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Nov 05, 2018 - Zoltán Kovács

István Tisza longed for the Hungary we see emerging today

Today, “we must not be swept along by European events in the way we were in 1914,” said Prime Minister Orbán comparing Europe’s contemporary events to the situation preceding the outbreak of the First World War.

Speaking recently at the commemoration ceremony marking the one hundredth anniversary of the death of Count István Tisza, who served as Hungary’s prime minister during two separate terms, Prime Minister Orbán said that we must be proud that István Tisza’s principal goal, to transform Hungary into a state “that is able to stand up for itself,” is today a reality.

In 1914, said Prime Minister Orbán, “we were not a sovereign state”, we were simply drawn into a devastating conflict chained to a multi-ethnic empire. But “today we have sovereignty, our own path, a strong economy, and national cohesion spanning borders that embrace every Hungarian.” Recent events around Europe, according to the prime minister, remind us that our current situation resembles the Europe that Count Tisza experienced: Europe is raising a gun to her head, ready to pull the trigger. 

“We must not be swept along by European events in the way we were in 1914,” PM Orbán warned. 

“Today we are also living through a time in which world politics is undergoing a realignment,” the prime minister said, adding that with modern technology and self-destructive ideas gaining ground, “today we also need to be alert, because if we let control of our fate slip out of our hands, we could lose our whole country.”

Recalling how his opponents saw Tisza at the time, PM Orbán said that they hated him for his pride and strength and because he understood the consciousness of a people who had lived in the heart of Europe for more than a millennium.

One hundred years ago, the legendary politician of the Age of Dualism died a martyr’s death, and a strong Hungary now “bows its head in honor of its martyred prime minister.” His last words have become reality, he died as he lived: courageously.