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Budapest mayor: 'We must insist on ideals of 1956'

Heirs of 1956 communists ‘live among us’, government official says

Though most of the communists of 1956 are now gone, their descendants and spiritual heirs "live among us", the state secretary for church and minority relations said at a commemoration of Hungary's anti-Soviet uprising of 1956 in Budapest on Friday.

“They’re the ones who 15 years ago desecrated the commemoration of the revolution’s 50th anniversary,” Soltesz said at Bem Jozsef Square near Margaret Bridge, referring to protests against the Socialist-liberal government in the autumn of 2006 that lead to clashes between protestors and police. “They’re the ones who never apologised for the disgrace of 65 years ago or that of 15 years ago.”

Soltesz said it was up to young people to prevent the spread of neo-Marxist ideas. Addressing the young people in attendance, he said they must not allow “others to decide on the future of our countries, nations and families”.

Most of those in attendance made their way to Bem Jozsef Square as part of a traditional torchlight march proceeding from the Budapest University of Technology.

Budapest mayor: ‘We must insist on ideals of 1956’

The ideals of 1956 and the hopes of 1989 must be preserved “every day”, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony said on Friday, unveiling a memorial plaque of writer and poet Istvan Eorsi, who was also a freedom fighter in Hungary’s 1956 anti-Soviet uprising.

“We must never give up on the system of a republic which is under threat of being eliminated from our lives,” Karacsony said. “We must insist on the eminence of diversity, on the rule of law with all of its criteria, on being humane and on solidarity.”

“And we also must insist on Europe, on equal opportunities and on rejecting that any power should ever come to defining itself as the country it rules,” the mayor said.

Erzsebet Gy. Nemeth, a deputy mayor, said that Eorsi as a writer showed an opportunity and morals to the readers. He also gave the idea of freedom a shape and filled it with content, she said. “Eorsi was a hero of 1956, a chronicler of 1956 during his life with his works representing the traditions of 1956,” she said.

Varga: Message of 1956 still relevant today

The remembrance of Hungary’s anti-Soviet uprising of 1956 tells Hungarians that they must continue to fight the political players of the past who are attempting to make a comeback as well as those trying to exert political control onto the country from the outside, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga said at a commemoration of the outbreak of the revolution on Friday.

“The oppressors initially misrepresented the events of 1956 and then stayed silent on them for more than 30 years,” Varga said. “These are well-known leftist solutions.” The minister said remembrance of the revolution must also encompass knowing the truth, adding that “even after all these years we still have more to do in this area.”

“The new generations must also be told about those who sided with the oppressors in 1956 and we must prevent the return of their followers,” he said.

“The heroes of 1956 wanted a Hungary in which Hungarians have control of their own fate, where the thousand-year past, the shared history, language and religion connects all Hungarians and shapes a strong nation,” the minister said.

“The heavy sacrifices of 1956 will only have meaning if . the values that can make us a successful nation are also represented in actions,” Varga said.

Minister: 1956 revolutionaries remained free in dictatorship

In Hungary’s 1956 revolution against Soviet rule, the ones with the power to act were those who “remained free” under the oppression forced upon them by a dictatorship, the family affairs minister said at the start of state commemorations marking the 65th anniversary of the revolution’s outbreak in Budapest on Friday.

Addressing a commemoration and wreath-laying at a memorial near the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Katalin Novak said “it was the tragedies often tainted with blood in Hungarian history that led to 1956; the thousand-year period of Christian Hungarian statehood that had existed before 1956 gave Hungarians the strength and inspiration in the [1956] events which were a turning point that gave the nation its heart and posture”.

“We, Hungarians, carry the ever-lasting desire for freedom in our genes, just as we also carry with us the harsh reality that we can only rely on ourselves”, Novak said, adding that there had not been others for Hungary to count on in 1956. “And today, Hungary still only has but a few true allies among European leaders,” she said.

“Today few have the courage to stand up for the truth and talk straight, few dare to make firm decisions and only few stand up for the cause of freedom if they are constantly attacked for it,” Novak said. “But the Hungarian experience is that walking away, making false compromises and refusing to speak the truth will not lead to a happy, fulfilling life. We must be able to protect freedom because there are efforts guided by misconceptions and certain ideologies to stifle it.”

“We are 1956, we, Hungarians. We have not changed. The more cowardly half of Europe keeps forgetting the essence of its own existence: the concurrent realisation of internal and external freedom,” Novak said.


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