In his eulogy, the Prime Minister said Géza Szőcs was more than a friend, contemporary poet, politician and advisor; he was a mentor, a strategist, he was moral support.
“Not only did we share a common past, but we planned the future together,” he came to every single meeting with a bag full of ideas, Mr Orbán said, adding that he did not budge an inch on ’48, nor ’56, nor ’89, but “neither did he budge an inch on 2148, 2256 or 2389,” because he would have bet any sum of money that Hungary and the Hungarian nation were not only things of the past, but also things of the future.
“What appeared to be adventurous or fanciful in our minds was the future of the nation itself in his mind and heart. […] Despite his robust physique, he appeared light; he wasn’t dragged down by earth and gravity, he didn’t walk, he almost floated,” he added.
If it is true that Hungarians “create more history than they can consume,” Géza Szőcs “was a Hungarian through and through”. He had more ideas than politics could handle, he had more words than his poetry required, and he had more stories than there is room for in textbooks, Mr Orbán said.
He observed that Géza Szőcs had fought the Romanian and Hungarian communists, while in chaotic, transitional times, he tried to guide us as a softly-spoken poet with a solemn message.
The Prime Minister also recalled that in 2010, upon their first two-thirds victory, Géza Szőcs impatiently demanded a Christian and national Constitution.
“We only suspected what might come, but he foresaw the storms that would await us, and knew that we could only weather them if we built the house on robust foundations,” he said.
Four years later, upon the second two-thirds “he said the time had come to elevate the concept that we Hungarians cannot become extinct to a government programme,” thereby elevating the cause of demography to the centre of the government’s philosophy, Mr Orbán recalled.
He also pointed out in the context of the poet’s life work that already in 1995 he urged Hungarians to return to the family model of multiple children, or else they will be compelled to invite in settlers. He also proposed that we should track down every Hungarian around the world, and if we were still not enough, we should look for people who are most akin to us.
“If I conjure up his image now, I see a modern-day Friar Julian who is about to set out to find what has been lost,” the Prime Minister said.
Finally, in 2018, upon the third two-thirds victory, Géza Szőcs set out to do no less than “to pursue Hungarian genius,” to gather together Hungarian inventions, ideas and visions, and to induce brilliant Hungarian minds to serve the country. “It was this job that his death interrupted, and whose continuation he left to us”.
He also recalled his cultural chief advisor’s political credo that the Hungarian nation is pursuing a mission, and this mission is deeply connected to culture.
He would have liked a knowledge centre to be built “in this crossroads country,” at this battle-scarred meeting point of East and West, North and South. He believed that the Hungarian will become one of the most cultured nations in Europe, the Prime Minister said.
Mr Orbán described the career and life of Géza Szőcs as enviable, adding that “all that is left for us is to not forget a single word of his”.
“Farewell, Dear Friend, Géza,” he added.