BUDAPEST, Hungary (JTA) — A Hungarian lawmaker called the Holocaust "part of Hungarian history" during ceremonies marking the country’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.
"Those who were killed were Hungarians, and those who killed were also Hungarians,” said Zoltan Pokorni of the ruling Fidesz party on Tuesday at the Shoes on the Danube Promenade, a memorial site in Budapest.
Exhibition openings, conferences and theater performances were held throughout the country in memory of Holocaust victims.
The Budapest National Theater on Tuesday staged "The Investigation," a 1965 play by the German playwright Peter Weiss that depicts the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963-1965. The play had not been staged in Hungary since the 1960s.
Hungary marks its Holocaust Remembrance Day each year on April 16, the day in 1944 that Jews began to be forced into ghettos in the country.
The deportation of Hungarian Jews from the countryside started in mid-May 1944, and within 2 1/2 months, more than 500,000 Jews were sent to extermination camps, including 440,000 Jews to Auschwitz.
In total, 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust.