26 Feb 2018

Few Hungarians willing to commemorate Roma victims

Ten years after a wave of hate crimes against Roma, only a handful of people bothered to attend a memorial service for the victims -- and one village refused to erect a statue of one of the victims.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava Online
Few Hungarians willing to commemorate Roma victims - NewsMavens
Roma woman. Wikiconmmons

Why this story matters:

In 2008 and 2009, Hungary witnessed a series of cruel attacks on members of the Roma community. In many cases the perpetrators threw Molotov cocktails on the houses of innocent people and shot them while they were fleeing. Six people, including a 5-year-old child, died in the attacks. 

Ten years later, almost no one attended a commemoration held in Budapest.

“It seems like as if Hungarian society does not want to remember,” wrote Nepszava editors.

In their speech, the organizers of the memorial event underlined the link between racism and physical violence, and rightly so: the indifference shown to the Roma victims is fueled by the same feeling that prompted people to light Molotov cocktails. Ten years later, the same crimes could happen again.

illiberalism,human rights,violence,Romacommunity

Details from the story:

  • Three men conducted a wave of attacks against Roma in nine villages across Hungary starting in 2008.
  • The attackers threw 11 Molotov cocktails into homes and fired 78 shots at Romas running out of the burning houses. 
  • Six people, including a 5-year-old, died. Five others suffered serious injuries.
  • The attackers received life sentences.
  • Alexander Schikowski, a German artist based in Hungary, offered a wood sculpture to commemorate the victims of the village of Tatarszentgyorgy. The local government declined, saying locals wanted to forget the tragedy.
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.


Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy