Multiculturalism and the execution of the Martyrs of Arad

On October 6 Hungary commemorates the anniversary of the execution of the Hungarian rebel generals after the defeat of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.

In 1849 on this very day Julius Jacob von Haynau, Austrian general ordered the execution of 13 military leaders of the failed Hungarian Revolution and War for Independence. The executions took place in the city of Arad (today in Romania) and the victims are known as the “Martyrs of Arad.”

Martyrs of Arad

List of the Martyrs:

1. Lajos Aulich (1793 – 1849) German family, he never learned Hungarian
2. János Damjanich (1804 – 1849) Son of a Serbian family
3. Arisztid Dessewffy (1802 – 1849) Hungarian landowner family
4. Ernő Kiss (1799 – 1849) Son of an Armenian family
5. Károly Knezić (1808 – 1849) Prominent Croatian family
6. György Lahner (1795 – 1849) Born in a German family
7. Vilmos Lázár (1815 – 1849) Son of an Armenian family
8. Károly Leiningen-Westerburg (1819 – 1849) Born in a German family
9. József Nagysándor (1804 – 1849) Hungarian family
10. Ernő Poeltenberg (1814 – 1849) Austrian Family, barely spoke any Hungarian
11. József Schweidel (1796 – 1849) German ancestry
12. Ignác Török (1795 – 1849) Hungarian nobility
13. Károly Vécsey (1807 – 1849) Hungarian nobility

Execution of the Martyrs of Arad – painting by János Thorma.

In a recent interview Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó declared: “We don’t accept that multiculturalism is a value by itself,” … “We don’t accept that multiculturalism would be better than a homogeneous society…” (Read Here) Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán went further and claimed: “Multiculturalism has failed In Europe.” (Read here)

Germans, Austrians, Armenians, Croats, sons and daughters of many nations who fought for Hungary’s independence would find these statements appalling. Multiculturalism was appreciated in 1848 and the Martyrs of Arad remind us that Hungary’s multiculturalism is a treasure that made the nation stronger and richer.

György Lázár

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