A speech by László Brenzovics at the opening of the new academic year at the Rákóczi Institute
Your Excellency! Dear minister! Dear religious and secular dignitaries! Dear first-year students!
This is an unusual celebration today, and we are delighted that gradually all of our academic year closing and opening celebrations are becoming unusual. This also shows the struggle of the Hungarians of Transcarpathia, this institute, for their survival, for the protection of their rights.
You are starting your studies during an uneasy year, as the epidemic is raging all over the world but we hope it will end as soon as possible, yet it has already changed and will change people’s lives in the future.
It is symbolic that you will begin your higher education in 2020, in the Year of National Cohesion, one hundred years after the signing of the Treaty of Trianon. It is symbolic not only for me, as the Minister mentioned in his speech that despite the world wars of the last century, the fragmentation and the numerous problems, the Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin have strengthened. This ceremony is also proof of this, as there was no Hungarian-language higher education in Berehove a hundred years ago, and now there is. Even in this difficult period, take advantage of one of the most beautiful periods of your life, equip yourself with knowledge and faith as the generations ahead of you did. Armed with this powerful weapon, continue the fight for the Transcarpathian Hungarians, the Transcarpathian Hungarian education, the preservation of the Hungarian language.
For my part, I would like to thank you for the courageous and tireless advocacy you have made for the Transcarpathian Hungarians and the Hungarians in general. I remember last year we had talks with Wess Mitchel, Secretary of State of the US State Department and Ukrainian Secretary of State Pavlo Klimkin in Paris, during which
I heard Mr. Péter Szijjártó argue boldly and thoughtfully in defence of the rights of the Hungarians in Transcarpathia.
Although we are a small community, our issue is an important and truly European one. After all, we know that the use of language, the freedom of education, the general issue of human rights, is a European value. The protection of these rights is formulated in various international documents and in the basic treaty between the two countries – Hungary and Ukraine. As the President said, we want nothing more than to protect our acquired rights and to be guaranteed the rights that the Hungarian State grants to the Ukrainian and other minorities in the motherland.
Dear Attendees! Dear celebrating congregation! It is deeply symbolic that we are currently holding our academic year opening ceremony in the Reformed Church. It symbolizes that we will not let go of two things, we will not abandon two things: the church and the school!
September 23, 2020