Zsolt Németh credits Ronald Reagan with inspiring the Hungarian opposition movement he co-founded that threw off Soviet oppression in 1989.
This week, Németh, Hungary’s deputy foreign minister, will join celebrations in Budapest and other Eastern European capitals observing Reagan’s 100th birthday and his role in bringing down the Iron Curtain.
Németh says Reagan is admired across Eastern Europe because he told the truth about the oppression of communism and stood up to the Soviet Union despite its nuclear arsenal, hastening its demise. Inspired by Reagan, Németh in 1988 helped found FIDESZ, the Alliance of Young Democrats, now the country’s ruling party.
« This opposition was fueled by the fact that in the West, there was truth, political leaders who don’t compromise and turn upside down what was true, » Németh said in an interview. « Reagan was that type of politician. »
The events in several capitals were organized with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. On Wednesday in Budapest, a life-size statue of Reagan will be unveiled on Freedom Square in front of the U.S. Embassy