News Opinions/Publications Hun­gar­i­an Politi­cians Com­mem­o­rate Vic­tims of Communism

Hun­gar­i­an Politi­cians Com­mem­o­rate Vic­tims of Communism

Feb­ru­ary 25 marks Hungary’s Memo­r­i­al Day for the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism. Notable indi­vid­u­als with­in the Hun­gar­i­an gov­ern­ment, as well as some oppo­si­tion par­ties, have voiced their com­mem­o­ra­tion for the vic­tims of Sovi­et Occu­pa­tion and Hun­gar­i­an com­mu­nism through­out the 20th century.

On this date in 1947, Béla Kovács, leader of the inde­pen­dent Small­hold­ers Par­ty, was unlaw­ful­ly arrest­ed and deport­ed to the Sovi­et Union. On June 16, 2000, the Hun­gar­i­an Par­lia­ment declared Feb­ru­ary 25 a nation­al day of remem­brance in hon­or of Kovács.

Gov­ern­ment Offi­cials Empha­size the Impor­tance of Remembrance

Head of the Prime Minister’s Office Gerge­ly Gulyás said that the “suf­fer­ing caused by com­mu­nism and hero­ic defi­ance against dic­ta­tor­ship is a part of our nation­al identity.”

Gulyás said that Feb­ru­ary 25 is an occa­sion to pay trib­ute to hun­dreds of thou­sands of Hun­gar­i­ans and “over 100 mil­lion peo­ple mur­dered in com­mu­nist regimes worldwide.”

The min­is­ter said that there can be no com­pro­mise with those seek­ing excus­es for the crimes of com­mu­nism and its perpetrators.Related article

Béla Kovács's Date of Arrest Marks 'Victims of Communism Memorial Day' in Hungary

Today Hun­gar­i­ans across the coun­try and around the world remem­ber the vic­tims of com­mu­nism, a day of sym­bol­ic impor­tance. 74 years ago on this very day, a key politi­cian of the small­hold­ers’ par­ty with an absolute major­i­ty in the Hun­gar­i­an Par­lia­ment, was arrest­ed by the occu­py­ing Sovi­et forces. 

Jus­tice Min­is­ter Judit Var­ga showed her respect for those who have built Hungary’s inde­pen­dence through their self-sac­ri­fice, post­ing on Face­book say­ing “we remem­ber them, the vic­tims of communism!”

Pres­i­dent János Áder and First Lady Ani­ta Her­czegh lit can­dles in front of the House of Ter­ror Muse­um in Budapest to mark the day of remembrance.

The build­ing of the House of Ter­ror Muse­um was for­mer­ly the head­quar­ters of com­mu­nist Hungary’s secret police between 1948 and 1956, and now com­mem­o­rates the vic­tims of Nazism and Com­mu­nism with its exhibitions.

Pho­to by Noé­mi Bruzák/MTI

House Speak­er Lás­zló Kövér com­ment­ed on an online com­mem­o­ra­tion cer­e­mo­ny for sec­ondary school­ers, say­ing that “our gen­er­a­tion, not to men­tion our children’s and grandchildren’s gen­er­a­tions, were born into and grew up in peace, with­out social upheaval threat­en­ing their lives and livelihoods.”

Kövér con­sid­ers it essen­tial that Hungary’s schools sys­tem pro­vide con­text for knowl­edge of the com­mu­nist era, to pre­pare younger gen­er­a­tions to “notice dan­ger­ous and inhu­mane ideas … so that we can mount a defense against them.”

Oppo­si­tion Com­mem­o­rates Vic­tims, Some Crit­i­cize Cur­rent Government

Budapest may­or and co-leader of Left­ist green par­ty Párbeszéd, Gerge­ly Karác­sony relat­ed to the day of remem­brance on a per­son­al lev­el, shar­ing that among mil­lions of oth­ers, his great grand­par­ents were the vic­tims of the Sovi­et Union’s forced labor camps, where his great grand­fa­ther lost his life.

In his Face­book post, Karác­sony empha­sized that remem­brance is nec­es­sary for the past not to repeat itself, cit­ing that those in posi­tions of author­i­ty at the time cre­at­ed a regime built on fear and hatred.Related article

Péter Mansfeld, the Youngest Victim of the Repression After 1956, Executed 60 Years Ago Today

60 years ago today, Péter Mans­feld, the youngest vic­tim of the 1956 rev­o­lu­tion, was exe­cut­ed just 11 days after his 18th birth­day. A teenage mar­tyr and free­dom fight­er, Mans­feld lat­er became an icon for his part in the rev­o­lu­tion. Born in Budapest on 10 March 1941, Mans­feld attend­ed school to be a turn­er in Csepel. 

Right wing par­ty Job­bik post­ed to its Face­book say­ing “let’s remem­ber all those who lost their liveli­hood, and were impris­oned or deport­ed, as well as those whose exis­tence was ruined by pow­er, or were pushed to suicide.”

Cen­trist green par­ty LMP stat­ed that the regime change in the 1990s still impacts Hun­gary today, as those involved in the for­mer regime built net­works in mod­ern gov­ern­ing parties.

Speak­ing for the par­ty, Lás­zló Lóránt Keresztes accused the cur­rent Fidesz-KDNP gov­ern­ment and all for­mer gov­ern­ments of oppos­ing calls for trans­paren­cy about what hap­pened dur­ing the regime change.

Victims of Communism: The Nightmarish Forced Labor Camp Recsk, the 'Hungarian Gulag'

Dur­ing the Rákosi era, out of all the forced labor camps estab­lished in Hun­gary, Rec­sk was the most noto­ri­ous one. Between 1950 and 1953, the camp, known as the ‘Hun­gar­i­an Gulag,’ detained about 1500 polit­i­cal pris­on­ers who were con­sid­ered dan­ger­ous to the regime. Those brought there had to work in inhu­mane con­di­tions, were mal­nour­ished, lacked 

Keresztes con­tin­ued that if their par­ty wins next year’s elec­tion, they can fol­low up on their promise to exclude those who pre­vi­ous­ly coop­er­at­ed with state secu­ri­ty author­i­ties from all func­tions of pub­lic governance.

Fea­tured pho­to illus­tra­tion by Már­ton Mónus/MTI

Source: abouthun​gary​.hu