Photo: MTI

Day of National Cohesion marked in Hungary

The Day of National Cohesion, the anniversary of the 1920 Trianon Peace Treaty, which concluded the first world war and ceded two-thirds of Hungary to neighbouring countries, "shows us how important it is to preserve our national unity and Hungarian identity", Istvan Simicsko, parliamentary group leader of the co-ruling Christian Democrats, said in a statement sent to MTI on Sunday.

Referring to the “Trianon dictate”, Simicsko called it “perhaps the largest disaster of the nation”, and said Hungary “did not have much of a say” in the negotiations. He said the decision had been the result of “the shortsightedness of the great powers and the greed of neighbouring countries”. After the treaty, Hungary was left “weak and divided up”, he said.

The Day of National Cohesion, however, focuses “on the vitality and unity of Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin rather than on the tragedy”, he said.

“There lives a much weathered nation in the middle of Europe which keeps proving to the world that … it can overcome the hardships and is able to protect its values and fight for its interests,” Simicsko said.

Tamas Menczer, state secretary at the foreign ministry, told a commemoration held in Piliscsaba, outside Budapest, that “only a strong country can fight for ethnic Hungarians in other countries”, adding that the government’s strategic objectives were instrumental in those efforts. Among the objectives, he mentioned the protection of jobs, pensions, and the government’s utility price cap programme, as well as support for families.

On another subject, Menczer said ethnic Hungarians could benefit from balanced relations with neighbouring countries and from efforts “to build a successful central Europe together, where ethnic minorities will connect rather than separate these countries”.

Bence Retvari, state secretary at the interior ministry, spoke at a commemoration in Zebegeny, north of Budapest, and said “in war times Hungary must stay outside the conflict and fight for Hungarian communities by all means.” “Those that do not care for ethnic Hungarians in other countries will not care for Hungarians in this country, either … we must always focus on Hungarians and each Hungarian must stand up for all other Hungarians,” he said. Hungarian leaders 103 years ago “failed to stand up for the Hungarians … we must learn that historic lesson,” he added.

Zsolt Molnar, party director of the opposition Socialists, attended a commemoration at Budapest’s Rakoskeresztur Cemetery, and told a press conference after the ceremony that “a nation can be successful if it is undivided over historic issues”, adding that “those sowing divisions have a serious responsibility because they will weaken national cohesion”.

He said his party believes that “Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin will live together with other nations in peace and understanding for at least another one thousand years”. “We, Hungarians, share a responsibility, a life, and future,” he said.

Arpad Janos Potapi, state secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, said June 4 had been a day of mourning for a long time, but since 2010 “we have also been saying that we can gain strength from Trianon,” at a commemoration in Dombovar, in southwestern Hungary.

Looking back at the hundred years that have passed since the Treaty of Trianon, Potapi said, “we can see that Hungarians have survived and are thriving despite all the odds.” “They cut the country to pieces, tore families apart, weakened us, put enormous burdens on our shoulders, yet, we have recovered and have a vision for the future,” he said.

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