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Hungary Leader Accepts Nation’s Responsibility for Role in Holocaust

A Hungarian lawmaker called the Holocaust “part of Hungarian history,” during ceremonies marking the country’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“The Holocaust is part of the Hungarian history,” said Zoltán Pokorni, from the ruling right of center party Fidesz, during a ceremony Tuesday at the memorial site Shoes on the Danube Promenade in Budapest. “Those who were killed were Hungarians and those who killed were also Hungarians,” he said.

Exhibition openings, conferences, and theater performances also were held throughout the country in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

The Budapest National Theater on Tuesday staged the play “The Investigation,” by German playwright Peter Weiss and written in 1965, which depicts the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963-1965, the first time the play has been staged in Hungary since the 60s.

Hungary marks its Holocaust Remembrance Day each year on April 16, the day in 1944 that Jews began to be forced into ghettos in Hungary.

The deportation of Hungarian Jews from the countryside started in mid-May 1944, and within two-and-a-half months over 500,000 Jews were deported to extermination camps, including 440,000 Jews to Auschwitz, where every third victim was a Hungarian Jew.

All together 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

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