Hungary will spare no effort to achieve that the post-WWII Benes decrees that deprived Czechoslovakia’s ethnic Hungarian minority of its rights be annulled, the state secretary for Hungarian communities abroad said on Monday.
“The memory of those deported obliges us to pass the flame of the cohesion of the torn-apart Hungarian nation to the next generations,” Árpád János Potápi said, marking the 70th anniversary of the deportation of ethnic Hungarians from what is now Slovakia.
Addressing a commemoration in Bonyhád, in southern Hungary, the state secretary said that the ethnic Hungarians concerned had suffered the hardest trials and tribulations after the Second World War: they had become stateless in their native land and victims of a “diabolic scheme” that looked for the guilty among the innocent.
Potápi noted that in 1947 and 1948 nearly 100,000 ethnic Hungarians were forced to leave Czechoslovakia and between 1945 and 1949 another 50,000 fled to Hungary.
The event was part of a series of commemorations, marking the Day of National Cohesion, the anniversary of the 1920 Treaty of Trianon, which formally ended WWI for Hungary and ceded about two-thirds of its territory to neighbouring countries.
The Benes decrees were passed immediately after the WW2, depriving Czechoslovakia’s ethnic Hungarians and Germans of their citizenship and property on the basis of collective guilt. The Hungarians deported or sent to labour camps under the decrees have never received compensation.