Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister Katalin Szili (3rd left), Lieutenant Colonel László Leskó, Attaché for Defense, Military and Aviation (5th left), and Sándor Szelepcsényi (2nd left), displaced man from Slovakia, at the commemoration ceremony
We cannot give up on ethnopolitics, because that would mean giving up on ourselves, said Katalin Szili, Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister, on Sunday in Bratislava (Pozsony), where she spoke at a commemoration ceremony for Hungarians deported from Slovakia, formerly Hungary.
At the event held in the garden of the Hungarian primary school in Podunajské Biskupice (Pozsonypüspöki), the Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister, who has also taken part in the commemoration in previous years, recalled the inhumanity of the deportations, and spoke about the consequences of the Beneš Decrees. In her speech, she also addressed the need to maintain ethnic-based politics, and the situation of people living in national minorities, and the possibilities for improving it in the context of the European Parliament elections due next year.
FactThe Beneš Decrees are the post-World War II decrees that established the statehood of Czechoslovakia. However, mostly it means the reference to the laws that established the collective guilt of Germans and Hungarians living in the country. The treatment of the German and Hungarian minorities under the Beneš Decrees was incompatible with human rights. Almost all the ethnic Germans and Hungarians, many of whose ancestors had lived in Czechoslovakia for centuries before World War II, lost their Czechoslovak citizenship and property and were expelled from their homes. Nevertheless, both successor states of the former Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, consider the Decrees to be part of their legal order.
She said that in the shadow of history, the Beneš Decrees should be remembered, because
the “shadow of the decrees that affected Hungarians in Slovakia” still lingers today, as they are used as a basis for taking away property from members of the Hungarian community.
She stressed that this is untenable in the case of Hungary and Slovakia, members of the European Union for almost 20 years.
Katalin Szili referred to last weekend’s parliamentary elections in Slovakia, in which the Hungarian party, the Alliance, failed to gain representation in the Slovak legislature, stressing that the Hungarian minority must continue its political efforts to change the disadvantages suffered by them on the basis of laws that have historically been outdated.
We cannot give up on ethnopolitics, because that would mean giving up on ourselves,”
She also spoke about the European Union’s approach to the issues of national minorities, pointing out that it is deficient in both its content and its institutional system, and that this is why it is important for the Hungarian minority in Slovakia to have its own representation in the European Parliament in next year’s European elections. She recalled that recently, French President Emmanuel Macron had stated that the process of creating autonomy for Corsica would be launched, and that this step could make the EU leadership and national minority communities reflect on the fact that there is indeed a justification for autonomy aspirations.
Everyone should understand that we are not against anyone, we want to live in good neighborly relations. When we talk about these things, we only want what every European citizen deserves,”
Via MTI, Featured image: Facebook/Dr. Szili Katalin