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Hungarian government officials addressed commemorations of the 1956 anti-Soviet revolution in neighbouring countries on Wednesday.

Central Europe owes the freedom it has today to the Hungarian heroes of 1956, the state secretary for ethnic Hungarian communities abroad said in Dunaszerdahely (Dunajska Streda), in south-western Slovakia.

Hungarians in 1956 made the same demands they had made before, in 1848, Árpád János Potápi told a gathering of hundreds of people including political leaders of the local Hungarian community.

Photo by Csaba Krizsán/MTI

They demanded what the Hungarian nation had always wanted: to shape their destiny freely, independently of the leading powers, he said.

“Although the revolution in 1956 was suppressed, it was still 1956 that brought about 1968 and 1989, too,” said Potápi.

Orbán on 1956: Hungarians Wanted Free, Independent Country in Europe of Nations

Katalin Novák, state secretary of the human resources ministry, said in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca), in western Romania, that 1956 had set high standards for the Hungarian nation which she said must be met time and again today and in the future as well.

Photo by István Biró/MTI

Szilárd Németh, state secretary of the defence ministry, said in Szabadka (Subotica), in northern Serbia’s Vojvodina, that “the example set by our heroes and their courage tell us that if we, Hungarians, join forces we can accomplish great things together”.

Photo by Edvárd Molnár/MTI

“We can only preserve the values of our thousand-year-old past, our Christian faith, national culture, mother tongue and Hungarian identity together,” he said.

Featured photo illustration by Márton Mónus/MTI