Randolph L. Braham’s open letter

Randolph L. Braham

Randolph L. Braham

Anyone who has ever studied the history of the Hungarian Holocaust is familiar with the name of Randolph L. Braham, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the City College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of over 60 books and co-authored or wrote chapters in 50 others. Here are a few titles: The Destruction of Hungarian Jewry: A Documentary Account (1963); The Hungarian Labor Service System, 1939-1945 (1977); The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary (1981); and just last year, The Geographical Encyclopedia of the Holocaust in Hungary. Some of his works were translated into Hungarian while others were first published in Hungarian and later appeared in English.

Randolph L. Braham is highly regarded in Hungary as the foremost interpreter of the Holocaust, and therefore he was honored by both the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest and the Hungarian Government. In 2011 it was the Orbán government that bestowed upon him the Medium Cross of the Republic of Hungary, which is the highest decoration that a Hungarian government can grant. The Library and Information Center at the Holocaust Memorial Center bears his name. At least until now.

 * * *

January 26, 2014

Professor György Haraszti, Chairman of the Board
Dr. Szabolcs Szita, Director
Holokauszt Emlékközpont
Páva utca, 39
H-1049 Budapest

Dear György és Szabolcs:

I am writing to request that you remove my name from the Téka és Információs Központ at the Holocaust at the Holokauszt Emlékközpont.  I reached this decision with a heavy heart, having followed the recent developments in Hungary with great concern. The history-cleansing campaign of the past few years calculated to whitewash the historical record of the Horthy era, including the changes in the constitution that “legalized” the sinister measures that were subsequently taken to absolve Hungary from the active role it had played in the destruction of close to 600,000 of its citizens of the Jewish faith, have left me, and I assume many others, stunned. The straw that broke the camel’s back in my decision was the government’s resolve to erect a national statue relating to the German occupation – a cowardly attempt to detract attention from the Horthy regime’s involvement in the destruction of the Jews and to homogenize the Holocaust with the “suffering” of the Hungarians – a German occupation, as the record clearly shows, that was not only unopposed but generally applauded.

I realize that for a variety of political and economic reasons the leaders responsible for the operation of the Holokauszt Emlékközpont would or could not speak out against the brazen drive to falsify history. I, on the other hand, a survivor whose parents and many family members were among the hundreds of thousands of murdered Jews, cannot remain silent, especially since it was my destiny to work on the preservation of the historical record of the Holocaust.

I hereby also return the Medium Cross of the Order of the Republic of Hungary, together with the scroll signed by President Pál Schmitt with the request that you forward them to the appropriate Hungarian authorities.

Randolph L. Braham
Graduate Center of the City University of New York

74 comments

  1. Professor Braham,

    You did the right thing.

    I wish the leaders of the Hungarians Jewish communities had the guts to stand up to the Orban government. This government regards itself the spiritual heir of the Horthy era.

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  2. Tappanch,

    I am saddened by your note. You are a mainstay of this blog with your many informative
    submissions. I can only suspect that your libamij went bad in the fridge and you had a bad day…

    –The professor does not need your approval;

    –The Jewish leaders must eat and pay their bills. They are beholden to the government
    and must keep a low profile to keep getting what funds they do. The system is rotten, but
    they must still act in accordance with it.

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  3. Fortunately Brit and Hungarian expat anti-fascists in London today have shown the way forward for Hungarians to deal with the Fidesz/Jobbik Nazis.
    Unfortunately won’t be holding my breathe though to see anything similar in Hungary.
    http://www.channel4.com/news/hungarian-fascist-group-hold-rally-in-london

    The Nazis are not only on the march again in Hungary unopposed but are actually sitting in and supporting the government. See Kover’s latest outburst for proof.

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  4. The brave Jobbik boys were last seen doing a very quick sprint across Hyde park begging the London Met police along the way to give them safe passage out to the nearest Underground station.

    A taste of what the Roma families must feel when the rightwing thugs arrive in their village won’t do Vona any harm

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  5. re: Jobbik on the run.

    Yes, some societies have advanced since the II War days. I would’ve liked to have seen
    the heroic motorcycle boys of “Adj Gazd” take their signs to Berlin and see how they would’ve fared..

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  6. Is this the same Braham whoose book Szakály quoted extensively on ATV to strengthen his own point?? I have never heard of Braham before that ATV interview but I was 100% sure that he is the same type of Szakály, because every time Antónia Mészáros asked something, Szakály would respond with a Braham quote.

    But now this letter describes something different entirely, shows a strong anti-Szakály stance. Though I found the accusation against the Jewish leaders very tasteless in Braham’s letter ” for political and economic reasons… would or could not speak out”. It’s the “economic reasons: you were bought with money” type of cheap shot against the Páva center, which as far as I know, did nothing wrong.

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  7. Excellent. Very well done Professor.

    And, unlike some on here, I fully support his criticism of some Hungarian Jews. There comes a time when things are so bad that people just have to take a stand, whatever the consequences. If enough people said ‘nem’, even Orbán would have to back down.

    Have we learnt nothing from the appeasement of Hitler?

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  8. Prof Braham spoke the truth.
    The officers of all Holocaust and Memorial Centers must rise up against the Orban theories.
    The Jews of Hungary deserve a leader like Zoltan Radnoti.
    Shlomo Koves has got lots to explain.

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  9. Professor Braham is to be congratulated on his stance against the drive towards historical distortion adopted by the Orban government. That policy is outrageous and Professor Braham states it as such. However, perhaps the matter could have been somewhat more forcefully presented through a letter to Mr. Orban directly since it is he that is setting the policy that Professor Braham rejects. He is certainly eminent enough to make his voice count. He just needs to tell the man responsible for these new insults to the memory of 600,000 Hungarian citizens deported for death.

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  10. Finally someone with a distinct backbone and manners to go with!
    Thank You, professor Brahman!

    Isn’t it strange, that people in/from other countries just have principles and knows what to do about it, while Hungarians in Hungary cowering, trying to explain away, find a reason, why not doing anything against the present system?
    Just look around: in Wien and London they expressed explicitly that they don’t want to take any part of the resurrection of Nazism, in Kiev they went o the streets for far less to begin with – Hungarians don’t want to hear, see and speak.

    Well… I rather won’t say it, but yes, that’s Hungary!

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  11. It is totally unimportant what I may say about Professor Randolph Braham, for he is undoubtedly the most important of all historians who ever researched the Hungarian Holocaust. His books are detailed and cannot be argued and if you want to find out what happened to any one of the 437 thousand Jews from the Hungarian provinces, consulting his book/s will give complete details from their villages to the gates of Auschwitz and in some cases, beyond.

    That he felt the need to write this open letter shows his disappointment with the whitewashing attempts of the present Hungarian Government and should awaken those (including some Jews) who have not as yet recognised the disgusting events and methods by the Orban Government representing Hungary, not withstanding their recent apology at the United Nations.

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  12. I must correct something in my note above: I don’t think that the jewish leaders should ferment the opposition. However, if the people choose to march in the streets and need their leaders….certainly, the jews of every organization should be among them.

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  13. “Jobbik’s fascist hatred has no place in a modern society here, or in the rest of Europe,” United Against Fascism official, Sabby Dhalu, said in London.

    It has a place in Hungary due to a Fidesz government which contains members sympathetic with many of its ideas and too many in the population too cowardly-apathetic to stand up for what is morally correct.

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  14. It would seem that the FIDESZ campaign to appear as the “protector of the Jews” and the entire “Holocaust Memorial Year” PR effort is going to pieces rather quickly. They are able to allocate millions of Forints to museums, conferences, and PR campaigns, but they fail not because the SZDSZ and Socialists are calling on foreign press networks to blacken their name. They fail because they entirely lack sincerity or good intention.

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  15. petofi :
    Tappanch,
    I am saddened by your note. You are a mainstay of this blog with your many informative
    submissions. I can only suspect that your libamij went bad in the fridge and you had a bad day…
    –The professor does not need your approval;
    –The Jewish leaders must eat and pay their bills. They are beholden to the government
    and must keep a low profile to keep getting what funds they do. The system is rotten, but
    they must still act in accordance with it.

    I am absolutely amazed at you having written this and that nobody challenged you on it. So the Jewish leaders (or at least some of them) keep quiet and thus betray their community because they have to eat. I suppose you are very close to a biblical quote here, as I am thinking of the well known case of the thirty pieces of silver.

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  16. J Grant :

    petofi :
    Tappanch,
    I am saddened by your note. You are a mainstay of this blog with your many informative
    submissions. I can only suspect that your libamij went bad in the fridge and you had a bad day…
    –The professor does not need your approval;
    –The Jewish leaders must eat and pay their bills. They are beholden to the government
    and must keep a low profile to keep getting what funds they do. The system is rotten, but
    they must still act in accordance with it.

    I am absolutely amazed at you having written this and that nobody challenged you on it. So the Jewish leaders (or at least some of them) keep quiet and thus betray their community because they have to eat. I suppose you are very close to a biblical quote here, as I am thinking of the well known case of the thirty pieces of silver.

    I think I didn’t read Abraham clearly.
    No, the jewish leaders should not stay quiet. But, knowing the mealy-mouthed nature of Hungarians–jews or not–I wouldn’t want the leaders to go ahead ‘attacking the barricades’ with nary a supporter behind. We’re dealing with a very iffy-itchy sort of society here..

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  17. Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :
    What an honorable thing to do. Bravo.
    PS @Mr Paul: since when have two excellent historians like Pr. Szita and Haraszti, or any member of the managing or curatorial teams at Páva utca for that matter, become “Jewish leaders” ?!?

    You avoid my central point completely. If they are “excellent historians” as you say, why did they deserve such a crude and tasteless attack by Braham?

    “for a variety of political and economic reasons the leaders responsible … would or could not speak out”

    As I read this, it questions their moral integrity. “You get money, and your economic reasons stop you from speaking out when you really should”. Did these historians do anything wrong, did they support Szakály? Did they aim to falsify history? What was their crime that resulted in such a harsh treatment?

    Is their only crime that they didn’t release a statement yet? What if they already have a statement written out but waiting for a moment when it will have bigger impact? Braham himself waited more than 25 days after the Memorial’s plan became public.

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  18. Mr. Paul, the leaders of Pava utca have not speak up about the preamble ofvthe constitution and we did not see a press release about the memorial either. Professor Braham is the leading expert on the Hungarian holocaust, no other country has such a documented holocaust history like Hungary, thanks to Professor Braham.
    Everyone who ever dealt with this topic knows him

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  19. Braham did the only honorable thing. He returned the items which sullied his reputation and the memory of his parents and religious beliefs

    The statue debacle is so serious that the Holocaust center should stop cowering behind its and its leaders’ financial needs.

    Collaborating with the Devil i.e. Orban is tantamount to participating in the creation of the holocaust that is, in its recreation. It is unpardonable. No ifs, ands or buts.

    As to why on earth Braham did not return the items directly to Orban with a letter rebuffing the admisnistration is something that needs to be asked to him directly.

    The most evident is that at his age he is no longer in the medical condition to begin a direct confrontation. After all, his own parents were annihilated by Orban’s sort and logically he was not going to give them another go to take one more life prematurely some 70 years later. Having not written about Hungarian politics since he left 67 years ago I think he decided getting out alive was the most important thing for him and he has certainly regretted ever having accepted the fake kudos from the Hungarian authorities in the fist place.

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  20. AB :
    Mr. Paul, the leaders of Pava utca have not speak up about the preamble ofvthe constitution

    But why would they speak out against the constitution preamble? When they saw the foremost expert historian, Braham accept the “Medium Cross of the Order of the Republic of Hungary” in the exact same year the Constitution was passed 2011? They could very well think that it was not appropriate to speak out, just based on that acceptance alone?

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  21. @Mr. Paul: I guess each of us can interpret written words differently, but I didn’t see his words as an attack… but more as an expressions of understanding that they may not be in the position to openly stand up to OV.

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  22. Every decent Hungarian, like Eva Balogh, and now Randolph Braham attack the Orban clique.
    The Orban team has failed us all.

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  23. Additionally another benefit of this retruning-the-medals strategy was to show an example to the leaders of the Holocaust to act firmly. And how not to compromise your beliefs.

    And to repeat from the above: Collaborating with the Devil i.e. Orban is essentially tantamount to participating in the recreation of the holocaust, that is, lighting the fire that could destroy the remaining who managed to get out of the grip the last time — and their progenity.

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  24. @Mr Paul: One scholar is writing to two fellow scholars in the same field… who beyond their scholarly work happen to run a State-funded institution dealing with the same subject. While several other renowned Hungarian historians in the same field have already raisen their voice last week, the HDKE management hasn’t made his position public – either for or against. Nor had it been vocal on the subject of the ‘House of Fate’ by the way, and this was three months ago already.

    Now, if I’m not mistaken the HDKE is bound to receive a sizable amount of new subsidies in 2014 – a rare opportunity no doubt in the grim landscape of cultural funding in this country. I don’t think it is preposterous to assume that the two are related. I also think that someone whose work and name are heavily used by that very institution is perfectly entitled to make this assumption publicly. Finally, I’d be surprised if it was a blind guess, i.e. if this letter had been made public without prior exchanges between the parties.

    The thing is, I don’t think the HDKE will be able to stay out of the debate now.

    PS: Szakály’s field is Military history. He is out of the equation, as he has no credibility whatsoever in Holocaust or Hungarian political studies and started his new job with a blunder.

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  25. In relation to the anti-Jobbik demonstration in London. Unite Against Fascism the organizing group against the British Jobbik pre-election rally is heavily controlled by the British Socialist Workers Party a Trotskyist group. They have no functioning sister party in Hungary to my knowledge.

    The Jobbik have losely organized sympathizers here in Chicago and they play a role in the cultural life of the Hungarian community here as they do in the Cleveland area. One of their supporters was involved in the welcoming committee for the Hungarian National Folk troop when it visited Chicago. The Jobbik tend to be younger than the older right wingers are solidly in Orban’s camp. I found it interesting that some Hungarian anti-facists found their way to the counter demonstration, most Hungarians in Chicago do not discuss the rise of the Jobbik when they return from visits unless I press them about it. Then a few will in a low voice say something like yes my cousin is one, he is a worthless drunk too. When I came back from Hungary I ranted about a Jobbik Fest I saw and what scum most of them seemed to be. I remember one person telling me I shoundn’t say such things publicly because it makes all of us look bad and the rise of the Jobbik too shall pass one day.

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  26. Dear Dr Braham can you give us a breakdown on the numbers of Hungarian jews killed or dead at k l Auschwitz? Apparently some were transferred to labor. There was a brouhaha between Dr Vrba and the historians in Israel with Vrba claiming much higher figures. Thank you.

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  27. “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it,” (George Santayana)

    … and it’s not about Viktor Orban or Gabor Vona, but “us”, the nation – our leaders only serve our needs. We don’t remember, or even worse, do our best to forget about this:

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

    (Martin Niemöller)

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  28. OT: energy (link)

    There are some signs of fraud of at least many hundreds of millions of USD in the Hungarian energy (natural gas) business.

    Of course it is a rather complicated story and not yet fully understood, but as it was said MVM and related energy companies are probably the biggest cash cows for Fidesz.

    MOL is also heavily implicated.

    These agreements comprise only a fraction of the extremely complicated web of contracts which well-connected fideszniks created re the energy. The construction business (közgep) is actually too work-intensive. Here you need only papers and money flows. Nobody will ever catch the culprits.

    Fideszniks as well as MOL are in this business and rest assured that certain Hungarian agencies also know about the details. Russians are also in it, so probably it is also part of the deal with Putin in one way or another.

    Only the taxpayers who foot the bill eventually do not the details.

    http://index.hu/gazdasag/2014/01/27/mol/

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  29. @Dot

    “Nobody will ever catch the culprits.” This article actually catches the scheme – an unnecessary intermediary making lots of money to its Hungarian and Russian owners.

    The problem is that chief prosecutor Polt, himself a former fidesznik, never investigates fraudulent schemes involving Fidesz.

    Polt should be impeached with repeated dereliction of duty or worse, but such measure is missing from both the old and the new, Fidesz-made Penal Code.

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  30. @tappanch

    The exact reason why the culprits will not be caught and brought before justice does not matter. The point is nobody will ever go after them. The numbers involved too high, the web of intrigue too complex. Note however that this was just one story in the energy business. And even bigger problem is that all these transactions took place with the likely knowledge of certain state agencies the job of which would be to prevent these transactions.

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  31. OT: on Ukraine by Edward Lucas. Very thought-provoking regarding Hungary.

    Some parallels come up, like is Orban testing the impotent EU to ultimately ensure that Hungary is kicked out of the EU? Is he planning things so that at one point the EU would have to kick us out, so that Orban could blame the EU when in fact he was planning our leave for long?

    I know many (naive) people think that Simicska and other Fidesz oligarchs are addicted to the EU funds, but I am not so sure.

    With Paks 2, the various necessary Danube dams and special reservoirs will ensure monies for the next 25 years. Plus there will always be the cuts from the energy business (gas, oil) with Russia as we saw from today’s Index article, which is probably just the tip of he iceberg.

    These Russia-related riches to Simicska/Orban and other oligarchs are comparable to the EU amounts (if not more) and involve less hassle, paperwork, public procurement fixing and whatnot which all arise with the EU monies.

    (Of course ‘moderate’ Fideszniks now say that it is unthinkable that we leave the EU, but that is again a naive belief in their sincerity. They would blindly support, as they have been doing Orban, plus it would be the EU which could be blamed).

    I think Putin and Russia have enough insiders in the EU (such as Cyprus), they do not need us in these organizations. Their real success would be to take a country out of the EU (and Nato). It would also mean more power for Orban within Hungary. It was interesting to read by John Lukacs that Orban always disliked the West, UK, US, even decades ago, when otherwise he was supposedly a liberal. Now Orban being an arch-conservative and a real anti-Western and dictator, his attraction towards Russia is all the more scarier.

    http://www.cepolicy.org/publications/ukraine-scenarios-and-central-europe

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  32. “….his attraction towards Russia is all the more scarier.”

    Methinks that Orban’s attraction dates back to his early twenties when he first visited Moscow..

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  33. Pulpy et al.: With a genuine power-hungry loony heading our country and his kangaroo parliament rubberstanping his every wish… with obedient military at his very command he’s like a rocket carrying a nuclear bomb circling above, and you dont know where the m-f-ers gonna land.

    Hes got his college buddies, pranksters Kövér and Áder at the remote controls. Would you trust these clowns to guard your safetly…?

    Remeber the Eagle is NOT German any more. 70 years later the Eagle circling above is HUNGARIAN.!

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  34. Chairman of MaZsiHiSz, Heisler a few minutes ago on Klubradio said:

    1. They are waiting for gestures from the Orban government.
    2. They sent out questionnaires whether their members feel as offended as their leaders do by the government’s actions.
    3. They do not want to interfere in the election campaign.

    To summarize, the leadership is pretty cowardly.

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  35. Dot#40: “The exact reason why the culprits will not be caught and brought before justice does not matter. The point is nobody will ever go after them.”

    They only way to save Hungary from the mire of corruption is to go after the culprits. If the Orban gang is not brought to justice its successors will feel safe to rob the country in their turn.

    The opposition coalition should declare its intention to prosecute the criminals no matter how big the money and how complicated the plots. If they don’t do so it will be understood that they themselves will want to steal with impunity.

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  36. @Jean P

    If there is no revolution or the constitution is not restored, the guilty fideszniks will escape punishment.

    The prosecutorial system in Hungary has not changed since Выши́нский, i.e. Vyshinsky’s time. The system is hierarchical, the chief prosecutor decides in every important case.

    Chief Prosecutor Polt is appointed for 9 years. At the end of his term, he cannot be replaced without a 2/3 support in Parliament for his successor. By the time he is replaced, the statute of limitations will erase most crimes.

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  37. Nothing new. Just extracting a few points that have come up:

    (1) Yes, it is very appropriate that Professor Braham returned the prize and asked to be dissociated from ongoing entities in his name which he does not endorse. Yes, it would have been more appropriate for Professor Braham not to have accepted the prize at all in 2011, when it was already apparent that Orban and Fidesz were relentlessly driving through an anti-democratic constitution with their supermajority. But it is understandable if a senior historian is not familiar with the ongoing details of current Hungarian politics. Professor Braham has now been made aware.

    (2) Those who are familiar with Fidesz’s double-talk and demagoguery will now know — and alert those who do not already know — that the latest concessionary avowals about Hungarian responsibility that are being made now (in response to the outrage at the Horthy and German-victimization statues, the “Truth” institutes, the Fidesz-controlled Holocaust centres and momorial events and hosting) are all cynical cosmetics and mean absolutely nothing. They are just intended to damage-limit the repercussions of Orban’s latest provocations; the duplicity continues, unabated.

    (3) Yes, the Hungarian Jewish community — both lay and observant — should moblize, together with all decent Hungarian democrats, to create a common front against Fidesz and Jobbik. Koves’s appeasement and somnambulism is indeed deplorable, indeed shameful, and history will bear witness to this. What is needed is people with character and vision, not parochial pawns with their heads down, shuffling along the path of least resistance.

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  38. Perhaps Slomó Köves could ask Csanád Szegedi to speak up? :)

    Anyway I don’t see why the Jewish community organizations should be alone in this debate.

    Historians have already spoken, where are the teachers? Parents associations? Students? Civic groups? Roma NGOs? Artists? Churches? Doesn’t this concern the society as a whole?

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  39. Show me a decent Jewish leader in Hungary!
    Show me a decent Roma leader in Hungary?
    Show me a decent any leader in Hungary?

    Since Ferenc Deak, there have been very few.

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  40. There are new developments at the MSZP congress. Mesterházy was talking about a Fidesz oligarch, saying that if they are really this talented in economic matters as their results (company revenue and profits) show, they should be given a “katedra” (teaching position) at an economic university. However some in the crowd were incensed by the suggestion of “katedra” and started shouting “kötelet” (hanging rope) which can be heard clearly in a recored version of the event http://coub.com/view/jl4d .

    Now here comes the important part. Mesterházy went on ATV shortly after and said that the crowd in fact did not shout “kötelet” (probably it would be more fortunate to say instead that he did not hear it, since video proves otherwise), but “börtönt” (prison), and this is what he agreed with. (later Mesterházy said “maybe the thing that was shouted before is better”).

    The problem is that nobody knows that whether the crowd really shouted “börtönt” too. Video proof where “börtönt” shout is audible would be important (the event was in a huge arena, so microphones placed in different places can only cover so much of the full grounds of the event). The tape of the “börtön” shouting would be very important in debunking the narrative that Mesterházy agreed with the other shout in the heat of the moment.

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  41. tappanch :
    @Jean P
    If there is no revolution or the constitution is not restored, the guilty fideszniks will escape punishment.
    The prosecutorial system in Hungary has not changed since Выши́нский, i.e. Vyshinsky’s time. The system is hierarchical, the chief prosecutor decides in every important case.
    Chief Prosecutor Polt is appointed for 9 years. At the end of his term, he cannot be replaced without a 2/3 support in Parliament for his successor. By the time he is replaced, the statute of limitations will erase most crimes.

    I am aware of all of the legal monstrosities that are meant to keep Fidesz in power after they have been thrown out of office, but I don’t respect them and the opposition coalition should not respect them. Laws that prevent successor governments from governing should not be respected. The Fidesz appointees should be fired first thing. The self-legalisation of crimes by the Fidesz government should be met with retroactive laws by their successors. Retroactive laws are bad but they are not worse than the Fides laws emasculating future governments and they are far better than civil war.

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  42. Thanks to Pulp For providing the link to the Edward Lucas article on the Ukraine situation. The media in the US seems determined to portray the battles in the Ukraine as being between the pro-EU forces and the government which is moving towards Russia. The US media largely is not covering the role of the far right in the demonstration which as Lucas points out is significant.

    The EU and the IMF by their economic policy decisions are opening the door for Russia which has deep cash reserves and could still utilize some industrial production from the Ukraine. Might Hungary go down that path as Pulp suggests? Right now Orban is making the required debt payments, even though he is upsetting the EU with various nationalizations, as long as those payment keep going as scheduled the EU will not move to revoke EU membership of Hungary no matter what deals are cut with Putin.

    Because European bankers don’t want to risk capital the EU is losing the hearts and minds of many in east Central Europe. The immediate profit motives of the west have problems dealing with Putin’s ability to use the resources of Russian state capitalism to further the foreign policy goals of the Russian federation.

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  43. Let me stir some debate…

    If the Ukraine splits into two (and it should to prevent civil war, because election results show the actual split of people consistently) then Hungary can take over the Beregszasz (Berehove) district with its majority ethnic Hungarian population.

    Orban will follow Horthy’s horse steps.

    Perhaps this thinking is one of the reasons of Orban’s approchement towards Russia.

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  44. @Mr.Paul
    I don’t think, that Mesterházy – or anyone else in his position as a speaker of an important event, would have agreed with a proposition to hang someone, let alone, would have done it publicly while his every word being recorded and he knows it.
    In my opinion we can discard this as an option.

    The other options would be to find another recording of the same event, since you absolutely right, it’s a huge space with various acoustic levels, so it would even be interesting to hear what was recorded near the speaker. As normally happens, the microphones “targeting” the speaker, the background noises also coming mainly from one direction, but not really from others, so it easily possible, that there was a number of different remarks as well, even if the broadcasted version presented only from a narrow path.

    By the other hand, it isn’t that hard to “fix up” the recording every which way you’d like it, or let someone sit between your microphone and the speaker and shout whatever you will…

    Apart from the conspiracist solutions, just try to imagine, that you speaking to thirteen thousands of people, it’s important and you probably concentrating on your speech as much as you can, and at the same time you’re supposed to listen to the shout ins too, and hear it right?
    Well, I have limited experience in the latter, but I hardly think so.
    Another storm in a glass of water, it seems.

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  45. tappanch :
    Let me stir some debate…
    If the Ukraine splits into two (and it should to prevent civil war, because election results show the actual split of people consistently) then Hungary can take over the Beregszasz (Berehove) district with its majority ethnic Hungarian population.
    Orban will follow Horthy’s horse steps.
    Perhaps this thinking is one of the reasons of Orban’s approchement towards Russia.

    If the Russians had any wit–but Russians are not characterized by the bear for nothing–than they would maneuver that Hungary get the western portion of the Ukraine. And if that happens, Orban will be in place for 30 years.

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  46. petofi :
    Tappanch,
    I am saddened by your note. You are a mainstay of this blog with your many informative
    submissions. I can only suspect that your libamij went bad in the fridge and you had a bad day…
    –The professor does not need your approval;
    –The Jewish leaders must eat and pay their bills. They are beholden to the government
    and must keep a low profile to keep getting what funds they do. The system is rotten, but
    they must still act in accordance with it.

    Petofi, surely you are just joking. My first reaction was to congratulate Prof Graham, when I read this 2 days ago, thinking it’s about time somebody is doing something that will generate some response internationally among the Jewish scholars and historians. I am also deeply disappointed in Mazsihisz, for them it should not matter in questions like this whether they can pay their bills or not. They should be making enough loud noise to make a difference.
    G.

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  47. A little bit off topic …

    Does anyone know the exact location of the planned monument in Szabadsag Ter? From what pictures I’ve seen, it seems to be either replacing, or going very near the interactive fountain (in front of the Unicredit bank) which is very popular in warm weather with families with young children.

    It seems also that the monument will be next to the children’s playground.

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  48. @Bowen

    It will not be far from the Horthy bust. If you go back a few days, you will find a link to the full plan among my comments, including a map.

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  49. petofi, pal, that day you wrote that comment giving free reign to the Jewish leaders to collect their paychecks from the governement, I could not beleive the thinking, coming from you! I thought somone had broekn your word-press code and had taken control, of your comments…

    That beast of a statue could influence the haphazard thinking of all the borderline people on the holocaust issue and have them continue on a make-believe jaunt that has poisoned hungarian realtions for over 150+ years… Time for society to come clean on the issue. We are not in a concentration camp yet where the enemy can order us around as their servants.

    The alteration of history in Hungary, after all of Western Europe and the west has pretty much come clean with their perceptions of historical facts, history in Hungary is the last bastion of evil vis-a-vis the Jewish people. Even GERMANY has come clean !!! Now is the time Hungary must clean up its act because the price to pay later is going to be THOUSNDS of TIMES more severe…

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  50. G. :

    petofi :
    Tappanch,
    I am saddened by your note. You are a mainstay of this blog with your many informative
    submissions. I can only suspect that your libamij went bad in the fridge and you had a bad day…
    –The professor does not need your approval;
    –The Jewish leaders must eat and pay their bills. They are beholden to the government
    and must keep a low profile to keep getting what funds they do. The system is rotten, but
    they must still act in accordance with it.

    Petofi, surely you are just joking. My first reaction was to congratulate Prof Graham, when I read this 2 days ago, thinking it’s about time somebody is doing something that will generate some response internationally among the Jewish scholars and historians. I am also deeply disappointed in Mazsihisz, for them it should not matter in questions like this whether they can pay their bills or not. They should be making enough loud noise to make a difference.
    G.

    Actually the whole Hungary seem to have learned from Petofi – everyone trying to salvage even as little as they can while they can at all, instead of straighten up and throw out these … (well, trying to be polite isn’t always easy) Orbán&co gangsters, or at least should protest by no end, to call the attention and press them to their senses.
    Nothing of a kind, apparently.

    As long as everyone “acts in accordance” with a rotten system, then nobody is better a bit.
    Yes, I have heard, that they should live somehow, that’s why they keep silent, but remember, ‘those who exchange their freedom for welfare will end up having neither’ – you see it happens, one step at the time, but relentlessly.

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    1. My contribution today is the URL to two excellent articles which are in Hungarian and appeared recently. My father, who lived in England for 40 odd years was of the opinion that everybody should learn Hungarian. That he was correct is proven by these articles:

      http://hvg.hu/velemeny/20140127_Budapest_1944__2014

      I assume that readers know that President Ader asked for a 70 second remembrance on this 70th Holocaust Day.

      http://hvg.hu/velemeny.nyuzsog/20140127_A_70_masodpercnyi_csend_amig_a_kivegzoosz#rss

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  51. Putting @spectator’s comments in another way, We are left with a question of who might raise their voice against erecting a statue that inappropriately sorts the blame for the murder of hundreds of thousands of persons:

    I think anyone who perceives the injustice should raise their voice.

    However, as far as risking their livelihood (being able to keep their jobs due to the danger of retribution) the decision is evidently in each persons’s hands.

    The question has a significant influence on the LONG term future (10+ years + progenity influence) for Hungary as a nation (perceptions by others thereof) and directly on an entire segment of the population.

    Evidently those at the top of the leadership hierarchy of the Jewish population need to be most determined to show opposition by their willingness to risk their livelihood on the matter.

    As for the rank and file Jewish population, they need to openly reason and protest within the confines of the effectiveness they can muster.

    To a disturbing extent it begins to appear that often, the harder you protest against Orban and Co. the more they are determined that they will get their way one way or the other. So, unfortunately this may be a battle that is tough to win before the elctions.

    The elctions could be a watershed point simply because Fidesz is doing all it can to get Jobbik folk to choose Fidesz delegates.

    This whole issue of the statue may be to woo the extreme right wing into the Fidesz camp, though that may be wishful thinking. Ultimately this thinking will probably just fit fine for Fidesz and delusional Orbán himself.

    The question has been raised by previous commenters within the last 10 or 15 comments, namely why are trade-unions, teachers and other groups not protesting in groups and in large numbers against Fidesz. The answer to those who are up-to-date with curent Hungarian politics is evident. Fidesz has a dogged attitude of punishing anyone who steps out of line from their views – these punsihments have been meted out untold times to state bureaucrats, teachers, social workers, students, you name them you’ve got them – all the way to the theatre and the arts.

    The system has in the last 3 1/2 years restructured itself into a military style hierarchy in every government controlled field, has gobbled up private enterprise and made it into state-governable entities run from top down by yes-‘men’. Since saying no to the state has been made very difficult (re-writing of the constitution and innumerable amendments thereof) persons whose livelihoods are affected are powerless to effectively challenge the state. At best the court decisions here and in Brussels would take many many years. In the meantime the state could use their tax and police autorities to drum up charges against anyone daring to put up a fight with the state.

    The foregoing is the answer for anyone still asking why more people are not going out to protest on the streets for a litany of complaints,

    If somone in the future comes up with this same question, that is, why more people are not protesting more, just direct them to me: The Date and title of Eva’s above article and the comment No.___ by Andy.

    And Bingo – maybe we’ve swatted ‘him’.

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  52. Andy, as I see it: you damned if you do and damned if you don’t protest anyway, so, why don’t do the right thing?
    Yes I know of the retributions and the threat’s hanging over everyone’s head, but the only question no longer the ‘if”, but the when. It’s only questin of time, before you either give up your honor and dignity and join to howl with the wolfs or be enslaved, stripped from your last pieces of assets anyway, to make some vassal even richer.
    Keep silent and hope for survival?
    To what end?

    There is no easy way out, believe me, particularly if the coming decades going to be signified by a “Putinized Orbanistan” image, as the “new” Eastern nation emerges in place of Hungary.

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  53. Spectator… (ehem), I agree and I have hesitation. Theres a human nature in us all that wants to survie as long as possilbe – now am not talking about the leaders (Opposition, the Jewish, et al – who have a political responsibility, awful as that may seem). Human nature wants to prolong existence as long as possible. Just remember the poor souls in the gas chambers who had to climb on top of another becausse the gas stayed at the lower levels before reaching the heigher levels… So keeping your existance at a minimal level is of paramount importance.

    Yar hoping against hope that something might happen in the last second to save you before youre reaching for that very last gasp of air.

    Therefore, though it might be a question of time, that time counts when yar at the bottom of the barrel. Believe it or not people have indeed survived the evils of communism, nationalizations, put-downs, servitudes, concentration camps, wanton attempts at murders, so its just human not to want to go first straight ahead.

    You NEVER know if a welcoming arm is waiting for you before your days are over….

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  54. Andy, the worst thing is, that you are … right – in your assessment.
    And this is friggin’ frustrating to be honest, probably I just don’t want to believe it.
    Perhaps I’ve left the place too long ago, – Viktor haven’t spoken yet at the funeral – but I remember different kind of people, people with integrity, whatever it would cost, and the other kind, who sold themselves, but not this neutral-grey mass all over.

    Well, I’ll drop it now, and anyway, why should I care, if they don’t?
    Or else.

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  55. Spectator: Ah just wrote a reply but it got eaten up by the system…

    Essentially what I tried to say is that by the time I came back from the USA in 1993 I also didnt find what I expected. Straight honest-to goodness freedom yearning folk who would give their life for justice as they had attempted to do in 1956.

    Instead what I found was a people who mistrusted honesty, straightness and the sense of right or wrong. Corruption at a high level and particularly a dislike and distrust for anyone who had not gone through what they had experienced here. That you were noone, that you could not possibly understand them and above all that you were nuts to have returned.

    But that was not enough. 99,9% of the folk thought that something was really wrong with you as a returnee and that you were definitely here to get in their way and that they were damned if they were going to introduce you to any of their friends since you were not only not a friend but their WORST ENEMY! That you had an infectious disease.

    The above was a forceful attempt to keep you from becoming a threat to them on the laddr of social and finacial advancement. That you were the one and only person in their way to nirvana… Even if you were in an entirely different area of employment etc.

    I could go into details -at my job, etc etc (not negligible stuff…) but I’ll spare you the dirty stuff,

    Suffice it to say that 99.9% of the people in this ‘country’ (thats a kind name) fit into the mold described above.

    And lo and behold its not one bit dissimilar to the anti-semitic stance over the past 150+ years… F. foreigners, f… competition, get out-o-my way, I’ll do everything I can (under the belt) to keep you from suceeding.

    THAT is the LONG and SHORT of Hungary as a ‘country’… You wonder why its the LAST country in Europa and going downhill?

    SIMPLE. People have an INSULAR and PARANOID MENTALITY.

    As they say in common parlance in the USA: The place is SICK.

    GOT IT? :-)))))))))))))
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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