The forced labour camp of Recsk has become a symbol of the communist regime’s cruelty, President Janos Ader said on Saturday at a memorial park near the northeast Hungarian village.
Ader said it was necessary to repeatedly remind younger generations of the fact that the communist dictatorship was built on “fanatical hatred” and a feeling of threat and uncertainty remained everyday experience in Hungarian society even after the camp had closed.
The Recsk labour camp has become part of “our shared history of suffering” and it is “living proof that what we survived as individuals or as a community will make us stronger,” he added.
Head of the Recsk Alliance of former prisoners Bela Krasznay said there were only 19 Recsk survivors alive and he also stressed the importance of teaching young people the history of Recsk.
Wreaths were laid by Ader, former Prime Minister Peter Boross, chief advisor Gyula Teller on behalf of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and representatives of various national and local political organisations.
Some 1,300 people were imprisoned in the Recsk camp between 1950 and 1953, including world-famous poet Gyorgy Faludy, and around a tenth of them died as a result of the poor conditions. The camp was shut down by Imre Nagy, Hungary’s prime minister appointed following Stalin’s death in 1953.