Communism has no heroes, only victims, the Minister of State for International Communication and Relations of the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister stated on Monday in Budapest on the occasion of the memorial day of Soviet-deported Hungarian political prisoners and forced labourers.

At the event held at the memorial of the victims of Soviet occupation in the 3rd district, Zoltán Kovács said it is a duty to remember the victims year after year, and even day after day as if we fail to do so, “we commit the most fundamental sin, the sin of omission”. Without remembering “it is impossible to build proud and integral communities that preserve their own traditions and consistently adhere to them,” he stressed.

Paying tribute to former Fidesz Member of Parliament János Horváth who passed away, aged 99, on Monday morning in Budapest – “an iconic figure of the fight against Nazism and communism” –, the Minister of State highlighted that the greatest omission a person and a nation can make against themselves is failure to remember.

Communism, “the most barbaric form of dictatorship affecting the largest number of countries” left behind more than a hundred million people dead world-wide, and in Hungary alone it detrimentally affected more than 800,000 people, he recalled.

Mr Kovács highlighted that on this day in 1953, 1,500 people could finally return to Hungary from forced labour camps and from political exile.

Turning to the present day, the Minister of State warned that the underlying ideology that laid the foundations for communism “is undergoing a renaissance today in many places around the world which see themselves as western and enlightened”. He mentioned as an example that the European Commission’s departing president Jean-Claude Juncker inaugurated a statue of Karl Marx in Germany last May.

Mr Kovács said “it is our duty and task to remember, on the memorial days and whenever we can, those who sacrificed their lives, livelihoods and families in the hope of a more beautiful Hungarian future”.

Erzsébet Menczer, President of the Organisation of Soviet-Deported Hungarian Political Prisoners and Forced Labourers said “it is our duty to remember and to remind others until the end of time”.