Hungarian PM: ‘The Spirit of Marx, Lenin, and the Re-Education Camps’ Lives on in the EU

ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images
ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has warned that the EU’s hostile reaction to the success of anti-establishment parties shows that “the spirit of Marx, Lenin, and the re-education camps” lives on in Brussels.

Speaking at the unveiling of a monument commemorating victims of the Soviet occupation of Hungary, the Fidesz leader told listeners it was vital to remember “the continent-sized prison world of the Gulag: the lowest circles of Hell, where the rate of mortality sometimes reached 80 per cent – due to frost, hunger, ten, twelve or fourteen hours of hard physical labour every day, overcrowding, the lack of medical care and the brutality of guards”.

He took aim at those in Western Europe who “extolled Communism even after millions had perished under the heel of red dictatorships”, and lamented the fact that “to this day, the European Left continues to see Communism and its crimes in a peculiar, blurred light”.

He added: “In the minds of a number of European politicians, the statues of Communist leaders are still standing,” — a thinly veiled rebuke to EU President Jean-Claude Juncker for his decision to praise Karl Marx at the unveiling of a statue honouring his memory, donated by the Chinese Communist Party.

“We know that there is no such thing as a communist regime with a human face: the true face of communism is the Gulag,” said Orbán.

Speaking on contemporary politics, Prime Minister Orbán noted that “from time to time the spirit of Marx, Lenin and the re-education camps still emerges in Europe”.

“The democratic Italian election did not reflect Brussels’ preference, and in response there were some who said that the markets would teach the Italians how to vote,” referring to remarks by Angela Merkel’s representative to Juncker’s European Commission, Hans Oettinger, when it looked as though the Italian people would be forced to vote again in the recent elections.

He also noted continued efforts to prevent his own government from fulfilling its election promises to clamp down on illegal immigration and its facilitation by so-called ‘civil society’ NGOs.

“Next year will be the one-hundredth anniversary of the 133 days of the Red Terror, which broke out in the devastated shell of a Hungary bled dry in the First World War and dismembered by wanton soldiers of fortune,” he concluded.

“What does this teach us? The Soviet Republic of 1919 teaches us that a treacherous and irresponsible government can lead even to the loss of one’s country. And then after the Second World War we learnt that Hungary’s most precious asset is its sovereignty.

“We paid the price for our weakness, for the loss of our independence, with the abduction, deportation and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

“We must not yield an inch of Hungary’s sovereignty; because we know full well that if we give them an inch, they will take a mile.”

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