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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 April, 2004, 20:47 GMT 21:47 UK
Hungary opens Holocaust memorial
Israeli President Moshe Katsav
The Israeli president said anti-Semitism was on the rise in Europe
A Holocaust memorial and documentation centre has opened in Budapest.

The inauguration took place on the 60th anniversary of the start of the deportation of Hungarian Jews to the death camps in World War II.

Israeli President Moshe Katsav attended the ceremony amid tight security - two days after an alleged plot to blow up a Jewish museum in Budapest.

Police have charged a Hungarian citizen of Palestinian origin with planning a terrorist attack.

The streets surrounding the centre were closed off and marksmen in position on neighbouring rooftops as the centre was opened.

Private collections

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Katsav said anti-Semitism was on the rise in Europe.

"That is why this museum is so important," he added.

Approximately 600,000 Hungarians - among them half-a-million Jews, tens of thousands of Roma, homosexuals, and political opponents died in the Holocaust.

The centre cost $9m and was funded entirely by the Hungarian state.

It is housed in a specially-built complex adjoining a synagogue, opened in the 1920s, which has stood derelict since the end of the war.

The names of around 60,000 Hungarian Jews who died in the Holocaust have been inscribed on a wall in the museum's courtyard.

During the communist period, no official research took place into the Holocaust in Hungary, but documents relating to it were gathered in private collections in Hungary and abroad.

This will be the fifth Holocaust memorial centre to open, following others in Jerusalem, Washington, London and Berlin.


SEE ALSO:
Hungary foils 'anti-Jewish plot'
13 Apr 04  |  Europe


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