Hungary’s annual march in the heart of Budapest attracts thousands of international participants, but Poles are typically one of the largest blocs. A large number of them joined the 65th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, which saw, according to Hungarian police, up to 500,000 people attend.
Poles have made the journey to Budapest before, with this trip marked as the “9th Great Journey to Hungary.” Organized by Gazeta Polska community clubs, the Polish participants left Warsaw on Thursday, and many took part in the most important state ceremonies in Hungary during the march.
The Saturday ‘Peace March’ in Budapest made a powerful impression. According to the Hungarian police, around 500,000 people attended the event and very quickly people began to mention that it was the largest such public manifestation in the European Union.
“Half a million people in Budapest protesting against the Court of Justice of the EU dictate,” ‘Gazeta Polska’ Editor-in-Chief Tomasz Sakiewicz wrote on Twitter and attached a picture from the march.
Almost all the media in Hungary commented on the significant participation of Poles in the event, no matter their political viewpoints.
The left-wing Polish media outlet, Nepszava, wrote that “in accordance with old traditions, many Poles were in attendance.” The Poles’ presence was also noted by portal Blikk.hu whose correspondent conducted a short interview with a few young Poles who were on their way to the march. Hungarian daily Magyar Hirlap was another paper which reported on the participation of Polish and Hungarian allies, while the portal Metropol emphasized the participation of Poles by adding a photo with the Polish national emblem as its article cover.
The Hungarian Peace March was also a subject of interest for many Western media outlets.
At the end of the gathering, the participants listened to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech and were greeted by a “We welcome our Polish friends” banner.
“Good morning Hungarians, good morning Poles and good morning Italians. Today, I warmly welcome the nations of freedom in the capital. We have not seen each other for a while. We must speak about many important things but above all else, let us remember the days from 65 years ago and the afternoon from 15 years ago,” Orban said.
The reference to 15 years ago had to do with the previous Socialist government’s decision to use police violence against demonstrators involved in the Hungary’s Peace March, resulting in hundreds of injuries.