Let us remember again and again

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  • 2018. September 11.

“We must remember the attempt that was aimed at breaking the heart and spirit of peasantry by taking their rightful legacy and source of livelihood: the land. We must remember in order to know how precious and valuable the land is as well as the possibility that Hungarian people can cultivate it” - said Szabolcs Czira, mayor of Nagykőrös.

László Földi, MP said in his greeting speech: “From all our numerous vices, this one is the easiest to call forth from our soul, so that it would be exploited for nefarious purposes. We fear for what we have, sometimes we frown upon those who happen to have more. We tend to think, that they used dishonest means to achieve their wealth, moreover, we should have everything they own. (...) A whole group of society was deprived consciously and strategically by means of intimidation, exclusion, internment, imprisonment and torture.”

Réka Földváryné Kiss, chairperson of the Committee of National Remembrance emphasized: there are lot of untold, unprocessed, silenced stories in Hungarian society, in villages and towns. Young people grew up, started families and never told their children what happened to their parents and grandparents in order to protect their loved ones. This exhibition, the film and the series of programmes, the unorthodox history lessons are needed to realize again and again what happened to our parents and grandparents and what could have happened to us. (...) History is a network of great historic processes as well as tough individual and family stories in which decisions have to be made, one has to hold on. This exhibition shows us what the Communist establishment did to Hungarian society, how it stigmatized and humiliated Hungarian peasantry, Hungarian farmers. On the other hand, it also shows how Hungarian peasantry resisted the enforced collectivization, which was not created in their best interests.

At the end of her speech the chairperson of the Committee of National Remembrance called students’ attention to an educational competition which would start in the beginning of October with the final in Budapest.

The celebratory opening was followed by a screening and a roundtable discussion in the banquet hall of Arany János Cultural Centre in Nagykőrös. István Galambos, fellow researcher of the Committee of National Remembrance, László Mészáros, historian and curator of Arany János Museum and Judit Tóth, chief archivist of the National Archives of Hungary talked about the enforced collectivization in Nagykőrös and in Pest county.

The travelleing exhibition ‘Sorsfordítás’ [Turn of Fate] was launched by the Committee of National Remembrance and the Directorate for Public Collections and Public Education (the Office of the National Assembly). Its aim is to shed light on the fact that a whole agricultural society was enforced into collectivization within a few years in the beginning of the Kádár-era.