The Budapest ghetto
On 29 November 1944 the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Arrow Cross organization of Hungary – Gabor Vajna released the Decree on the Establishment of the Budapest Ghetto.
The Budapest Jews had to move to the land of the 7th district enclosed by the Dohany, Kertesz, Kiraly, Csanyi, Rumbach, Imre Madach streets and the Karoly ringroad. On December 10 the area was locked down and at the entry the sign appeared: christians forbidden entry. By January the next year almost 70000 people were crowded into the apartments of the area, many simply being stuck outside on the streets.
The year 2014 brought the 70th commemoration of the formation of the Budapest ghetto.
Péter Sugár and the Szövetség ’39 Group’s installation makes you stop for a moment and think about those dark times.
On the steel wall the text appears in Hungarian, English and Hebrew to bring the story of life and death, the cronicle of the holocaust and the revival of Jewish life in the neighbourhood closer to everyone.
Fragments from the text on the wall:
‘This wall serves as a memorial to the rich, vibrant Jewish life that once flourished on these streets.
This wall, however also reminds us of what occurred on these very same streets int he darkest days of the Holocaust. From December 2, 1944 until January 18, 1945, this neighborhood was the location of the Budapest ghetto, where seventy thousand Jews were crowded into an area of 0.3 sq km (0.12 sq ml) into 4513 apartments, with an average of 14 people in each room.
As you stand before this wall, pause for a moment and recite a prayer for these 10000 victims, as well as all the 600000 Hungarian Jews who perished during the Holocaust.
A song of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
May only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for lenght of days.’
On the map imprinted into the concrete the ghetto’s street structure can be seen, marking on it some of the important institutions of the area. If one goes closer pictures from the past can be seen through the peek holes, carrying the today’s passer-by into the gone-by past.
The monument was erected by the Local Government of Budapest Erzsebetvaros district and the Hungarian United Israelite Community.