Holocaust course in Hungary: Remembrance and national identity

A news item likely to go unnoticed by most is that of a university in Hungary making a course on the Holocaust compulsory for all undergraduate students. It is not the content of the course (which is no doubt very important for a discussion on its possible impacts) but a larger context of remembrance- how it shapes national consciousness and its international ramifications- that this article deals with.

Recently, the Peter Pazmany Catholic University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Hungary, made a course on the holocaust, titled ‘The Holocaust and its Remembrance’, compulsory for all students in its undergraduate program. It’s the kind of news report that is likely to go unnoticed by most, but such an initiative deserves closer reflection and need to be placed in the larger context of remembrance – how it shapes national consciousness and its international ramifications.

Hungarian Jews, too, suffered terribly during the Second World War, with several thousand being sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps, into forced labour camps and summarily executed on the banks of the Danube.

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