A memorial dedicated to Hungarian naval officers who died in the First World War was inaugurated in the northern Croatian Adriatic city of Pula on Saturday.
“Last respect is due to the martyrs who fell victim to the carnages of the past century. Many of them are in unmarked graves,” Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén told the unveiling ceremony at the local Navy Memorial Cemetery.
“After the Second World War all the belligerent countries declared their soldiers heroes, and erected plenty of monuments. During the years of post-WWII oppression, however, Hungarians were not even allowed to speak about the Hungarian victims of the two world wars, let alone commemorate them as heroes,” he said.
“This is why very few know that Hungary’s naval officers gave clear proof of their valour during the First World War,” Semjén said.
Earlier this year Hungary’s parliament declared June 10 the memorial day of Hungarian naval martyrs and obliged the government to erect a memorial in Pula.
On behalf of Croatia, the ceremony was attended by State Secretary Zdravko Jacob and lawmaker Jasen Mesic.