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Jehovah’s Witnesses


APRIL 6, 2016

Holocaust Memorial Center in Hungary Unveils Plaque Honoring Witnesses Executed by Nazis

BUDAPEST, Hungary—The Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest unveiled a commemorative plaque recognizing four of Jehovah’s Witnesses who withstood persecution during the Nazi era. The unveiling ceremony was held on December 11, 2015.

Plaque memorializing four of Jehovah’s Witnesses executed by the Nazis during World War II.

The four men, Lajos Deli, Antal Hönisch, Bertalan Szabό, and János Zsondor were publicly executed by the Hungarian Arrow Cross Nazi Party in the Hungarian cities of Körmend and Sárvár in March 1945 for refusing military service during World War II. The memorial plaque bears their names along with words from the Bible passage at Acts 5:29, “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.”

Dr. Csaba Latorcai, deputy state secretary for priority social affairs in Hungary, speaking at the unveiling ceremony.

Dr. Csaba Latorcai, deputy state secretary for priority social affairs, stated in his opening speech: “The plaque commemorates the four young men belonging to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, . . . they, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, adhered to the command ‘thou shalt not kill’ and listened to their conscience not to take up arms against their fellow believers and their fellow man.”

Another speaker at the unveiling ceremony, Dr. Szabolcs Szita, the director of the Holocaust Memorial Center, said: “The unveiling of the memorial plaque is a victory because for decades Jehovah’s Witnesses have been a forgotten group among those who suffered under the Nazi regime. The four executed young men had a strong faith to keep their integrity even in the face of death. All of them are good examples for us even today.”

Dr. Szabolcs Szita, director of the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest, removes the veil from the plaque.

Media Contacts:

International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, tel. +1 718 560 5000

Hungary: András Simon, tel. +36 1 401 1118