Sixteen Hungarians were recognized as righteous gentiles.
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, cited the group as Righteous Among the Nations – gentiles who tried to help Jews during World War II.
Among the honorees at a ceremony Feb. 28 were those who hid Jews in their basements and a Budapest hotel manager who saved up to 100 Jews by using fake names for guests. The honor was bestowed to rescuers or their surviving relatives
Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom and other officials attended the ceremony at the Hungarian Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest.
The Nazis and their allies, Hungarian fascists, murdered about 600,000 Hungarian Jews during the war. Today some 100,00 to 130,000 Jews live in Hungary.
Yad Vashem Chairman Yosef Lapid, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor, participated in the ceremony and told the Voice of America, “I have very hard feelings about the behavior of the Hungarians in the Holocaust because most of them kept silent. And when you keep silent, you collaborate with those who do terrible things.”
Lapid also expressed concern that neo-Nazis were increasingly active in Hungary, according to media reports.