The prime minister added that Hungary was the “first and only” country trying to “hold back the European peoples from willingly marching into an even greater war”. Referring to the “chivalrous Hungarian people”, Orbán said that “again and again those whom we saved turn against us” when “we are defending them”. He said Hungary had defended Europe against migration “and we were the first to propose peace instead of war, which might well have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.” Hungary, he said, had never got appreciation, “but often gets a slap” and “friendly fire”. “This is the Hungarian destiny, a pattern that repeats itself from time to time,” he added. PM Orbán said that it would be wrong to assume the revolution had taken place in the capital alone. “Every town and village … is part of our great common freedom fight … and it is not only unfair and condescending but also wrong” to regard the revolution as an event that happened solely in Budapest, he said, adding that it was right to “bow our heads” in memory of the 1956 freedom fighters in Veszprém. The prime minister said that around 3,000 people died and 20,000 were wounded in gunfights, while the communist retaliation saw more than 200 people sent to their deaths and 13,000 imprisoned. Fully 200,000 Hungarians fled the country, he added. The people who suffered and were executed in prison were from all walks of life, he said. “They executed a priest, a worker, a farmer, a teacher and a Communist Party leader, the old, the young, men and women, people from Budapest and the countryside,” proving that the uprising was truly a common freedom fight of the nation, he said. “An entire nation stood in bloodshed.”
PM Orbán called the 1956 revolution and freedom fight a “spark of Hungarian genius”. He said 1956 had been the last chance for a European Hungary “to tear itself away from the world of Bolshevik socialism” which had banished “European culture, Christian civilisation and the right of nations to exist”. “The Hungarian revolution and freedom fight wasn’t an inarticulate howl or a fit of rage of the oppressed, it wasn’t a gasp of those panting for revenge; neither was it an unbridled outburst of desire for freedom.” Rather, he said, it was it was “a sober, moderate and responsible movement”, notwithstanding “the breathtaking heroism” and bravery of the revolutionaries. He paid tribute to a local teacher, Arpad Brusznyai, who had ties to Veszprém, who at the age of 33 was executed after the revolution, saying he had protected youth against “the dictatorship’s marauders” and was the pure embodiment of Hungarian genius.