In memory of the victims of the carpet bombing of Debrecen in 1944, the Municipality of Debrecen  held wreath-laying ceremonies on the 2nd of  June 2024 at the memorial to the city’s heroic dead and civilian victims, on Medgyessy Promenade,  at the memorial plaque on the wall of the building of Nagyállomás (Great Station), and on Raktár Street, at the memorial column of Ispotály Church.

“Every year on the 2nd of June we gather to commemorate the day of mourning of our city and the victims and losses suffered during the bombing of the city on the 2nd of June 1944 and the following days,” on Medgyessy promenade, at the monument to the city’s heroic dead and civilian victims, Deputy Mayor István Puskás said.  “This is always an opportunity to mention the other losses of ’44 and to bow our heads to all those who fell victim to the terrible events either on the fronts or in the death camps,” he added.

As he said “when we gather at this monument, we always meet under the wings of the phoenix, the animal that for us symbolises the Debrecen identity.The Debrecen chronicles know of more than 180 fires alone. Unfortunately, the history of Debrecen has always included destruction and rebirth from destruction. This is a lesson that the strength and greatness of Debrecen has never been in its buildings, but in the strength and cohesion of the community”. He added that the carpet bombing of the 2nd of June 1944 occupied a particularly tragic place in the series of events in which the city had been both destroyed and reborn.

“The strength of Debrecen’s community can help the city through the worst tragedies and rebuild itself. This cohesive force is very important for the city not to be lost. We must all work day in, day out to ensure that the most important strength of our Debreceness is the spiritual and intellectual community that we call Debrecen, which can stay together. The responsibility must also be part of the work of holding our community together, and we must also carry and pass on the lesson from generation to generation that we must all work to ensure that the city can live peaceful decades, that it can keep these external threats at bay, “ he pointed out.  Finally, he drew attention to the fact that the exhibition commemorating the events of 80 years ago could be seen in the Déri Museum from today.

Speaking at the memorial plaque on the wall of the Nagyállomás, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliament’s Defence and Law Enforcement Committee Lajos Kósa said that the 2nd of  June 1944 had been written in black ink in the memory of the people of Debrecen. He recalled that the bombing by the Allied air force hit mainly the area around Nagyállomás and Petőfi Square and its surroundings. The victims included soldiers, firemen, railway workers, postmen and civilians. “There are no winners in war, only losers. Only peace can be the future for Hungary,” he concluded.

In his speech, Director of Magyar Posta PLC in Eastern Hungary Béla Szőllősi said that the events of 80 years before had left deep scars in the lives of the people of Debrecen, and the memory of the terrible destruction would live on for generations. He said that on that tragic day, 1200 people had died senselessly, including more than a hundred postmen and railway workers, and a further 700 people had been injured. He added that the bombing not only had destroyed buildings and the city, but also had torn families apart, shattered dreams and destroyed futures. “ The bombing serves as an eternal reminder to us to always preserve and protect peace,” he said.

The commemoration ended at the Ispotály church memorial, where participants also laid wreaths.


Author: Debrecen4U