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Martyr of 1848 Hungarian Revolution honoured in Czech birthplace

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Dobrany, West Bohemia, March 10 (CTK) – Hungarian state, embassy and military officials unveiled a memorial plaque to Baron Norbert Ormay (1813-1849), who was executed for his participation in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, in his birthplace, the small Czech town of Dobrany, on Saturday.

“A colonel of the Hungarian Revolution and war of independence who died as a martyr,” the inscription on the bronze plaque reads.

The memorial plaque was installed on the house in which Ormay was born on the initiative of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

“Ormay was a handsome young man. He and his wife were among the ideals of beauty of their time. After his execution, his wife gave birth to a boy who later emigrated to the United States,” said Csaba Balogh, state secretary of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Hundreds of people took part in the commemorative event on Saturday, many of them came from Hungary or were ethnic Hungarians from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Hungarian goulash was cooked for the participants. A military band from the town of Szolnok arrived in Dobrany and the event ended with a piano recital from the work of Hungarian composer Ferenc Liszt.

An exhibition in the Dobrany church, prepared by the Budapest Institute and Museum of Military History, focuses on Ormay, his wife, the Hungarian Revolution and the war of independence in 1848-49.

Until recently, locals did not know that an important personality of Hungarian history, after whom streets were named in Budapest and Debrecen, was born in Dobrany.

“We heard of it for the first time only after a man with a book about Ormay came to the Dobrany information centre and fortunately met an employee who speaks Hungarian, Dobrany Mayor Martin Sobotka said.

Sobotka said Dobrany officials then met representatives of the Hungarian Embassy in Prague and communicated with them for about two years.

The preparations for the event held on Saturday lasted half a year, said Dobrany Deputy Mayor Dagmar Terelmesova who lives in the house in which Ormay was born.

Sobotka said there have been two or three places important for Hungarians in the Czech Republic and Dobrany will become another one. Events commemorating the Hungarian Revolution are to be held at Ormay’s memorial plaque every year, he added.

Ormay was born in Dobrany in 1813 and his family moved to Hungary two years later. As a young man he joined the army. In 1840 he was arrested over his contacts with Polish patriots, kept in detention for seven years and then sentenced to 14 years in prison. He was pardoned after the victory of the Revolution of 1848. He became a supreme inspector of the revolution army. After the Hungarian rebels were defeated, he was executed on August 22, 1849.

Ormay was the first rebel to be executed after the revolution’s defeat. The Hungarian rebel generals, known as Thirteen Martyrs of Arad, were executed on October 6, 1849.

The participants in the Revolution of 1848 are considered national heroes and March 15, the day on which the revolution began, is a national holiday in Hungary.

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