Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, attended the inauguration of a monument dedicated to “the millennium Hungarians and Germans have spent together in the Carpathian Basin” in Budapest’s 16th district on Thursday. “Germans living here belong to us Hungarians,” the minister said in his address at the ceremony. At the new monument, paying tribute to Hungary’s ethnic Germans, Gulyás said “a country could be captured with weapons, but a homeland could only be won through one’s life”. “Those we are honouring are not strangers living among us, but people who have belonged to us,” he said. Gulyás called the deportation of ethnic Germans from Hungary after the second world war “shameful”. “Coexistence [with ethnic Germans] not only has a past but a present and future, too,” he said, noting that the latest census last year put the number of ethnic Germans at 142,000. Julia Gross, Germany’s ambassador to Hungary, noted that the inauguration was held on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.