Photo: MTI

Uzhhorod, Ukraine, June 5 (MTI) – Out of all the Hungarian territories that were ceded to neighbouring countries with the signing of the Trianon peace treaty after WWI, western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region suffered the harshest fate, Hungary’s parliamentary speaker said in Uzhhorod (Ungvár), in western Ukraine, late on Saturday.

But Transcarpathian Hungarians are also the ones who accomplished the most out of all ethnic Hungarian minorities, by sacrificing so much to retain their national identity and stay in their native land, László Kövér told a commemorative event marking the Day of National Cohesion, the anniversary of the Trianon treaty.

The House speaker said the Day of National Cohesion is a day on which Hungarians mark both “the crimes committed by … foreign powers against Hungarians” and the “crimes and failures” committed by Hungarians that made the “Trianon tragedy” possible.

He said June 4 is also a day to thank God that over the past century, Hungarians proved that their nation is stronger than the forces that wanted to divide them. Remembrance and celebrations on this day are linked by national consciousness, and tensions within Hungarians are eased by a belief in the future and a will to live, he said.

Kövér said the only way Hungarians can put Trianon’s “psychological heritage” behind them is by strengthening national unity in the century ahead. And the basis for unity is national identity shaped by “our Christian intellectual roots, Hungarian language, culture and history”. This is Hungarians’ most important, strategic resource in the 21st century, he said. Hungarians will be able to use their national identity to get ahead in a 21st-century in which conflicts will not be about conquering land but “conquering identity”. Communities that lack a solid identity are destined to become losers in these conflicts, he said. “We Hungarians don’t want to be losers or victims in the times ahead,” Kövér said.

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The Hungarian parliament declared June 4 the Day of National Cohesion in 2010 to mark the anniversary of the day the peace treaty was signed in the Grand Trianon chateau of Versailles in 1920. Under the treaty, two-thirds of Hungary’s territory was ceded to neighbouring countries.

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