Versione italiana | Search in site:

Hungarian activist Sebő Gábor awarded with 2021 Mária Ember prize

Gábor is the founder of Budapest’s civil memorial “Freedom Stage”

The Freedom Stage in Liberty Square, Budapest

The Freedom Stage in Liberty Square, Budapest

The Hungarian civil activist Sebő Gábor won the 2021 Mária Ember award together with writer István Gábor Benedek, a press release from the Raoul Wallenberg Association announced on Saturday. The award is given annually to those who combat racism, fight for human rights, and contribute to the knowledge of the Shoah as part of Hungary’s history and culture

Together with his wife Judit Szász, Sebő Gábor founded in 2014 the so-called Szabadságszinpad (Freedom Stage). The Freedom Stage is an initiative that arranges cultural and commemorative events, born as a protest against the Memorial to the Victims of the German Occupation, a monument erected in 2014 in Liberty Square, Budapest, by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The monument features an eagle attacking the Archangel Gabriel, symbolizing the Nazi occupation of Hungary. In recent years, the monument was widely criticized by the Jewish community, who argued that the monument distracts from the nation’s role in the Holocaust by portraying Hungary as a victim rather than a collaborator of Nazism. During wartime, hundreds of thousands of Jews were deported from Hungary to Nazi concentration camps.

The Freedom Stage consists of a small stage symbolically located in Liberty Square and of a civil memorial made of objects, photographs, and pictures placed opposite the monument by people who lost their relatives in WWII. Since 2014, the activists of the Freedom Stage have been protesting daily, organizing cultural and commemorative events, and building a civil memorial and a space of public reflection on Hungary’s recent history. On more than one occasion, Budapest’s mayor visited the activists of Freedom Stage.

The award ceremony, which holds great symbolic significance for Hungary and its struggle to come to terms with Nazism, will take place at a later date.

20 April 2021

Don’t miss the story of the Righteous and the memory of Good

Once a month you will receive articles and events selected by Gariwo Editorial Board. Please fill out the field below and click on subscribe.




This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Memory

Remember the past in order to build a future

The International Committee of the Armenian Righteous. Memory is the Future was founded by Piero Kuciukian in order to commemorate those who went against the genocide of 1915. The title emphasises the function of the memory, which is not a nostalgic look back in history, but a a clear sense of the past to build a future without making old mistakes.
The memory has many solutions and presents conflicting results, either positive or negative depending on how it is treated. Reflections on the previous events help us to understand the present, which means to search for the coordinates that allow us to interpret new situations with awareness of the dangers or opportunities that are triggered by certain mechanisms such as cultural, social and individual. The experience of the genocides of the twentieth century, the phenomenon of totalitarianism, resulted in the devastating world war, the balance of power during the Cold War, provide very precise indications on the geopolitical hegemony and humanitarian frifts to be avoided, while the example of the Righteous, their varied efforts on behalf of the persecuted, the demand for freedom, independence of thought and the instance of the defense of human dignity, are to be taken to avoid the pitfalls of arrogance, denial of truth, the rejection of diversity, closing the other, unilateral decision.

read more

Featured story

Carlo Bianchi

he dedicated his life helping those in need, saving the Sonnino-Shapira Jewish family from persecution