The 1848 Revolution Remembered: The Last Words of the 13 Martyrs of Arad

Publicated on: October 6, 2016

On October 6, 1849, the 13 Martyrs of Arad, the national heroes of the 1848 Revolution and War who fought for independence from the Hapsburg Empire, were executed in the city of Arad (now Romania). Commemorated in Hungary as a national day of bereavement, the nation's first Prime Minister, Count Lajos Batthyány, was also executed in Pest.

On the 167th Anniversary of the execution of the storied 13 Martyrs of Arad – the rebel generals of the 1948 Revolution – as well as Hungary’s first Prime Minister, Count Lajos Batthyány, the Embassy of Hungary remembers and celebrates their final words.

János Damjanich: “We overcame death because we were ready to cope with it anytime.”

Ignác Török: “I’m soon going to be standing in front of the most divine tribune of God. My life is only a tiny burden, but I know that I’ve always served Him.”

Lajos Aulich: “I’ve served and served, always served. I’m going to serve with my death as well. My beloved Hungarian nation and home, I know you understand this service.”

Károly Vécsey: “God gave me my heart and soul which always burned for the service of my nation and home.”

Vilmos Lázár: “Who is responsible for the fate of the Hungarians? The soul of apostles became Apostles at the feet of Christ’s cross and Hungarian souls have to become revolutionaries at the feet of gallows.”

General Vécsey kisses the hand of the executed Damjanich

Arisztrid Dessewffy: “Yesterday heroes, today martyrs… This is what the service of my home commands.”

Jószef Nagy-Sándor: “How awful it would be to think of evanescence now if I hadn’t done anything in my life. I submissively curtsey in front of my God for making me a hero, a true person, and a good soldier.”

Károly Knézich: “How interesting it is that Judge Haynau and I are both Christians. Only the devil could’ve mixed the cards this way.”

József Schweidel: “Today’s world is the world of the Satan, where honor is rewarded with gallows and betrayal is rewarded with power. Only a real revolution, the world’s new revolutionary humanity could sweep away this damn, maladjusted world.”

Ernő Kiss: “My God, will the youth of the modern age be true humans? Glorious saints of the Árpáds, watch over the Hungarian youth so that their hearts will be Christ’s and their life will be their homelands.”

György Láhner: “Christ’s cross and the gallows are related. And my sacrifice is so small compared to the divine sacrifice.”

Ernő Poltenberg: “We are here due to the furious revenge of our enemies.”