The goal of the Hungarians and the Poles is to preserve Central Europe as national and Christian
06. 04. 2018.
In Budapest on Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán gave a speech at the unveiling of a memorial to the former Polish president Lech Kaczyński and the other victims of the Smolensk tragedy in 2010. The Prime Minister said that the Hungarians and Poles share a common path and a common struggle: their goal is to build and defend their homeland of Central Europe as national and Christian.

At the ceremony in Budapest’s District XXII, the Prime Minister said that the two nations want a Central Europe which “cannot be divided up at the negotiating table”, which can never be excluded from the decisions affecting it, which does not allow itself to be intimidated or lectured to, where the nations stand up for each other, where it is self-evident that they decide who they allow into their territories, and where “we live according to our own laws and justice”.

Mr. Orbán said that “we believe in the power of unity”, and the memorial now being inaugurated sends the message that the nations preserve the memory of Katyn and Smolensk, and that they will build and preserve the Central Europe which the victims of those tragedies dreamt of.

The Prime Minister called for “More respect for Poland, more respect for Hungary!”

Photo: Gergely Botár

According to Mr. Orbán, in the future Poland can continue to count on Hungary, just as it has done in the past. Poland is Central Europe’s leading country, he said, and this Central Europe is also the future of the Hungarians; when Poland is attacked, Central Europe is attacked, and therefore Hungary is also attacked.

He added that when Hungary stands by Poland, it does so in the name of Hungarian-Polish friendship, and therefore it is also standing up for itself.

Mr. Orbán said that twenty-seven years ago he also thought that Europe would be the future of their countries, but now he sees that “we are the future of Europe”.

He observed that there are some mysterious things in life, such as friendship and friendship between peoples. There is no need to understand this, he stated, but only to allow Hungarian-Polish friendship, which is nourished from deep reserves, “to simply embrace us and take us forward into the future”.

Photo: Gergely Botár

Speaking about Polish president Lech Kaczyński, who died in the 2010 Smolensk air tragedy, the Prime Minister recalled that he had last met Mr. Kaczyński in his presidential residence near Warsaw, where they spoke about the future and the opportunities in Hungarian-Polish friendship.

Mr. Orbán noted that the conflicts of the past centuries have tempered the friendship between the Hungarian and Polish nations into a brotherhood, and their common fate not only originates in their geographical proximity and their intertwined roots. He added that again and again in moments of destiny the two peoples had found each other, and their brotherhood springs from their shared passion for freedom and their joint struggle in pursuit of it.

Mr. Orbán stated that they were jointly commemorating the air tragedy of eight years ago, paying their respects to the victims, and pledging their faith in the mission which they represented. Lech Kaczyński, he said, was an outstanding jurist, a resolute combatant for Solidarity, and a president of the republic who faithfully adhered to his principles. He stated that the Hungarians saw him as a true friend, and remember him with grateful hearts.

He stressed that “we want a Central Europe in which the horrors of the 20th century can never return”, and therefore during the commemoration attention must be focused on the tasks inherited from the victims of Smolensk.

Photo: Gergely Botár

Zsolt Németh, the Fidesz Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, said that the memorial they had unveiled sends the message that Hungary stands in solidarity with the victims of Katyn and Smolensk and their relatives, and in solidarity with the late Polish president Lech Kaczyński and his brother Jarosław Kaczyński. He reminded his audience that the tragedy of Smolensk – the full background of which is still unclear – occurred a few days before Hungary’s watershed election of 2010. He added that the historic moments of the two peoples are inseparable from each other, their shared destiny remains a reality to this day, and the international battles of the past eight years are also proof of this.

Mr. Németh said that he sees the memorial monument – the inauguration of which was deliberately timed – as another expression of the acceptance of a common Hungarian-Polish destiny. The erection of the monument reflects a choice of values, he said, promising that after the election “we shall continue on this same path”, committing to the common Hungarian-Polish destiny.