Hungarian government officials addressed commemorations of the 1956 anti-Soviet revolution in neighbouring countries and further abroad.
Central Europe owes the freedom it has today to the Hungarian heroes of 1956, the state secretary for ethnic Hungarian communities abroad said in Dunajská Streda, in south-western Slovakia. Hungarians in 1956 made the same demands they had made before, in 1848, Árpád Janos Potápi told a gathering of hundreds of people including political leaders of the local Hungarian community. They demanded what the Hungarian nation had always wanted: to shape their destiny freely, independently of the leading powers, he said. “Although the revolution in 1956 was suppressed, it was still 1956 that brought about here 1968 and 1989, too,” said Potápi. Katalin Novák, state secretary of the human resources ministry, said in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), in western Romania, that 1956 had set high standards for the Hungarian nation which she said must be met time and again today and in the future as well. Szilárd Németh, state secretary of the defence ministry, said in Subotica (Szabadka), in northern Serbia’s Vojvodina, that “the example set by our heroes and their courage tell us that if we, Hungarians, join forces we can accomplish great things together”. “We can only preserve the values of our thousand year old past, our Christian faith, national culture, mother tongue and Hungarian identity together,” he said.
In a lecture at Soeul University, Zsolt Németh, the head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said that Hungary’s democratic transition could not have started in 1989 without the anti-Soviet uprising of 1956. If it had not been for the country’s regime change, Hungary could not have established diplomatic ties with South Korea 30 years ago either, Németh told MTI from Seoul by phone. Németh noted dynamic bilateral ties and said that South Korea was holding a series of cultural programmes to mark Hungary’s October 23 national holiday.