Deputy State Secretary Árpád Potápi: remembering the traumas of the 20th century is a creed of grief and unity alike.
At the event organized by the Rákóczi Association on 12 April, the 74th anniversary of the beginning of the Hungarian deportations from Czechoslovakia, attendants were addressed by Árpád Potápi, Undersecretary to the Prime Minister on Monday.
The Deputy State Secretary first recalled the historical events leading up to the deportations. After the Second World War, the Hungarian and German minorities were collectively branded war criminals. The state revoked all of their citizenships, then stripped them of their rights, properties and belongings. Eventually, more than 120 thousand Hungarians were deported – a third of them sentenced to hard labour in the Sudetes, while 80 thousand people were transported across the Hungarian borders with no chance to return.
As Potápi said, 12 April is the day when we honour those Hungarians who lost their lives, livelihoods and loved ones at the hand of the Czechoslovak authorities, “however, we also remember, that the deported Hungarian families – although for the price of great efforts – have found home in Hungary.”
Despite constant diplomatic efforts, the „Beneš decrees”, branding every Hungarian a war criminal, still haven’t been officially revoked by Slovakia, even though the gesture would be only symbolic.