United Nations, New York Headquarters, 23 January 2014
The first DPI/NGO briefing of the winter season was held on January 23, commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Deportation of the Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. Dr. Carol Rittner, Professor of Holocaust & Genocide Studies, said that “The success of the Nazi ‘Final Solution of the Jewish Question’ in Europe depended to a very large extent, on the cooperation, or at least the indifference and passivity, of the non-Jewish populations under Nazi rule.” She said less than one-third of the Jews of Hungary survived the Holocaust. In her final remarks Dr. Rittner said, “Never be a perpetrator. Never be a victim. Never, but never be a bystander.”
Agnes Vertes was the next speaker. She is a Holocaust survivor who was born in Budapest in 1940. “I am very happy and very lucky to be here but it wasn’t meant to be,” she said. When she was four years old, Ms. Vertes said, her family disintegrated in a pursuit to evade deportation and eventually death.
The Permanent Representative of Hungary said that the Hungarian government has declared the year 2014 as the Hungarian Holocaust Memorial Year. The Holocaust commemoration year, he said, provides an opportunity for the whole nation to face the past and apologize.
Speakers: Dr. Carol Rittner RSM, Distinguished Professor of Holocaust & Genocide Studies, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey; Mrs. Agnes Vertes, a Hungarian Holocaust Survivor; and H.E. Mr. Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations.
Written By WIT Representative: Shan Cheema.