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Those who want to tear down walls first have to go all the way to the wall

The Prime Minister handed over the Middle Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit with star, civilian section, to Kornel Morawiecki, Senior Speaker of the Sejm for his solidarity and consistent support for Hungary as well as in recognition of his efforts to strengthen Hungarian-Polish political relations.

Recalling memories from his youth, in his speech the Prime Minister stressed as young Hungarians they turned their attention to Mr Morawiecki and his fellow-fighters, and when they themselves had to decide how radical they would be, they decided to be as radical as Mr Morawiecki and his organisation because “those who want to tear down walls first have to go all the way to the wall” as did Mr Morawiecki and his associates.

He added that the culture of brave action and respect exists in Poland to this day, and some of it is still left in Hungary, too.

Fotó: Szecsődi Balázs

Mr Orbán said one rarely “stands face to face with a school curriculum”. He learnt about Central European opposition movements “semi-officially” in university halls of residence in 1984-1985, and first saw Mr Morawiecki’s name when they learnt about Solidarity.

He recalled that a few months after tanks flooded Poland’s streets a manifesto appeared which argued that people should fight in order not to have to live in slavery, and to remain faithful to the traditions of their fathers and grandfathers. They must fight for freedom and show the world that it is possible to resist evil. At the time, one paid a heavy price for talking about the goals and thoughts of the movement led by Mr Morawiecki; even in the free West not many entertained such thoughts, he said.

Kornel Morawiecki founded the anti-communist organisation Fighting Solidarity in June 1982 in response to the banning of the trade union Solidarity and the oppression of the opposition.

Mr Orbán highlighted that the West was convinced that the Soviet Union and communism would continue to exist for many more decades, and those who refused to resign themselves to this fate drew strength from the struggle of Mr Morawiecki’s movement. Thanks to them, the message “kept on drumming in people’s ears” that communism cannot be reformed and its sins must be revealed.

Fotó: Szecsődi Balázs

The Prime Minister praised Hungarian-Polish friendship, and said the form of flowing love which the Hungarian and Polish people can fill a room with is not known anywhere else in Europe today.

Receiving the decoration, Mr Morawiecki, aged 77, said he was not receiving the decoration from the prime minister of “the heroic Hungarian nation” on his own behalf, but as a Polish person, a son of this earth, a representative of Fighting Solidarity, and a European raised on the basis of the laws of Christian love”.

He underlined that the law of love and solidarity is about our relationships with one another, the shouldering of our common burdens, and the work done for the good of the people.

The legacy of solidarity “shapes and compels us to build a Europe of homelands so that this is how we arrive in the homeland called Europe”. This “enormous Europe extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean grew up under the sign of the cross, amidst sacrifices and self-sacrifice, and rests on the foundations of freedom and solidarity,” Mr Morawiecki pointed out. He said may the Polish-Hungarian friendship of many centuries “serve as an example and guidance for building such a Europe, and a safe, peaceful and meaningful world”.