Mária Schmidt, a historian who is director-general of the House of Terror Museum in Budapest, has an opinion piece in Thursday’s New York Times under the headline “The case for populism”.
“We Hungarians have rarely had easy lives. As was the case with other nations that came under the direct domination of the Soviet Union in the 20th century, we had to struggle to retain our national culture and way of life.
Yet our trials have prepared us well for the challenges of the 21st century,” she writes in the opening of her article.
She concludes that “We Hungarians are well aware that nobody has our best interests at heart other than ourselves. That’s why we continue to insist on liberty, democracy and our independence as a nation-state.
“As citizens of a free country in the heartland of Europe, we have served as gatekeepers between East and West for a thousand years. We hope to do so for a thousand more.”