Balogh Addresses Roma Commemoration

2015. május 18., hétfő

Tragedies like the Roma Holocaust will only be unrepeatable if there is a culture of respect and if the mainstream and Roma “learn together, work together, live together and think together,” the minister of human resources said.

Zoltán Balog began his speech at a memorial ceremony on the occasion of Roma Resistance Day by apologising for comments about the Roma Holocaust and deportations he made in an interview last August. 

In the interview, Balog said that Roma had been deported from Austria and not from Hungary. At the weekend event held in the National Theatre, Balog said remembrance also involves recognising that “serious coexistence problems between Hungarians and Roma remain”. But these can be overcome where there is a culture of respect, he said. “We owe it not just to the Holocaust’s victims to acknowledge the past, but also to ourselves, as our level of responsibility is not the same as that of Hitler’s Germany.” The minister quoted

President János Áder as saying that it must be stated that numerous Hungarian government officials as well their propagandists and Arrow Cross officers played significant roles in the persecution of Hungarian Jews and Roma. 

He said those who aim to attract voters with anti-Roma rhetoric while hiding behind a “cuteness campaign” can be countered by better schools and jobs as well as a Roma policy free of corruption. On May 16, 1944, prisoners of the Roma camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau gathered together to fight off SS officers who had come to take them to the gas chambers. 

By Hungary Matters- Hungarian News Agency (MTI)

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