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  • In the Wake of the Last Survivors

    Holocaust Memorial Sites

    Text: László Levente Balogh

    A budapesti gettó-emlékfal, fotó: Klein Rudolf

    Memorial Wall of Budapest Ghetto, photo: Klein Rudolf

    As long as the summer of 2015, there had been no monument of whatsoever in Debrecen to commemorate the local victims of the Holocaust. The city made a decision to make up for this on the 70th anniversary of the Shoah. However, the memorial wall erected here popped several questions to which there is no ultimate answer available yet. As every kind of memory develops and transforms in a discursive space this monument can only be regarded as a starting point, which is by no means the destination of the long process. The memorial wall has been erected in the western yard of the synagogue in Páva Street turning its back onto the street front. Its positioning, however, is also a reference to the fact that the community has not only been given the names but simultaneously also the chance to commemorate: now there is the place for survivors and descendants to mourn the loss of their beloved ones. Now there is a site created here actually suited to commemoration: not so much to face the facts of history as such, but to more directly and personally experience the act of remembrance.