Israeli ambassador in Budapest, said the participants represent those who could not take part in the March of the Living, those who can no longer walk, those who lost their lives or were never even born. The ambassador emphasised the importance of remembrance, noting that it all began before Hungary’s first anti-Jewish law of 1938, with fear, hatred and prejudices.
At the end of the programme, amateur long-distance runner Peter Hajdu started an 8-day run to Auschwitz to join the international March of the Living there.
More than 10,000 people participated in the event and about 18,000 followed the live broadcast on Facebook.