Orbán Viktor’s ceremonial speech on the 170th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848
15 March 2018, Budapest
I welcome you all on Hungary’s celebration of freedom! I greet those taking part in the Peace March. It is with special esteem that I greet our Polish friends. Our closeness is natural, and our embrace is a source of strength. In the time of our forefather Kossuth, it was written that “Hungary and Poland are two imperishable oaks which have grown two separate trunks, but whose roots have intertwined. Therefore the existence and strength of one is the precondition for the life and health of the other”. It is no different today: if Poland is strong, then Hungary cannot be lost; if we are strong, we can help our Polish friends. Therefore the Peace March is not simply a rally for the cause of our country, but also a stand we take alongside Poland. Honour to Poland! Honour to Hungary!
Onceagain, Fellow Celebrants, the day has come which lifts the heart of every Hungarian. The day on which, in the great book of world history, a word was written in the Hungarian language: that word was “Freedom”. On this day multitudes come together for us to honour the brave and bow our heads in memory of the heroes. Today, in particular, we have come together in large numbers. In addition to our show of respect, there is now a special reason and a special goal. Barely more than three weeks from now we will again decide the fate of Hungary. And what is at stake in this election is not merely a four-year term. I knew that there would be many of us here, and I knew that here I would see determined faces. This is exactly what we need today: seriousness and determination. We need it because today we must talk to each other about serious matters:matters just as serious as those which had to be dealt with 170 years ago. We are the heirs of the 1848 revolutionaries and freedom fighters, because, just as 170 years ago, today we must speak honestly and directly. If we do not clearly state what is happening to Hungary and why it is happening, then no one will understand. And if we do not understand it, then we cannot make a sound decision three weeks from now. Therefore we must speak directly, without compromise or timidity. Petőfi and his associates expressed it clearly: “Shall we be slaves, or we shall be free?” Everyone understood that, and everyone knew how to reply. Together we have realised many things over the past thirty years. Together we have fought many great fights and memorable battles. But the greatest thing that we could realise in our lives, the greatest battle that we could fight together is still ahead of us.And every indication is that it is immediately ahead of us now. The situation, Dear Friends, is that there are those who want to take our country from us. Not with the stroke of a pen, has happened one hundred years ago at Trianon; now they want us to voluntarily hand our country over to others, over a period of a few decades. They want us to hand it over to foreigners coming from other continents, who do not speak our language, and who do not respect our culture, our laws or our way of life: people who want to replace what is ours with what is theirs. What they want is that henceforward it will increasingly not be we and our descendants who live here, but others. There is no exaggeration in what I have just said. Day by day we see the great European countries and nations losing their countries: little by little, from district to district and from city to city. The situation is that those who do not halt immigration at their borders are lost: slowly but surely they are consumed. External forces and international powers want to force all this upon us, with the help of their allies here in our country. And they see our upcoming election as a good opportunity for this.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The legacy of 1848 is that Hungary should be a free independent and Hungarian country. Everything that we need today is included in these words. As Széchenyi said, “national progress, civilised minds and a robust country”; and then he added that “Many think that Hungary was, but I want to believe that it will be”. Today we would reply to the Count that indeed Hungary was, and indeed it is. Today the question is whether it will be. Put another way, Dear Friends, we not only want to win an election, but our future. Europe – and within it we Hungarians – has arrived at a turning point in world history. National and globalist forces have never squared up to each other so openly. We, the millions with national feelings, are on one side; the elite “citizens of the world” are on the other side. We who believe in nation states, the defence of borders, the family and the value of work are on one side. And opposing us are those who want open society, a world without borders or nations, new forms of family, devalued work and cheap workers – all ruled over by an army of shadowy and unaccountable bureaucrats. On one side, national and democratic forces; and on the other side, supranational and anti-democratic forces. This is the situation in Hungary twenty-four days before the election.
Fellow Celebrants and Peace Marchers,
The completion of the work facing us is still far in the future, but the results of the past eight years speak for themselves. It is important to remind ourselves of these, but it is not enough. Europe and Hungary stand at the epicentre of a civilisational struggle. We are confronted with a mass population movement which is an imminent danger to the order and way of life that we have known throughout our lives up until now. So at one and the same time we must defend our achievements so far, and enter battle to ensure that there will even be any point in continuing. Unless we protect our way of life, the meaning of everything we have achieved will be lost. If in the future the country is not Hungarian, what is the point of progress? Let’s not distract ourselves: we do not need to fight the anaemic little opposition parties, but an international network which is organised into an empire. We are up against media outlets maintained by foreign concerns and domestic oligarchs, professional hired activists, troublemaking protest organisers, and a chain of NGOs financed by an international speculator, summed up by and embodied in the name “George Soros”. This is the world we must fight with in order to defend that which is ours. The good soldier does not fight because he hates that which is facing him, but because he loves that which is behind him. He loves Hungary and Hungarians.
We have grown from Christian culture, and we make a distinction between a person and their actions. We have never hated anyone, and we shall not hate anyone. On the contrary, we continue to believe in the power of compassion and solidarity. But we shall fight against what the empire of George Soros is doing to Hungary, and what it wants to do to Hungary. This is our homeland, this is our life, and we have no other. Therefore we shall fight for it to the end and we shall never surrender. We know that ultimately in every electoral district they will stand against our candidates. Their task is to win power and implement the grand plan: to break Hungary, which stands in the path of immigrants; and first to settle thousands, then tens upon tens of thousands of immigrants in Hungary within a few years. These numbers are no exaggeration. Europe is now under invasion. If we allow it to happen, in the next one or two decades tens upon tens of millions will set out for Europe from Africa and the Middle East. The western half of Europe looks at all this with its hands raised in surrender. Those who raise their hands have laid down their weapons, and will never again decide their own fate. The history of the defeated will later be written by others. The young of Western Europe will see this when they become minorities in their own countries, and they have lost the only place in the world that could be called home. Forces are appearing, the like of which the world has not seen for a long time. In Africa there will be ten times as many young people as in Europe. If Europe does nothing they will kick down the door on us. Brussels is not defending Europe and it is not halting immigration, but wants to support it and organise it. It wants to dilute the population of Europe and to replace it, to cast aside our culture, our way of life and everything which separates and distinguishes us Europeans from the other peoples of the world. It will be small consolation that the peoples of Europe will not forgive those leaders who completely changed Europe without first asking its people. Let us be proud of the fact that we are the only country in the European Union which has asked people whether or not they want mass immigration.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Celebrants,
Our election will take place in three weeks’ time. The party lists have been released and the candidates have been registered. We know them. There are those against whom we have fought for thirty years, and those with whom we have fought for ten years – although sometimes it seems as though it has been a hundred years. We should therefore have no illusions. Let us learn from the past. They themselves admitted that they are able to lie morning noon and night, without pausing for breath. We must be prepared for a situation in which ultimately in every constituency our candidate will be standing against one Soros candidate. Perhaps more will seem to be standing, with some of them pulling the handbrake, others withdrawing at the last moment, and still others acting as though they are not even present. We must be prepared for them adopting disguises, like last time, when they hid behind a candidate posing as an independent. They dare not admit the identity of their master. They know that they don’t stand a chance if they stand in front of the whole country and openly declare who they serve. Everyone knows that we Hungarians opposing immigration are in the majority. Our opponents only have a chance if they manage to divide our camp, and if they manage to dismantle our unity. Their goal is for any subject to come up for debate except the danger which threatens Hungary. Our opponents also know that now Hungary’s fate could be decided for decades to come. Therefore they will stop at nothing: they will not argue, but censor; they will not fight, but pinch, kick, bite and sow hatred wherever they go. We are calm and good-humoured people, but we are neither blind nor gullible. After the election we will of course seek amends – moral, political and legal amends – but we cannot waste our strength or our time on that now. We shall shake off the attacks as a dog shakes off water. We shall focus our strength only on our mission, and only on our common goal: the defence of Hungary. Let us not forget the first law of electoral battle: unity is strength, one camp, one flag, and we need everyone.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I know that this battle is difficult for everyone. I understand if some of us are also afraid. This is understandable, because we must fight against an opponent which is different from us. Their faces are not visible, but are hidden from view; they do not fight directly, but by stealth; they are not honourable, but unprincipled; they are not national, but international; they do not believe in work, but speculate with money; they have no homeland, but feel that the whole world is theirs. They are not generous, but vengeful, and always attack the heart – especially if it is red, white and green. But, Dear Friends, we have always known that there is much at stake. Hungarian history has accustomed us to fighting for that which is the natural prerogative of more fortunate peoples. For us a single tremor is enough, a lame duck government is enough, an election result which goes awry is enough, and everything is set adrift – everything that we have spent years of hard work on. This is a corner of the world which is exposed to the elements, and which history tends not to leave in peace – even though we feel that by now that is what we truly deserve. Our ancestors expressed it well: a cowardly people has no homeland. And we summoned up our courage when it was needed. It was never easy. Just look around you at the statues here in this square: the Emperor in Vienna sentenced Andrássy to death; Rákóczi died in exile; Vienna’s allies drove Kossuth from the country; the communists shot István Tisza dead. It was never easy, but still in the end we always won. In the end we sent the Sultan home with his Janissaries, the Habsburg emperor with his accomplices and the Soviets with their comrades. And now we will send Uncle Georgie home, together with his network. We ask you to go back to America and make Americans happy rather than us.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It truly is a mystery how after so many defeats we have always risen up again. And how could it be that we are still here after one thousand years? Perhaps because we have always known that our existence has a meaning beyond ourselves. We have always known that here there is a culture, a soul and a spirit which over the centuries has lifted hearts, consoled people and sustained us. We have a uniting and unifying notion: we have national self-respect. We have not drifted so far from Christianity that our anchor chain has broken. Of course sometimes our faith is rocked, and at such times our national pride is also dented. But we have never given them up, and so we have not lost them; and therefore they rise up again and again, overflowing and conquering hearts.
We know that neither are we a blameless people, and in our history there have been dark hours and cold days; but we are certain that we have given more to the world than we have taken from it. Without Hungarians the world would be a poorer place, the history of Central Europe would be more painful, and without us the Carpathian Basin would also be a worse place. We therefore have a right to exist. Therefore, now also, we have no reason to be afraid. All we need to say is that whoever is Hungarian belongs with us, and we shall win. Again and again we shall win, because Hungary is the land of Hungarians.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Celebrants,
In 2010, when we once more stood up on our own feet, when we rose up and in Brussels and in the other centres of empire we started to fight for the Hungarians, we were still alone. But then along came the Poles, the Slovaks and the Czechs. Then America elected an anti-immigration president and the British struck out on their own path. To this day Israel stands firm. Then in Austria the patriots came to power and the Italians also rejected immigration. The question now is simply whether we Hungarians have learnt from the mistakes of others. Have we learnt that one can only ruin something once – and if we have lost it once, that is the end? There will be no second chance, no examination to retake. If the dam bursts, then the water floods in, and the cultural occupation will become irreversible. The stakes that are the future have been put on the table. This is why I would now like to address some words to the young among you. When else should I do this, if not on 15 March?
Perhaps you feel as if the whole world is yours, and as if you could take on all comers. And you are right: a lack of ambition is the definition of mediocrity. And life is good for nothing if you do not do something with it. But in your lives, too, there will come a moment when you realise that one needs a place, a language, a home where one is among one’s own, and where one can live one’s life in safety, surrounded by the goodwill of others. A place where one can return to, and where one can feel that there is a point to life, and that in the end it will not just slide into oblivion. By contrast, it adds to and becomes a part of the majestic thousand-year-old creation which we simply call our homeland: the Hungarian homeland. Young Hungarians, now the homeland needs you. The homeland needs you; come and fight with us, so that when you need it, your homeland will still be there for you.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I think that we have said everything that needs to be said. We have harnessed up, saddled up and prepared for the three-week election campaign ahead of us. All that remains is for us to ask for God’s help. Today not in song, as we usually do, but in spoken verse, as Ferenc Kölcsey taught us. We have not yet done this before, but let us try it together.
O, my God, the Magyar bless
With Thy plenty and good cheer!
With Thine aid his just cause press,
Where his foes to fight appear.
Fate, who for so long did’st frown,
Bring him happy times and ways;
Atoning sorrow hath weighed down
Sins of past and future days.
Hungarians! Lift the flags high! Advance to battle! Long live Hungarian freedom, long live the homeland! Forward to victory!
Go for it Hungary, go for it Hungarians!