(MTI) – The deportation of ethnic Germans from Hungary 68 years ago was an irreparable loss for the entire nation, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said at a commemoration on Sunday.
Hungary has suffered the horrors of dictatorship twice, which is exactly two too many for any nation to have to experience, he said in letter sent to MTI.
On January 19, 1946 Germans were deported in cattle wagons to Germany. The German Hungarians affixed a sign to the wagons, saying “Farewell, our homeland!”.
Orban rejected punishment based on the notion of collective crime, which in this case was speaking the same language as the members of the sinful regime. He said Hungary needs to adopt a “culture of remembering” in connection with all evil and spiteful deeds. Remembering helps reconciliation, he said, adding that an element of this could come in 2014 when ethnic Germans will delegate a representative to Hungarian parliament, who can address the chamber in German, their mother tongue.
A commemoration was held at the Soroksar railway station, south of Budapest, one of the locations from where wagons with Germans left in 1946. Janos Latorcai, deputy speaker of parliament, called on Hungarians to do everything they could so such horrors could not happen ever again. Addressing the commemoration, Fidesz lawmaker Szilard Nemeth noted that 55,000-60,000 Germans were taken to forced labour camps from Hungary to the Soviet Union in 1945 and 200,000-220,000 of them were deported to Germany in 1946, including 5,000-6,000 from Soroksar.
On December 17 last year Parliament passed a decree declaring January 19 the memorial day for deported Germans and rejecting the idea of collective guilt.