VERITAS Research Institute for History and Archives

21 November 2015

On November 21st, 2015, the Organization of Soviet-Deported Hungarian Political Prisoners and Forced Laborers (Szorakész) and the Gulag Memorial Committee gathered together in the schoolyard of Derkovits Gyula Elementary School to hold a commemoration. (From 1945 to 1948 the building had been used as a prison by Soviet state security.)

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At the event Prime Minister Viktor Orbán emphasized that “…on behalf of the entire nation, we honor the memory of the persecuted, bow our heads before the dead, show our respect to those who returned and watch over the living still among us.”  

From autumn 1944, nearly 800 thousand people were deported as POWs or internees to the Soviet Union to do years of hard labor in work camps (or to be exiled from five to twenty-five years). With the assistance of the Hungarian authorities, tens of thousands of political prisoners and innocent civilians were swept up and sentenced to hard time in the GULAG prison camps based on trumped-up charges. Only one-fifth of the deportees survived. The first group of survivors, returning to Hungary on November 25th, 1953, had spent almost a decade in the GULAG.

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