Hungary pays tribute to victims of communism, forced labour camps
Budapest, February 25 (MTI) – Commemorations were held nationwide on Wednesday in memory of the victims of totalitarianism and the hundreds of thousands deported from Hungary to forced labour camps during World War Two.
As all communist leaders are responsible for the Gulag, no institution in Hungary should be allowed to carry the name of a communist, Antal Rogan, head of ruling Fidesz’s parliamentary group, said. Addressing a commemoration at Budapest’s Gulag memorial, Rogan emphasised that the crimes had been committed by the communists not the Russian people.
“The ideal of equality failed to create a society of equal and happy people. Forced labour camps were the only place where this ideal was fully translated into reality,” he said.
People in the western world who had no personal experience with the horrors of communism tend to relativise or belittle communist crimes but this is something central Europeans should never allow, Rogan said.
Zsolt Semjen, deputy prime minister, said at another event that “inhuman dictatorships will sink deep in history.” Addressing a commemoration in the village of Pocspetri, in north-eastern Hungary, he said that “since people tend to forget, memoires about the Gulag must be read from time to time.”
Mihaly Varga, the economy minister, said in Budapest that “no matter in which direction the world will turn, we must know which values we insist on.” Addressing a commemoration organised by the co-ruling Christian Democrats, Varga noted that communism claimed one million lives in Eastern Europe. “The era that took something away from all of us must be remembered,” he said.
Gabor Vona, the leader of radical national radical Jobbik, addressed a commemoration in Gyomro in Pest county, at a plaque commemorating victims in the town and its area.
“Not only those innocent people murdered for an ideological reason and their family members have been victims of communism, but in a certain sense we are all the victims of that regime, because a deep-rooted fear is still with us,” Vona said. “Our main duty now, in 2015, is to wipe out this gut fear in ourselves,” he said.
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 Bela Kovacs was illegally detained and deported to the Soviet Union.