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Gulag Memorial Proposed For Central Budapest As Part Of Memorial Year To Soviet Forced Labour Victims

By Ferenc Sullivan // 2015.07.06.

The association of former political prisoners and forced labourers, Szórakész, has proposed erecting a Gulag memorial at Szabadság tér, central Budapest, to honour victims of the Soviet invasion, a lawmaker for the ruling Fidesz party has told the daily newspaper Napi Gazdaság.

Erzsébet Menczer, head of Szórakész, said the association proposed the memorial “as a member of the Gulag Memorial Committee” set up to support the implementation of programmes under the 2015 Gulag memorial year aimed at “paying tribute to the more than 800 000 victims”. Ms. Menczer said the committee supported the idea, and will discuss funding for the project at its next session on July 14. She said the memorial would require government support, as Szórakész would be unable to finance the project on its own.

The committee is headed by Minister of Human Resources Zoltán Balog, with members delegated by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations, the House of Terror Museum and the government-founded Veritas Historical Research Institute.

The square is already home to a number of statues and monuments, including the controversial memorial to the Soviet Army and the statue composition commemorating the victims of Nazi occupation, erected in 2014.

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