The opposition party Jobbik will submit a parliamentary resolution proposing the demolition of the Soviet military monument in Budapest’s Liberty Square, the party’s parliamentary group leader said at a press conference on Monday.
László György Lukács said that in the run-up to October 23, it is important to ask why the monument stands in the square named after freedom (szabadság, meaning freedom) while Russia is waging war in Ukraine and blackmailing Europe with gas, violating all of our sense of justice and making a mockery of the memory of 1956 and Hungarians’ love of freedom.
Contrary to public opinion, there is nothing standing in the way, as no Soviet soldier is buried here, the opposition politician said, adding that it is up to historians to decide where the monument should be placed.
In 1991, the controversial monument was the only Soviet memorial still standing due to an intergovernmental agreement. The Russian Federation, as the legal successor to the USSR, insists on its existence and location.
In 2002, the monument was temporarily demolished in the course of construction work for the underground parking garage on Liberty Square. In order to restore the monument to its original form, Russians demanded a written guarantee from Defense Minister János Szabó and Foreign Minister János Martonyi.
The Soviet monument has lost its function as a memorial to the Soviet soldiers and its symbolism is in contradiction with the other places of remembrance in the area. The monument has been damaged several times: first during the 1956 revolution and most recently in 2006, when protesters besieged the Hungarian television building.
Lukács added that they are asking “parties that call themselves right-wing” to support their initiative, including the Fidesz-KDNP alliance and the Our Homeland (Mi Hazánk) movement.
“This is an opportunity for all of them to show whether they have conditions dictated to them or not, and whether for us Hungarians national self-determination and independence are the most important argument and intention,” Lukács said.
The politician described the decision as an opportunity to show that the people are on the side of peace and freedom, as they were in 1956.
Via: Ungarn Heute ; Featured photo: MTI