At the commemoration held on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Trianon peace dictate, a Centenary Turul Statue was inaugurated. In an address delivered after the ceremony, the Prime Minister highlighted that the era of a hundred years of solitude had come to an end; we again have allies and good neighbours together with whom we can prepare for the future.
He stressed that the next decade would be about growth and country building, not about withering and losses. It is our generation that can turn Hungary’s fate around, can accomplish its mission and can take the country to the gates of victory. However, the decisive battle will have to be fought by the next generation, they will have to take the final steps, he said, adding that it will not be easy, but it will be worth it, “there are great times ahead”.
With reference to the site of the commemoration, the Prime Minister said we are familiar with the Stations of the Cross, the painful stations of Hungary’s Golgotha in Sátoraljaújhely, “yet, we are going down the path of the Cross again,” we want comfort, hope and encouragement. These we can only obtain at the end of the path that leads to the Cross, this is the only way we can rise above all the pain; we must reach the height where everything becomes clear and falls into place, and from where we can see the future, he pointed out. He added that if we use our hearts instead of our eyes, we could perhaps see even farther, all the way to the beginning of time.
He recalled that we Hungarians had not disappeared, had not perished, but had established a home preserving our own distinctive qualities. We opened our hearts to Christianity, heard the gospel, heeded its words and adopted it as the foundations for the organisation of our state, he underlined.
He said we warded off the attacks of Western empires, we survived the devastating raids of Eastern pagans; we fought for, adjusted to our needs and retained our place in Europe. For 400 years Hungary was a strong and independent state, after that for 300 years we fought against the Ottoman Empire, and after another 200 years aggravated by failed uprisings and freedom fights, we entered the gates of the 20th century as the co-nation of a great European empire, he recalled. He added that while over the centuries many Hungarians had fallen at battlefields, we had proved that the Hungarian nation would stand back up on its feet time and again.
He observed that on the Golgotha of Hungarians women deserve a special place because they replenished the lost blood; it is thanks to them that “the art of survival and country building is in our genes,” that “we are the European champions of survival”.
Mr Orbán stressed that we had not become a German province, a Turkish vilayet or a Soviet republic. We Hungarians are a great culture-building and state-organising nation, he added.
He also highlighted that later, however, conspiracies forged in Budapest had stabbed Hungary in the back; the country was handed to our enemies, the government to the Bolsheviks, and then “the West violated Central Europe’s thousand-year-old borders” and “turned our country into a death row confined within indefensible borders, deprived of its natural treasures, cut off from its resources”. They redrew Central Europe without moral concerns, and for this we will never forgive them, he stated.
He said we believed we had reached the bottom; however, after World War II, “we were thrown to the communists without a pang” as were the other Central European countries. Let this be an eternal lesson for the peoples of Central Europe, he added.
The Prime Minister said “many volunteered to bury Hungary,” they combined forces to wipe us off the face of the Earth, but we stood our ground and endured all suffering. Today there is no Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia or Soviet Union, there is no British or French Empire, and “we will yet attend the funeral of those who wanted to put us into the grave,” he stressed, adding that we Hungarians “will survive because we are at home; we are at home and so we will survive”.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the Hungarian community – like a human heart – sometimes expands, sometimes contracts, but for 1,100 years it has lived in the place which was designated for it by the great founders of our state, and has guarded the Carpathian Basin with dignity. We must live with the self-confidence and posture of a nation which is well aware that it has given the world more than it has received from it, he stated his view, adding that this performance gives us the right to continue our history, and “though we had even worse borders before, we are still here”.
He said we are happy to build a common future together with a Slovakia, a Serbia, a Croatia and a Slovenia that is proud of its national identity. History has given the peoples of Central Europe a chance to open a new era, to rise together. The past ten years have shown that if the life force of parts of the Hungarian nation is combined, that also benefits our neighbours, he said.
He observed that “only a state has borders, not a nation,” and those who have not yet understood this had better hurry up because they are running out of time.
Mr Orbán said we see in our neighbours that which sets us apart, but also that which connects us together, and we want to make the Carpathian Basin great together with the nations that live here with us.
He stressed that we had not been this strong for a hundred years; our political, spiritual, economic and cultural strength is increasing day by day, the resettlement of Hungarians to their native country has begun, “we are an island of peace and security”. Strength involves responsibility, of that we are aware, he added.
The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to national communities torn away from the motherland for standing their ground and for remaining loyal to their nation and their native land.
“Hungary before all, God above us all, come on, Hungary, come on, Hungarians,” Mr Orbán said in conclusion.
At the commemoration, the Prime Minister and guests walked down a winding forest path, and at the 14 stations which symbolise cities annexed from Hungary actors recited poems.