Hungary removes statue of Imre Nagy

The government in Budapest has had the statue of Imre Nagy removed from its place in front of the Hungarian parliament. Nagy, who was Prime Minister of Hungary in 1956, was executed for his role at the head of the Hungarian Uprising against the Soviets and buried anonymously following a secret trial. Opposition media criticise the government for riding roughshod over Hungary's historical legacy.

Open/close all quotes
Index (HU) /

Restoration of a dark period in history

Index rejects the government's argument that it wants to restore the square to the way it was before the communist dictatorship:

“There is no 'original' state for the square, it changed constantly even in the times before the Second World War. ... The government not only wants to restore the square to the state it was in during the times of the [authoritarian-nationalist] Horthy regime [1920-1944], but makes explicit references to the period between 1934-1944, which was characterized by growing hatred of Jews, the restriction of liberties and an ever closer bond with the fascist Nazi regime. Do we really want to recreate that particular decade?”

Népszava (HU) /

This won't destroy Nagy's hero image

Once again Imre Nagy has been secretly victimised, the left-leaning daily Népszava comments in dismay:

“So as to keep the whole thing as quiet as possible his statue was dismantled, loaded onto a truck, and driven away at dawn. ... So now the square commemorates 'victims of the red terror' instead of the man who was prime minister in 1956. But the very same method - carrying out the mission secretly at dawn - exposes the intention. And yet there is a positive side to this method: he who was executed in secret at dawn and then buried in the prison yard won't be touched by this humiliation. It only strengthens the aura of Imre Nagy, the prime minister who upon his reburial was described by the current one as the 'last responsible prime minister of Hungary'.”