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Esterhazy Award presented in Parliament to former VMSZ leader Pasztor, Maltese Charity founder Kozma

The Esterhazy Award established by the Rakoczi Association was this year presented in Parliament on Friday to two personalities in recognition of their work in promoting the cause of the Hungarian nation.

Presenting the award posthumously to Istvan Pasztor, the former leader of Serbia’s largest ethnic Hungarian Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (VMSZ) party, Speaker of Parliament Laszlo Kover said that Pasztor “used his political talent and virtue to serve two states, two nations, Hungary and Serbia, and Hungarians and Serbians”.

He said Pasztor had never been guided by double standards, he was a politician who had always worked towards ensuring that the Serbian and Hungarian ethnic communities in each other’s state had the right to their identity, culture and the use of their mother tongue.

“Pasztor, as a leading representative of Vojvodina Hungarians, always showed respect to others, and at the same time earned the respect of others not only for himself, but for the community he represented,” Kover said.

Accepting the award on behalf of his father, Balint Pasztor, the current leader of VMSZ, said his father “fought throughout his life for all Hungarians in the world”.

Presenting the award to the other recipient, Imre Kozma, the founder of Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta, prime ministerial commissioner Miklos Vecsei said “whoever meets Father Imre will live on as a stronger person”.

Accepting the award, Kozma said “Janos Esterhazy was a model in taking up martyrdom out of his own decision. He promoted Hungarian-Slovakian reconciliation through his every act”.

Janos Esterhazy, the sole Hungarian deputy in the Slovak Parliament before 1945, was an advocate of the ethnic Hungarian community who stood up to any violation of minority rights and discrimination. He died in a prison in Mirov in March 1957.

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