Hungarian Minster of Justice László Trócsányi and his counterparts from Slovakia and Austria, Lucia Zitnanská and Wolfgang Brandstetter unveiled a commemorative plaque to commemorate the Jewish victims of the Pozsonyligetfalu (Petržalka) forced labour camp, at the former site of the camp on Wednesday.
The commemorative plaque, which was suggested by Austria, commemorates the tragic events at the camp in four languages - Hungarian, Slovakian, German and Hebrew - and was placed at the former site of the camp, on the external wall of the Leberfinger restaurant. Around a hundred people attended the inauguration ceremony and commemoration, including members of the diplomatic corps of several countries, including Israel, and representatives of local and international Jewish communities, in addition to the three justice ministers.
In their speeches, the Hungarian, Slovakian and Austrian justice ministers all recalled the tragedy that took place in the forced labour camp and its circumstances, stressing that the plaque commemorating the victims was also a warning sign for future generations.
Mr. Trócsányi recalled: Around two thousand people, including five hundred Jews, were deported to the forced labour camp between November 1944 and March 1945, when all of them were murdered. He said that together with his fellow ministers of justice they had fulfilled a moral obligation by unveiling the commemorative plaque in view of the fact that Austria, Slovakia and Hungary were all involved in the tragedy, as the camp was on Slovakian territory, was guarded by Austrians and the Jewish victims were Hungarian.
This responsibility is an obligation that we will owe even when the survivors of the tragedy are no longer with us, he said, pointing out that this is also included in the Hungarian Constitution, because the introduction to the Fundamental Law states that “We deny any statute of limitations for the inhuman crimes committed against the Hungarian nation and its citizens under the national socialist and the communist dictatorship”.
Prior to the ceremony, the Hungarian Minister of Justice held negotiations with his Slovakian and Austrian counterparts during a working lunch. In a statement to Hungarian public media, Mr. Trócsányi said with regard to the topics of discussion at the meeting that he had informed hi negotiating partners about the coming into force of Hungary’s new border control system, and about his meeting with European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos.
With regard to the border control system, Mr. Trócsányi recalled that head informed his Austrian partner that the new measures were also in the interests of Austria, because illegal immigrants who are allowed to enter Hungary soon find their way into Austria with the help of people smugglers.
“He fully agreed with this statement, stressing only that people in transit zones must be assures fair procedure”, Mr. Trócsányi said, adding that he had assured his Austrian counterpart that the latter conditions were given.
(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)