The Hungarian-Polish connection is an exceptional value

NEB - 29.06.2016.

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  • 2016. July 03.

The 1956 themed exhibition which was opened on Wednesday, 29th June in Városháza Park was organized jointly by the Committee of National Remembrance, the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) and the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Warsaw. Its speciality is that it can be seen simultaneously in Warsaw, Poznań and Budapest (see our earlier news).

Lukasz Kaminski, President of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance said in his speech that Hungarian and Polish people have been tied together throughout history. That was the case after WWII when the two nations experienced first communism, then resistance to the system and solidarity towards each other. Remembering involves duties as well - he emphasized. He added that we must not forget what we rose against to achieve freedom, justice, human dignity, as that is also a testament of our predecessors of 1956 that has to be fulfilled by people today.

Réka Földváryné Kiss, chairperson of the Committee of National Remembrance talked about how 1956 fundamentally changed the way of thinking of generations, as the moral power of resistance gave a new meaning to the lives of those living in the free world, those disillusioned with communism. 1956 is a shared experience for Hungarian and Polish people as well as a common historical symbol for Western Europe. 1956 became a symbol of anti-Soviet and anti-communist resistance and the desire for freedom prevailing realpolitik on both sides of the Iron Curtain - she said. She also reminded that the Hungarian and Polish 1956 was a response to the Soviet occupation, to terror, to the attack on our national values as well as to the violation of basic human rights, the freedom of speech, freedom of religion and to the unbearable propaganda to cover it up.

Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovniczky, deputy mayor of Budapest called the connection between the Hungarian and Polish nations a value that is unique throughout Europe. It is a value that will help us through the historical storms of the 21st century - she said. She also mentioned that Poland showed in 1956 what friendship is, what it means to throw in their lot with the Hungarian nation and she reminded that the June uprising in Poznań due to the abjection and low payments which was repressed in 48 hours had a major role in the outbreak of the revolution in Hungary. She talked about the events of six decades ago as an especially important chapter of the thousand-year-old Polish-Hungarian friendship. She also mentioned that Polish people collected money, food and medicine for the Hungarian revolutionists in the autumn of 1956.

The commemorative conference after the opening and its participants were greeted by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. He emphasized that we must remember the dark era of the dictatorship, the victims but also the good things, courage, honour and life-saving help. The friendship between Hungary and Poland is one of the most important pillars of preserving a Christian Europe - said the prime minister in his letter. He also talked about that nothing can deepen the relationship between two people into friendship more than life-turning events and battles fought together. Similarly, two nations' friendship is forged into shared fate by history and a common goal, a shared fight.

In his opening speech of the commemorative conference Deputy Speaker Gergely Gulyás (Fidesz) identified the Polish and Hungarian nations as ones that suffered the most for freedom, noting that "we know that one cannot be bored with freedom". He said that the majority of the two societies "had to suffer oppression, but refused to accept lies" and he also noted that the biggest historic deed of the 20th century in Hungary, the 1956 Revolution and War of Independence was inspired by the Poznań uprising.

On behalf of the Polish Institute for National Remembrance, President Lukasz Kaminski and Vice Chair Áron Máthé representing the Committee of National Remembrance placed a wreath on the memorial plaque in honour of Romek Strzałkowski on the Medve Street wall of Csík Ferenc Primary School (photos at IMAGES).

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