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Memorial Day: Hungarians Commemorate Victims Of Communist Dictatorship

Tamás Székely 2016.02.26.

The victims of communism and communist dictatorships were commemorated yesterday across Hungary, because on this day (25 February) in 1947 the Secretary General of the Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKGP), Béla Kovács was unlawfully arrested and deported to the Soviet Union. Based on the parliamentary decision adopted by the Hungarian government as far back as 2000, on this day, all higher and secondary education establishments shall commemorate the victims of the communist dictatorship. Many, including Cardinal Péter Erdő (picture above), visited the House of Terror museum in Budapest yesterday to pay tribute to the victims of the ruthless totalitarian regime.

House Speaker László Kövér speaking in Salgótarján

Honoring the victims of Communist rule under the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919, House Speaker László Kövér inaugurated a memorial plaque in the Parliament. The plaque pays tribute to the roughly 500 people who were held captive and tortured in the Parliament building by the regime. The press at the time knew that not all who were held captive survived, however, the only body ever found and identified was that of András Incseli Szőts. The memorial plaque was placed near the area where Incseli Szőts’s body was found on June 26, 1919. House Speaker László Kövér also attended a memorial event in the town of Sátoraljaújhely, while President János Áder paid tribute to the victims in the village of Békéssámson. Under the Communist rule people of both settlements suffered horrible losses in the 1950s.

President János Áder attending a memorial event in Békéssámson

Meanwhile a travelling exhibition installed in a train wagon was opened at Budapest’s Nyugati railway station. The exhibition pays tribute to Hungarians deported to Soviet forced labour camps in late 1944 and during the first half of 1945. The traveling exhibition presents the historical background of the era on posters with pictures and shows films including documentaries on the Gulag prisons. The so-called “lager-express” forms part of an anniversary programme series running until early 2017.

via hungarymatters.hu and MTI photos: MTI