Karl Pfeifer: Péter Dániel and László Grespik

Péter Dániel is a Hungarian lawyer and civil rights activist. When in 2010 the new right wing government made the presentation of a declaration of national solidarity mandatory in every government office, Dániel pelted it with a deviled egg. When a similar law came into effect for the new constitution, he doused it with ketchup. And when a Horthy statue was erected this year in Western Hungary, Daniel poured red coloring over it.

Because of this Péter Dániel was expelled by the Budapest Chamber of Lawyers, a decision against which he appealed. Should the expulsion be upheld he won’t be able to practice as a lawyer anymore.

A respected member of the Chamber’s Executive Board dealing with Dániel’s case is the lawyer László Grespik who acted as defense attorney for a client charged with public sedition after performing in a Skinhead concert in February 1999 at the so-called “day of honor,” where he sang songs addressing the Jews as “scum of the earth, stinking dirty hoard, parasites living off our country! They got what they wanted, and are holding Hungary in their hands (…) They are the ones who are allowed to do anything, fight them, protect yourself!” And: “Run, run, stinking Jew, sooner or later you’ll turn into soap anyway.”

Grespik saw fit to insist that the judge dealing with the case of the singing Skinheads disclose “whether she regarded herself as Jewish or had Jewish ancestors, for if she had, she might be biased.”

The judge explained that she was “not obliged to answer the question”, but in view of the special nature of the case, to avoid any further complications, was ready to state: “I am not biased and not a Jew, and have, to the best of my knowledge, no Jewish ancestors.”

Let me quote Primo Levi: “It is not easy and not pleasant to confront this outrage, but I believe we must face it, because whatever could happen yesterday may happen again tomorrow, perhaps to us or to our children.”

45 comments

  1. I wonder if the new contributor is one of the very intelligent Fidesz MPs or Orban himself? Based on the quality of his posts, he does have the same education quality as most of them.

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  2. ÁMÉRIKÁN JUNIVERZITÍ :
    Everybody knows that Canadian degrees (especially in art subjects like international literature, history, philosophy, linguistics) are not the stronghold of the universities of the New world (Canada US.) Perhaps you confused it with the american engineer trading and natural sciences, which have good reputation.

    bahahaha Two of the top ten universities on philosophy are Canadian universities.
    http://tinyurl.com/d79ojde Are you for real? Facts,and quotes… you know those things that Fidesz people do not use.
    History, top 14, Englsh Language and Literature 7 and 14.
    Where did you study? In one of Orban’s soccer academy?

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  3. Frankly, although obviously I rather trust Eva’s research in this domain than some anonymous trolls’, I doubt that the subject of Horthy’s wife’s background is relevant. Horthy’s actions (and inactions) speak for themselves.

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  4. gdfxx :
    Frankly, although obviously I rather trust Eva’s research in this domain than some anonymous trolls’, I doubt that the subject of Horthy’s wife’s background is relevant. Horthy’s actions (and inactions) speak for themselves.

    Amen!

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  5. gdfxx :

    Frankly, although obviously I rather trust Eva’s research in this domain than some anonymous trolls’, I doubt that the subject of Horthy’s wife’s background is relevant. Horthy’s actions (and inactions) speak for themselves.

    I totally agree.

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  6. There is something else I wanted to say about our latest troll. What is really amazing is this incredible superiority complex. Canadian universities? Learning history in Canada? It cannot be any good. What do those Canadians know?

    That reminded me of an old story from 1956. For a couple of days we ended up in a big refugee camp set up for us in Eisenstadt. We students lived in relative luxury and were housed in a separate building. There was a young Hungarian who had escaped earlier and lived in Austria and who was handling our affairs, including information about scholarships.

    I asked him whether they give out scholarships to Canada to which he answered; “we give scholarships only to civilized countries.”

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  7. London Calling!

    Some1: “………..Horthy’s actions (and inactions) speak for themselves.”

    Many apologists for Horthy say he ‘reluctantly’ did what he did because he had no choice.

    One thing (at least) I have difficulty in reconciling with this is the fact that the Budapest fathers had no qualms about naming a prominent road junction in Budapest as ‘Hitler Körönd’.

    So much for being ‘reluctant’ partners to Hitler’s crimes.

    (The junction is now named ‘Kodály Körönd’ btw)

    Regards

    Charlie

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  8. I find it telling that our contributor with many names edited the info on the alleged jewish connection of Mrs Horthy into the English article on Mrs Horthy but not into the Hungarian one.

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  9. dvhr :

    I find it telling that our contributor with many names edited the info on the alleged Jewish connection of Mrs. Horthy into the English article on Mrs Horthy but not into the Hungarian one.

    I still don’t quite understand why the author of the information about Mrs. Horthy’s alleged Jewish origin gave the Hungarian Jewish Lexicon as a source. Especially the one article he copied out for us: a list of Jewish baronets of Hungary. Because if there is any connection between the Wodianers and Mrs. Horthy–as we will see later there isn’t–he could have made a better case if he turned to Fülöp Wodianer (1822-1899). Fülöp at least lived in Arad between 1849 and 1856.He owned a printing press and in 1897 he was ennobled with the title of “vásárhelyi” because he was born in Hódmezővásárhely. Mrs. Horthy’s mother was called Anna Vásárhelyi and I assume that the anti-Semites of the Arrowcross party tried to make the connection between the Wodianers and Mrs. Horthy this way. Claiming that the Wodiers changed their name to Purgly doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    The Vásárhelyis of Arad came an ancient Szekler family with the noble title of “kézdivásárhelyi.” So, Mrs. Horthy’s mother’s full name was “kézdivásárhelyi Vásárhelyi Ilona.” The family became prominent already in the thirteenth century. Different branches of the family were active in different parts of the country. The Vásárhelyis of Arad are one of them. Jonathan Vásárhelyi was active in the middle of the 18th century. His grandson, János, was lord lieutenant of Arad County in the 1830s. The information on the Vásárhelyis originally comes from Pallas Nagylexikon (available on line) and from Kislexikon: http://www.kislexikon.hu/vasarhelyi.html

    So, the family goes back a long way. I found two Vásárhelyis in Magyar politikai lexikon (magyar politikusok) 1914-1935, both from Arad. There was Dezső (born in 1871) who was most likely an uncle or a cousin of Mrs. Horthy (born 1881). and Sándor (1891), a younger cousin or some fairly close relative on her mother’s side. Both were members of parliament. Dezső became a member from 1906 on and Sándor in 1935. Both were supporter of the government party.

    One more thing about our anonymous “historian.” I found it amusing that in the English-language Wikipedia article he mention the Hungarian Jewish Lexicon but he thinks that it is available only in one copy in the Hungarian National Library. I can assure him that I have a copy of it right in front of me at this very moment. A very useful reference book, by the way.

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  10. @dvhr:

    I wanted to ask about that – now you’ve given the answer, thanks. So this story about Mrs Horthy being from a Jewish family is only in the English wiki, not in the Hungarian if I understand you correctly ?

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  11. wolfi :
    @dvhr:
    I wanted to ask about that – now you’ve given the answer, thanks. So this story about Mrs Horthy being from a Jewish family is only in the English wiki, not in the Hungarian if I understand you correctly ?

    Right. A somewhat similar story is that an editor, “Szabo Tamas” , on January 20, 2011, added the false info to the Hungarian wikipedia, that Daniel Cohn-Bendit supported the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, but he refrained from claiming this on either the German or the English Wikipedia, though he was active in both.

    http://www.stop.hu/velemeny/ki-gyartja-a-nem-letezo-tortenelmet-cohn-bendit-es-a-pragai-tavasz/873693/

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  12. “CHECK-MATE”‘S ANONYMOUS NONSENSE ON PURGLY PURGED FROM ENGLISH WIKIPEDIA

    “Check-Mate” seems to have been busy in December, anonymously adding silly synchronicities to English Wikipedia in shaky English (“babtized”) and then triumphantly trumpeting his canard under a variety of pseudonyms in familiarly inarticulate English here and in Politics.hu: http://www.politics.hu/20121228/constitutional-court-voids-voter-registration-legislation/

    (He has notably not ventured to favour Hungarian Wikipedia with his historiographic insights; he would presumably be less inarticulate there, but would run the risk of having his quackery quickly exposed by a better-informed readership.)

    Professor Balogh has since set the historic record straight above.

    So I’ve purged “Check-Mate”‘s Purgly prevarications from Mr. and Mrs. Horthy’s pages in English Wikipedia (though I don’t doubt that he and his mates will try to have another go under a variety of pseudonyms…)

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  13. Walker Texas :
    Horthy has a jewish wife…

    “CHECK-MATE”‘S ANONYMOUS NONSENSE ON PURGLY PURGED FROM ENGLISH WIKIPEDIA

    “Check-Mate” seems to have been busy in December, anonymously adding silly synchronicities to English Wikipedia in shaky English (“babtized”) and then triumphantly trumpeting his canard under a variety of pseudonyms in familiarly inarticulate English here and in Politics.hu.

    (“He has notably not ventured to favour Hungarian Wikipedia with his historiographic hutzpah; he would presumably be less inarticulate there, but would risk having his quackery quickly exposed by a better-informed readership.)

    Professor Balogh has since set the historic record straight here in the Hungarian Spectrum.
    So I’ve purged “Check-Mate”‘s Purgly prevarications from Mr. and Mrs. Horthy’s pages in English Wikipedia (though I don’t doubt that he and his mates may now have a go at trying to revive them under a variety of pseudonyms…)

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