The Orbán government doesn’t heed the warnings

There seems to be something every day that makes one wonder what’s going on in the heads of Hungarian government officials. At the time when Hungary’s relations with the European Union are at best rocky, when the Venice Commission has serious reservations about practically all the new laws passed by the government, and when the European Commission initiates one infringement procedure after the other against Hungary, the government is resolutely creating an atmosphere in which anti-Semitism is growing by leaps and bounds. The government moving farther and farther to the right. By now it is difficult to distinguish Fidesz from Jobbik.

The growth of this anti-Semitism cannot be separated from the steady shift to the right of the governing parties–Fidesz and its phantom coalition partner, the Christian Democratic People’s Party. I don’t have to go into the details here. I’ve already dealt with the growing Horthy cult, the inclusion of the writings of anti-Semitic writers from the interwar period in the core curriculum, the attempt to rebury József Nyirő in Romania and the strained Romanian-Hungarian relations, and finally with Elie Wiesel’s letter to László Kövér in which the Nobel Peace Prize-winning author and activist informed the speaker of the house of his return of the Grand Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary he received in April 2004.

In addition, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum issued a statement on June 14 that expressed great concern over “the Hungarian government’s rehabilitation of fascist ideologues and leaders from World War II” and called on the Hungarian government “to unequivocally renounce all forms of antisemitism and racism.” And if that weren’t enough, on June 20 U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal published a statement on recent events in Hungary in which we can read that “the United States places great importance on combating anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination around the world…. [and] recently, I–like many others–have noticed a disturbing increase in anti-Semitic acts and statements by various individuals in Hungary.” After the usual round of polite niceties Rosenthal returns to the meat of her statement: “The recent rehabilitation of figures from Hungary’s past who are tainted by their support for Fascism and anti-Semitism contributes to a climate of acceptance of extremist ideology in which racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of intolerance can thrive.” She reminds the Hungarian government that it has “both an opportunity and an obligation to ensure a full and honest assessment of these historical figures as part of the national dialogue.”

To determine how seriously the Hungarian government is taking all this it is enough to read Viktor Orbán’s interview with Die Presse, the Austrian conservative paper, in which he takes absolutely no responsibility for the present situation and puts the burden on local communities. I also noticed with some amusement that Magyar Nemzet, a government paper, decided on June 18 to remember the 144th anniversary of Miklós Horthy’s birthday. What a nice round number! The article painted a positive picture of Horthy’s rule and his foreign policy while it was silent on the negative aspects.

Meanwhile the erecting of statues and renaming of streets continues. Nothing seems to divert the Hungarian government from this dangerous path. Another Horthy statue, this time a hideous looking bust, was erected in the village of Csókakő, and the square the statue stands on was renamed Greater-Hungary Square (Nagy-Magyarország tér). Getting closer and closer to the fire.

As expected, the two political sides have entirely different opinions on the significance of Elie Wiesel’s letter. Géza Szőcs, Fidesz undersecretary for cultural affairs who just resigned, is convinced that Wiesel’s gesture is part of a liberal conspiracy. Originally, when he went to Odorheiu Secuiesc/Székelyudvarhely to rebury József Nyirő, he didn’t realize “they [Hungary’s enemies, the liberals] would go that far to attack Hungary.” Otherwise, he defended Nyirő, about whose politics we learn more and more–and the more we learn the worse his views sound.

Magyar Nemzet, wisely I think, decided not to devote an editorial to the Wiesel letter. In Magyar Hírlap, on the other hand, an outrageous editorial appeared by László Szentesi Zöldi. The piece is entitled “Elie Wiesel úr és az ő keresztje” (Mr. Elie Wiesel and his cross). The upshot of the editorial is that “who gives a damn whether Wiesel gave back the grand cross or not.” Life goes on. People don’t even know who Elie Wiesel is; they don’t care “what kind of tribe he belongs to.” But they may ask, “did Gyurcsány give that darned medal to the right person?” Szentesi Zöldi’s answer is naturally that it was not the right person who received this honor because “when they picked Elie Wiesel they honored some kind of cosmopolitan attitude, unending negation, not a real life achievement.” Meanwhile Szentesi Zöldi knows so little about Wiesel that he talks about him as the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature and compares him to Henryk Sienkiewicz and William Butler Yeats.

According to Szentesi Zöldi, Mr. Wiesel is deadly boring with his old stories from the middle of the last century. For young Hungarians this is history. “We don’t understand it, we don’t appreciate it, and I may add sadly, we are even bored by these same old stories.” Wiesel “gave back something he didn’t receive from the Hungarian nation but from his closest friends. Nothing has happened by the return of the decoration and this event will have no consequence.” Otherwise, Nyirő is a much more important writer than Wiesel.

Szentesi Zöldi is quite correct. Life goes on in Hungary. In Pécs, Mihály Károlyi Street will be renamed Albert Wass Street for a mediocre writer from Transylvania who was deemed a war criminal by the Romanian courts after the war. He was a man who until his death at the age of 90 in 1998 remained faithful to his Hungarist (Arrow Cross) convictions.

Meanwhile the Jobbik delegation of the Budapest city council suggested the erection of a Bishop Ottokár Prohászka (1858-1927) statue in front of a church in District XIII. The bishop is a very controversial man because of his rabid anti-Semitism; his writings and anti-Jewish propaganda had a considerable influence on Hungarian thinking of the interwar period. The bishop became a member of parliament in 1920 and in this capacity had an important role to play in drafting and passing the numerus clausus law of 1920 that limited the number of Jewish students in the universities to 6%.

Destinies circumscribed by numbers
The numerus clausus from the perspective of 90 years
Holocaust Memorial Center, Budapest

This is not the first Fidesz attempt to whitewash Ottokár Prohászka. In October 2008 Sándor Lezsák and Zoltán Balog, both Fidesz politicians, were involved in the erection of a Prohászka statue in Lakitelek, a large village, where Lezsák, a minor poet, began his teaching career in an elementary school. That event also created quite a stir. I wrote about it at the time.

Meanwhile László Kövér did answer Elie Wiesel, but no one wants to talk about it among the numerous government spokesmen. Put it this way, a “political scientist” who is a devoted Fidesz supporter only yesterday expressed his cinviction that Kövér was perfect for this task because he knows how to strike back. I do hope that our “political scientist” is wrong and Kövér did not attempt to strike back. It wouldn’t be a very good idea.

85 comments

  1. Let us innovate. The stern remarks on the FIDESZ/JOBBIK actions, should be accompanied by a diplomatic reminder, to say the least that the rest of Hungarians have acquitted themselves brilliantly all the history.

    Those Hungarians will hopefully rise again, and sweep the dirt spread by the FIDESZ/JOBBIK into the dustbin of history.

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  2. Eva

    I have no patience for this Government, and in particular i believe Kover is odious. Yet, under no circumstances is it reasonable to compare FIDESZ’s ans Jobbik’s record on anti semitism. By in large, for all of their manifold faults, this Government has been sensitive to Jewish feelings and to fighting anti semitism. Anti semitism is on the rise in Hu., and maybe the Government is not always out front enough. No doubt the Govt is playing a dangerous game trying to attract right wing support, but this has not led yet to out right anti semitism ( though as the Nyiro situation(s) shows, they still have an ideological blind spot. They however have never resorted to outright anti semitism or any type of support for such.

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  3. NWO: “They however have never resorted to outright anti semitism or any type of support for such.”

    Well, this really makes me very happy. I guess this will happen at the joint meeting with Jobbik, when they will announce their merger…

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  4. gdfxx :
    Unless something changes drastically in the near future, if I were a Hungarian Jew living in Hungary, I would start packing.

    Where are you going to go when you are eight years old? Hungarian pension is not so great that you can support yourself anywhere else. How about your children and grandchildren. Not all Jewish girls married Jewish boys. There are many mixed families in Hungary. It is not as simple as packing up.

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  5. Some1:

    gdfxx :
    Unless something changes drastically in the near future, if I were a Hungarian Jew living in Hungary, I would start packing.

    Where are you going to go when you are eight years old?

    I MEANT EIGHTY YEARS OLD. lol

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  6. Some1 :

    gdfxx :
    Unless something changes drastically in the near future, if I were a Hungarian Jew living in Hungary, I would start packing.

    Where are you going to go when you are eight years old? Hungarian pension is not so great that you can support yourself anywhere else. How about your children and grandchildren. Not all Jewish girls married Jewish boys. There are many mixed families in Hungary. It is not as simple as packing up.

    I really wish I had a good answer to this, but I don’t have one. The eighty year old ones are the most vulnerable from all point of view. The Garda members will not try to beat up a 20 year old judo champion.

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  7. What does it take to show that a government is antisemitic? Street-naming in Pecs seems to be so. It is being allowed. This is approval, unspoken as it is.

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  8. NWO :

    Eva

    I have no patience for this Government, and in particular i believe Kover is odious. Yet, under no circumstances is it reasonable to compare FIDESZ’s ans Jobbik’s record on anti semitism.

    Yes, I hear that all the time but I no longer buy it. Just because someone doesn’t say “I hate Jews” it doesn’t mean that he is not an anti-Semite. And there are more and more sign that the Fidesz government, perhaps in order to please Jobbik voters, is going in that direction.

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  9. Gretchen :

    What does it take to show that a government is antisemitic? Street-naming in Pecs seems to be so. It is being allowed. This is approval, unspoken as it is.

    As far as I can see, the Fidesz majority in the city council decides and that’s it. The people are not asked. In today’s Népszabadság there was an article in which the reporter quotes a few locals. They have no idea who Albert Wass is. They don’t know why the city management changes the street names. They don’t like it. The Fidesz leadership just goes ahead.

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  10. Also I would quote the poem of László L. Simon, new cultural state secretary who writes about ” f…d a…s of Jewish bitches”
    this man is a member of the Hungarian government and head of the cultural committee of the Parliament.
    Zoltan Balog: we can find several racist anti-Roma quotes and his comment to Elie Wiesel was outrages as well
    Zoltan Kovacs who said that the Holocaust is the tragedy of the Jews, Trianon is the tragedy of the Hungarians.
    Gal Andras Levente who wanted to remove Horthy and the second Vienna award from the Holocaust Center in Budapest

    We all wish it wasn’t true, but these high level Fidesz politicians are not different, they follow Jobbik’s agenda.

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  11. May I please refer you all to Eva’s March 17,2012 blog post entitled “Canadians launch protest against the Hungarian hate parades” for a complete rundown on the powers behind the FIDESZ throne…it doesn’t get any more blatantly, and very vocally, anti-Semitic than that!!!

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  12. “They however have never resorted to outright anti Semitism or any type of support for such.”

    The key here is that you have to use the word “outright”. You are effectively acknowledging that they are using/allowing every other form of anti-Semitism except outright statements.

    Government spokespeople and Orbán himself have made many anti-Semitic comments, these are usually cloaked in code words and phrases (“dark forces”, “tribe”, “Hungary haters”, “liberals”, “external enemies”, etc) but their listeners know exactly who they mean.

    But, even if you dispute that, it is surely enough that they haven’t condemned anti-Semitic statements and actions immediately and in clear, unambiguous terms? When someone says or does something clearly anti-Semitic, it is not enough (for instance) just to talk about tackling “extremism”.

    Fidesz and Jobbik are not separate entities, they are two unfixed positions on a continuum based on nationalism, racism and crude, simplistic right-wing popularist politics. You have only to look at how easily Fidesz voters flirt with supporting Jobbik to see that. And, come the next election, if the polls are accurate, Fidesz is quite likely to need Jobbik as a coalition partner – we’ll see just how much separates them then.

    As I’ve said before, in Northern Ireland in the 80s, at the height of the ‘Troubles’, the loyalist politicians began referring to the nationalist as ‘Sin Fein-IRA’, to make it clear that, as they saw it, their was no difference between the Provisionals and their ‘political wing’. We should adopt the same strategy ourselves – Fidesz-Jobbik is what it is, so let’s call it that.

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  13. koeszmeod: We all wish it wasn’t true, but these high level Fidesz politicians are not different, they follow Jobbik’s agenda. Ezek ugyanazok, ahogy Brodi Janos irta.

    Why not step out of the usual trap?

    1. Remind Hungarians how great the times were when Ferenc Deak governed the national fate.

    2. How many gifted artist contributed to the Hungarian theater and cabaret, who were not welcome by the Horthy fascism.

    3. And the future can be again nice.

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  14. They have no idea who Albert Wass is. They don’t know why the city management changes the street names. They don’t like it. The Fidesz leadership just goes ahead.

    To some extent, I don’t care what they my street…. just don’t change the name. It’s very disruptive and potentially very expensive. Think of all the databases that now need to be altered to account for the change.

    I think we can also apply a little, don’t apply to malice what can more easily be attributed to incompetence. OV and crowd seem very intent on the money and securing routes to all this money in the future, locking down criticism and so on. All of these other things are almost distractions or annoyances which is why they make the vague statements against what ever’s happened sometimes long after they should have. Their eye is on the ball, the money ball.

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  15. gdfxx :Unless something changes drastically in the near future, if I were a Hungarian Jew living in Hungary, I would start packing.

    GDFXX-

    For what it is worth, I am Jewish. And I spend a considerable amount of times with other Jews. Like all Hungarians they are not happy. Like many Hungarians, those that are considering leaving are doing so for economic reasons or the belief that other places offer better futures for their families (not because they fear pogroms).

    And Eva-to your comment-I would agree that there are for sure anti semites within FIDESZ and Orban feels the need to try and keep his appeal on the far right (something he is failing to do BTW), but your comment is wrong. Fundamentally, as we all know, the problem is with the society. People are desperate. The economic situtation is appalling, and there is little reason to believe it will improve. Hungary has become increasingly irrelevant (anyone who lives in the country feels it). In these circumstances, radicalism and the need for scapegoats manifest themselves. Sadly, as the sense of civic responsibility is so weak, these things breed easily in Hungary. The answer for me is not more laws outlawing anti semitism (these don’t work) but far better economic policies, leadership that projects a positive vision of the country that is credible, and deep investment into REAL education reform. WIthout out these, the country’s population will continue to decline and the population will continue to stew in their own misery. In all of these things that really need to be done to change the course of the country, FIDESZ fails miserably. This is what they need to be faulted for.

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  16. NWO , it seems you are totally right. Just look at these comments on pol.hu:

    ” I .am being censored by the moderator for speaking out against the Zionists!

    I am in America and the J*WS have brought ruin to this country just as they did in the twenties.

    They own and dominate the media,banking and administration, as well as the federal reserve. They are behind the new world order. They have come back and you are right to fear them.”

    The old fear and hate again. So as the economic situation in Hungary weakens the scapegoats are easily identified.

    Just told my wife about that “Greater Hungary Square” – she shook her head, unable to believe that this could happen right now.

    PS: Of course we also have people in Germany who talk about “Großdeutschland” – but you know this type of “Nazi-speak” is very rare.

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  17. re NWO: “Fidesz fails miserably…”

    Are you sure?
    Noone in his right mind would follow Orban’s policies if he had the good of the country
    at heart. It takes no genius to see that Orban’s continued obstinacy with the EU has condemned the country to hopeless debt. This ‘szabadsag harc’ is worth this?

    Or, is there something else going on?
    Orban’s smiling, joking nonsense in the parliament–while snubbing the EU once again–reminds one of what Nero must have been like while Rome burned.

    It must now be plain that Orban is a psychologically sick human being: he seems to enjoy
    Hungary’s suffering. But whom is the destruction of Hungary serving?

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  18. NWO :

    The answer for me is not more laws outlawing anti semitism (these don’t work) but far better economic policies, leadership that projects a positive vision of the country that is credible, and deep investment into REAL education reform. WIthout out these, the country’s population will continue to decline and the population will continue to stew in their own misery. In all of these things that really need to be done to change the course of the country, FIDESZ fails miserably. This is what they need to be faulted for.

    Exactly!
    The govt. spends so much efforts / money on commissioning new statues, creating new memorials , changing street names & digging up ashes!! etc. It is like a hobby for them collecting these useless “assets”

    To finance their hobby we, the people, have to pay max. 27% on food, bring our own toilet tissues to half ruined hospitals and many more inefficiencies in their management.

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  19. I don’t know if the Vigszinhaz still puts on productions of Osztanc but if they do I wonder what this decade will entail. It will be a sad act. I am concerned for my Hungarian wife and daughters (mostly Hungarian :-)). We are not Jews, but that does not change the fact that we don’t like to see our countrymen degraded by anyone let alone fellow magyarok, and this side of the Hungarian collective psyche (which was never far from the surface I might add) is one I was hoping not to have to explain to my children outside of a historical context.

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  20. I am enjoying reading the intelligent posts attached to this blog entry.
    Just to mention my fundamental observation: Too many Hungarians yearn for a liberation from the memories of their own suffering under Kadar, or the tales of the pained relatives who underwent persecution.
    This is an deep wound in the Hungarian meme, and Orban remains their hope of taking some revenge on the nasty Kadarists.
    This may sound as a joke, since Orban and most of his supporters were good carrierists under Kadar.
    These injured people would not notice the contradictions in Orban, they can remain asleep for a long time, because theu are afraid to give up their trust in Orban.
    The language of Orban is enough for them to feel better.

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  21. Several commenters indicated that there is an idea of Jews emmigrating from Hungary because of the current political situation. I wonder if the reverse was true at any time in the past and what may have been the cause?

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  22. Jobbik supporters are younger and better educated than some of the other parties. But my experience with Fidesz/Jobbik supporters is that they have no idea how offensive they can sound to others. One big example is that they probably don’t consider it anti-semitic to honor Nyiro or Csurka. I really don’t understand how they understand anti-semitism.

    My advice on how to combat the Fidesz/Jobbik blindness to other opinions is to use that blindness as an advantage. There are (hopefully) a lot of people who supported Fidesz in the past because they like the positive image they portray of Hungarian culture. These past Fidesz supporters don’t necessarily hate Europe and don’t want the country isolated.

    I would like to challenge Fidesz/Jobbik with a positive image of Hungary- a Hungary that is more than a victim, a country that welcomes diverse ideas and people (including Jews, Roma, Methodists, etc.), and a country with good relations with its neighbors.

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  23. Louis Kovach :
    Several commenters indicated that there is an idea of Jews emmigrating from Hungary because of the current political situation. I wonder if the reverse was true at any time in the past and what may have been the cause?

    Obviously, they showed up to suck the blood of Christian Hungarians.

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  24. Louis Kovach :

    Several commenters indicated that there is an idea of Jews emmigrating from Hungary because of the current political situation. I wonder if the reverse was true at any time in the past and what may have been the cause?

    I have no idea what you are talking about. You should elaborate!

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  25. Louis, Louis … What have you dug up from the internet again?

    Were these the Israeli voting squad that helped the MSZP to win in 2006? Or the businessmen, who planned to build an underground pipeline to steal Hungary’s water reserves? Or simply Moses missed a turn on the other side of the Red Sea?

    Haven’t you been told not to touch the Google button when you’re alone … ??

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  26. Louis Kovach asked:
    “Several commenters indicated that there is an idea of Jews emmigrating from Hungary because of the current political situation. I wonder if the reverse was true at any time in the past and what may have been the cause?”

    Yes there was a time in the XIX century, when Hungary was much more tolerant than Russia and Galicia. Then a large number of extremely poor, mostly religious Jews were forced to leave and many moved to Hungary (and to other countries westward from their original living quarters). They brought with them their often strange rituals (not Christian blood drinkin!!!) and mysticism that was even foreign to the Jews who already lived in Hungary. Their integration was difficult, their “strangeness” was poignant. Trends changed shortly after and anti-Semitism became the norm. Strangely (well not in my opinion) their being extremely poor, rather than the stereotype rich and omnipotent Jew, contributed to the spreading of dislike. Sadly, even among the already established Hungarian Jews. Hence the discriminating expression, Galician. But dislike change to hatred and translated into laws in the XX. century. Followed by deportations, which was executed by such zealousness by the Hungarian authorities that Eichmann himself surprised by it.

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  27. Respect Beauty
    “Jobbik supporters are younger and better educated than some of the other parties”
    I seriously doubt that! Look at some videos, (I am risking being labeled as prejudice) the main supporters do not look like they have any education. I am not saying that there are no educated idiots, and hoodlums, there are plenty. But the majority who voted for them are not well educated.
    The biggest problem I see in your commnet is that you are addressing FIDESZ and Jobbik, like they were the same. And I fear that you are correct. But I hope, beyond hope, that you are wrong.

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  28. TARKI had a survey last year about schooling and party preferences:

    There are four groups, from left to right in the bottom: elementary school, vocational school, high school diploma, graduate school.

    I would say the educated (high school) but not too smart category where the Jobbik excels.

    Of course the “education” is discounted nowadays in Hungary. A finished high school and 6 Jozsef Nyiro books beats a masters degree. Never in my life I was called uneducated this many times by people who never set foot in graduate school as in the past 2 years.

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  29. Wonder what happened to the 6% of Jobbik supporters who do not fit the 4 categories on the chart! Rounding error should not count for 6 %, unless of course 6 % did not answer the questions

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  30. Louis Kovach :
    Several commenters indicated that there is an idea of Jews emmigrating from Hungary because of the current political situation. I wonder if the reverse was true at any time in the past and what may have been the cause?

    Yes, for sure, but they turned back when they heard about Hungarians putting their fellow Hungarians on the train to Auschwitz.

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  31. From Open Society (February 2012):

    “Two think tanks—Demos (UK) and Political Capital (Hungary)—surveyed over 2,000 Facebook fans of the Jobbik party—the largest data set about Jobbik sympathizers. The results show that Jobbik supporters are predominantly young men, and a significant proportion of them (22 percent) have a university or college education. Perhaps more surprisingly, Jobbik supporters under 30 are less likely to be unemployed than the national average. Jobbik Facebook supporters are motivated in large part by a desire to protect a perceived Hungarian identity and culture—rather than economic concerns.”

    http://www.soros.org/voices/what-facebook-tells-us-about-far-right-populism-in-hungary

    Being crazy (or a member of any political extreme) is not the same thing as being dumb. The far right has attracted a lot of very smart people.

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  32. London Calling!

    Respect Beauty

    If your peers embrace right-wing rhetoric – possibly because it is fashionable; if your society gives tacit acceptance of racism and anti-Semitism; if it permeates your education system (with many lecturers known to be very right-wing) and cultural establishments; if your government representatives utter and encourage disgraceful anti-Semitism;
    if…if…if

    …what do you expect?

    But you are correct in your implied ‘not dumb’ point. Education is a key factor – but the right education; ONLY the right education.

    Smart only to a point.

    This is what Imre Kertész said in his Guardian interview:

    “…….About 10 years ago, I met a young Hungarian student in a plane who had a German passport. He lived abroad but had just spent a semester at the university of Budapest. He explained his contempt towards the many students there who were rightwing activists. Everywhere in the world, he said, students were leftists. It was only in Hungary that we had met a conformist and fascist youth. We tried to find an explanation for this – to no avail. Some things cannot be explained, and sometimes one has to accept the facts. 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.”

    We see so many Hungarians here in London – they are the ‘smart’ people.

    Regards

    Charlie

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  33. OT but funny. Last night I boarded a flight in Vienna and in walked Matolcsy with an entourage returning from Luxembourg. I was kicking myself for clicking through the business class upgrade offer when I was checking in.

    We landed, parked and then after a few minutes the pilot came on the PA an announced we had to wait for a bus (no bus driver). Then a while later I heard flight attendent telling Matolcsy that the bus broke down on the way to the plane… so we had to wait a bit longer while the got a new one. Everyone broke out in laughter. Then someone shouted in Hungarian, we can walk. I’m telling you, the timing for this incident was brilliant!!!

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  34. London Calling!

    LwiiH!

    Ha! Ha! Ha! – So no fairytale coach – just a clapped out old bus for Gyorgy! (Not so much ‘in the vanguard – more like in the guard’s van!)

    I hope there will be more than clapped out buses to greet travellers when the whole central European region becomes the next hub for the global business community! (The region between Europe and Asia, between the States and the EU!)

    Next year!

    The Centre of the World!

    (Now don’t start!)

    Btw! Did you know that the Raba Carriage Company (as the Railway Carriage Factory) in Győr made the railway carriages for the London Underground in 1900? Judging by the condition of them today they look as if they are still running! In fairness – the were jolly well made!

    Regards

    Charlie

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  35. Btw (2)

    They apparently made Messerschmidt’s too – so am awaiting a proposal from Kover about a statue for Hitler in Győr soon! Watch this space!

    Charlie

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  36. CharlieH :
    London Calling!
    Btw! Did you know that the Raba Carriage Company (as the Railway Carriage Factory) in Győr made the railway carriages for the London Underground in 1900? Judging by the condition of them today they look as if they are still running! In fairness – the were jolly well made!

    With proper training and management good quality products can be manufactured anywhere. Just look at what’s going on in China (Apple products) or what happened with Japan, notorious about junk in the early years after WWII and now the quality leader in many products.

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  37. I found several instances of Jewish migration to Hungary even after WWI. In my opinion the Jewish migration is well documented from earlier times. To Western Hungary from Moravia and Bohemia (because of the restrictive local laws limiting Jewish residences) and from the East, mainly from Galicia and Bukovina mostly for economic reasons and to avoid Russian pogroms. I do not want to dwell on the economic and cultural differences between the two groups and their relationship to each other and to the native population.

    I was more interested to see what Jewish migration occurred into Hungary between the two wars. Information is available for Jewish migration into Hungary during the Kun Bela regime, after the Austrian Anschluss, after the establishment of Slovensko, and after the German invasion of Poland. With the exception of the first, all took place under the Horthy regime.
    Some sources for these migrations. (Harold Nicolson “Peacemaking 1919”)
    1) Smuts delegation member on April 3 in Vienna. “I go round to the Bolshevik headquarters. It is a little difficult to get them to understand who I am and what I want. The place is crowded with men women and children scrambling for passports. Nearly all of them are Jews, struggling to go to Buda Pest and the hope of loot. The whole building reminds me of the refugee camps in the Balkan wars. At last I am taken upstairs and show into the Commissar or whatever he calls himself. He is a Galician Jew, educated in America and speaks English perfectly. I explain that General Smuts has arrived on a special mission from the Supreme Council at Paris, and that he wants to go on to Buda Pest tonight.”
    2) Smuts delegation member on April 4 Budapest “Our next visitor is Professor Brown – one of President Wilson ‘inquiries’ and now in Buda Pest. He takes a Wilsonian, i.e. an unpractical view.
    He talks of “natural social evolution” speaks of the excellent order Bela Kun is maintaining and says he is supported by the iron workers union, 40,000 strong…….speaks of dangers of a foreign and especially Jewish influx into the city; says that 1,500 wild men arrived from Vienna last night to join the Red Guard….”

    After this migration there are some 20 years of interlude. The next migration occurred after the Austrian Anschluss.

    3) Eichmann trial. Witness Abeles “In Burgenland – this was formerly Hungary, and later after the First World War it returned to Austria – there were what were known as the seven communities, the sheva kehillot. These were small communities of mainly religious Jews who engaged in various trades and businesses. One night in 1938 these Jews of the seven communities were seized by the SS forces and with their children and wives –either without any luggage whatsoever or only the bare minimum – were driven to a sandbank in the Danube. They were abandoned in the middle of the night without any help, without any food………After six months some of them could move to Hungary …….”

    4) Encyclopedia of Jewish communities. Slovakia. For 1942: “Nearly 10,000 Jews avoided deportation by fleeing to Hungary”

    5) Holocaust Encyclopedia. German Invasion Poland. 1939 “The Hungarian government tolerated the entry of Jewish refugees from Neighboring Poland and Slovakia.”…….”About 40,000 Jewish refugees continued their flight from Poland….More than half who fled Poland went to Romania and Hungary.”

    6) See also the reports of the Landesfuersorgeamt des Juden in Ungarn to the Joint in Amsterdam detailing Polish refugee information.

    Thus, it appears that Hungary was a last resort for many Jews even under Horthy until the German occupation. I lived in an oil refinery in those days and remember specifically a Moravian (not Slovakian!) Jewish refugee engineer, who gained employment there. He had a Chihuahua dog which he carried in his coat, and that was the first one I have seen. He was taken away with the other Jewish staff of the refinery only in late Sept 1944 when you could hear the Russian artillery from the direction of Arad. I do not remember what happened to him, but most of the other Jewish staff returned to the refinery in 1945.

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  38. If I were you, Louie, I would be a bit suspicious of the Nicolson description. (1) How does he know that all those people at the embassy want to actually emigrate to Hungary? (2) How does he know that the head of the mission is a Galician Jew? Is it written on his face or perhaps it has something to do with Nicolson’s anti-Semitism?

    You never ask these questions when you read something like that?

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  39. I guess Horthy deserves not just statues but maybe Budapest should be renamed Horthy City, for his great merits in enabling all the persecuted Jews in the world to go to Hungary and live the good life ever since.

    Horthy, the savior of Jews! Of all the Jews migrating to Hungary during the two world wars (some of them being wild men). And there is no doubt about this, just read those important sentences in Kovach’s posting.

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  40. Dr Balogh. The Commissar Bolgar traveled with the Smuts train to Budapest They had several chats on the way and there both spoke English well. I would not hvae used the quote if the erstwhile “Professor Brown” did not confirm it. Nicolson certainly did not like the Hungarians in general, he admired R.W Seaton Watson (who contrary to your statement was not ONLY a journalist) His statemnet “My feelings towards Hungary were less detached. I confess that I regarded, and still regard, that Turanian tribe with acute distaste. Like their cousins the Turks, they had destroyed much and created nothing. Buda Pest was a false city devoid of any autochthonous reality. For centuries the Magyars had oppressed their subject nationalities. The hour of liberation and of retribution was at hand.”

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  41. Between 1939 and 1941 approximately 10,000-20,000 Jews escaped to Hungary from the Czech territories, Poland, Austria, Germany and Slovakia.

    Hungary and the Soviet Union entered a state of war at the end of June 1941. The round-up of the Jews started almost immediately.The Hungarian authorities were rounding up Jews not only in Carpatho-Ruthenia, but also in Northern Transylvania, Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun county and at Lake Balaton.
    Out of the approximately 18,000 deportees, at most 2000 to 3000 managed to make their way back to Hungary. Out of the approximately 18,000 deportees, at most 2000 to 3000 managed to make their way back to Hungary. About 15,000 to 16,000 of the deportees were buried in the mass graves of Kamenets-Podolsky, Stanislawow, Chortkow and or the Belzec extermination camp.
    In August 1941, yielding to German demands, the Hungarian government temporarily halted the deportations.
    In November 1941, Prime Minister László Bárdossy informed the Lower House that they wished to carry on with the deportations, “but the amicable German Reich warned us not to do so”

    http://degob.org/index.php?showarticle=2019

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  42. I’m still asking you how did Nicolson know that Elek Bolgár was from Galicia? Bolgár was born in Kassa/Kosice in 1883. Perhaps his ancestors came from Galicia but he certainly didn’t. Nicolson is wrong on another matter: Bolgár didn’t study in the United States but he finished law school in Kolozsvár/Cluj, and got his Ph.D. in Bern.

    As for the 1,500 wild men. Is there any other source besides Brown’s?

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  43. See also the New York Times for April 10, 1919 “Twelve hundred German-Austrian voloneers for the Hungarian Communist Army have arrived in the Hungarian capital from Vienna under the command of the Austrian communist leaders Roth and Ziegel…”

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  44. Louis Kovach :

    See also the New York Times for April 10, 1919 “Twelve hundred German-Austrian voloneers for the Hungarian Communist Army have arrived in the Hungarian capital from Vienna under the command of the Austrian communist leaders Roth and Ziegel…”

    OK, let’s start again! Did you try to figure out where the information is coming from? Is it possible that it comes from the same Professor Brown? I’m almost sure.

    I know you don’t like to hear it but it does help to have some training in historical research.

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  45. @ Louis Kovach, I got it. Horthy sent as many Jews to concentration camps as many he let in. This way he solved two issues at once. Now you and the ones who think like you can go and erect a statue with clear conscience since Horthy was the saviour of Jews but the same time you can also satisfy the Jobbik with the same statue of Horthy as the supporter of the anschluss. The clear and fine Hungarian thinking will help you and Horthy to be absolved. Is this answer satisfies you?

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  46. Some1 :

    While following Mutt Damon’s link to the yadwashem’ site, I came across a nice photo of two true Hungarians. Look at their coats and their hats Louis. They could walk into the Hungarian Parliament today and the Jobbik would clap their hands, because they are so nationalistic. What do you think Louis? http://collections.yadvashem.org/photosarchive/en-us/97836_33027.html

    If you have time to listen to TGM’s talk with Olga Kálmán. (http://atv.hu/cikk/video-20120621_tamas_gaspar_miklos) please do. What he is saying is that the rehabilitation of Horthy and the Hungarist, anti-Semitic writers is an insult against the Hungarian nation because half a million Hungarians were killed by this regime. These Hungarians of Jewish descent were part of the Hungarian nation.

    Indeed, if you think about it. Half a million Hungarians were killed or driven away in 1944. About 200,000 were killed during the war against the Soviet Union. Add to this number about 200,000 Hungarians leaving the country after 1956. Staggering loss to the nation. About one million if not more.

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  47. Eva S. Balogh :

    If you have time to listen to TGM’s talk with Olga Kálmán. (http://atv.hu/cikk/video-20120621_tamas_gaspar_miklos) please do. What he is saying is that the rehabilitation of Horthy and the Hungarist, anti-Semitic writers is an insult against the Hungarian nation because half a million Hungarians were killed by this regime. These Hungarians of Jewish descent were part of the Hungarian nation.
    Indeed, if you think about it. Half a million Hungarians were killed or driven away in 1944. About 200,000 were killed during the war against the Soviet Union. Add to this number about 200,000 Hungarians leaving the country after 1956. Staggering loss to the nation. About one million if not more.

    TGM is right, theoretically. He expresses his hope that the followers of FIDESZ will express their disagreement with the revival of the Horthy/Nyiro/Wass cult in Hungary, perpetrated by FIDESZ leaders and their friends (I suspect he is referring to Bayer Zsolt) . Unfortunately, practically, one does not see this happening, at a large scale.

    For those interested in this topic I suggest prof. Randolph Braham’s recent lecture on the causes of the Holocaust in Hungary. It contains an interesting analysis of how the Jews in Hungary became Hungarian patriots and how that collapsed in the 1940s. It is available on this page: http://www.ushmm.org/research/center/presentations/lectures/pdfs/weinmann-2012-lecture.pdf

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  48. “At a mass meeting in front of the Vienna town hall, he defended the internationalist need to help the Hungarian Revolution. On the 2nd April he marched with 400 volunteers, soon joined by 800 armed workers leaving for Hungary. Here they were warmly welcomed by the Hungarian working class. Bela Kun, leader of the Communist Party in Hungary incorporated them in the Red Army and sent them to the front against the Romanian and French forces at Debrecen.

    Instead of spreading the revolution in Austria, the 1,200 volunteers ended up as pawns of in the manoeuvres of the Bolsheviks and the inept Bela Kun.

    During an attack by the Romanian forces at Vamospercs, on 29th April 1919 Rothziegel was mortally wounded. Kisch wrote that “ the communist Rothziegel has fallen on the battlefield: he was 27 years old, competent printer, autodidact, brilliant orator and as enflamed as his ideal, Bakunin”.

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  49. Since my comment above (#8) is awaiting moderation, I would like to point out that only the first two paragraphs are quotes from the previous comment. Obviously I am not a HTML editing expert.

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  50. Louis Kovach :

    “At a mass meeting in front of the Vienna town hall, he defended the internationalist need to help the Hungarian Revolution. On the 2nd April he marched with 400 volunteers, soon joined by 800 armed workers leaving for Hungary. Here they were warmly welcomed by the Hungarian working class. Bela Kun, leader of the Communist Party in Hungary incorporated them in the Red Army and sent them to the front against the Romanian and French forces at Debrecen.

    If I recall you brought up the topic of 1,500 wild men, mostly Jews, who were going to Budapest “to loot.” It was one of your examples of Jewish immigration into Hungary. A counter-example to emigration of Jews from Hungary because of fear of persecution.

    Now it turns out that they were “armed workers” or “internationalists.” Yes, there were some Austrian volunteers who joined the Hungarian Red Army but your portrayal of the event based on Nicolson’s diaries is simply ridiculous.

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  51. From Wikipedia,

    “Serbian and French troops advanced from the South, taking control of the entire Banat and Croatia. At the same time Czechoslovakia took control of Upper Hungary and of Carpathian Ruthenia and Romanian troops were allowed to advance to the Mureș river.”

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  52. LwiiH :

    From Wikipedia,

    “Serbian and French troops advanced from the South, taking control of the entire Banat and Croatia. At the same time Czechoslovakia took control of Upper Hungary and of Carpathian Ruthenia and Romanian troops were allowed to advance to the Mureș river.”

    This description is of an earlier period. The Romanian troops reached the Tisza River by April 23, 1919. And of course the French were nowhere close to Debrecen. They were in Szeged.

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  53. Mutt:
    “So , I guess Louis is a closet Jew who also sympathize with the communists. I am just following Mr Kovach’ general logic here, and reliance on single informations.”
    I hope not. If Mt. Kovatch is a Jew, I am ashamed.

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  54. Eva S. Balogh :
    This description is of an earlier period. The Romanian troops reached the Tisza River by April 23, 1919. And of course the French were nowhere close to Debrecen. They were in Szeged.

    Sorry my post wasn’t clear.. What I was trying to say is that the French were not in Debrecen from my limited understand of this history of the period.

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  55. LwiiH :

    Eva S. Balogh :
    This description is of an earlier period. The Romanian troops reached the Tisza River by April 23, 1919. And of course the French were nowhere close to Debrecen. They were in Szeged.

    Sorry my post wasn’t clear.. What I was trying to say is that the French were not in Debrecen from my limited understand of this history of the period.

    We agree. Surely, when someone decide to study a given period of history the best thing is to start with a fairly recent general text from a reliable historian. Once one knows the outlines then one can go to contemporary material. Otherwise, one can get things very wrong.

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  56. Thomas :
    Mutt:
    “So , I guess Louis is a closet Jew who also sympathize with the communists. I am just following Mr Kovach’ general logic here, and reliance on single informations.”
    I hope not. If Mt. Kovatch is a Jew, I am ashamed.

    In my opinion there is nothing to be ashamed of as there is nothing to be proud of because let’s say Einstein was Jewish. Each person should be proud or ashamed of himself, maybe of his/her children where some contribution is natural.

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  57. Dr Balogh
    “If I recall you brought up the topic of 1,500 wild men, mostly Jews, who were going to Budapest “to loot.” It was one of your examples of Jewish immigration into Hungary. A counter-example to emigration of Jews from Hungary because of fear of persecution.
    Now it turns out that they were “armed workers” or “internationalists.” Yes, there were some Austrian volunteers who joined the Hungarian Red Army but your portrayal of the event based on Nicolson’s diaries is simply ridiculous”
    Neither you nor I was there,(Nicholson and Brown were!) thus I can state only the references to the event. I have cited four sources. I did not add any “opinion” to those. Opinions are clearly the “historians” perview. Naturally, almost all citations from those times also contain inconsistences or were written from a different viewpoint. The last quote, from the current Communist source stating French presence also is incorrect, unless the writer includes the backers of the Rumanians who were clearly the French. The same way as any attack by Hungarian forces in WWII could be described as German and Hungarian attack. After Smuts visit, the French gave free hand to the Rumanians, even if they did always dicuss that with their fellow “Great Powers” in Paris.

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  58. Louis Kovach :

    but your portrayal of the event based on Nicolson’s diaries is simply ridiculous”
    Neither you nor I was there,(Nicholson and Brown were!) thus I can state only the references to the event. I have cited four sources. I did not add any “opinion” to those. Opinions are clearly the “historians” perview. Naturally, almost all citations from those times also contain inconsistences or were written from a different viewpoint. The last quote, from the current Communist source stating French presence also is incorrect, unless the writer includes the backers of the Rumanians who were clearly the French. The same way as any attack by Hungarian forces in WWII could be described as German and Hungarian attack. After Smuts visit, the French gave free hand to the Rumanians, even if they did always dicuss that with their fellow “Great Powers” in Paris.

    Louis, this is not so simple that “you were there and therefore you know better than….” Let me give you an example. There are people who were on the spot in 1956 and complained about widespread antisemitism. I was also there but I heard only one comment on the street that indicated that the man believed that all Jews were supporters of the regime. Now which active eyewitness is correct? Most likely neither. Only serious research can determine the extent of antisemitism in Budapest in those days.

    But let’s go back to Nicolson. You yourself mentioned that he was prejudiced against Hungarians. Didn’t you notice that he was also prejudiced against Jews? And can you imagine the case of a Hungarian Jew. Double jeopardy. Those passages you mention are loaded with hatred and contempt. And naturally this attitude permeates his diary notes. A historian must take all this into consideration and decide how much Nicolson can be trusted.

    Nicolson’s diary is an important source when it comes to the everyday working of the committee he was on as representative of Great Britain. His descriptions of his conversations with different East European politicians are useful but even here one must be cautious. He loved Benes and hated Bratianu. So even here one must weigh Nicolson’s every word. And this is also so with all contemporary accounts. No one in his right mind would believe every word Horthy says about his own activities in his autobiography, for example.

    And finally, I would love to know who your “current Communist source” is because as far as I know there are no current communist historians in Hungary. Actually, they were very few even in the 1970s and the 1980s. Those historians did remarkably good work and many of their books and articles are still very useful.

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  59. Dr Balogh. I am well aware of the problems with eyewitness accounts. I have benn at the Radio on 1956 and have not read yet an eyewitness story that was accurate from both the defenders and the attacker’s side. Although I am surprised that you also dismissed yourself as an eyewitness from 1956. I am sure there was some antisemitism in 1956 and I agree that it was not widespread. I also heard statements regarding a captured AVH person that. “don’t hurt him he is Jewish and we don’t want to be accused of antisemitism.”

    Oh yes, Nicholson and many of his compatriots (Seaton-Watson, and most others involved with Hungary from the British side.)were both anti-Hungarian and antisemite by 1919. However, it is interesting to follow R.W Seaton-Watson’s ideas swiching from pro-Hungarian and antisemite to anti-Hungarian and and antisemite after his visits to Hungary around 1904-6.

    Now for the sources, the prejudiced Nicholson stated that Bolgor was a Galician Jew, as it was discussed earlier on the blog, the majority of Jews in Hungary originated either from Moravia or Galicia. He also stated that most those present were Jews. Considering that the red volonteers were assembled by Rothziegel and Kisch, were Jewish, it is not difficult to accept that Jews were over represented in the Austrian contingent. Prof.Phillip M. Brown was one of the few western power reps., who resided in Hungary all through the Bela Kun regime, he stated that most of the arrivals were Jews. You only presumed that the NYT obtained news from either of these two folks without any factual info, You do not have the foggiest idea where the NYT got the info, and even if it was from one these two sources, it adds to the available information.BTW, the NYT converted Rothziegel to Roth and Ziegel….

    The third source is from http://libcom.org/history/rothziegel-leo-1892-1919
    which is perhaps more of an anarcho communist than solely communist site and it is NOT Hungarian, neither was Kisch although it is not clear whether he was present or not, but he also used the Weiss pseudonym, although he did not have the split personality ascribed by the NYT.

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  60. gdfxx:
    “In my opinion there is nothing to be ashamed of as there is nothing to be proud of because let’s say Einstein was Jewish. Each person should be proud or ashamed of himself, maybe of his/her children where some contribution is natural”
    I was trying to be funny giving one more twist to Mutt’s previous commnet of Mr. Kovach being a clost Jew. I guess i was not.
    Nobody should be proud of anything except what one has done and accomplished. On that we agree. And nobody should care about anybody’s race, religion or nationality. I know I dont. But it seems to me, that is not the norm in Hungary.

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  61. “>Mutt Damon</I wish I had the time to Google the exact opposite of Kovach’s garbage here … I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. Perhaps after I retire and become a Ph.D. historian "
    I am sorry to disappoint you, but I do not have a Ph.D in history, that attribution goes to Dr Balogh. BTW. I do have a daytime job, as a matter of fact several. History is only a hobby for me.

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  62. Concerning Louis’s observations on eyewitnesses. As for your presence at the Radio Station it seems that the only true description of the events was yours. Because all others were wrong from both sides. Is it what you wanted to say?

    As for the reporter of the New York Times. Believe me that these guys got all their information from the small western contingent in Budapest. They had no independent sources whether it was in Vienna or in Budapest.

    I still don’t understand how these people just by looking at these wild men knew that they were Jewish. Perhaps they had a preconception.

    As for Jewish immigration. Louis is right about the earlier Moravian and later Galician immigration but according to most historians dealing with the question, the real Galician influx came to a practical halt by the 1860s. So, I must say that Brown and Nicolson must have had fantastic powers to spot a Galician Jew in 1919.

    If I read you right you are convinced that the the 1918-1919 period was somehow the work of Hungarian Jews and foreign Jews poured into the country to help a Jewish cause. I bet that was also what Brown and Nicolson supposed and that’s why they saw Jews in every nook and cranny.

    You might get a kick out of reading these books but I don’t think that the way to a real knowledge of the period.

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  63. Dr Balogh. Well, regarding the events at the Radio, I have not found written info that according to what I have seen is correct in all accounts. I can surmise from either side reasons why some events are incorrectly described. One reason is that many people were there originally, then when the actual fighting took place, the crowd thinned out and it reassembled some in the morning. I consider that some folks fill in events that they did not see at the beginning or at the end. But that is an entirely different subject.
    I have traveled extensively in some areas where the US press has reported wild demonstrations, etc., which have not occurred. It is more convenient to sit in a hotel bar and decribe events inaccurately from hearsay and not evidence.Taken alone, I would not have used the NYT (it did not get better with time!)article, but as a corroboration, I consider it useable. (Regarding the US press, I have made a public statement not to long ago that Japan was struck by three disasters, the earthquake, the tsunami and the US media.)
    Yes, I do claim that there was an inordinately high Jewish participation in the Bela Kun regime and in both the Viennese and Munich “revolutions”. The assistance to Kun, from these areas, who was still in power is not an unusual event.(And yes, I have read the “Myth of Jewish Communism” by Gerrits.
    Regarding Jewish immigration it did not halt by 1860, the “emancipation act of 1867(8) somewhat increased the attraction of settling in Hungary.
    See “During the same period there was a rapid growth of the Jewish population of Hungary, due both to natural increase and immigration from neighboring regions, especially Galicia. The number of Jews had risen to 340,000 by 1850, and in the first population census held in modern Hungary (1869), 542,000 Jews were enumerated.” from http://www.porges.net/JewishHistoryOfHungary.html#The Emancipation Period, 1867-1914

    Near the end of the 19th century Jewish emigration to the US from Hungary has more than balanced the influx, but even then immigration still took place.
    I also posit that the entire gang of Brits who prepared or participated in the Trianon Treaty were very much antisemites, as a matter fact more so than the contemporary Hungarians.

    As I have stated numerous times. the stories of both sides need to be read, and I place more verity in contemporary writings over the later generated “interpretations” of historians who refer only to a previous historian for data or lack of it.

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  64. Louis’s post is too long to quote in full. Therefore I will simply concentrate on three topics he mentions.

    (1) I am so glad that there was at least one person at the Radio Station, Louis Kovach, who knows absolutely everything about what happened there. You should share your knowledge with others.

    (2) It is a well known fact that people of Jewish origin held prominent positions in the social democratic movement everywhere, including Hungary. Some of these leaders came from the ranks of the working class but because of the Jewish tradition of learning they became self-educated union and party leaders. Some others were intellectuals whose number again were higher among Jews than among non-Jews. Reason? The same. The proportion of high school graduates in the first couple of decades of the 20th century among Jews was four times that of non-Jews. Hence high number of people of Jewish decent at the universities.

    A minority, especially one that had been discriminated against in the past, has an affinity with the downtrodden and the position of the working class poor wasn’t exactly enviable in those days.

    The so-called progressive intellectuals were actually sympathetic to the Bolshevik revolution. Naively they seemed to have believed in the coming of a new wonderful age. It is a mistake to judge the sentiments of these people from hindsight. They didn’t know what Lenin or Stalin would bring. But even among them there were people who became disillusioned quite early.

    I still maintain that Nicolson’s impressions at the Hungarian Embassy in Vienna are colored by his deep-seated antisemitism.

    (3) You come up with an internet site that supposes to be the final word on Jewish immigration. The source is pretty useless. No footnotes, we don’t know the qualifications of the author. I, on the other hand, went to János Gyurgyák’s A zsidókérdés Magyarországon where there is a short summary of the demographic changes between 1930 and 1870. In brief, books written on the subject can’t even agree on numbers. However, everybody agrees that the Jewish population of Hungary grew faster than that of the non-Jews. Immigration was a factor but also the higher birthrate and the much lower deathrate. Here are a few numbers. Between 1866 and 1870 the rate of population growth was 14% while nationwide it was only 8.5%.By the 1880 it was twice of the national average. Apparently, that great difference was caused by a much lower death rate among Hungarian Jews.

    As for Galician immigration in particular, according to László Varga who wrote an article on Jewish Immigration to Hungary in Századok (1992) Galician immigration came to a halt around 1850. According to another expert, György Haraszti, it continued into the 1850s and 1860s. You must understand that it is not enough to find an internet site and without further research or anything consider it the final word on the subject.

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  65. Dr. Balogh.
    1) I did not say that I am the only one who knows what happened at the Radio Station in 1956, I said that so far I have not read anything that was completely correct. I am sure many; many other folks have seen it the same way, because they were there and because they do not have an ax to grind.
    2) Since I read your blog, you incessantly “judge sentiments of (these) people from hindsight”.
    Apparently, you do not expect that those who thought that Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism was so wonderful were not as smart as you claim, exactly for the reason of believing that claptrap.
    I claim that neither in Russia nor in Hungary the Bolshevists were a small minority even among the progressives (whoever those were, that term are recent and were not used in those days). The working class poor was only a tool for them, they were unabashedly power hungry, it was really not “all power to the soviets” but “all power to us”. William McCagg has a more reasonable explanation than your attempt for the attraction to communism.9J.S.H Vol.6, 1, pp78-105, 1989.
    I am not denying the holocaust or the cruel treatment of the Jews, but I expect others not deny that –at least in Hungary the overwhelming communist cadre were Jewish both in 1919 and after WW II, at least until the Kadar regime. H. Seaton-Watson claimed that the “popularity of communism among young Jews in East Central Europe was a largely negative choice, because they could look forward to nothing”. This cannot be acceptable for Hungary of the late 1800 early 1900s, because with the possible exception of the USA, nowhere was the upward mobility of the Jews more evident.
    I also claim that prior to WWI there was no minority in Europe that had as good a chance for upward mobility as the Jews in Hungary.
    Nicholson, Seaton Watson, C.J.C Street, Wickham Stead and most of their cohorts were violent anti-Semites and their influence on the Trianon outcome was very strong and they included (or almost equated) the Hungarians with the Jews in their dislike. But that fact does not make their observations useless, it only needs filtering.

    3) History is put together from individual and collective experience descriptions. You claim that a Jewish family’s rather well written site is “pretty useless” because their description does not match your opinion. I used that site, because I thought it represented well a date at which Jewish immigration to Hungary did not stop. Thereafter you get into a sociological discussion without comparative evaluation.
    Let’s first look at Jewish immigration to Hungary data. Perhaps, a to you almost acceptable source, of Szekfu-Homan Vol. V page 249 for the early dates. Gives the Jewish population in 1785 -75,000, in1805 -127,000, in 1840 -241,000 and in the same volume page 552: for 1848 -241,000, 1870- 550,000, 1900 -831,000 and 1914 -935,000. Now consider that in the latter part of these times extensive emigration to the USA also occurred. Your birth/death rate contribution is lame if the Jewish population growth of Hungary in these periods is compared with the Cisleithanian percentage growths. For 1880, 1890, 1900 and 1910 first the Cisleithanian percentages of 4.54, 4.78, 4,68 and 4,60 while for Hungary (less Croatia) 4.60, 4.70, 4.90 and 5.00 (Source Wandriszka & Urbanitsch “Die Habsburgermonarchie 1848-1918”, Vol. 3 Pages 882-883.) The differences show that public health improvements alone do not account for the continued Jewish increase in Hungary. It is also worthwhile to state that the public health improvements occurred mainly in the bigger cities and not in the countryside. A Joint aid visit in 1926 in Subcarpathia still stated that the public health conditions were those of the 1500. Even though the area was under the “democratic” occupation of the Czechs for 7 years by then.

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