The Requiem for Auschwitz in Budapest, inaugurated by Mr. George Soros,
concluded with big success|
The premiere of the Requiem for Auschwitz, organized by the Romedia
Foundation, arrived to Budapest after Prague and Amsterdam and was held on
the 6th of November in the Palace of Arts of Budapest with full concert
hall. The concert aimed at commemorating the victims of the Nazi genocide,
in particular the murder of half a million Roma and Sinti: the Pharrajimos.
Composed by Dutch Sinti musician Roger Moreno Rathgeb, the Requiem was
performed by the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by
Riccardo M. Sahiti. The array of international artists was complemented in
occasion of the Budapest premiere by Hungarian participants: a sixty members
choir, with the St. Ephraim Choir at its basis as well as four soloists:
Ildikó Szakács soprano, Judit Rajk contralto, Zoltán Megyesi tenor and
István Rácz bass.
Renowned young theater director, Márton Gulyás, thought of giving a personal
“task” of remembrance to the audience: young Roma distributed stones with
Roma victims’ names carved in them, while survivor Erzsébet Szenes Brodt,
one of the last eyewitnesses of the Pharrajimos, shared her memories about
the night of the 2nd of August, 1944, the night when the Gypsy lager was
The opening ceremony of the Requiem Concert was attended by embassies and
international organization representatives, as well as Erzsébet Szenes Brodt
and Béla Danyi: the Holocaust survivors who gave their testimonies to
Romedia in occasion of the Requiem for Auschwitz events.
Mr. George Soros, guest of honor, gave a memorable speech, in which he
recalled his personal memories about the deportations in Hungary,
highlighting in particular how as a child he learned the importance of
resisting injustice. Mr. Soros called for the necessity to remember
especially those who never gave up hope and defied oppression.
Romedia Foundation is responsible for bringing the Requiem for Auschwitz to
Budapest. Romedia has for the past 20 years worked to change public
perceptions of the Roma. The Requiem event series organized in Budapest are
part of these efforts: a Documentary Film Festival was already held with
great success in October, and an Art Exhibition is soon to be hosted by the
French Institute, showcasing the works of Ceija Stojka Roma Holocaust
survivor, and Otto Pankok, on November 15-23.