This post is by Karl Pfeifer:
I am told not to be alarmed when I encounter aggressive antisemitism in Hungary. After all there exists a vibrant Jewish culture in Budapest and there is hope the conservative Fidesz will curb the development of aggressive Anti-Semitism’s although it is tolerating implicit and not so implicit Anti-Semitism of some its politicians and journalists at present. Fidesz is supposed to do it only to attract Jobbik voters. A dim hope indeed, when a random sample of Hungarian media shows beyond any doubt that the ongoing antisemitic hate campaigns rank with those of the Hungarian arrow-cross Nazis.
Erzsébet Scipiades wrote in leftwing daily “Népszava” Article “Hello Nazi” about a discussion between teachers and pupils after the performance of a play in which a young German neo-Nazi and a young Pole share the same German cell, which casts a damning light on some Hungarian schools.
A well-groomed lady teacher says: “I think the play is optimistic compared to what I see around me. […] In our school pupils prepare lists of Jewish children and collect signatures demanding them to be expelled. Or they paint a Star of David on the chair of Jewish children. Or they ask a Jewish teacher what are you doing here, why don’t you go to Israel.”
But antisemitism is not limited to schools. Thanks to János Kis and his liberal party there is no law restricting hate preachers. In 1997 Kis published “Freedom of speech and Nazi discourse” demanding freedom of speech for Nazis, considering this a problem of society and not of the legal system. He is very quiet nowadays, when Hungarian society fails to push back racism and antisemitism.
Click to access media_kepzes.pdf
So it’s no surprise to find a long list of Jews and alleged ‘Jews’ in Hungarian public life complete with pictures on ‘Metapedia’, a neo-arrow-cross website claiming to be a ‘national’ lexicon.
Hungarian Nazis have put another absurd list – starting of course with Karl Marx – on YouTube: “Jews, the people of revenge.”
Needless to say a lot of their ‘Jews’ are not Jewish at all.
The old Nazi propaganda can be legally rehashed and many Hungarians take to it. They consider the Jew, pulling strings behind the scenes, the root of evil. The diversity of Jewish existence is taken as proof of the existence of this mythical hate-figure. The intellectual assimilated Jew stands for the despised modernity; the religious Orthodox Jew fits into the traditional image of Christian Anti-Semitism; the economically successful Jew stands for ‘money-grubbing capital’ and liberalism and the Jewish socialist for abominable ‘Marxism’.
So at the beginning of the 21st century we encounter Hungarians who believe in the National Socialist utopia of the “Volksgemeinschaft” – the national community of people to which Jews, per definition, durst not belong.
When in spring 1944 about half a million Jews were deported within six weeks with the consent of Horthy and the zealous help of Hungarian Police and Gendarmerie, the Nazis and their Hungarian collaborators promised the Hungarians a real Volksgemeinschaft. Many ‘little’ Hungarian arrow-cross perpetrators found later their way into the communist party and after the war several pogroms took place. This can partly explain why so many Hungarian Jews avoid any contact with the Jewish community and Jewish organisations.
If you want to understand Hungary in the 21st century, visit Budapest and see a plaque placed in the military history museum in memory of the Hungarian gendarmes, an organisation whose record in the Holocaust can be compared to that of the SS.
I heard more than once in Hungary “Anti-Semitism is typical for old and uneducated people” by those who tend to play its existence down. However 40 years of ‘socialism’ and ‘prescribed anti-fascism’ and 20 years of tolerance and ‘freedom of speech’ did not prevent antisemitism becoming a significant force in all walks of life. Young extreme right-wing educated people are pathologically preoccupied with Jews and Gypsies, as the above websites testify.
The writing is on the wall.
January 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm
Karl notes that: “Many ‘little’ Hungarian arrow-cross perpetrators found later their way into the communist party and after the war several pogroms took place.” This would explain why, during the Hungarian uprising of 1956, the members of the AVO (AVH?), or the Hunmgarian communist secret police, were hunted down and many killed: they were, often, Arrow Cross thugs who had merely moved over to become communist thugs. That is, ideology was unimportant, but action was all.
I suspect that nothing changes for those looking to break heads, any heads.
January 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm
Dear Brian, dear All
One pogrom broke out because after the war in a town the police wanted to arrest a popular former arrow cross fellow.
By the way 1956 there were Jews on the side of the revolution but others on the side of the Kadarregime.
A classmate from Budapest who became a doctor and emigrated in 1957 to the USA told me 1957 in Vienna when i asked him, if he will return to Hungary the following.
“If the communist win, it will not be worth living in Hungary” and if not “It will become very difficult for a Jew to live in Hungary”
January 31, 2010 at 8:02 pm
A fascinating substory in Western Europe is how many of the former jew-haters like BNP are now more and more turning towards anti-muslim sentiments and seek to link up with extreme Israel friends. Vlaams Belange, in Belgium, par example. Little Green Footballs has done a great job exposing those links.
February 1, 2010 at 6:58 am
@Martin Knutsen@ if you would be interested in subject matter of my arricle you would not have posted.
Fact is that Jobbik MEP Krisztina Morvai was invited to a Palestine solidarity event to London. Fakt is that she declares “our country (Hungary) will not be a second Palestine”
meaning, the Jews will not occupy Hungary. This is madness but has system. The leader of Jobbik is a good friend of Iranian ambassador in Hungary. Since there are almost no Moslems in Hungary, their hatred is directed against Jews, Roma, Homosexuals, Leftwing jounrlialists and politicians, who are often attackted as Jews even if theyare not.
February 1, 2010 at 7:26 pm
K Pfeifer: Im not saying that thjere isnt a disturbing element of anti-semitism in the pro-palestine scene. Im saying that the tendencies to racism exist on the fringes of both camps. Read some Jpost talkback.