Elie Wiesel’s letter to László Kövér

Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Prize-winning author, felt that something must be done about the current Hungarian government’s rehabilitation of anti-Semitic writers, specifically Albert Wass and József Nyirő. He returned the decoration he received from the Hungarian government in 2004. Wiesel, although born in Romania, speaks Hungarian. Judging from this letter, he also follows Hungarian politics. The letter speaks for itself.

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Guest

London Calling!

This would rock any decent democracy – that someone would feel compelled to hand back such an honour – I think it is a personal tragedy for Ellie Weisel to have to do this.

To a lessor degree and for a lessor ‘gong’ – John Lennon rocked the English establishment when he handed back his MBE to the Queen – and never recovered his acceptance in England.

I suspect Orban will just brush it aside.

If only Václav Havel would hand his back too – that would really rock the world!

Regards

Charlie

Guest

I’m just waiting for some Fidesz politician to call out:

Who the F*** is Elie Wiesel!

Kirsten
Guest

Charlie:
“If only Václav Havel would hand his back too – that would really rock the world!”

Vaclav Havel does not live anymore. On his website I found two awards related somehow to Hungary, one from the “Budapest Club” and the other from the Open Society Fund. Nothing that could change the mind of Viktor Orban.

Thomas
Guest

Wolfi “I’m just waiting for some Fidesz politician to call out:

Who the F*** is Elie Wiesel!”
I laughed at your comment, and then I realized, it is really not that funny. It actually may happen, Tommy Deutsch may oblige!

gdfxx
Guest

My wife is not very much interested in the topic of this blog. However, when I mentioned to her this letter, because her mother’s family is originally from the same Maramaros area Elie Wiesel is from, her reaction was: probably the economic situation in Hungary is so bad that there is a need for the eternal scapegoat, the Jews.

Guest

Last summer, going north from Halas, we stopped in a small town famous for it’s pastry and ice cream shop. Next to it was a wall plaque honoring Wass, complete with wreaths and rosettes. I pointed it out to my friends–both educated Hungarians. They shrugged it off, with the thought that it was the business of the town, not theirs. I hope that if they saw it today, they might be more concerned.

Paul
Guest
CharlieH : To a lessor degree and for a lessor ‘gong’ – John Lennon rocked the English establishment when he handed back his MBE to the Queen – and never recovered his acceptance in England. Source for this, Charlie? I remember it well and it was largely taken as a joke at the time, the establishment wasn’t “rocked” (in fact most of them thought it shouldn’t have been given in the first place). And the official Palace reaction was that “one cannot hand back an MBE” – Lennon could hand the physical medal back, but he was still an MBE. As for his “acceptance” (or not), this was much the same afterwards as it was before. The reason he never came back to the UK after moving to the States was the fear that they wouldn’t let him back in to the US again because of his drug conviction. Once he got his Green Card he planned to come back for visits but never got round to it in the few brief years he had left. But you are right about Orbán – it won’t affect him in the least. Just another enemy of Hungary making a fool of himself..… Read more »
enufff
Guest

FYI, Photos from last Sunday’s antifascist demonstration taken by Andrei Stavila :-

http://stavilaandrei.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/my-budapest-14-another-demonstration-in-heroes-square/

enufff
Guest

Paul :

CharlieH :

I’m afraid the only way to stop Orbán is to do to him what Mark Chapman did to Lennon.

That will just elevate VO ‘s to “Hero” status!!

Guest
London Calling! Yes Kirsten – as I said it would have really rocked the world! – Thanks I had a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that he had passed away – I meant no offence to him or his memory. RIP Václav Havel. I must have been in a bubble in 2011. Václav Havel, as a head of state was awarded the same medal as Ellie Wiesel – which apparently comes with an additional chain. For me he has place in my own ‘Hero’s Square’ for his Charter 77 movement initiative – I very pretentiously joined Charter 88 in England – which was nowhere near as noble a cause. As for John Lennon, Paul My uncle had a gong and was shocked when JL handed back his medal. He thought he had trivialised the honour in his letter to the queen when he complained about his single falling down the pop charts – even as he probably meant it as a joke. In addition he said it was the wrong way to protest. It trivialised all those who had ‘gongs’. Certainly many civil servants resented it – and whilst not the Beatles’ natural constituency – many of… Read more »
Andrei Stavilă
Guest

Thank you Eva!

Guest

@Paul

“I’m afraid the only way to stop Orbán is to do to him what Mark Chapman did to Lennon.”

Don’t say that sort of thing. There are psycos who may take such jokes literally.

enufff
Guest

Andrei Stavilă :
Thank you Eva!

Eva, yes! Love especially how Andrei’s photos captured the striking contrast of anti-FA and the extremist. One side is colourful and summery whilst the other camp. looks, well like death !

gybognarjr
Guest

The Fidesz/KDNPJobbik party representatives, the government and those, who still are support them, are common criminals, they lack even the minimum moral values! They are just low life, worse than the mafia. Hungary was reduced by this government to be a small, insignificant, corrupt, fascist banana “republic”.

Paul
Guest

Jean P :
@Paul
“I’m afraid the only way to stop Orbán is to do to him what Mark Chapman did to Lennon.”
Don’t say that sort of thing. There are psycos who may take such jokes literally.

I wasn’t joking – I don’t see any other way of getting rid of him.

And I’m sure no “psyco” needs the excuse of reading a comment on a blog to ‘justify’ what they do.

Thomas
Guest

Paul wrote: “I’m afraid the only way to stop Orbán is to do to him what Mark Chapman did to Lennon.” and then”I wasn’t joking – I don’t see any other way of getting rid of him”
I do not think that these comments are worthy to be associated in any way with Elie Wiesel’s name!

the consummate
Guest

Do you know where I can get a copy of the letter in Hungarian? I wish to send to friends there. Thank you.

gybognarjr
Guest
MINDEN MEGTALÁLHATÓ AZ INTERNETEN, EZ 10 MÁSODPERC ALATT MEGVOLT! „Kövér László úr őexcellenciájának, a Magyar Országgyűlés elnökének Elnök Úr! Mélységes aggodalommal és felháborodással értesültem arról, hogy Ön Szőcs Géza kulturális államtitkárral és a szélsőjobboldali Jobbik elnökével, Vona Gáborral együtt részt vett azon a szertartáson, amelyet Nyírő József, a nyilas parlament egykori tagja tiszteletére rendeztek Romániában. Gyalázatosnak tartom, hogy a Magyar Országgyűlés elnöke olyan eseményen jelenik meg, amelyen a Horthy- és a Szálasi-korszak fasiszta ideológusa előtt tisztelegnek. Ez a lehangoló hír ráadásul annak az újjáéledő gyakorlatnak a nyomában érkezett, hogy köztereket neveznek el az országot a háború idején vezető Horthy Miklósról, továbbá rehabilitálják Wass Albertet és más olyan figurákat, akik lelkesen együttműködtek a magyar fasiszta rendszerrel. Arról is tájékoztattak, hogy szélsőjobboldali értelmiségiek munkáit az iskolai kötelező irodalom-tananyag részévé tették. A magyar Parlamentben 2009. december 9-én tartott beszédemben arra sarkalltam az Ön kollégáit, hogy ’tegyenek még többet a közéletben és a sajtóban megjelenő antiszemita hangok és csoportok egyértelmű elítéltetése érdekében… mivel meggyőződésem szerint szégyent hoznak erre a nemzetre’. Azóta csak még világosabb lett, hogy Magyarország irányítói támogatják a magyar múlt tragikus és bűnös időszakainak – nevezetesen a háború alatti Magyarország vezetői több százezer magyar zsidó deportálásában és meggyilkolásában játszott szerepének – tisztára… Read more »
the consummate
Guest

köszönöm!

Guest

London Calling!

Paul – I wish you would withdraw it.

I ‘blenched’ when I saw it but decided to gloss over it because of how prickly you can be – and of the ‘form’ between us.

It is arguably incitement – and as you know this has been stamped on in England in other circumstances.

And it shames us from England.

I’m serious.

Withdraw it please – Thomas and Jane P are right.

Regards

Charlie

LwiiH
Guest

@Paul, I think that comment crosses a line. I know that Eva is hands off with censorship but this is one comment that I’d happily support her taking down.

Ovidiu
Guest

Maybe it has already been discussed here at HS but just in case :

an interview of Imre Kertész from Feb.2012

Why has Hungary always got it wrong ? ..The current situation is nothing but a further illustration of that tendency to choose wrong. The Hungarian state chooses today to go against Europe in the name of its national interests, which can give the impression of a return to sovereignty. But once again, this is wrong. Nothing new – and no problem … and no solution, as there is no problem in their eyes…Hungary is a casualty which has no sense of explanation, and is unique in Europe. Hungarians are holding on to their destiny. They will undoubtedly end up failing, without understanding why

If I insist on this double polarity, it is because it resides at the heart of today’s situation.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2012/feb/12/imre-kertesz-hungary-wrong-side-history

gybognarjr
Guest

I would add to your comment, that the failure of Hungary to be an agreeable and cooperating member of the European Union, both politically and culturally isolates them and the economy is already showing that. On the political front, the minni-mussolini prime minister is persona non grata except in dictatorships and terrorist nations (Kazahstan, UAE, Saudi-Arabia, Egypt) The ultra-right Jobbik creates a distorted level of “national unity” an outdated, stupid, chauvinistic yearning of the lost territories with strong racial and nationalistic prejudice agains “non-magyars” gypsy hatred and anti-semitism. Hungary is now in the hands of a totally incompetent, fascist government which is only able to give the people false, 100 year old nostalgic hopes in a Greater-Hungary, while robbing them blind of their personal retirement, taxing them into beggars, denying the handicapped and elderly medical treatments and social benefits, and forcing them into a grossly corrupt, dictatorship. This government and the new-nazi Jobbik destroyed Hungary and showed it back 70-100 years to be a rogue, they are an untrustworthy, asian horde.

Dubious
Guest

Paul obviously wasn’t endorsing the course of action, just expressing his pessimism with the possibility of removing Orbán by the normal political processes. But I think it would be better for Paul to withdraw it.

Who knows? Maybe this blog will be exhibited as evidence in the next foreign liberal capitalist conspiracy, this time not just a coup against a great Hungarian patriot, but an actual assassination.

And if it did occur, can you imagine? There would be Orbán térs and Orbán statues to the martyr everywhere. There would be an Orbán Viktor utca in every small town with Deák Ferenc, Kossuth, and Petőfi.

Member

LwiiH :
I think that comment crosses a line. I know that Eva is hands off with censorship but this is one comment that I’d happily support her taking down.

I am with you.

Guest

Dubious :
Paul obviously wasn’t endorsing the course of action, just expressing his pessimism with the possibility of removing Orbán by the normal political processes. But I think it would be better for Paul to withdraw it.
Who knows? Maybe this blog will be exhibited as evidence in the next foreign liberal capitalist conspiracy, this time not just a coup against a great Hungarian patriot, but an actual assassination.
And if it did occur, can you imagine? There would be Orbán térs and Orbán statues to the martyr everywhere. There would be an Orbán Viktor utca in every small town with Deák Ferenc, Kossuth, and Petőfi.

Didn’t L Kovach claim already that in the 1920s emigrants and foreigners (like those here on this blog) planned to overthrow the Hungarian government ?

I’m also for retracting this – even in North Africa dictators were (sometimes) overthrown by peaceful means – and Hungary belongs to Europe!

Respect Beauty
Guest

wolfi :
I’m also for retracting this – even in North Africa dictators were (sometimes) overthrown by peaceful means – and Hungary belongs to Europe!

Yearning for decent government is a human desire, and Europe does not have a better record in this regard than the rest of the world. North Africans are not inherently more violent or democratic than Western Europeans.

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[…] topic, somewhat connected to the above, is Elie Wiesel’s letter to Kövér that I published in its entirety. I also wrote about the Israeli parliament’s decision to withdraw […]

arjun kanuri
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