“To honor those who were deported to the Soviet Union as political prisoners or forced laborers, there is a need for a new memorial, and the location for it should be Szabadság Square.” The above statement summarizes the general opinion of the participants of the Gulag Memorial Committee meeting held on October 13th, 2015, which included Péter Boross and Sándor Szakály, former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the VERITAS Research Institute for History, and Director of the VERITAS Research Institute for History, respectively.
At an earlier legislative session, a decision had been made to extend the Memorial Year of the Soviet-Deported Political Prisoners and Forced Laborers, which had been planned for the entirety of 2015, to February 25th, 2017, while simultaneously initiating a public debate about a centrally-located memorial. Zoltán Balog, Minister of Human Capacities and Gulag Memorial Committee Chairman, announced that the denouement of the proceedings would be a commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of Small Shareholder politician Béla Kovács’s deportation to Siberia, which would fall on the Memorial Day of the Victims of Communism. Balog said that Szabadság Square, in Budapest’s V. District, should be the home of the planned memorial, and that the Memorial Committee would launch a website in an effort to form a national consensus around it. The minister’s reasoning, in his own words: “We cannot allow ourselves to believe that WWII had concluded in 1945 with a fantastic peace treaty, which ushered in an era of wondrous peace. For the unfair, inhuman and terrible war was then followed by reprisals that did not consider truth as the most important criterion, and this caused – until 1990 – much suffering among innocent people.”