According to the Ministry of Human Capacities’ Parliamentary State Secretary, we must recollect many kinds of victims on the Memorial Day for the Victims of Communism.

At a commemoration in the prisoners’ cemetery in Vác, Member of Parliament Bence Rétvári (KDNP) stressed that we may commemorate the 800 thousand of our compatriots who were taken away to suffer several years of hard labour at the end of the second world war.

We may also think of those who became the victims of the show trials of the emerging dictatorship, who were imprisoned or executed, and we may also remember those who lost the jobs from one day to the next because they were Christian or patriotic, the Christian Democrat politician said.

We must also remember those who were sent to various internment camps, or who were deported together with their families, and we must also commemorate those who were stripped of their land and businesses of various sizes, the State Secretary listed.

According to Mr. Rétvári, a million people were put on trial and in the early 1950s 390 thousand people were sentenced for political reasons.

We must also think of the thousands who were killed or wounded during the 1956 Revolution, and who were imprisoned, and of the many hundreds who were executed in retaliation, and we must also not forget about the 200 thousand people who fled the country, the State Secretary added. We are talking about a total of 10 million people, for whom 40 years of their lives were taken away.

Mr. Rétvári highlighted the fact that in recent years one of the Government’s important duties was to serve the sense of justice of these people, because in the years prior to 2010 the Gyurcsány and Bajnai governments froze the pension supplements that had previously been awarded to the victims.

Last year, the Government raised these supplements by 60 percent, and by a further 40 percent this year, he added, noting that the government had taken back the high pension supplements that had been awarded during communism for loyalty to the communist party, and not performance.

Mr. Rétvári also spoke about the fact that the Government’s most important goal with relation to holding the year of remembrance for the 1956 Revolution was to make the country more aware of its everyday heroes, and by organising the year of commemoration for the victims of the Gulags the Government wanted to balance out the double standard that differentiates between the victims of the Nazi and Communist dictatorships. “If someone does not reject both dictatorships, if someone uses a different standard for the two, that is not true democracy”, the State Secretary said.

In its decree of 13 June 2000, the National Assembly declared 25 February the Memorial Day for the Victims of Communism. The date of the day of commemoration refers to the fact that on this day in 1947 the occupying Soviet authorities arrested Béla Kovács, the Secretary General of the Independent Smallholders’ Party, despite his parliamentary immunity.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)