Commemorations were held across the country in memory of the victims of communism on Sunday.
February 25 is observed as a memorial day of martyrs of communism since 2000, under a parliamentary decree. On this day in 1947, leader of the Independent Smallholders’ Party Béla Kovács was illegally detained and deported to the Soviet Union.
Addressing a commemoration in the Budapest House of Terror Museum, the group leader of ruling Fidesz said that Kovács’s unlawful arrest on this day 71 years ago was a milestone in the Soviet regime’s building of communist rule.
His unlawful arrest marked the beginning of the terror that went hand in hand with the building of a totalitarian dictatorship, Gergely Gulyás said.
“Kovács’s only sin was that he, like many of his fellow politicians, was fighting for a free, independent and Christian Hungary,” he said.
Addressing a commemoration in a cemetery for former prisoners in Vác near Budapest, Human Resources Ministry State Secretary Bence Rétvari said those 800,000 must be remembered who had been put into years of forced labour after WWII.
Under the communist regime, criminal proceedings were brought against some one million people and in the early 1950s some 390,000 people were convicted for political reasons, he said.