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Government official commemorates persons deported to Soviet labour camps

The outcome of war is always different from the intended result, so "the only correct and morally acceptable position is to demand ceasefire and peace", the interior ministry's state secretary said on Sunday, commemorating persons who were deported to Soviet labour camps in the Gulag after the second world war.

Retvari, a co-ruling Christian Democrats lawmaker, said that despite an agreement between Hitler and Stalin in the summer of 1939 to never attack each other and divide Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union, they ended up turning against each other in the world war that followed.

After the war, the Soviets deported all ethnic German women aged between 18-30 and men aged 17-44 from areas that the Soviets had occupied, he added.

In addition to ethnic Germans, all persons considered enemies by the occupying Soviet forces and the Communist leaders that served them were taken to Gulag camps, Retvari said.

At the time, Hungary did not have its sovereignty and independence to prevent such actions, he added.

“This is why independence and sovereignty are great treasures for every country, so that they can protect themselves from such attempts by the large powers,” Retvari said in Zebegeny, north of Budapest, a constituency represented by him.

Addressing the commemoration, Erno Ferenczy, the local deputy mayor, noted that in January 1945 several hundreds of ethnic German residents in Zebegeny and the surrounding villages had been taken to forced labour camps “just because of their ethnicity”. “Many of them rest in unmarked graves in foreign land.”

Following the commemoration, participants including Imre Ritter, an MP representing Hungary’s German minority, laid a wreath in front of the local Havas-Boldogasszony church.

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