President in Borša: The past does not need to divide us, it could unite us

President in Borša: The past does not need to divide us, it could unite us

On Saturday 19 June 2021, President Čaputová participated with Hungarian President János Áder in the opening ceremony of the reconstructed mansion in the village of Borša, in the district of Trebišov.

President Áder agreed on the renovation and reconstruction of this mansion with Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič eight years ago at their meeting in Budapest. In her speech, President Čaputová stated that after a long period of decay the mansion now looks the way it may have appeared in 1676, when Francis II Rákóczi, the leader of the greatest uprising of the Hungarian estates against the Habsburgs, was born. "In addition to the fact that a work of great architectural and historical value was renovated, it is a symbol which has great added value for us. It is a symbol of the fact that the hundreds of years of joint history does not have to divide us; on the contrary, it should unite us as neighbouring member states of the European Union."

According to the president, it is an unquestionable historical fact that the territory of Slovakia was an organic part of the Kingdom of Hungary from its very beginning and that our country was not only an object of Hungarian history, but also its subject, because we jointly experienced all of the important events which set Central Europe in motion from the very beginning of the second millennium. "We survived together the devastating invasion of the Tatars in the 13th century; we jointly resisted the attacks of the Ottoman Empire. From the Battle of Mohács up to the Battle of Vienna, and for 140 long years the territory of Slovakia became the centre of history of all of Hungary and the centre of its political history.  The Diet of Hungary held sessions in Bratislava, eleven Hungarian kings and queens were crowned in Saint Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava. Many significant figures - Saint Stephen, Carl Robert, Matthias Corvinus, as well as Francis II Rákóczi, are our common historical figures and thanks to them the history of Hungary is our joint history, of which we can be proud."

The president stated that the renovation of the mansion was also an acknowledgement of the role of Francis II Rákóczi in our history. In her opinion, respect for great figures of our history is one of the values which cannot be limited or closed by national borders. "Our countries, which we represent together with President Áder, are part of the European community. There are many more important values that unite the member states than the borders.  We can cross them freely thanks to what we acknowledge and respect as EU member states. I am convinced that if the Slovak Republic and Hungary want to remain subjects and not objects of Central European history, they have a common task: to develop their own identity and at the same time to develop the project of the European Union and its values.

President Čaputová believes that the mansion will become a popular tourist destination and the site of many events which will strengthen the good and friendly relations between Slovakia and Hungary.