Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Budapest names street after Gyula Horn

June 15th, 2022

Right-wing and liberal commentators are equally critical of the decision by the Budapest Municipal Council to name a street after former Socialist Prime Minister Gyula Horn. They oppose the decision on account of Horn’s past as a member of the communist militia set up after the 1956 revolution.

On Wednesday last week, the Budapest City Council decided to name the small park around Gyula Horn’s statue, which was erected in 2014, one year after his death, ‘Gyula Horn promenade’. Fidesz members protested, quoting a legal provision whereby no public spaces may be named after personalities who took part in setting up or maintaining any of the twentieth-century totalitarian regimes.

In Magyar Nemzet, László Szentesi Zöldi describes Horn’s past as a perfect example of the kind of personality whose name should not figure on street signs, as Horn took part in crushing the 1956 revolution before serving for decades as a communist party official. The pro-government columnist lists a number of eminent and much less controversial historical figures who still don’t have a street named after them. After its fourth consecutive electoral victory, it would be high time for the right wing ‘not to let such leftist trespassing pass’, he writes.

On hvg.hu, Sándor Révész dismisses an explanation by Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, who said that ‘those sins that are confessed can be condoned’. Révész argues that Gyula Horn never actually admitted his sins, on the contrary, he maintained that he had always been on the side of the legal order. But Révész also praises Horn as the Prime Minister during whose term, from 1994 to 1998, Hungary did most to approach the western world. Nevertheless, he remains a controversial figure and naming a street after him is a divisive act, he writes. Moreover, the liberal pundit thinks no streets or squares should carry the names of politicians, because all of them are divisive in today’s world.

Tags: ,