President of Hungary apologises for father’s Nazi collaboration in a Shoah ceremony in Parliament

Hungarian President Tamas Sulyok expressed remorse for his father’s involvement in the Holocaust during a ceremony held in the Budapest parliament, marking the 80th anniversary of the Holocaust of Hungarian Jews.

Following the adoption of anti-Jewish legislation by the Hungarian Parliament, the systematic killing of approximately 600,000 Hungarian Jews began in May 1944, during the Holocaust. Some of those murdered were tied together and thrown into the Danube River to drown.

As part of the ceremony, Rabbi Shlomo Kobush recited the Jewish Kadish prayer in memory of the murdered Jews, before reciting El male rachamim (merciful God), a prayer for the soul of a dead person.

Sulyok’s father, Laszlo Sulyok, had led the Hungarian National Socialist Party that was allied with the German Nazi party during the final years of World War II.

He said he hadn’t been aware of his father’s past and was shocked when it came to light. The Hungarian president also invited his Israeli colleague, President Isaac Herzog to take part in the ceremony, however, he declined due to the current situation in Israel.

In a recorded speech played during the ceremony, Herzog noted that the extermination of Hungarian Jews stood out for having taken place so rapidly and with little resistance from the larger population.

He also thanked Hungary for taking responsibility for the nation’s past and for participating in international Holocaust-related organizations.

Sulyok concurred, saying paying tribute to the victims was also “an expression of responsibility for the future.”

“Taking responsibility for the past, including my personal history, I pay tribute to all victims of the Holocaust,” he added.


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