In a meeting today with Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Avner Shalev, Director General of the National Hungarian Archives, Dr. Lajos Gecsényi reported on the establishment of a new Holocaust Center in Hungary to be inaugurated 16 April 2004 (Hungarian Holocaust Remembrance Day). The opening of the museum will feature two temporary exhibits, to be replaced later with a permanent exhibit.
The new Hungarian Minister of Culture, Astvan Haller, has already appointed a special representative of the Ministry whose sole responsibility is the Holocaust Center. Dr. Gecsényi also relayed Minister Haller’s personal commitment to all matters related to the Holocaust. In addition, Gecsényi relayed Minister Haller’s desire for Yad Vashem to be involved in the creation of the new Holocaust Center.
The declaration came at a meeting between Gecsényi (who was escorted by Hungarian Ambassador Dr. János Hóvári) and Shalev was to report on the progress of the cooperation between the Government of the State of Israel and the Government of the Republic of Hungary that allows copies of Holocaust documents from Hungarian National Archives to be transferred to the Yad Vashem Archives. Since January 1995 a team of researchers, working on behalf of the Yad Vashem Archives, has copied more than half a million pages of Holocaust-era documentation from Hungary’s public archives on to microfilm. Gecsényi reported that in addition, by November 2003, approximately 40,000 pages on microfilm will have been transferred to Yad Vashem from the National Archives. Both sides expressed satisfaction and a desire to increase cooperation efforts.