Budapest, February 25 (MTI) – Many people in the West still find excuses for the crimes of communism today, while the EU is reluctant to expressly condemn them, the Hungarian prime minister said on Saturday at a commemoration marking the day of the victims of communism.
It is rarely mentioned these days that communism, similarly to national socialism, came to exist in the 20th century as “an ideological product of the West,” Viktor Orbán said in Budapest’s Rákoskeresztúr cemetery.
But then that ideology was forced to become “owned by us, central Europeans” in practice whereas it remained only an ideology for the West, Orbán insisted.
Orbán criticised the EU for what he sees as the community’s failure to expressly condemn the crimes of communism “for which sympathies or affiliation with the political left cannot serve either as an excuse or as an explanation”. He said that while crimes of Nazism had been condemned by an international military tribunal, the crimes of communism have never been as strictly penalised by any representative bodies “of the free world” after that regime’s collapse.
Minister János Áder, his wife, Mária Schmidt and Gábor Tallai
“It is not by accident that Europe still has a bad conscience when it comes to addressing this issue,” said Orbán, adding that “we in central Europe still remember what tyranny is like”.
The memorial day of the victims marked on this day is proof that the crimes of communism will never be forgotten as lapsed, Orbán said.
At another commemoration, János Árpád Potápi, state secretary at the prime minister’s office, referred to the advent of the post-WWII period as “Hungary’s farewell to law and order”. Concerning the collapse of communism over 40 years later he said it was due to efforts by “secret islands… the fortresses of spirit and thought” which could not be destroyed by dictatorship.
Ruling Fidesz said in a statement that communism was “an attack” against the freedom and sovereignty of individuals and the whole nation. The “duty today” is not only to commemorate its victims but to fight any form of such a regime, the party said in a statement.
Opposition LMP said it would resubmit its motion to parliament aimed at releasing the lists of communist era informants.
The opposition Liberals said they also call for releasing the names of informants “to obtain a complete picture of the events” of the past regime. Without that the regime’s victims cannot be duly commemorated, they said.
The opposition Együtt party said the victims of communism must be commemorated “to make sure that history would not repeat itself”.
February 25 has been 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.