Square near Nyugati Railway Station named after Béla Puczi

April 8, 2021 at 7:30 PM

The part of Nyugati Square right next to the railway station has newly been named after Béla Puczi, who led Gypsies to defend the Hungarians during the anti-Hungarian pogrom in Târgu Mureş in 1990.

On the occasion of International Roma Day, on 8 April, the Budapest City Council inaugurated a public space named after the Roma hero Béla Puczi in the area bordered by the Westend Shopping Centre, Váci Road and Nyugati Square – writes budapest.hu.

At the request of several Roma organizations, Mayor Gergely Karácsony initiated naming a public space in Budapest after Béla Puczi, the Roma hero of the 1989 Târgu Mureş demonstrations. The statement notes, the choice of location is symbolic. After Béla Puczi escaped to Hungary, he lived next to Nyugati Railway Station alone and homeless in the period immediately before his death.

A memorial plaque has preserved his memory on the wall of the station since 2017.

Memorial plaque for Béla Puczi (Photo: obuda.hu)

March 1990 went down in history as “Black March.” During a conflict in Târgu Mureş, a group of Hungarian-speaking Roma rushed to unarmed Hungarians' aid. Béla Puczi was one of the leaders of this group. The famed words: "Do not be afraid of Hungarians, because the gipsies are here!" can be connected to him. Béla Puczi was arrested after the events and imprisoned for several months. He later came to Hungary with his family. He died alone in 2009 in Budapest.

Cover photo: Public space named after Béla Puczi at the Nyugati Railway Station (Photo: budapest.hu)

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