In 1956 the Hungarian nation wrote world history, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said on Tuesday, at the commemoration held at the Széna tér 1956 monument in Budapest, on the anniversary of the 1956 revolution and freedom fight.

Gergely Gulyás said the heroes of 1956 wanted a free, sovereign and self-governing Hungary which is independent from all empires, and sacrificed their lives for a country which stands up for itself and is able to decide about its own fate.

“The message of 1956 is that if Hungary takes control of its own fate, it is also able to change the ways of the world”, the Minister said, adding that a country of ten million, too, may speak out, and if it does so in the interest of a good cause, its voice will echo afar.

The Member of Parliament for the 2nd and 12th districts of Budapest said 1956 was a revolution of the Hungarian people and the greatest meeting in the history of the Hungarian people: a meeting with freedom after long years of oppression, and with the ideal that in this freedom there is room for every Hungarian.

Mr Gulyás highlighted that we must remember those who fought and died, those who fled from their homes by breaking out of the besieged city, and those who believed in the false promise of amnesty and returned home, but met with death.

In his speech Finance Minister Mihály Varga said the most important message of the events 62 years ago is that we can only find strength if we are able to freely decide on our affairs together, and if we preserve our sovereignty.

The Member of Parliament for the 2nd and 3rd districts of the capital pointed out that in 1956 all the news reports were about Hungary, but despite the enormous international outpouring of sympathy and political declarations of support, the country did not receive help. As a result, the Hungarian people were left without support both in their struggle and during the period of retaliation. However, no one can take away, no one can call into question the results which the revolution achieved, he highlighted.

He added that the nation found itself, experienced the strength, security and joy of belonging together again, and while they failed to achieve what they coveted, the people came to the realisation that regaining national sovereignty is the most important task.

“Also today we are standing up for these values, knowing that we can conquer any difficulty and challenge that may come our way if we act together in the interest of Hungary”, the Finance Minister said.

Mr Varga pointed out that remembering our past, we may truly appreciate that also today we must believe in ourselves, in our truth and in our deeds, and therefore when we are facing today’s challenges – such as the ever threatening flow of migration and “the excessive power of Brussels” – our response continues to remain simple and predictable: we will not give up our sovereignty, we will not become an immigrant country, and we ourselves will decide on matters that concern us.

Zsolt Láng, Mayor of the 2nd district of Budapest said at the commemoration that the 1956 shared fate continues to remain a part of our identity to this day, and is an elementary source of our national self-esteem which it is our duty to pass on to every generation. 1956 symbolised the heroic attempt of a nation to restore its freedom and sovereignty, and to decide about its own internal order and the path it chose towards the family of Christian European nations, Mr Láng said.

He took the view that it would be a major omission if we failed to turn to our advantage the lessons of the national traumas we have been through, and if we failed to exercise “the requirements of self-defence with arguments”. While 62 years ago we had to fight for the freedom of sovereignty, today we must preserve it. This takes determination, effort and a common will, the Mayor stated.