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Hungary displays solidarity but cannot be forced by Western Countries to accept mass migration– this is the conclusion of the Hungary at First ‘Site’ conference’s lectures on the subject ‘Hungary in National Perspective.’ The event was organized by the Friends Of Hungary Foundation, publisher of Hungary Today and Ungarn Heute, for foreign journalists to get a better understanding of the Hungarian government’s decisions and the Hungarian way of thinking.

The second day of the conference opened with a presentation by Mária Schmidt. Schmidt is a Hungarian historian and university lecturer who also serves as the general director of the House of Terror Museum.

Schmidt began her lecture by introducing the main challenges that have hindered the successful preservation of Hungary’s history since the transition. She explained to the audience how the Socialists presented a one-sided interpretation of Hungarian history for 45 years and how the post-communist era preserved the historical narrative despite the hurdle of evolving media positions and state intuitions.

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She reminded the audience that the first freely elected Hungarian government faced tremendous resistance due to the management of the media outlets remaining the same as prior to communism.

Schmidt mentioned that left-leaning intellectuals from Western Europe had a good relationship with Hungarian Socialists, even during the Soviet-era. Therefore, when they’re looking for information about Hungarian issues they always rely on post-communist sources.

Mária Schmidt, the general director of the House of Terror Museum

She blamed Western countries for harboring colonialist sentiment towards Central European countries and highlighted that they arrogantly decided the faith of Central Europeans after the World Wars despite not knowing the ethnic makeup of the region or having economic common sense.

She believes that the existing conflict between EU members emerged due to this colonialist heritage. According to Schmidt, the Western European nations are ashamed and want to compensate for the suffering of the colonialist era. She insisted that because Central Europeans never went to other countries with the aim of dictating how their people should live and think, they don’t owe Western Europe anything.

The will of the people can no longer be ignored

The conference continued with the topic of migration. György Bakondi, Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister on internal security, is charged with border security, building fences and protecting the country from illegal migration. He thinks the most important message emerging from the current migration debates is that politics cannot ignore the will of the people anymore, and people in Central Europe have voted against mass illegal migration.

György Bakondi, Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister on internal security, and Tristan Azbej, the Deputy State Secretary for Aiding Persecuted Christians

Bakondi also suggested that illegal migration is primarily caused by a misunderstanding of international law. For instance, the responsibility to rescue people from the sea doesn’t automatically lead to an obligation to offer asylum. According to him, “liberal organizations and the leadership of the EU itself want to legalize illegal migration.” Bakondi emphasized that “the current liberal majority is always launching new attacks against countries that do not support migration.”

He also insisted that Spain’s migration has increased by 130 percent since the leftist government came into power in the country. He underlined that Europe should help where the problem is occurring, but shouldn’t bring the problem to Europe.

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This is the idea that is promoted by the Hungary Helps program. The initiative was introduced by Tristan Azbej, the Deputy State Secretary for Aiding Persecuted Christians. The politician highlighted that the Hungarian government is helping persecuted Christians restore their homes and churches.

Additionally, the program builds community buildings in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The Hungarian state also launched a special scholarship program for young members of Christian families who have been subjected to persecution. Azbej also mentioned that the international community failed to recognize the atrocities committed against Christian communities as genocide, and the goal of Hungary Helps is to make the United Nations Human Rights Council aware of these issues and create sufficient legislation for them.

photos by Tamás Lénárd