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Budapest starts memorial walk to commemorate Holocaust victims

(Xinhua)

13:16, April 16, 2012

People take part in the 10th annual "March of the Living" memorial walk for the Hungarian victims of the Holocaust in Budapest, Hungary, on April 15, 2012. The event has been held for the past 10 years on or around April 16 to mark the day in 1944 when Hungarian Jews were first moved into ghettos. (Xinhua/MTI/Bea Kallos)

BUDAPEST, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Several thousand people took part in an annual memorial walk in Budapest, capital of Hungary, on Sunday to remember victims of the Holocaust during World War Two.

The tenth "March of the Living" event is designed to commemorate April 16, 1944, when about 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed after being forced to move into ghettos in northeast Hungary.

Participants, holding banners which read "Never again," walked across the Danube river to Raoul Wallenberg Quay where Swedish Parliament Speaker Per Westerberg and Israel Parliament Speaker Reuven Rivlin made speeches via video link.

Both the Swedish and Hungarian governments have declared 2012 as the Year of Raoul Wallenberg to remember the Budapest-born Swedish diplomat, who saved thousands of Jews during the wartime.

"Raoul Wallenberg was not just a savior of Budapest Jews and a national hero," Westerberg said. "With his moral courage and willingness to act, he was also a humanist whose deeds made him known throughout the entire world."

At the end of the event, 600 balloons were released into the air, with four balloons bearing the flags of Hungary, Israel, Sweden, and the European Union.

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