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Speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on the Hungarian Day of National Cohesion

Good morning. I welcome the leaders of the Rákóczi Association – in particular my brother Jóska Halzl. I also warmly welcome young Hungarians from across the Carpathian Basin and from all over the world.

Young People,

Thank you for being here, for coming to this camp. Many of you here today have come from parts of the country torn from Hungary ninety-nine years ago, and some of you have come from distant parts of the world: from other homelands, to where your grandparents or great-grandparents emigrated. Therefore, the first and most important thing you should realise is that wherever you have come from, here in Hungary you are at home: Hungary is your home also. You have come here to Sátoraljaújhely by many different routes, but I think that what has led you here is something that you all share in common. You have come to understand something about the world that is crucial in a young person’s life. You have come to understand that the bonds that tie us to the great family that embraces us all – to the Hungarian nation – make a young person’s life much more exciting and much more complete. We here are bound together by being the joint inheritors of the world-changing achievements of Hungarians: everything built by our ancestors here in the Carpathian Basin; and the fine accomplishments they have achieved throughout the world in the fields of culture, science, the economy and sport. And this inheritance belongs to us all, to every Hungarian, wherever in the world we may live. Be proud of it, preserve it, make it a part of you, and in time pass it on to your own children.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It has been nine years since we decided that the darkest day in our nation’s history should not just fill us with grief, but also with strength, and that it should raise us all to unity. In 2010 the anniversary of [the Treaty of] Trianon – the day of mourning for the dismemberment of the Hungarian nation – was elevated to be the Memorial Day of National Cohesion. Ninety-nine years ago the alarum bells tolled: they tolled for us, for our survival. They sent the message that, despite the brutal peace diktat, we yearned to live: to live as Hungarians; and that we would work to create the legal, cultural and economic conditions for our national unity. What was once unjust remains unjust until the end of time. Time only heals wounds, not amputation. The time that has passed since then has in no way changed the fact that what happened ninety-nine years ago was not a negotiation, but a diktat: punishment served on us for losing the war. Behind the decision, the superiority of the victors was not derived in any way from morality, but only from power. They punished millions of people for answering the call of their homeland: people who were not to blame for having to fight in a war in which no side was just and good. History has passed judgement on what happened ninety-nine years ago: the victors’ decisions were arrogant and they punished entire nations; and they did not sow the seeds of freedom or peace in Europe, but those of renewed enmity, dictatorships and further wars. We were subjected to the hammer blows of National Socialism, immediately followed by those of communism – for all of which the peace diktat prepared the soil. After World War II the whole of Central Europe – every one of its peoples – was thrown to the Soviet Union and the communist world order. The reward for those who triumphed over us was the same as the punishment for us. Ninety-nine years after Trianon, we Hungarians can boldly stand tall: we have endured. We have done what Széchenyi counselled us to do: we have taken the rocks hurled at us and have built a staircase from them. We are here in the centre of Europe, despite dismemberment, wars and dictatorships. And not only did we survive this period: today we are the Carpathian Basin’s most populous nation.

Fellow Commemorators,

Day by day our economic, cultural and military strength is visibly growing. The time has come for us to use it. The only question is for what purpose. My answer, the answer of the Government and the millions who stand behind the Government, is that we should use our strength in the cause of uniting the peoples of Central Europe. We want to cooperate with our neighbours, and whoever cooperates with us will also benefit. One hundred years of Hungarian solitude has come to an end. We have found the paths and seized the opportunities which have led us to one another. It was a difficult journey, full of pitfalls and suspicion, but today we are many miles from where we started out thirty years ago, when we escaped from the Soviet Union.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Young People,

Perhaps you find it hard to imagine, but when I was your age, camps like this were unimaginable. In our schoolrooms we were told nothing about the fact that, leaving Hungary in any direction, one would meet Hungarians over the border. Today, however, it is once more natural for young Hungarians to arrive from Felvidék, Transylvania, Transcarpathia, Vojvodina, Hungary and the worldwide diaspora to contemplate their shared future together. Earlier this was only a bold dream of brave patriots. Thirty years ago, these brave patriots founded the Rákóczi Association, and thus began a completely new era in Hungarian politics. After an era of separation and dispersion, the founders of this organisation sought to usher in an era of nation unification and nation-building in the life of the community of Hungarians.

Young People,

This land where we are now was once the estate of Ferenc Rákóczi II: one of the greatest Hungarians, who opposed foreign tyrants to stand alongside a Hungarian people which had been forced into submission in its own country. He subordinated everything to this mission: his entire fortune, all his estates, his rank, his honour – and even his own life. And he even had this mission emblazoned on his flags: Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate; “With God for Country and Liberty”. This was the summation of his family inheritance: mission and service; the legacy of Transylvanian princes and captains defending the fortresses along the River Dráva. “Trusting in the help of God, to fight and work for a free and Hungarian homeland”: this is a commandment which is binding on us to this day. This work awaits you also: travel the world and gain a world of experience; but never forget that your motherland awaits your return, and counts on you. Use your talent and hard work to contribute to the great joint achievement of the Hungarians. And have not the slightest doubt of this: together we shall once more be strong, successful and victorious.

Go for it Hungary, go for it Hungarians!