Pope John XXIII Memorial

Plaques honoring Monsignor Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli were dedicated at Budapest’s Dohany Street Synagogue complex, the site of Hungary’s national Holocaust memorial, on April 15, 2007. The Commission partnered with the Federation of Jewish Communities of Hungary for this project. Then Commission Member Ronald Bloom generated the funds for the bronze plaques and for large-screen projections of the dedication ceremony to a large crowd.

Roncalli, who would later become Pope John XXIII, was a Vatican diplomat in Turkey during the Holocaust. He issued false papers to save the lives of Jews of Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Greece, Romania, France, and Bulgaria.

The plaques honoring Roncalli were dedicated on Hungary’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. The dedication, at which then Chairman Warren Miller spoke, was attended by the prime minister, National Assembly speaker, Supreme Court chief justice, and other dignitaries of Hungary. Approximately 15,000 people participated in a 1.5 mile “March of the Living” that ended at the Dohany Street Synagogue.