War against the whole world?

The growing Horthy cult and the associated rehabilitation of writers of anti-Semitic and/or Nazi sympathies have raised a few eyebrows, and not just in Romania where the circus surrounding the reburial of the remains of József Nyirő led to a diplomatic flare-up between Hungary and her former good friend, Romania. It seems that the Russian government is also watching the rehabilitation of the Horthy era with growing concern.

But first let’s visit Romania where the storm created by Hungary’s clumsy attempt at organizing a reburial of József Nyirő has been growing. First, the Romanian government refused to allow entry of a special railway carriage carrying Nyirő’s remains. Then the burial itself had to be postponed because its permission was revoked. The remains are apparently still in Budapest.

The latest is that there is a good possibility that the Romanian government will investigate local permits that allowed schools or streets to be named after József Nyirő. The Romanian government spokesman announced yesterday that in Romania ” law forbids any kind of appreciation or honoration of people of anti-Semitic and fascist views.” So, this is the end result of  László Kövér’s initiative on behalf of the Magyar Polgári Párt. However, Kövér didn’t seem to learn anything from this fiasco. He triumphantly announced in Székelyudvarhely where the burial was supposed to be held that the victory of Hungary is inevitable. After all, non-Hungarians are afraid even of the remains of a Hungarian who has been buried for sixty years. And, he added, the members of the Romanian government are barbarians.

The rehabilitation of the Horthy regime caused unease in Russia as well. Over the weekend there was a conference organized by the Russian Center of ELTE where Hungarian, Russian, and American historians gave lectures on historical topics. Among the invited guests was the Russian ambassador Aleksandr Tolkach, who sharply criticized the Hungarian government’s attempts at rewriting the history of World War II. He rejected the Orbán government’s efforts to equate nazism and communism and to treat the Soviet Union and her allies, on the one hand, and the Third Reich, on the other, as equally guilty.

Tolkach specifically mentioned the preamble to the new Hungarian constitution, which views the historical events between 1944 and 1990 as nonexistent. This in Russian opinion results in the denial of the role of the Red Army as liberators. Right-wing Hungarian historians are trying to reevaluate Hungary’s role in the events while they say nothing about Hungarian crimes in the Soviet Union. These same historians are also silent on Hungary’s active role in the annihilation of Hungarian Jewry.

Considering that Viktor Orbán is allegedly a great friend of Vladimir Putin, Tolkach’s remarks are an indication that not all is well in Russian-Hungarian relations. The Hungarian government should be mindful of the forthcoming negotiations with Russia over the price of natural gas. This is what happens when the Fidesz government wants to please its extreme-right rival, Jobbik, by forcing an issue that causes serious diplomatic friction.

If creating friction between Romania and Hungary and Russia and Hungary weren’t enough, the Orbán  government moved on to an attack on the United States and the European Union.

The attack on the European Union began with Kövér lecturing Europe on its attitude toward Christianity. According to him, ” Europe lost its self-identity.”  Moreover, ” it looks at its own Christian roots with loathing.”  And to be sure that this message will get to those for whom it was intended, Kövér made these remarks to a reporter of Süddeutsche Zeitung, a liberal German paper. In the same interview Kövér labelled the European Union’s criticism of the extra levies “immoral” because EU politicians condoned the socialist governments’  economic policies that resulted in the country’s indebtedness.

And today in parliament János Lázár, in his farewell speech as head of the Fidesz caucus, indirectly attacked the United States by claiming that the Hungarian opposition is actually supported by Uncle Sam. Considering that the Orbán government initiated a charm campaign  in the United States and that Budapest hired a PR firm to influence the American attitude toward the present regime in Hungary, one can only marvel at the inconsistencies of the government’s policies.

Lázár also decided to lash out at international capital. According to him, MSZP has never been anything but a “front man” for multinational companies. This remark didn’t surprise me terribly because there has been a tendency lately to contrast the government’s pro-Hungarian policies with the opposition’s siding with foreign interests. After all, it wasn’t a long time ago that Viktor Orbán talked about his government’s “kuruc”  stance as opposed to the members of the opposition who belong to the ” labanc”  camp. These two words go back to the Rákóczi rebellion (1703-1711) when the rebels were called ” kuruc”  and those who sided with Vienna “labanc.” Thus, Orbán indicated that he represents Hungarian interests while the opposition represents the interests of foreign powers.

One against all? A losing proposition.

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tigerente
Guest

While their knack to shoot themselves in the foot baffles me, the fact that they’re so stupid gives me a smidgen of hope.

Louis Kovach
Guest

The Russians are currently rewriting their own history,in a much more conservative direction then earlier pst Soviet writings. At the same time they are protesting not only Hungary’s but that of many ex-Soviet or satellite states views.

See “Outside the Balkans, the Baltic States and Ukraine are attempting to rewrite the history of World War II. The revised view would say that “their (Baltic and Ukrainian) nationals suffered from Soviet as well as Nazi oppression.” Strong condemnations of the proposal are already coming from the Kremlin, who oppose the revision which they say is aimed at Russians. Belarus backed Russia’s position on the issue and by doing so, hopes to form a “greater union” between the two countries. Debates are ongoing, but issues such as these appear to be adversely affecting Russian efforts to foster good relations with its neighbors.[53]

Member

Louis Kovach :
The Russians are currently rewriting their own history,in a much more conservative direction then earlier pst Soviet writings.

Although I do agree with you wit this one, I am not really sure what are you suggesting here: It is OK to rewrite Hungarian history because the Russians do it? Is Hungary in great company as Russians also rewriting history? Two wrongs makes one right?

Did you know that in Albertville, Alaska a man raped his own mother. Are you saying that Hungarians should go unpunished and no one should raise their voice against a man who rapes their own mother in Hungary because it has been done in the USA? Some more suggestions: In Iran they still chop the hands off thieves, and in some African countries female mutilation is still a practice.

Louis Kovach, We already learned about your appreciation of Horthy and the nazi lover Nyiro, but what I really would like to hear your comment about is the Hungarian-USA relations, and the spending on the Fidesz PR campaign.

Thomas
Guest

I did watch in dismay the Hungarian Parliament, specifically Navracsics’s answer on the Horthy cult, yesterday. Every day I am more and more surprised, how intelligent men can be blinded by party loyalty. I am convinced that Jobbik will either win the next election or they have already agreed with FIDESZ to govern as silent partners. The education reform reflects their program and will brain wash the next generations who will be walking on Horthy Avenue and play on playgrounds named after the riding Admiral. What is next szalasi? (small letters are intentional)

Louis Kovach
Guest

Romania does not have much right to brag.A survey of the members of the Romanian Military History site indicated;
How do you consider the policy of Ion Antonescu (strictly related to the period) ?
Positive [ 41 ] [105.13%]
Negative [ 10 ] [25.64%]
Can’t decide [ 4 ] [10.26%]

Furthermore: On 12 June 2000, the IPR Strategic Business Information Database reported that the “Iasi branch of the Union of War Veterans […] unveiled a statue” in memory of Marshal Ion Antonescu, and that it was erected in an Iasi military cemetery called “the Marshal Ion Antonescu Cemetery of Heroes.”

Member

See my comment above.

Lutra lutra
Guest

There’s a big difference between a small group of war enthusiasts (such as these) supporting right-wing dictators and anti-semitic authority figures, and support coming from parliamentary factions (Horthy and Jobbik) or the government itself (Nyíró). The fact that the percentages don’t sum to 100 and you quoted the figures to two decimal places on a sample of 55 shows how much the Hungarian right has to clutch at straws to defend its position on an international scale. You ain’t fooling nobody, bubba.

Guest

Louis, you’re barking up the wrong trees …

Anyway, your mathematics skills are – what should I say ?

105,13 % is really funny …

Member

Dr. Kovach just copied this http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=845&st=15 which is apparently a funny software bug. Shining example of the accuracy of his research.

I wise man once said: “It does not hurt to know what one jokes about”

Guest

Mutt, are you sure about the “Dr” Kovach – he’s so incredibly stupid, that he doesn’t realise the simplest mistakes …

BTW, that answer by fancied… from Romania on the relevance, the percentage and importance of the far-right there is a really positive sign.

PS: That this blog is read in Romania is the best sign – congratulations Eva!

Louis Kovach
Guest

I do not use any titles! As muttd indicated the statistics is a verbatim copy from the Romanian History Forum site. The math is by the Forum and not me. But I again appreciate the blog participants jumping to name calling, whwen they run out of arguments.

Member

wolfi, please do not call Kovach names. I certainly do not agree with him, but he did not insult us. If you do some research you can learn that he is in a fact a very smart man. Misguided, uninformed on some issues and bias? Maybe, but certainly not stupid.

Guest

@Someone:

Kovach surely insulted our intelligence – copying some completely irrelevant numbers from an obscure source without giving the source and without checking the numbers.

That’s why I think he’s ****** !

BTW, he’s doing it again – this is one of the most famous fallacies – look here:
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

Member
wolfi : @Someone: Kovach surely insulted our intelligence – copying some completely irrelevant numbers from an obscure source without giving the source and without checking the numbers. That’s why I think he’s ****** ! BTW, he’s doing it again – this is one of the most famous fallacies – look here: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ wolfi: It is beside the point that he is posting wrong information. THe strength of Fidesz (as I have mentioned many times) is in their PR, the way how they can control information and so forth. THis is what they will do with the schools too. Mr Kovach is simply misinformed. He is in denial, as so many Hungarians are in denial. It is frustrating that the “viable” alternatives for changes in Hungary after 1989 turned out to be as it is. Do not forget that it is Fidesz who supplies the masses and the press with lies. They not only duped Hungarians, but many International politicians. You cannot tell me that they are all stupid. Hungary provides a new challenge Internationally too, not only for Mr. Kovach. I think we (liberal minded individuals) can do our best by correcting wrong information provided by the commenters of the… Read more »
fanciedsciences
Guest
That satue within Iasi military cemetery was removed in 2001. There are no statues of Ion Antonescu, or streets and squares bearing his name, in Romania. There is one statue inside the court of a church which was built by Antonescu but (because of the laws) it is covered not exposed. Also, compared to Hungary where conservatism “1930s-style” has made a huge come-back and has become state’s-ideology under Fidesz-Jobbik since 2006 , in Romania the far-right parties and ideological movements have little traction. There is such a group (called New-Right) but they are insignificant politically. They have no representatives in parliament, and they do not even appear in polls which gauge the intention of vote (they are under 2% ). Neither is the mood of the nation interested in such a turn. You can read in the WikiLeaks cables a long report of the US ambassador in Romania where he reports back to Washington on this very issue. The ultra-nationalist parties (“Great Romania”, “Romanian core”,etc ) which were important players back in the 1990s have crashed-down badly in last decade (not even making it into parliament <5%), their leaders (C.Vadim, G.Funar, et al.) are mocked/perceived as "clowns" and the attempts… Read more »
Member

Thank you. That was a great info on current Romania, and on the staggering difference on how one country moves toward western standards, and how an other is moving away from it.

Claudio
Guest
When did this discourse turned from condemning this Hungarian racist dead “poet” and Hungarian fascist (Hortyst) extremist against Romanians and Jews, into condemning the…victims? Typical Attila the Hun(garian) technique of marching the racist agenda of an OLIGARCHY (2 millions Hungarians in a 6 millions Romanian population in Transilvania alone). Have Hungarians forgotten how their minority occupied and DIDN’T RECOGNIZE language, religion or freedom of the Romanian majority population for 800 years? Or how they crucified Romanian Orthodox priests, killed women and babies and machine gunned civilians, old folks and children, simply because they were Romanians? Or how they deported Romanian intellectuals, if they didn’t kill them before? Or how they sent Jews to extermination camps? Or how they machined Jews and Romanians and buried them in common graves? Or the infamous “No Pity” ‘book’ by Csaba? Wake up people, no people which your Hungarian oligarchy suppressed like Slovaks, or Romanians, or Serbs, none of them like your people’s past crimes and present cover-up of these crimes. Until you state “Mea Culpas!” for the crimes of your ancestors instead of whining that they are not buried in the land and by the people they hated, your are not going to come… Read more »
enufff
Guest

The way this government handling of issues just magnify their incompetent. Crude and stepping on everyone’s toes with every decision. They actually think they are perfect human beings, judging and critising other countries ; but have they look themselves in the mirror?

Zoobulz
Guest

Quite a while ago, British PM Gordon Brown made a speech when he said something like “We will create British jobs for British workers”. This was when he was desperate for extra votes, and his remark was widely interpreted as a ‘dog whistle’ to more extremist voters who were against foreigners coming and taking ‘our jobs’.

Sarkozy did something more blatant recently. When it became clear he was losing votes to the far right Le Pen, he made statements about there being too many immigrants in France.

But in Hungary, Fidesz aren’t blowing on dog whistles, they’re blowing on great big trumpets to the far right. But why? Surely they aren’t scared of Jobbik stealing the 2014 elections. Aren’t Fidesz-KNDP comfortably ahead in the polls right now? Haven’t they already sown up the next elections?

Or is their plan to be the only party that any remaining voter would vote for? By obliterating the left through witch-hunts and de-funding, and by drawing in far-right voters under their own wings?

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

The difference is, the U.K. and France have a long democratic tradition. And making declarations in order to get votes of extreme right wing voters can have a counterproductive effect. In Hungary – thanks also to a very strange version of antifascism during the Kádárperiod and with no such democratic tradition – such pro-Nazi-Nyirö declarations are not causing Fidesz to loose more voters.
So in the end, if Hungarian opposition is to continue as if business would be usual, Fidesz is going to win the next election.
The provocation in Romania is – so I guess – not done just out of stupidity, but on purpose. By inciting nationalism Fidesz probably wants to attract ethnic Hungarians from neighbor countries to compensate for their demografic loss. In Hungary more people die than are borne.

Dubious
Guest

I think you make some good points, but don’t overestimate these guys. They stumble from one debacle to the next.

I really wish they were a bit more competent. If Fidesz had made my cat finance minister instead of Matolcsy (and all the public servants had continued just doing whatever they were doing before Orbán got in), then Hungary would be much better off right now.

Louis Kovach
Guest

Another relevant review of Romanian attitudes is available in :http://adatbank.transindex.ro/html/cim_pdf292.pdf

fanciedsciences
Guest

The nationalists were a serious force in the Romanian politics back in 1997 when that transidex -article of R.Braham which you give was written.

To realize how much things have changed since read the biography of the former Prime-Minster M.R. Ungureanu who is now the leader of the Right. And of the Opposition, because recently the left-socialists have taken over government after the previous Govt. fell after a “no-confidence” vote in Parliament.
They did not for ideological reasons but mainly because of the unpopularity of the austerity measures taken by the Right which has governed Romania since 2009 (governed in alliance with the Hungarian minority party-DAHR while, as I wrote, the nationalist parties did not even make it into the Parliament after 2008 general elections)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mihai_R%C4%83zvan_Ungureanu

or hear M.R.Ungureanu speak on this very issue which you mention

Kirsten
Guest
some1: “the staggering difference on how one country moves toward western standards, and how an other is moving away from it.” But Hungary is the only country in that region that lost territory in a peace treaty considered unfair. Contrary to appearances at some times, the country has never accommodated to that loss mentally. (For Romania actually it would be of interest to learn how the relations are with Moldova. Is there not some kind of dual citizenship for people from Moldova? That Romanians feel saturated as regards Hungary is perhaps not surprising.) The part of the Hungarian society that is willing to just look forward and make the best of current Hungary, is too small and fragmented. But no other ex-Communist country had to deal with that. To return to pre-Communist times for orientation – as many of these countries did in some respect – meant for Hungary to return to nem nem soha etc. (In which regard – given some assimilation of Hungarians living outside Hungary proper – things have if anything “worsened”.) Right-wing groups exist in all countries, they can be antisemitic, anti-Roma etc., and they do have support of at least a small part of the… Read more »
Kirsten
Guest

On second thought, perhaps Serbia could be considered something similar to Hungary: a country with the ambition to control the region, and also a rather disappointing record.

Member

I certainly can find similarities between Hungary and some other countries nationalistic efforts, and I never said that Hungary is the only one that deals with identity struggle. I simply suggest to take a look between HUngary and Romania and how they move on. Also when you say Hungary is the only country in that region that lost territory in a peace treaty I would like everyone to be reminded that it was not the Romanians who started WWI or WWII. DId they take advantage? Yes, maybe they did, but it was Hungary who galloped into WWI as it would be a large game of Monopoly. I also do not buy into Orban’s bleeding heart for the poor Hungarians over the borders. If those Hungarians would not support him he would build a Berlin Wall. Orban’s support expands only to those who support him. It is not a coincidence that he tries to get involved in the different levels of Hungarian political groups, even though that it means that sometimes he plays them against each other.

Guest

Kirsten, there is another parallel between Serbia a d Hungary it seems:
http://users.ox.ac.uk/~oaces/weaver.html
A very interesting article !

Madness in the Media:

An anthropological discussion of the significance of theories of cultural and historical primacy illustrated with examples from Hungary and Serbia

Eric Beckett Weaver

“Theories such as Serbs as the lost tribes of Israel, Hungarian-Etruscan continuity theories,[29] Serbian as The Oldest Language of the Bible[30] or Olympic Gods from Serbia,[31] may be generated by extremely original domestic scholarship. Such theories aim to prove the highly cultured and ancient nature of the nation.”

Dubious
Guest

I love the description: “extremely original”.

Claudio
Guest
When did this discourse turned from condemning this Hungarian racist dead “poet” and Hungarian fascist (Hortyst) extremist against Romanians and Jews, into condemning the…victims? Typical Attila the Hun(garian) technique of marching the racist agenda of an OLIGARCHY (2 millions Hungarians in a 6 millions Romanian population in Transilvania alone). Have Hungarians forgotten how their minority occupied and DIDN’T RECOGNIZE language, religion or freedom of the Romanian majority population for 800 years? Or how they crucified Romanian Orthodox priests, killed women and babies and machine gunned civilians, old folks and children, simply because they were Romanians? Or how they deported Romanian intellectuals, if they didn’t kill them before? Or how they sent Jews to extermination camps? Or how they machined Jews and Romanians and buried them in common graves? Or the infamous “No Pity” ‘book’ by Csaba? Wake up people, no people which your Hungarian oligarchy suppressed like Slovaks, or Romanians, or Serbs, none of them like your people’s past crimes and present cover-up of these crimes. Until you state “Mea Culpas!” for the crimes of your ancestors instead of whining that they are not buried in the land and by the people they hated, your are not going to come… Read more »
Kirsten
Guest

Interesting comment. This is the kind of debate we might be heading for if these campaigns of OV and his friends do not stop. Countess Bathory stands for the national Hungarian character! Dracula Prince of Wallachia for the Romanian! Perhaps it might be worth repeating that equipped with 19th century ideas, the national conflicts cannot be solved.

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