Exactly 70 years to the day since Jews in Budapest were forced to move to houses bearing a large yellow Star of David, some of the buildings still standing have been opened up to the public.
Songs were sung and poems recited in front of the so-called ‘Yellow-Star Houses’. Holocaust survivors like Hajnalka Radó were among those attending.
She says her entire family was killed when Hungarians allied to Nazi Germany helped to deport half a million Jews to death camps.
Asked how she managed to stay alive, she said: “I escaped from one place to another. I was hiding here and there and I was still young at the time.”
With education a key reason for the commemoration, organiser István Rév of the Open Society Archives institution, said: “We can’t live in a city if we don’t really know where we live and we don’t even think about it and if we don’t face our own history.”
Many of the buildings housed hundreds of people, with several families crowded into each apartment. Time and again fascist commandos raided such houses, killing dozens of Jews at a time.
Seven decades on, with the rise of the far-right, anti-Semitism remains a sore point in Hungary.
Our correspondent Andrea Hajagos said that out of the 2,000 one-time ‘Yellow-Star” houses,1,600 still exist. Today thousands of people live their everyday lives in those buildings in Budapest. She has just learned that she is one of them.