A cemetery where soldiers from 14 nations had been laid to rest during the First World War has been reopened in the city of Nyíregyháza, in North-Eastern Hungary. The facility has been refurbished from 20 million forints (EUR 65,000) to mark the centenary of the Great War. Mayor Ferenc Kovács said that the 2,829 soldiers buried here had died in one of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy’s biggest military hospitals that operated nearby. The cemetery contains the mortal remains of Austrian, Bosnian, Croatian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian and Ukrainian soldiers.
Meanwhile a memorial dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of Hungarians taken to Soviet forced labour camps during and after WWII was also unveiled in the town of Szerencs, in North-Eastern Hungary. In a letter read out at the event, President János Áder said, “this memorial warns all passers-by that we do not want to see any resurgence of murderous sentiments, or discrimination by race, language or ethnicity as those who make a distinction between Hungarians by origin deny the nation as a whole.” November 25 was declared a day of political prisoners and forced labourers deported to the Soviet Union by a parliamentary resolution in 2012.
Remembrance was also held for the 800,000 Hungarians taken to forced labour camps in the Soviet Union during and after WWII in an international history conference in Szerencs on Monday. Bowing to the memory of the innocent Hungarians forced by authorities of Stalin’s totalitarian regime into internment and labour camps is long due in Hungarian society, András Majorszki, the president of the Society of International Gulag Researchers, said. János Havasi, a researcher, called for a research centre to be set up to collect archive materials, personal accounts and studies. However, research work at the Gulag in the Donetsk region is seriously hampered today due to the current armed conflict there, he noted. The number of those Hungarian who were executed, or died from starvation or illness in the Gulag is estimated at 200,000.
via hungarymatters.hu photo: Attila Balázs – MTI