Friday 19th October
Our second full day in Budapest.
After breakfast we decided to walk to the Synagogue and Hungarian Jewish Heritage museum which was only about a kilometre from our hotel.
It is a very large Synagogue, I think the second largest in the world.
We had a great guide explaining first the Synagogue and then the history of the Jewish community in Budapest. It was so sad to hear about the creation of the Ghetto and the stories about the murders and the poor orphaned children. We heard that 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed during the Holocaust, many here in Budapest but the majority in Poland at Auschwitz Birkenau.
In the heroes garden (as it is now called) adjacent to the Synagogue here in Budapest around 2200 were buried in 24 mass graves. We were right there looking at these what now look like beautiful garden beds with lots of plaques with peoples names ( although most of those buried here are unnamed).
I hope the world has learnt what can happen when people don’t see other people as equals.
We left the Synagogue around 130pm with smiles though after seeing a terrific band playing Hungarian folk songs (reminded me of Gypsy music). All up beat and positive with clear middle eastern influences.
We then found our way to the famous New York Palace Cafe for lunch of hamburgers and ice cream which was great. This is a special place with a long history. They even have live music playing in the background.
Tomorrow we are off to Bratislava for 2 days on the train before heading for Prague for a highly anticipated 4 days.