Printed 04.03.2021 07:55
09-11-2012 Romedia Foundation
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 exterminated.
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.
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