European Parliament hosts exhibition on famous Hungarians

European Parliament hosts exhibition on famous Hungarians

2010. 06. 01.

"The new perspective, which was opened up by the Schengen Treaty… could be instrumental in resolving (the Trianon issue) and could be a significant national resource for us," she said.

The ceremony was also addressed by Slovak MEP Edit Bauer, whose home town, Samorin, had belonged to five different countries due to border changes during the past 100 years.

"The future of Europe rests on efforts to preserve common values and to build a union based on mutual trust and respect," Bauer said.

The photographs and other documents on display have been borrowed from the Hungarian National Museum, the Hopp Ferenc Museum and the archives of Hungary's national news agency MTI.

The Trianon Peace Treaty, signed on June 4, 1920, deprived Hungary of two-thirds of its territory and about 60 percent of its population, including over 3 million ethnic Hungarians.


Please take a moment to read the speech of MEP Kinga Gál:

 "Dear President, colleagues,  guests from inside or outside of Hungary, and from all the corners of Europe. Ladies and Gentlemen.

 As the organiser speaker, let me thank you for honouring with your presence this event about famous Hungarian inventors, composers, Nobel-prize laureates and writers, featured in this exhibition, in our European Parliament. 

 It is an honour for me to open this exhibition in the presence of people  who are well-known all around the world. This exhibition is being held by the Hungarian EPP delegation, in memory of the signature of the peace-treaty that closed the 1st World War. Hun

 What are we remembering?

 The independent Hungary which, 90 years ago on the 4th of June 1920, signed the peace treaty which ended the 1st World War, the peace treaty of Trianon. As a result of this Treaty Hungary lost two-thirds of its territory and more than half of its citizens. Because of this decision the largest national and traditional minority was created, the Hungarian minority, numbering almost 2,5 million people, who today live in seven surrounding countries.

 How should we remember?

 For a long time it seemed that this "wound" made 90 years ago would never be cured and would remain untreatable.

 The Treaty of Schengen signed 25 years ago, and Hungary's and its neighbour's accession to the European Union and later to the Treaty of Schengen, showed to us that we now have the opportunity to manage the heritage of Trianon in a new European dimension without frontiers, thanks to the lack of borders, both in a symbolic and practical way. As a result of  EU accession the "taboos" can be demolished and the "axis of heritage" can be shifted.

 Without knowing the past we are not able to make good decisions either about the present or the future – so goes the saying. We have to talk about the unseen problems and Europe offers a good framework to make this easier. To remember is allowed only in this European dimension.

 The consequences of the peace-treaty were serious both economically and culturally. However, creativity, the power of talent, and respect for the mother tongue remained irrespective of any treaties. Today we know that the new perspective opened up by the idea of a new Europe, the Schengen Agreement, and coupled with our joint will, can be a part of the solution and be our common, shared resource.

 Who are we remembering with?

 For the exhibition today we have  world-famous talent – although the list is incomplete, because it is, as in all kinds of selections, subjective. It presents people who have become famous to the world as Hungarians, and whose inventions in many cases are used everyday.

 We present to you the inventions of people who identified themselves as Hungarians, for the world they famous as Hungarians – independently from the fact that their place of birth is today outside of Hungary’s borders. They were born in different eras and in different countries in the Carpathian Basin.

 The message of the exhibition is that borders and states can change, but identity and language is everlasting. All these personalities featured here were thinking about the value of language, science, culture and the co-existence of different linguistic communities. It is from this train of thought that we can now imagine a New Europe and our shared future.

 Science rises not from individual, one-man inventions, but from the interaction of scientific expertise. That is why a lively discourse is so important among our nations.

 When we think that the personalities featured here have driven the wagon of science forward with their intellect, and without desiring exclusivity for themselves, they have proved with their own example that our most important values –  culture, science, and art – have never known the borders of States.

 We expect that the European institutions will promote such values, values which support the peaceful co-existence of traditional communities, and the mutual respect between minorities and majorities.

 Mutual respect means the learning of each others' language, the acceptance and support for the use of our rich diversity of mother tongues, and each others’ history and cultural heritage.

 Finally, let me wish for all of us such a shared Europe, where it is possible to remember often controversial historic events, but where, at the same time, teaching, education, creativity, talent, and respect towards the use of one’s mother tongue does not know any borders or limit.

 This is the "science of tomorrow"!

 "The Europe of the future cannot possibly be seen otherwise than a great production and distribution area with no customs frontiers, and where the European spirit will at last be able to exert her capacities unhindered by petty local interests.” – Sándor Márai, 1942."