Hungary stood a real chance of winning independence in 1956 and “only the Hungarians can show the world the truth of the Hungarians”, the prime minister said in Zalaegerszeg, in western Hungary, marking the 66th anniversary of the outbreak of the anti-Soviet revolution on Sunday.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of a new visitors’ centre presenting the life of the late Cardinal József Mindszenty, Viktor Orbán said that although the heroes of the revolution had been very different, their inspiration had been the same: a love for a free Hungary.
In 1956, all reasonable conditions were in place for Hungary for a peaceful transition, he said.
“In the first days the plan worked, hundreds of thousands of Hungarians participated in the revolution, the Russians became confused, and, had the West not betrayed them, Hungarians could have gained success for the second time after 1945,” Orbán said.
“The truth of the Hungarians can only be shown to the world by the Hungarians, and only the Hungarians can defend their own truth against threats,” Orbán said.
We want to be worthy of the community-building legacy of Cardinal József Mindszenty and the death-defying courage of the heroes of 1956, and want to take the opportunity that today we do not have to die for our country but we can live for it, Orbán said.
Addressing the inauguration of a new visitors’ centre presenting the life of the late Cardinal József Mindszenty, Orbán said the Hungarians knew that they needed spiritual support even amidst the revolution, that is why they had freed Mindszenty from the prison of the communists.
He added that Cardinal Mindszenty had been the first to use the words “freedom fight” to describe the events, rather than calling it an uprising. “Mindszenty was convinced that we are not the enemies of anyone, we all want to live in friendship with all peoples and countries,” Orbán said.
Orbán said “our real tragedy” is that the communists returned with the help of the Soviets, and instead of achieving peace, they continued where they had left it off on 23 October. “Proletarian dictatorship, party state, political prisons and executions,” he said.
Glory to the victims, respect to the resistance, Orbán said.
1956 was a revolution not of a city, but of an entire country, of the whole nation, the prime minister said. Addressing the inauguration ceremony of a new visitors’ centre presenting the life of the late Cardinal József Mindszenty, Viktor Orbán said that “in the opinion of the left, which looks down on us people living in the countryside, it is not correct to celebrate in Zalaegerszeg”. “They do not understand that Budapest is not identical with the country,” he said.
Orbán praised Hungary’s leading religious personalities, saying that they represent “a point of reference not only in the matters of faith”. “The great Hungarian Catholic leaders were not only leading in preaching the Gospel, but also served Mary’s country, Hungary with their guidance and deeds throughout their lives and in their deaths.”
“The greatest Hungarian church leaders always led the Hungarian people as prophets and carried out the task of leading the country spiritually alongside the political leaders, or, if needed, and it was often needed, instead of the political leaders,” Orbán said, adding that József Mindszenty was such a religious leader.