A new incredible speech by László Kövér

The first time I set eyes on László Kövér and heard him speak I called him a "dúvad," a Hungarian word with a dual meaning. It can mean "beast of prey," but in ordinary speech people use it to describe a brutish fellow. A person who is somewhat animal-like, uncouth, hard to handle, unpleasant, aggressive and surly.There was a Hungarian film made in 1961 that was entitled "Dúvad" and it was translated into English as "The Brute." So, you get the picture. Just to show you what I mean, here is a recent picture of Kövér.

Kover

And this fellow is the speaker of the house, which he runs like a nineteenth-century schoolmaster, cane in hand, delivering stern warnings to any member of the opposition. He is a great deal more understanding with his own kind or even with Jobbik. On the basis of his past utterances I suspect that Kövér's political views are fairly close to the ideology of Jobbik and other extreme right-wing groups. For example, he agreed with Jobbik about the necessity of removing Mihály Károlyi's statue from the square in front of the parliament building. He, as a man who studied some history while attending law school, should know that Károlyi was not responsible for Trianon, yet he talks as if he were a total ignoramus when it comes to history. His speeches, especially those delivered in Transylvania, are tainted with ultra-nationalist sentiments. And his anti-communism is legendary. A rather odd position to take for a man who in 1985 still saw himself as one of the future leaders of the country–a country led by János Kádár.

As one would expect from a brutish fellow, he always exaggerates. For example, he began his speech yesterday with the following dramatic introduction: "Today our task is to rebuild a country that was just run down by the Tatars." The reference is to the attack by Batu Khan's Mongol hordes in 1241-1242. Of course, the comparison is ridiculous because the Tatars physically destroyed most of the country; even the king had to escape abroad. From the Tatars Kövér moved on to the "modern wild Tatars of the Gyurcsány kind." According to Kövér "Gyurcsány and Company ravaged and methodically plundered the country." In addition, "they simply destroyed the state itself."

After this incredible destruction "it will be more difficult to return to the nation's one-thousand-year-old road… but we must follow our own path." What is happening now, according to Kövér, is "the second foundation of the state" which also involves "the construction of a new economic system." Here it is worth stopping for a moment to try to analyze Kövér's words. First of all, it seems that he believes in a uniquely Hungarian road that must be followed. But how will this "Hungarian road" be reconciled with the fact that Hungary is a member of the European Union? One has a fair idea about what Kövér must think of the European Union and Hungary's membership. And I hate to think what he means by "a new economic system." These words were uttered in a country that a few months ago was carrying on with the duties of the EU presidency.

What Kövér had to say about the Hungarian minorities in the neighboring countries is also revealing. Hungary's task is to strengthen those connective tissues that have been weakened in the last ninety years or so. "The political elites of the successor states purposely want to break these connections." It is not only the Romanian and the Slovak politicians who want to weaken the Hungarian minority but "also those political forces that collaborate with the majority politicians. These people claim to be Hungarians but in reality they don't represent them in the political decision-making forums. In fact, they serve the interests of the majority political elite."

In brief, Hungarian politicians who take part in the political life of their countries are traitors to the Hungarian cause. Any kind of cooperation with majority parties is sinful in Kövér's eyes. But where would such an attitude lead?  Certainly not to peaceful coexistence! But to brutes this very concept is utterly alien.

And finally, Kövér mentioned emigration that seems to have ramped up since "the second foundation of the Hungarian state." By now, Hungarians can leave and work anywhere within the European Union if they find a job. Certainly for a Hungarian nationalist like Kövér this is a tragedy. But Fidesz cannot bring back the iron curtain, and thus Kövér and his friends cannot stop the steady flow of people moving westward in the hope of a better life. The only thing Kövér can suggest is to put pressure on the youngsters to stay at home. The pressure should come from "parents, teachers, and intellectuals." If they cannot awaken in the young people a sense of responsibility toward the community then "there will be very big trouble." 

My feeling is that the outflow of people from all walks of life, not just doctors and nurses, is less troublesome than the complete dilettantism exhibited by the Fidesz politicians in charge of the economy. If I were Kövér I would convince my old friend Viktor Orbán to sack György Matolcsy. 

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Kirsten
Guest

At least Köver can draw on specific Hungarian economic traditions as there was already a “new economic mechanism”. But it is strange that he does not see any connection between people searching for jobs abroad or even “collaborating” and the policies of Fidesz. It has some communist flavour, just as the NEM.

Johnny Boy
Guest
“Károlyi was not responsible for Trianon” LOL. Wasn’t it Béla Linder, Károlyi’s minister of defense who, drunk, said “I don’t want to see any more soldiers” right before dismantling the whole Hungarian army, considerably stronger at that time than the Romanian or the Serbian? Its straight consequence was that the Romanians invaded Hungary and in Versailles they could come up with the argument that they already have these territories. What Károlyi and Linder did was capital treason, by the dictionary definition of the word. Such pure falsification of history on ideological grounds is a shame. When are you going to give back your degree in history? Tomorrow or even today? “he agreed with Jobbik about the necessity of removing Mihály Károlyi’s statue from the square in front of the parliament building” And I agree with them too. Károlyi does not deserve a statue at the Parliament, he deserves an entry in the black book of Hungarian history. “And his anti-communism is legendary” Another very valuable feature of Kövér. “it seems that he believes in a uniquely Hungarian road that must be followed” Each country has its own road that does not necessarily conflict with EU rules. Why don’t you want… Read more »
Eva S. Balogh
Guest

JB: “”Károlyi was not responsible for Trianon” LOL.”
Sorry, but I know a great deal more about the period than you do. First World War, the Karolyi, the Kun, and the early Horthy period is my main field of interest. I am not going to sit down and argue with you about something about which you have only superficial knowledge. It wouldn’t be fair plus it would be a waste of time since you have already made up your mind on the subject.

Paul
Guest

Jaj, just as I was getting used to the quiet, sensible debate we’ve had recently.
Then a dúvad returns.
Couldn’t you take a longer holiday? 365 days, perhaps?

Member

Oh no, Johnny Boy is back from holiday. Johnny’ Boy’s motto should be “Everything I know about Hungary I learned from the pamphlets and propaganda of the Fidesz/Jobbik”.
So, now we know from Johnny Boy what is the official stance of the Fidesz. No interest to keep European values, no interest to be a contributing member of the European Union. It is all a facade.
By the way I think who let the Romanians in to Hungary is Horthy!!! Horthy instead of stopping the Romanians form taking Hungary, was more concerned with the “communists”, so he marched in to Budapest to show to the country who is the “tokos legeny” (man with balls). (Eva, please correct me if I am wrong.) I bet he got the white horse he used from the Romanians. lol SO there you go. Although they do want to put up a statue for him. Oh, the nationalist , and conspiracy theorists never sleep.

Minusio
Guest

Don’t feed the trolls.

kormos
Guest

@ Ms. Balogh
“Sorry, but I know a great deal more about the period than you do. First World War, the Karolyi, the Kun, and the early Horthy period is my main field of interest.”
I would like to read your book or publication(s) written on this period of sad Hungarian history.
Could you please let us know the title(s)?

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Some1: “Horthy instead of stopping the Romanians form taking Hungary, was more concerned with the “communists”, so he marched in to Budapest to show to the country who is the “tokos legeny” (man with balls). (Eva, please correct me if I am wrong.)”
He waited until the Romanians left Budapest before he drove into the capital.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

About the fighting against the invading armies. It is an absolutely ridiculous proposition. The Czechoslovak, the Romanian, the Serbian armies assisted by the French in the South would have attacked Hungary immediately. In addition, the returning soldiers wanted to go home and had no intention of going back to fight a hopeless war. Because it would have been no more than a suicidal mission.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Here are a few:
“Nationality Problems of the Hungarian Soviet Republic,” in Hungary in Revolution, 1918-19, ed. Ivan Volgyes
“Romanian and Allied Involvement in the Hungarian Coup d’Etat of 1919,” East European Quarterly
“The Hungarian Social Democratic Centre and the Fall of Bela Kun,” Canadian Slavonic Papers
“Istvan Friedrich and the Hungarian Coup d’Etat of 1919: A re-evaluation,” Slavic Review
“The Turning of the World: Hungarian Progressive Writers on the War,” in The Habsburg Empire in World War I: Essays on the Intellectual, Military, Political and Economic Aspects of the Habsburg War Effort.
“Power Struggle in Hungary: Analysis in Post-War Domestic Politics, August-November 1919,” Canadian-American Review of Hungarian Studies
“A Bohm-Cunninghame targyalasok 1919. juliusaban,” Tortenelmi Szemle
“Hungarian Foreign Policy, 1918-1945,” in The Hungarians: A Divided Nation, ed. by Stephen Borsody

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

I forgot to mention the title of my Ph.D. dissertation: “The Road to Isolation: Hungary, the Great Powers, and the Successor States, 1919-1920,” Yale University

kormos
Guest

Thank you Ms. Balogh. I will try to locate those above (I made a copy). Greetings!

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

The one on Hungarian foreign policy in The Hungarians, a Divided Nation is on the internet.

Member

So, Eva what you are saying is that Horthy would of had the chance to face the Romanians in Budapest, but choose to wait so his uniform would not get dirty? SO, he did not try to save Hungary from the “invading” Romanians and so forth? So, why is the uneducated people, like Johnny Boy believe that Horthy was any better Hungarian, then those Hungarians who did not even presented with the chance to “save the country”?

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

To Some1: There was no way to go against the Great Powers and its Central European Allies. Horthy simply obeyed the Entente representatives who told him that he should sit in Siófok until they manage to dislodge the Romanian troops from Budapest.
The situation was the same at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Republic. Horthy and his national army could leave French-occupied Szeged only with the blessing of the Entente. So, he wasn’t such a brave fellow. But once in Budapest and governor he and his fellow officers hatched all sorts of wild plans about the reoccupation of Slovakia. Although the plans were supposed to be secret the Czechs got wind of it and in no time there came the formation of the Little Entente and the isolation of Hungary.
In brief, any kind of resistance was doomed.

Member

Eva, that was my understanding too. I think it is the nationalists who want to believe otherwise. They are disillusioned in what could of or should of been done. Of course they would love to remove all personal responsibility of Horthy for anything (Including his cooperation with Hitler), but the biggest obstacle they run into is what to do with Horthy as far as “Greater Hungary” goes. So they absolve his doings (or his non-doings), and put all responsibility on someone else, who actually was a liberal person. Fortunately this tactic only works with the less informed or less educated.

Julie
Guest

Slightly off-topic, but have you read these new articles? One from Boston Review (http://www.bostonreview.net/BR36.4/paul_hockenos_hungary_europe_right_wing_extremism.php) and one from Der Spiegel (http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,780794,00.html).

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

@Julie: “have you read these new articles?”
They are pretty harsh, aren’t they?

Johnny Boy
Guest

Strange that no single argument surfaced against any of the facts I mentioned.

Johnny Boy
Guest

What is exactly your vastly superior ‘knowledge’ against my allegations?
Linder was Károlyi’s minister of defense: fact.
Linder’s action left Hungary completely defenseless: fact.
Romanians invaded as a result: fact.
Romanians argued in Versailles with their occupancy: fact.
Their argument was accepted: fact.
Where do you see the chain of logics break?

Kirsten
Guest

Johnny, what you somehow do not wish to understand is that Hungary had NO CHOICE after 1918. Eva wrote: “it would have been no more than a suicidal mission”. Apparently you think the Hungarian army was strong enough to fight against all armies also named by Eva or that collective suicide was desirable. Only after accepting this fact of no choice (for instance because Hungary managed to alienate not only the neighbouring nations in the period before WWI through deeds and ideas that are similar to those heard from Fidesz today and that are similarly convincing to other countries today) you can think about whether Karolyi or Linder were so completely wrong in saving some people’s lives.

Jano
Guest

Well, if we take the northern successes of the red army (which was recruited in a rush from zero) and the successes of Kemal Ataturk’s efforts into consideration I wouldn’t certainly say that fighting would have been absolutely in vain. The entente soldiers wanted to go home just as much and I am not sure that if they had sensed considerable resistance they would have ruled out the diplomatic solution.

Kirsten
Guest

My understanding was that the fate of Hungary was more or less clear at the end of the war, which is why Hungary was invited to the peace conference only towards the end of it. (Eva, please correct me if I am wrong.) The reputation of Hungary was really damaged, and even Karolyi who would have deserved a better treatment, could not remedy this reputation. A fighting army would have only extended the conflict, without changing substantially the outcome.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Jano: “The entente soldiers wanted to go home just as much and I am not sure that if they had sensed considerable resistance they would have ruled out the diplomatic solution.”
The Romanians were fighting for incorporating their fellow Romanians and doubling the country’s territories. Something they have been wanting for a long time. That was a good enough reason to fight for.
As for the northern campaign, yes, it was only the Hungarian communists who made an effort. But it was clear that the Entente would have never agreed to the Hungarian troops staying there. Kun had to withdraw the troops. A month later the same army ran away from the Romanians. So, let’s not have too sanguine ideas about the possibilities of resistance.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Kirsten: “My understanding was that the fate of Hungary was more or less clear at the end of the war”
Yes, you’re quite right. Even the borders were fixed by the end of March 1919.

Member

Surely Romania entered WW1 on the basis of a treaty with the Entente powers agreeing to give them Transylvania and the Banat?

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

David: “Surely Romania entered WW1 on the basis of a treaty with the Entente powers agreeing to give them Transylvania and the Banat?”
Indeed, Transylvania and more. Up to the River Tisza.

Paul
Guest

Neither of Julie’s links worked for me.
I found the Boston Review article (I assume) Julie intended and it is well worth a read, it summerises the current situation in Hungary very well – http://www.bostonreview.net/BR36.4/paul_hockenos_hungary_europe_right_wing_extremism.php
I couldn’t find the Der Spiegel article.

Guest

Paul, it should be here:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,780794,00.html
If this doesn’t work, try Spiegel – english site – Europe – Hungary, August 19th
The article is about those “labour camps”:
The Goulash Archipelago
EU Remains Silent as Hungary Veers Off Course
By Walter Mayr

Jano
Guest

“The Romanians were fighting for incorporating their fellow Romanians and doubling the country’s territories. Something they have been wanting for a long time. That was a good enough reason to fight for.”
But I wasn’t talking about them, I was talking about the western (mostly French) soldiers coming from the south. Of course the Romanians had good reasons (actually the same goals Jobbik has in mind right now about Hungary). And sure you’re right that the borders were pretty much fixed by the March of 1919, I’m talking about when the Romanian army started the invasion and the Hungarian army was pretty much dismantled. Atatürk’s success shows that the entente was not necessary willing to loose more soldiers and prolong the war just to maximize their victory in remote regions. Of course, “what if” questions are never going to get answered neither you nor me can be sure about what would have happened.

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