Berlin, October 19 (MTI) – Zoltán Balog, Hungary’s human resources minister, attended a ceremony marking the upcoming anniversary of the 1956 anti-Soviet revolution at Berlin’s Konzerthaus.
At the ceremony organised by the Hungarian Embassy, the minister thanked Germany for its solidarity with the people who fled Hungary after the failed uprising.
In his address, Balog said Hungary had “paid a high price for freedom” and he paid tribute to the 2,500 victims of the revolution, including many Roma “of whom we are proud”. He also noted that 249 people had been sentenced to death for their participation and 22,000 were imprisoned. Some 18,000 people were interned and a total 180,000 left the country at the time of communist retaliation, he added.
The ceremony was also addressed by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble. He noted that Hungary had been the first country to dismantle the Iron Curtain, an act which had created a close link between the two countries.
After the ceremony, Balog told Hungarian public media that “Schauble is an important ally” for Hungary. “He helped us a lot in Brussels when they wanted to punish Hungary with illegitimate financial measures,” he said, adding that he trusted that the German minister’s approach would help to convince those who “still fail to understand Hungary’s endeavours in Europe”.