The March of the Living set out from March 15 Square in Budapest today afternoon. Commemorators of Hungary’s Holocaust victims followed a path crossing Elisabeth Bridge to the Friedrich Born banks of the River Danube.
Chief rabbi Tamás Róna greeted those gathered and asked them to preserve the memory of the 600,000 Jews “whose lives could never be fulfilled”.
Imre Leibovits, a survivor of the Holocaust, said that over the past 2,000 years, Jews have been subjected to persecution after persecution. No state absent of pogroms had existed, he added.
The procession walked to the sound of the shofar, a ram’s-horn trumpet used in Jewish religious ceremonies.
Speakers at the event emphasised the importance of remembrance and the dangers of exclusion.
Gábor Gordon, board chairman of the March of the Living Hungary Foundation, told the gathering that the people who took part in the march each year had turned into a huge community.
Israeli ambassador to Hungary Yossi Amrani said that the people processing beneath a “beautiful blue sky” along the banks of the Danube today did so in peace and love, but 74 years ago “the same sky saw horrors that the human mind cannot comprehend”. Then, people were going to their deaths, into the gas chambers or into the Danube itself, he noted.
As we wrote before, Israel owes its survival to having always defended its territory and protected its people, a government official said at the opening of an exhibition marking the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence in Bonyhád, in southern Hungary. Read more HERE.