Commemoration at the 70th anniversary of the death of Miklós Radnóti in Abda

Hungarian poet remembered at death anniversary

November 10, 2014

A commemoration was held this Sunday in north-western Hungary, marking the 70th death anniversary of poet and Holocaust victim Miklós Radnóti, considered to be one of the great poets in this country. He is believed to have been shot dead during a death march in 1944.

As Hungarian President János Áder pointed out at the ceremony, “we must unambiguously declare that it is a shame that there were times when Hungary’s leaders felt themselves empowered to turn their back on our fellow citizens who were part of our nation. We will never forgive those who turned their arms against innocent people. We regard them traitors who betrayed the ideal of national unity.”

Áder said that even if Radnóti’s life had been taken away, nothing had been taken away from all what had made him a poet, a Hungarian citizen and man with a faith. A forced laborer in 1944, Radnóti is believed to have been shot dead by guards along with 21 inmates during a death march of a Jewish labor battalion from Bor, Serbia, through Hungary toward the German-Austrian border on November 10 near the village of Abda. All of them were buried in a mass grave. Most of the battalion died en route in one way or the other. In 1980, a statue was erected in Radnóti’s honor at the site where he was killed.

Radnóti, who lost his life in the Holocaust, is considered to be one of the great poets of Hungary. He died on November 10, 1944, during a forced march. Radnóti was most likely shot and buried in a mass grave in a small village, Abda, adjacent to the city of Gyõr.


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