On 16 April, the Memorial Day of the Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust was commemorated in schools, at memorial sites and by Jewish communities throughout the country. This national Holocaust Memorial Day was established by the Ministry of Education in 2000, instructing schools to observe the anniversary of the formation of the first ghettos in Hungary on 16 April 1944. The ghettos served to concentrate the Jewish population in preparation for their mass deportation, mostly to Auschwitz-Birkenau, that started just a month later. The Office of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán shared a statement to pay tribute to Hungarian victims of the Holocaust.
Victims of the tragedy were remembered at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest in a performance by the students of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Kaposvár that ran for the entire day and by a musical program by the Szirom Ensemble.
At the event, state secretary Bence Rétvári reiterated the commitment of the government to protect the Jewish community from all forms of antisemitism. The Chairman of the board of the Holocaust Memorial Center, Andor Grósz, pointed out the enormous loss the Jewish community and the entire Hungarian nation suffered as the consequence of the Shoah: “We cannot even imagine how much stronger and richer this country would be if the half a million murdered citizens and all their descendants worked with us” he said.
The commemoration was closed by saying the Kaddish and lighting the candles of remembrance at the Wall of Victims.