“If freedom and national independence are lost, then so are we,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a state commemoration of Hungary’s anti-Soviet uprising of 1956 in front of Budapest’s House of Terror Museum on Monday.
“Soviet rule tossed us into a space without history; it wanted to destroy our past and our culture,” Orbán said.
The prime minister said “national remembrance” was the “strongest weapon” that could prevent a repeat of the physical and intellectual terror Hungary was subjected to under Soviet rule.
Orbán said the House of Terror Museum which opened in 2002 was a reminder to the world that Hungarians’ desire for freedom could not be stifled.
Concerning the failed anti-Soviet revolution, Orbán said that western Europe “may have admired but could not understand” those developments.
“They failed to understand that we insist on our culture and way of life to the end, that we would not mix up in anybody else’s melting pot”. “We want them to respect who and what we are,” the prime minister went on to say.
“We are a brave and fighting nation, and know that those that are not respected will be despised,”
he said, and added that “they do not understand us in Brussels now because they could not understand Hungary in those days either”.
The prime minister also said that Europe had derailed to find itself heading towards a dead end, adding that the EU and many of the bloc’s member states “are being held hostage by a financial speculator empire”.
In the 20th century, trouble came in the form of “militant empires”, he said. Today, empires are rising in the shadow of globalisation, Orbán added.
“They have no borders, but have a global media network, as they also have tens of thousands of people paid to serve them. They act fast, they are strong and brutal,” the prime minister said.
“Now, three decades later, everything we consider the Hungarian way of life is under threat again,” he said.
“After achieving freedom in 1990, we have again come to a turning point in our country’s history,” Orbán said.
“What we want is a secure, fair, bourgeois, Christian, and free Europe,” the prime minister said.
Orbán said that all elections in Europe were now of “crucial” importance, and insisted that now was the time for Europe’s peoples to decide “if they take political control back over their national causes from European bureaucrats closely linked to the business elite”. “Many may still think that it is impossible,” he said, but added that in 1956, in 1988 and before 2010 people did not believe in the possibility of change, either.
“We wanted to believe that the old woes could not return,” Orbán said. “We wanted to believe that the communists’ dream to turn us into Homo Sovieticus could never re-emerge.”
“But now we are stunned to see the forces of globalisation prying at the door working to mold us from Hungarians into Homo Brusselicus,” Orbán added.
On the subject of migration, the prime minister said that the “financial speculator empire” had brought the “invasion of new immigrants” onto Europe. It was they who had put together the plan to transform Europe into a “mixed continent”, he insisted.
Orbán said central Europe would be at the focus of the struggle for the future of Europe, arguing that this was a “migrant-free zone” within the continent.
“Until Brussels wins back its sovereignty, Europe’s steering wheel cannot be turned in the right direction,” he said.
Orbán said that all elections in Europe were now of “crucial” importance, and insisted that now was the time for Europe’s peoples to decide “if they take political control back over their national causes from European bureaucrats closely linked to business elites”. “Many may still think that it is impossible,” he said, but added that in 1956, in 1988 and before 2010 people did not believe in the possibility of change, either.
Orbán insisted that “migration can be stopped, globalisation can be kept under control, Brussels could be reined in and the plans of a financial speculator could be thwarted”, but added that central Europe’s “Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Romanians, and Hungarians need to join together”.
“The stakes are high; we cannot take anything lightly,” Orbán said. “We must never underestimate the power of the dark side,” he added.
Concerning Hungary’s general election next spring, Orbán voiced confidence that his Fidesz party stood a good chance of winning the vote. He said, however, that “every voter will be needed” for an election victory.