Far-right propaganda on Hungarian public television

A few weeks ago an incredible “documentary” was shown on MTV entitled “War against the Hungarian nation.” The production is available on YouTube. I don’t know whether anyone will have the patience to listen to the entire hour and a half of nonsense, I certainly didn’t. But I heard enough to be horrified at the message that is being sent far and wide by Hungarian “public” television. What is especially frightening is that 43,357 people have already watched this far-right view of Hungary, past and present. Two-hundred and thirty people “liked it” and only eight expressed disagreement with the message conveyed.

I might mention right at the beginning that in Hungarian “public” as an adjective before “radio” and “television” can be translated verbatim as “public service” radio or television. It is supposed to serve the public, especially in the sense of transmitting accurate and impartial information for the edification of the public.

I don’t know whether the newly appointed editor in charge of cultural programs has anything to do with the noticeable shift to the right in this area, but it is becoming evident that the Hungarian far right is having a heyday on MTV and Duna TV, both directed from a government-controlled media center. The new man in charge of cultural matters is Zoltán Rockenbauer, who is allegedly an ethnographer and art historian. He most likely received the job not because of his great achievements in his chosen fields but because he was a Fidesz member of parliament between 1990 and 2006 and minister of national heritage, a defunct position, between 2000 and 2002. So, Rockenbauer is one of the “originals” in the party.

But let’s return to the “War against the Hungarian Nation.” It begins with some fairly incomprehensible ramblings by József V. Molnár, who describes himself as a researcher of the national psyche (néplélek kutató). He looks slightly mad. We hear about his little house, his bigger house, a collection of houses and the really big house, the nation, headed by the Holy Crown.

It doesn’t get any better. Izabella Bencze, a lawyer, talks about the role of the Carpathian Basin as the center of the world. Whoever rules this area rules the world. It is the “heart center” (szívközpont) of the world. It is also the strategic center of earth, and that is the reason for the constant war that has been waged against the Hungarians.

József Ángyán, until recently undersecretary of agriculture, talks about the nation as the depository of sacred qualities. The man who has lately been hailed for his stance against the oligarchs is launching a verbal attack against foreign capitalists who stole the nation’s wealth, which “must be taken back.”

From Lajos Papp, a cardiologist who in the last ten or fifteen years discovered his inner prophet, we hear about “the history of mankind that is the history of the Hungarian people.”

A lawyer who thinks that he is a linguist goes on and on about the origin of the word “Hungaria,” which naturally he thinks has something to do with the Huns. The accepted etymology of the word is that it comes from the name of the Turkic tribe Onugor (which means “ten arrows” or “ten tribes”).

Another “expert” talks about foreigners who “want to steal our souls.” Papp shows up again a few minutes later with the idea that “our genes contain the known knowledge” or, in other words, “the divine knowledge.” Other people are jealous of this sacred knowledge. Hence, the persecution of the Hungarians by others.

According to a far-right “economist,” the Habsburgs have been the greatest enemies of Hungarians, including György Habsburg, currently living with his family in Hungary. One of their sins was that they brought a “business spirit” to the country, until then untouched by greed. Certainly a major sin in the eyes of these fanatics. According to one of the “historians,” the real reason for the revolution and war of independence of 1848-49 was the question of who “will privatize the national wealth.” A unique interpretation of the events of 1848. Surely, goes the argument, the Austrian businessmen were ready to pounce on Hungary and rob the Hungarians blind. Of course, the truth was that Hungary was seriously underdeveloped in comparison to the western parts of the Habsburg Empire.

Runic writing from the Szekler region of Transylvania

While this nonsense was being aired on MTV, Duna TV was spreading the gospel of the far right with the help of “literary historian” Mihály Takaró and “experts” on the runic script, László Sipos and Gábor Hosszú. Sipos is the head of a foundation that promotes runic writing, a favorite hobbyhorse of the extreme right. Hosszú is an electrical engineer who decided that his real calling is the analysis of runic writings. The teachings of both of these men are, according to Klára Sándor of the University of Szeged, a real expert on Szekler runic writing, utterly unscientific.

Takaró’s “speciality” is the far-right literature of the interwar period. He is most likely the force behind the introduction of Cécile Tormay, Albert Wass, and József Nyirő into the Hungarian curriculum starting this September. Very recently he was a member of the editorial board of Trianoni Szemle, known to harbor anti-Semitic sentiments. Thus, the above mentioned anti-Semitic writers most likely are close to his heart.

Takaró’s series is called  “Száműzött magyar irodalom” (Exiled Hungarian Literature). Videos of the program can be seen on the Duna TV website.  The program on runic writing could be seen a couple of days ago in a series called “Hagyaték” (Heritage).

According to the “experts” on runic writing, Hungarian children should be taught runic writing already in first grade instead of the Latin alphabet because it “would strengthen the children’s self-identity.” I couldn’t help but recall Bálint Ablonczy’s description of  “the fortress of the right,” a construction that has “its own myths, its own hymns, its own heroes” but which “becomes incomprehensible to the rest of the world.”

Thus the Fidesz government is propagating a worldview that has nothing to do with either science or rationality. Such notions about Hungary’s place in the world lead to political isolation and economic ruin.

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Andres
Guest

In a different context this madness would be hilarious. Now, it’s so depressing

Member
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this a few weeks ago. If you don’t speak Hungarian it’s probably hard to comprehend what professor Balogh is talking about. If you live in the US try to imagine the worst conspiracy theories about 9/11. Like the US Government blew up the towers and the pentagon explosion was faked. Now image this aired on major channels prime time. The most horrifying part is trying to imagine how many people took this garbage seriously. How many of them finished watching this shit anyway? This type of nonsense was only distributed as “granny spam” before. You know those embarrassing forwarded emails, you usually get from older people, with questionable political content. I also had a hard time to finish listening to the song at the beginning. I guess I’m a really bad Hungarian because this type of Hungarian folk music is really not my type. Here is my kitchen sink translation below. For some reason it takes 5 minutes to sing the 3 verses. Beeeeecause iiiiit iiiiis suuuuuung soooooo uuuuuuuunbeeeeeeearableeeee sloooooooow … You get the idea. In short we are the coolest, best people on the Planet but we were torn by ill… Read more »
petofi
Guest

These poor Hungarian saps. “The Chosen People” huh?
Get in line: that designation was taken some 6,000 years ago.
No doubt the jews stole it from some ancient, brave, Hungarian.

A massive mediocrity and ineptitude masquerading in whatever it can. Stupefying.

One everyday example: recently I discovered a restaurant that served pastrami sandwiches. That’s a rare thing in Europe let alone Budapest. So we went. I detailed to the waiter that the bread should be ‘rye’ (there is a form of rye here) and that the meat shouldn’t be lean. Well, for 1,700 HUF we got what looked like pastrami on brown bread and, in place of the necessary marbling, heaped with mustard throughout. “How was the sandwich”, inquired the waiter. “Well,” I answered, “you asked a guy who comes from Toronto–besides New York and Montreal, the home of great pastrami. So, in that frame of reference, the sandwich is a 3; but in Budapest, it’s a 10. You know why? Because none else has it.”

nyaripal
Guest

I have no idea what pastrami is!

Member

Heaven.

http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2008/12/carnegie-deli-pastrami-sandwich-nyc-mitosis.html

The best I ever had was in the Carnegie Deli in NY.

Member

Smoked meet sandwich is a real Jewish treat, garnished with pickle. THe best pastrami is in Montreal at Schwartz Delicatessen, although they call it smoked meet sandwich. The spices are slightly different than the New York style Pastrami. Actually Montreal and New York are famous to “compete” for the best smoked meet title. In Toronto there is newish place, Caplansky’s Delicatessen. I like the place also for their latkes.
Mutt Damon, you are on. Any time you are in Toronto I take you to Caplansky’s. It is on me! For Eva too!

LwiiH
Guest

Schwartz’s is the best!

@Eva, it’s on the internet so it must be true!.. Seriously, why would you even give this nonsense lip service! Meanwhile the law that gives the ministers office the legal right to ask anyone for any information about anyone else without any reason has just been passed. Political show trials are surely to follow.

peter stark
Guest

Actually, the best possible corned beef sandwich, or smoked meat, or even roast beef…sandwich in civilization is to be had in Toronto at Wolfie’s on Sheppard Street just west of Bathurst. It’s to die for. I

Meszaros Eva
Guest

Nyaripal! Budapesti vagy?

An
Guest

Madness. Only the UFOs are missing.

Member

As far as this other nightmare of Fidesz… What does it tell the world about Hungary, when this kind of stuff can be shown on Hungarian National Television, under the watchful eyes of the Media Authority (run by a porn magazine publisher), and the full control of government (Fidesz). If anyone still thought that Orban is mentally stable, they better take a look on the Fidesz program on this public television channel.
I think it can be said that the patients are running the asylum in Hungary.

GW
Guest

Tin Foil Hat time.

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[…] ist das Herz der Welt und aus diesem Grund führt der Rest der Menschheit einen ewigen Krieg gegen das Karpatenbecken. […]

Member

LwiiH :
Schwartz’s is the best!

Agree!

Guest

London Calling!

In the East End of London there used to be Bloom’s Restaurant – the poor service and rudeness of the staff were legendary – but the food was amazing.

I am not Jewish – but the pastrami, salt beef sandwiches and the Lockshen pudding where a real treat, which made me wish I was!

It said over the door: “Britain’s most famous Kosher restaurant” – so it MUST have been the best! – It closed in the 90’s with massive debts I believe.

Regards

Charlie

Ron
Guest

Apparently, the Hungarian government is playing as game with Romania now.

http://www.politics.hu/20120529/reburial-of-ethnic-hungarian-author-postponed-amid-rising-political-tension-between-romania-and-hungary/

However, a service was held on Duna TV (and Duna World) on Sunday. http://www.dunatv.hu/magyar_oldalak/musor/musorujsag?day=2012-5-27

Apparently, (as mentioned by wolfi) the Family of Nyiro was not informed.

Member

Ron :
However, a service was held on Duna TV (and Duna World) on Sunday.
Apparently, (as mentioned by wolfi) the Family of Nyiro was not informed.

That exactly shows that the whole thing has nothing to do with Nyiro himself. Not to inform the family shows total disrespect for Nyiro’s wants, as it is hard for me to believe that he wouldn’t want his family to be involved. It is all a political game that Fidesz is willingly participate to stir up nationalistic sentiments.

Zoobulz
Guest

“… the Carpathian Basin [is] the center of the world. Whoever rules this area rules the world. It is the “heart center” (szívközpont) of the world. It is also the strategic center of earth, and that is the reason for the constant war that has been waged against the Hungarians.”

This is an intriguing hypothesis. But a cursory glance at human history would probably be sufficient to uncover enough flaws in this argument for it to not warrant further discussion.

Ron
Guest

According some eastern religions the Pilis mountains (Dobogoko) is the heart of the earth. Has something to do with the shape of the Danube there.

http://www.ablak_a_vilagra.abbcenter.com/?id=66958&cim=1#

An
Guest

The Dalai Lama’s answer to the question whether the heart of the earth (heart chakra) is in Hungary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7zOw2diQlg

After his initial reaction (he laughs), he points out that all nations think that their country is the center of the world.

An
Guest

In short, I am pretty sure that some Hungarian came up with that idea and outside Hungary it is not part of any religious canon. It is more like part of the Hungarian “mystique” which applies Eastern religious language to some Hungarian nonsense.

Member

Yepp, when you live on the top of a perfect ball in a space where there is no up, down, left, right, you always on the centre of the surface area, does not matter where you stand. Plain and simple. Unfortunately to many Hungarians (obviously including the Fidesz controlled State Television) it is a concept, they just cannot comprehend, as for them it is their own God that created some land with Adam and Eve standing in the middle, right at Dobogoko.

Thomas
Guest

For those of you who speak Hungarian here is a link:
http://magyarnarancs.hu/publicisztika/szelsojobb-propaganda-a-dunan-nyilt-level-rockenbauer-zoltannak-
It is a “funny” article about the above mentioned TV program. Well not so funny, becasue it is all true. But realy well written.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

Several years ago there was a public discussion in Budapest about the Hit Gyülekezete, which was called at the time a “sect”. The moderator was a catholic priest. A lady – mother of a young man, who studied at the theological academy of Hit – complained about her son learning Hebrew. The catholic priest said, that the bible was written in Hebrew. The lady cried out, no that is not true, the bible was written in Hungarian.

Thomas
Guest

this would be funny, if it were not so sad. not the fact that she did not know, but that it is taken as an offense.

Member

Imagine the shock when she finds out Jesus was Jewish …

Pete H.
Guest

This is slightly off-topic, but I am hoping the readers of this blog can help me out. A documentary producer has asked me to use some of my images from the anti-gay rally at the Oktogon last June. It includes the faces of some neonazis and a few of the images include police officers. The documentary producer is asking me to waive my rights regarding any lawsuits that may be brought against me. I have no knowledge of Hungarian civil law or privacy law. Could I be sued in Hungary if I release these images? Can anyone direct me to someone who is knowledgable about this issue. Eva please feel free to send my email to anyone who might be an expert on these matters.

I feel it is important to share these images, but I can not afford a lawsuit. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thomas
Guest

I am not sure I understand this. Why would you need to waive your rights? Shouldn’t the producer protect his source? Or do you want credit for your pictures? I would not waive my rights, the Hungarians can go after you in British or US courts as well.

Ron
Guest

I am not an expert on rights/royalties and claims.

As you took the images from the public road, that alone is not a problem, and you are the owner of these images.

I do not understand you line “waive my rights regarding any lawsuits”. does that mean that you give up you ownership rights or publishing rights or the documentary maker will pay for these expenses should they occur?

And what do you try to accomplish with these images? Money and/or recognition? Or something else? Btw I agree with Thomas for not to waive your rights here. But you need to be clear what you want to accomplish.

If you want to publish these images you need to blur the faces so that the persons on it can not be identified. This is relating to the privacy laws.

Publishing these images (without the blur) may result in a law suit. However, since it is the documentary maker is publishing you can agree with him/her that he/she will take up the costs relating to the claim, if any.

Member

Ron :
you need to blur the faces so that the persons on it can not be identified. This is relating to the privacy laws.
Publishing these images (without the blur) may result in a law suit.

That is not the case if i is taken on public property on a public event, and the information provided does not “lift” the image out of context or it is not for promotional or advertising purposes. (it is different set of rules if minors involved.)

LwiiH
Guest

I’m not a lawyer and so you do need an opinion from a lawyer specializing in intellectual property rights. If you need a recommendation for one, mine is very good. That said, if I understand what you’re really asking or what makes sense to me, is that producer is asking you is for indemnification so in case he’s sued, you’d be liable. My answer to that is, why would I do that?

My own opinion is that you are safe to pub on a photo sharing site (flicker…) as the pictures were taken at a public event in the public domain and you are not specifically targeting anyone. In that context you’ve given up the right to privacy. I’d tag them with a Creative Commons, non-commercial, attribution license which would alter you’re copyright rights to a more shareable condition. If the producer wants to use them at that point, it’s his call and his risk (which I think is minimal at best).

For more info you may want to check out iReport on CNN. They have guidelines for pub’ing news reports on their site. http://ireport.cnn.com/guidelines.jspa. more about Creative Commons is @ http://creativecommons.org/

Louis Kovach
Guest

Hungarians are really very imaginative about their past. I am sure in the near future they will make outlandish claims that Arpad parted the Carpathians which reassembled after the Hungarians passage to block the Pecheneges who were chasing them, or that Almos had to die before getting to the promised land or that the god of the Hungarians gave Almos the sacred laws etched onto two horse skins. Additionally they blew their horns around Svatopluk’s castle and walls collapsed…I am sure one outlandish claim will come after another…..

Louis Kovach
Guest

Q Karl Pfeifer, Thomas & Mutt D. Well partly….however the New Testament’s oldest known versions were in Greek although some parts meybe Aramaic but certainly not Hebrew…. It does not hurt to know what one jokes about

Thomas
Guest

thanks for the lesson Dr. Kovach but i dont recall even remotely claiming anything about in what language the old testament was written. But am convinced the script was not runic!

Louis Kovach
Guest

I have written ” Well partly” perhaps should have specified further that only the Old Testament.

Thomas
Guest

not sure that the internet is always correct, and I am certainly no expert but:
http://www.biblica.com/bibles/faq/11/

Guest

Louis, I’m really impressed by your knowledge – not …

What relevance does this have for Hungary – on a blog that is visited mainly by atheists (I’m sure about that), whether they are of Hungarian, Jewish, English or German ancestry ?

Do you still believe in fairy tales ? Maybe you should move here: http://www.galileowaswrong.com/galileowaswrong/

These people still believe in geocentrism – not very far to Hungarocentrism, your opinions might be valued there …

PS:

My wife started to laugh when I told her about this – and she’s Hungarian.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

A few years after 1990 I found in the lobby of the building of Magyarok Világszövetsége (it was during Kádár’s period the seat of the Hungarian-Soviet friendship society) a fellow selling books and there was also a book explaining that Jesus was not Jewish.
By the way, 3 weeks after the infamous speech of Jobbik MP Z.B. warming up the Tiszaeszlar bloodlibel cardinal Péter Erdő, bishop Gusztáv Bölcskei, president of the synod of the Hungarian reformed church and bishop Péter Gáncs, President of the Evangelic church signed a declaration against anti-Semitism.
One months later bishop Bölcskei – in the presence of neonaci thugs consecrated a commemorative plaque honoring Miklós Horthy.

Louis Kovach
Guest

@Dr Balogh. What is the source of the Carpathian Basin map? It appears to show the demands of the neighboring countries after WW I. Or perhaps it is from an issue of the Becsi Magyar Ujsag?

Ron
Guest

Louis Kovach :
@Dr Balogh. What is the source of the Carpathian Basin map? It appears to show the demands of the neighboring countries after WW I. Or perhaps it is from an issue of the Becsi Magyar Ujsag?

It is published via: http://www.karpat-medence.hu/ This is a travel book.

George Damian
Guest

I am a Romanian and as far as I remember most part of the Carpatian Basin is in Romania. There is something strange although – Romania isn’t ruling the world yet.

peter stark
Guest

Recently, Viktor, starving for some international political kontakt, made a secret trip to Iran to pledge Hungarian solidarity. This is not well known. After watching Ahmajinidad (spelling?) he came back and declared in a secret cabinet meeting: ” Romania’s days are numbered! We will wipe them off the map!” Laszlo Kover, finishing the last of his pastrami
sandwich, nearly chocked in his excitement. Clearing his throat, he stood up as the others watched him, and launched into a spirited version of “Kossuth Lajos azt uzente….:”

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[…] cei care nu ştiu limba maghiară voi încerca să fac un scurt rezumat (preluat de aici). Primul expert este Jozsef V. Molnar care se prezintă drept “cercetător al psihicului […]

enufff
Guest

Twilight zone music playing in my mind when reading this 😀
Who cares if the country is on the centre of the earth or whatever, when it is cursed? Those “experts” can stay in their zone but please do not drag us there.

An
Guest

You guys are all wrong; the center of the world is in Ohio.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_of_the_World,_Ohio

Member

… and communities with the largest Hungarian American populations are largely concentrated in Ohio (~200,000). That explains it.

An
Guest

Sure, there must be a connection 🙂

Thomas
Guest

I agree, viva la OHIO

Guest

London Calling!

Now hear this!

The ‘World’ is a sphere ok?

The Centre of the world is a molten magma ball ok? – we all live on the crust ok?

Just putting all you flat earthers’ hats on straight.

So stop all this nonsense about a location on the ‘crust’ being the ‘centre of the world’.

So not ‘Carpathia’ and not OHIO, ok?

It’s London.

Goodness Me.

Regards

Charlie

An
Guest

Forgot to post the picture, for all you skeptics out there:
comment image

Kiss Tibor
Guest

Csókolom! Véletlenül tévedtem erre az oldalra, de nagyon felháborított amit itt olvastam… Ez egy tájékozatlan külföldiek számára írt, az országot fikázó, cikiző, lenéző, lesajnáló, mindent automatikusan tagadó, leszól, igazi ostoba, okoskodó cikk. Miért tetszik ilyen lejárató cikket megjelentetni? Nem tetszik jobb témát találni? Esetleg valami pozitívat? Semmit? Rossz lehet Önnek… Annak tetszik örülni azért, hogy nevetségessé teszi a honfitársait és az országot? Vannak akik küldetésüknek tekintik igazság bajnokaként az országot szapulni, negatív színben feltüntetni. Ez kinek az érdeke? Kiknek az értékrendje? Kérem, legalább minimális toleranciát mutasson az öntől másként gondolkodó honfitársaival szemben. Külföldön ennek van hagyomány, de Ön ezt láthatóan nem tanulta meg, de visszatükrözi mindazt amit magával vitt itthonról. Okos irományának utolsó mondata önbeteljesítő jóslat az ilyen emberek miatt mint kiskegyed. Gratulálok, ehhez nem kellett sok ész.
Tibor

Member
My kitchen sink translation of the “from a concerning citizen” style letter. “I stumbled upon this site by accident and I’m outraged by what I read here … This post is written for the uninformed foreigners. It is contemptuous and it denies and decries everything automatically. It is a really stupid smartass article. Why are you publishing such a discrediting article? Can’t you find a better subject? Perhaps something positive? Nothing. Too bad for you. Are you happy to ridicule your countrymen and your country? Some people consider their mission as the cahampion of truth to depict their country in a negative way. Whose interest is this? Whos values are these? Please show at least some minimal tolerance toward your fellow countyman who think differently. Abroad it is tradition, but you apparently did not learn this. It reflects everything that you’d taken with you from home [Hungary]. The last sentence of your opus is such a self-fulfilling prohecy because of the kind people like yourself. Congratulations! One doesn’t have to be so smart to wrtite this [post].” —- One semi-on-topic news item from today. Three Hungarian hussars were jailed in Sweden for animal cruelty. They decided to ride around the… Read more »
Guest
Kiss Tibor : Bye! Coincidentally I was wrong on this site, but very outraged by what I read here … It is written for ignorant foreigners, the country fikázó, cikiző, contemptuous, lesajnáló, everything is automatically denied, decried, real stupid, argumentative article. Why do you like to publish this article discrediting? I do not like to find a better topic? Maybe something positive? Nothing? Too bad for you like it … To be happy is to make a fool of his countrymen and country? Some people consider their mission as a crusader in the country szapulni, negatively indicated. Whose interests? Who the values? Please point to a minimum tolerance of you fellow countrymen against dissidents. Abroad it is tradition, but you apparently did not learn this, but it reflects all the things I had brought with him from home. Smart irományának last sentence of such self-fulfilling prophecy because people like kiskegyed. Congratulations, this did not have a lot of sense. Tibor. Tibor London Calling! Tibor! I have allowed Google to translate your effort since you don’t have the courtesy to respond in English! I take it you can’t handle constructive criticism of your country? Why should we stand by and let… Read more »
Guest

London Calling (2)

Mutt!

You beat me to it! – I think your translation works better than google (!) – I think you were being too polite translating us foreigners as ‘uninformed’ instead of ‘ignorant!

He’s given us a good laugh at least!

Re the horses – sad. I think Eva did a blog on this some while ago? Anyway I remember seeing these nutty Hussars being given a send off.

Thanks for the laugh – takes a bit of heat off Kovach!

Regards

Charlie

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