Commemoration of 2004
20. June 2004.
Commemoration at the 60th anniversary of the Holocaust
Photographed by: László Reiter
Partial quote from an article in the local Nógrád Megyei Hírlap:
"Yesterday, there was a commemoration in the ancient, art-relic jewish cemetery of Balassagyarmat. The commemorators, relatives of the deported , survivors, the representatives of the Jewish Community, and also members of the local City Council remembered together to the horrors of the Holocaust, which happened 60 years ago. Mr. József Bauer, chairman of the local jewish community, called the genocide the biggest shame of the 20th century, slaying 6 million (among them 600.000 Hungarian) jewish people. Their only crime was, that they were born to be jewish. They started to separated the jews, forcing them into ghettos on the spring of 1944 with force. "Condolence, respect, common mourning, remembrance and reconcilation should fill our hearts" - said the leader of the community. Attila József - awarded poet András Mezei, a Holocaust survivor from Nógrádmarcal said, that no crying, no wailing could be more terrible than the numbers. From the half million jewish people who were deported from the countryside, only 10% had survived the horror. Mayor István Lombos said, that Balassagyarmat had one of the most prosperous jewish diaspora of the whole country, whose history is part of the universal human culture. He also pointed out, that since the democratic changes all city local government expressed its support against all kinds of anti-semitism. Rabbi Tamás Verő said the commemorators the story of the 5820 jews (among them 2800 citizens of Balassagyarmat), who were deported from the area. The trains set off to the death on 12 and 14 June, and not only a handful of dust remained after most of them. And the survivors had a sad fate too. When they arrived back they only found out that their "Sanctuary of Jerusalem" was destroyed, their homes were ravaged, their relatives clothes were left unfilled - the rabbi said, who, alongside Cantor Gábor Szilágyi, inaugurated the gravestone of József Róth, z'l, former chairmen of the Jewish Community of Balassagyarmat. After that the commemoration had been continued in the former tabernacle. Mr. Béla Majdán, the dreamer of the exhibition, held a presentment about the current ways of protecting the jewish heritage of the city, and poet András Mezei recited his soul-stirring poems, which poems echoed the never ceasing pain of the tragedy, which happened 60 years ago."
Translated by Majdán Béla Jr.