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Aug 25, 2017

Hungarian cyclist riding to Italy in memory of WWI victims

József Zelei will ride along the route of the one-time prisoners of war running through Szeged, Subotica, Belgrade, Nis, Pristina, Prizen, Vlora, Capistrano, Vittoria and Stintino

A Hungarian cyclist is planning to ride all the way to the Italian island of Asinara, where thousands of Hungarian prisoners of war were deported, to commemorate Hungarian victims of WWI.

József Zelei will ride along the route of the one-time prisoners of war running through Szeged, Subotica, Belgrade, Nis, Pristina, Prizen, Vlora, Capistrano, Vittoria and Stintino.

According to MTI, he will place a traditional carved wooden memorial plinth on the island on September 25.

István Simicskó, minister of Defense, said in a note read out before his departure that the message of the tour is to promote peace in Europe.

“It is important to remember and remind people of the soldiers who were as heroes fighting for and sacrificing their lives for our nation ... in the Great War," he said.

The history behind the ride is one that should be remembered. Soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy were captured in Serbia in 1914 and were moved through the Balkans, and were then shipped to Asinara Island. Only 6,000 of the 85,000 prisoners returned home after the war.