Friday, October 12, 2012

Soviet memorial removed

Hundreds of communist memorials and statues existed in Hungary during the cold war.

The Soviet Liberation Memorial in downtown Hatvan, Hungary, has been removed. After more than a decade of effort, the city has successfully moved the memorial from the downtown core. The city mayor,  Zsolt Szabó, said that Hungarian and Russian officials agreed on the idea of moving the memorial to the Soviet military cemetery in Hatvan where more than five hundred Russian soldiers have been buried. The city faced great opposition from the Russian government but finally got their way. The city will now redevelop the area where the memorial stood and turn it into a fountain and playground. 

This is great news for the Hungarian victims of communism who suffered greatly under communism. The Soviets labelled themselves as "liberators" by kicking out the Nazis from Hungary in the Second World War. The Soviets remained and helped support a Hungarian communist puppet regime that murdered and imprisoned Hungarian citizens. Most Soviet/communist memorials and statues were removed in Hungary during the regime change to democracy in 1990. There are still some remaining Soviet memorials in towns and villages in Hungary that still have to be removed finally. A majority of Hungarians support removing the symbols and reminders of tyranny from their country.


The greatest challenge to Hungarian democrats and nationalists will be to remove the Soviet monument in Budapest that honours the fallen Soviet soldiers who died taking the city of Budapest in 1944/1945. There has been a lot of tension and conflict over removing this last eye sore in Budapest in the last 20 years. It will be difficult to remove this last vestige of the Cold War as there are remains of Soviet soldiers under the monument. One day the Hungarian people will have their justice and see this symbol of tyranny removed once and for all from our beautiful capital.