Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office spoke about the importance of unity at the commemoration held at Bem tér on the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the 1956 revolution and freedom fight.

The greatest lesson of our history is that we can stay free, we can preserve our Hungarian nationhood as long as we are able to unite our efforts, the Minister stressed in front of the participants of the traditional torch lit march terminating at the statue of Józef Bem.

He highlighted that every Hungarian in the world must be aware that they can rely on the motherland, and “this is why we must do everything we can to protect the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia”.

The revolutionaries of 1956 fought for our freedom, and for the ability to decide about our own fate, he stressed, observing that the Constitution, too, lays down that our current freedom stems from the 1956 revolution.

He said remembering involves responsibility: when we bow our heads before the sacrifices of those who went before us and remember the victory of the revolution they achieved and the hell they went through after the fall of the freedom fight, we also set a standard.

“The high standard that appears unattainable of an incomparably more difficult era” sends the message to the present day that freedom is a value and a blessing even if – looking upon the free part of the world – we must often conclude that this is not how we envisaged freedom. Yet, despite all existing difficulties and social differences, the opportunities and prospects available to a child born today are incomparably better than at any time in the last century, Mr Gulyás pointed out.

He said we can be a nation on the rise with its strength multiplied “on a continent that is facing the threat of losing its identity”. Actual or seeming contradictions do not change this situation.

He highlighted that institutionalised European cooperation is essential even if today a significant portion of the EU’s common institutions wants to capture, rather than serve the Member States comprising the European Union, in particular, the Central European ones.

“Europe is important for us even if – in the absence of common sense – its current leaders bend down on their knees to lay wreaths at the feet of the statue of the communist and anti-Semitic Karl Marx, forgetting the millions of victims communism, anti-Semitism and, in general, the teachings of Marx claimed during the history of Europe in the 20th century”, Mr Gulyás said.

He said we must contrast nostalgia, prejudice and ideology with reality: the utter failure which wrecked the countries afflicted by the dictatorship of actual socialism not only in the economy and in the administration of the state, but also in the most important areas of personal and human existence: in faith, freedom, the restriction of rights and community life. “We must know the stories of the murdered, stolen and wrecked lives, and we must equally know the individuals who committed these crimes against the people.”

“We can never justify the murderers and murderous ideology of communism, and we must never allow others anywhere in Europe to try to justify them”, Mr Gulyás said.

Norbert Bencze, a university student from Transcarpathia stressed on behalf of Hungarian university students beyond the borders that the Hungarian nation had never sold its freedom. Though it was torn to pieces and trampled on, freedom blossomed again under the caterpillar tracks. And this freedom has emerged thanks to the heroes of 1956, he added.

He also said that in Ukraine torn apart by civil war and in Transcarpathia where efforts are being made to intimidate true Hungarians it is not easy to be Hungarian today. The Ukrainian government is doing everything it can – with the education law, among others – to frustrate the existence of the Hungarian community. However, bowing before the wishes of others is not compatible with the Hungarian character, he pointed out.

The majority of the attendees of the commemoration arrived at Bem tér from the torch lit march that started at the Technical University.

The march was to commemorate the 22 October student meeting at the Technical University which is seen as one of the decisive events of the revolution. At the meeting students identified their demands point by point, and also decided to march to Bem tér the following day, on 23 October in the spirit of solidarity with the Polish people.

The Monday march attended by thousands of people – mostly young people – was led by a Csepel truck from the 1950s, young people wearing period clothing waved from the backs of trucks, and songs and radio broadcasts were played from speakers installed on the trucks.

And old tram also accompanied the attendees of the march commemorating the event that took place 62 years ago.

The Rákóczi Association was the co-organiser of the torch lit march and the commemoration at Bem tér. Participants of the commemoration, including Gergely Gulyás and Szilárd Németh, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, commemorated the heroes of 1956 with a silent bow of the head.