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During the Communism era, anyone who was branded an enemy was brutally punished or eliminated, Justice Minister Judit Varga said at the memorial of Soviet occupation on Friday, the Memorial Day of Hungarians Deported to the Soviet Union. The Communist era was a tragic period of the 20th century, and the Soviet empire violated all civilised laws when it persecuted suspected enemies, including politicians, church officials and civilians, she said. Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians were deported to forced labour camps, and it was forbidden to talk about the sins of the Gulag and the Communist regime for a long time, she added.
The Christian, national, conservative government gives due weight not only to the country’s future but also to its past, she said. A memorial day for the victims of communism was introduced in Hungary in 2002 and in 2012, and another memorial day was introduced to pay honour to political prisoners and forced labourers deported to the Soviet Union during and after the second world war, she added. “It is impossible to change the past but it is possible to learn from it,” she said. Parliament named November 25 as the Memorial Day of Hungarians Deported to the Soviet Union on May 21, 2012 because the first group of Hungarians deported to the Gulag returned to Hungary on this day in 1953.