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Hungary Remembers its Revolutionary Martyrs

Mariann Őry 2022.10.06.

On Hungary’s Day of Mourning, the martyrs executed after the 1848-49 Revolution and Freedom Fight are remembered across the country.

The 6th of October is the Memorial Day of the Martyrs of Arad, the thirteen generals who were executed after the 1848-49 Revolution and Freedom Fight against the Austrian empire. The executions were ordered by Julius Jacob von Haynau, the leader of the Austrian army, who was appointed plenipotentiary to “restore order” in Hungary.

The thirteen Hungarian generals executed at Arad (then part of the Kingdom of Hungary, now in Romania) on the 6th of October were: Lajos Aulich, János Damjanich, Arisztid Dessewffy, Ernő Kiss, Károly Knezić, György Lahner, Vilmos Lázár, Károly Leiningen-Westerburg, József Nagysándor, Ernő Poeltenberg, József Schweidel, Ignác Török, and Károly Vécsey.

On the same day in Pest, the Prime Minister of the first Hungarian government, Lajos Batthyány was also executed.

The government declared the 6th of October a national day of mourning in 2001.

„We overcame death because we were ready to endure it at any time,” President Katalin Novák quoted the words attributed to János Damjanich.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also paid tribute to the Martyrs of Arad and Lajos Batthyány.

Commemorations are being held across the country and beyond the borders today to mark the 173rd anniversary.

The central commemoration began on Thursday morning in front of the Parliament building, the national flag of Hungary was raised and lowered to half-mast. Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, the Minister of Defense, Bence Rétvári, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, and Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, Commander of the Hungarian Defense Forces attended the ceremony.

Afterward, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Batthyány Mausoleum in the Fiumei Road Graveyard.

In the evening, a commemorative performance will be held at the Madách Theatre, with a speech by János Csák, Minister of Culture and Innovation.

The National Archives of the Hungarian National Archives organized an unconventional chamber exhibition of the farewell letters of the martyrs of Arad, with a guided tour.

Photos via MTI/Illyés Tibor

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