BosNewsLife (02/25/06) Hungary ‘s prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany of the former Communist-turned-Socialist Party has suggested there is “no forgiveness” for crimes committed by the previous regime against dissidents, active Christians, Jews and others with different religions or political ideas.
Gyurscany made the comments in a statement Saturday, February 25, when Hungary remembered the victims of Communism. The day marked the anniversary of February 25, 1947 when Independent Smallholder Party leader Bela Kovacs, a popular advocate for an independent Hungary , was arrested on apparently trumped up charges by the Soviet military authorities. He was forcefully taken to the Soviet Union and sentenced to life imprisonment.
“No one can be forgiven for insulting people’s dignity, limiting their freedom, or taking their lives,” said Gyurcsany, in a statement released by Hungarian News Agency MTI. “No one has the right to do that in the name of any ideal whatsoever. Any political policy that forces us into subordination instead of protecting us and making us free is criminal,” he stressed.
The Hungarian Socialist Party only dumped its Marxist ideology in 1989 as the Communist system began to crumble. “Hungarians bowed their heads in memory of the insulted, the injured, and the murdered,” Gyurscany stressed. Former President Arpad Goncz, several members of parliament and cabinet members gathered at a statue of Bela Kovacs to remember him and all victims of Communism.
Goncz, who under Communism spent years behind bars for his role in the 1956 revolution against Soviet domination, noted that “throughout history there have been victims, but people who took up the gauntlet had to be aware that they could lose.”
Parliamentarian Imre Mecs, who had been sentenced to death for his participation in the eventually crushed revolution 50 years ago, said that “the current job was not only to learn every aspect of the past, but also to face up to the events.”
Former First Lady Dalma Madl, decorated Gemma Maria Punk, Mother Superior of the Cistercian Regina Mundi monastery community for her role in promoting reconciliation.
Among other ceremonies was a small crowd gathering for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Hungarian Gulag Memorial in Budapest , to remember those who died in forced labor camps in the 1950s.
“It is time again to pay tribute to all Hungarian victims of the Gulag,” added Miklos Csapody, a parliamentarian of the junior center right opposition Hungarian Democratic Forum party. Hungary became a member of the European Union May 1, 2004, along with 9 other mainly former Soviet-sattelite states.
Attention for Saturday’s ceremonies was overshadowed by news that a double decker tourist bus from Serbia and Montenegro crashed as it hit a height barrier near a tunnel outside Budapest ‘s Ferihegy International Airport , killing at least one person and injuring over 20 others. The driver was reportedly detained.