Washington, DC – The Carl Lutz Foundation, Budapest in conjunction with the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, the Hungarian American Coalition and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, will inaugurate an exhibit commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Hungarian Holocaust. The exhibit will be displayed on May 19, 2014 in the Foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building from 4:00PM – 6:00PM. To attend the ceremony, please RSVP to Eszter@hacusa.org.
The exhibit presents a historical account of the Hungarian Holocaust in observance of the 70th anniversary of the deportation and extermination of the Hungarian Jews. The exhibit presents the greatest Hungarian tragedy of the last century through photographs and facsimile documents.
The first panel evokes the elements of coexistence and assimilation that characterized Jewish Hungary until World War I. The next section describes how the country’s political leadership later used Jews as scapegoats for the country’s loss in the Great War. The exhibit describes limitations placed on the rights of Jewish citizens, as well as flagrant cases of terror and brutality. Between 1938 and 1944, several restrictive laws and decrees were passed; the Jewish community was gradually disempowered as they lost their livelihoods, and many were pressed into forced labor.
In 1944, the collaborationist Sztójay government forced Hungarian Jews to wear a yellow Star of David, imprisoned them in ghettos, deprived them of their property and deported them to concentration camps. One in every ten Holocaust victims, and one in every three victims of the extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, was a Hungarian citizen. The exhibit, along with familiar images from the Auschwitz album, presents witness testimonies. The exhibit also introduces the resistance and the deeds of rescuers: 806 Hungarians and several foreign diplomats serving in Budapest made demonstrable efforts to help the persecuted.
The closing part of the exhibit presents the assistance given to the deported returning to their countries, as well as data on restitution issues.
The exhibit was made possible by a generous grant from The Hungary Initiatives Foundation and the support of the Hungarian Embassy, Washington, DC.