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Hungarian Ambassador to Israel Visits Yad Vashem

14 October 2004

Hungary’s new Ambassador to Israel, HE Dr. Andras Gyenge visited Yad Vashem yesterday and met with Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate.

During the Ambassador’s visit he presented Shalev with microfilms that will be added to Yad Vashem’s archives. Cooperation between Yad Vashem and various Hungarian institutions and individuals in the field of Holocaust research and studies is deep and comprehensive. The new Holocaust Museum and Memorial in Budapest’s – opened by the Presidents of Hungary and Israel in April – main exhibit is based in large part on the Auschwitz Album, published by Yad Vashem in association with the Auschwitz Museum. The Budapest Museum will be a center for future cooperation.

Ambassador Gyenge stressed Hungary’s “commitment to face its past and pass the lessons to future generations.”

“In 1944-45 nearly 600,000 of Hungary’s Jews perished in Auschwitz and elsewhere. They left a vacuum, which hurts until today. This was the tragedy of the whole nation, the darkest chapter in Hungary’s modern history. While the state apparatus participated in the deportations, the silent majority witnessed it all and did nothing. Only a precious few dared to speak up and act against it, thus saving the life of tens of thousands. Foreign diplomats and civilians, like Wallenberg or Perlasca, the Righteous Hungarians - 643 of whom recognized by Yad Vashem -, and dedicated members of the Zionist youth resistance showed the power of courage, morality and humanity. They deserve the highest tribute,” he said. “Yad Vashem is a memory for so many – from all of us. Hungary values the long dedication and the achievements of this Institution. Itself a most Righteous Place.”