Budapest, April 12 (MTI) – A commemoration was held in Parliament on Tuesday to pay tribute to Hungarians who were expelled from Czechoslovakia under the Benes Decrees after the second world war.
Gergely Gulyás, deputy speaker of the national assembly, said in his address that though it was important to commemorate the deportees “this day is about the present, too”, and noted that the contested decrees are still in force in Slovak law.
Gulyás also said that “we must be grateful that after all those vicissitudes still there is a Hungarian community” in southern Slovakia, a region which belonged to Hungary until 1920 and from 1938 to 1945. He noted that Hungary has a constitutional obligation to care for ethnic Hungarians beyond its borders.
Between April 1947 and June 1949, some 76,000 Hungarians, seen as responsible for the forced division of Czechoslovakia in 1938 were stripped of all their belongings and expelled from the country.
In 2012, Hungary’s parliament declared April 12 a day in memory of deportees from Upper Hungary, the present-day Slovakia.