German-Hungarian relations are troubled, due primarily to Viktor Orbán’s relentless attacks on Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he accuses of being largely responsible for the arrival of close to a million asylum-seekers in Europe. On one occasion he denounced her for “moral imperialism,” and he even meddled in internal German politics when he sided with Horst Seehofer, minister president of Bavaria, in his debate on the migrant question with Merkel. A few days ago vs.hu learned from reliable sources that a scheduled meeting between Angela Merkel and Viktor Orbán at the Malta summit was cancelled at the last minute by the German side. Apparently several meetings between German and Hungarian ministers were also cancelled during the month of November.
The pro-government media naturally follows Viktor Orbán’s lead, so anti-German, specifically anti-Merkel, articles abound in the Hungarian press. Back in October Zsolt Bayer, the prolific anti-Semitic, foul-mouthed hack, wrote an open letter to Angela Merkel in four parts in which he called her a liar who mixes up “the friendly face of the European Union with the snicker of slobbering idiots.” Hungarians who are angrily watching this refugee crisis unfold don’t understand how Angela Merkel could join “those who are destroying Europe.” He labeled her an untalented person who in no way can be compared to Konrad Adenauer or Helmut Kohl. The Germans who now promise to integrate the refugees from the Middle East didn’t even manage, in 25 years, to integrate the East Germans. The former GDR is today a wasteland with hopeless old people. “So, what are you talking about?,” Bayer asks Merkel. “You are not a doddering leader of an embroidery club.” But listening to some of her idiocies, one can question her sanity.
In Bayer’s opinion the “soul of the German nation was crushed after World War II and all [Germans] are victims of a tragic mistake.” Germany’s political leaders think that divesting the Germans of national character or rights is the only antidote to Nazism. This is nonsense. Instead, Merkel should utter the “magic word, ENOUGH.”
Well, one can say that Zsolt Bayer cannot be taken seriously. He loves to hear his own voice and tries to shock. Still, one must not forget that Bayer is “one of them,” one of the founders who brought Fidesz into being. And, by the look of things, he remains close to Viktor Orbán.
Using Bayer’s rants as a reasonably reliable source for the thinking of the top leadership is justified by a long tirade by Mária Schmidt on the same topic. One would think that one cannot top Bayer. Well, Mária Schmidt managed. The “learned” historian, the close adviser of Viktor Orbán, spewed out her venom not only against Merkel but also against Germany. In her essay she goes as far as to glorify the communist interlude that made East Europeans superior to the effeminate westerners. Schmidt has never sunk so low to please her boss. A complete translation of this incredible piece would be warranted to understand the Hungarian right’s current mindset.
Schmidt’s essay is titled “Útban az önmegsemmisítés felé” (On the road to self-destruction). The title bears a striking resemblance to that of Thilo Sarrazin’s book, Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany destroys itself), which created such a controversy when it was published in 2010. Because of the length of the piece I will concentrate here only on passages relating to Angela Merkel, Germany, and western attitudes toward “the inferior” easterners.
The first staggering claim is that western politicians were “irate” when East Europeans didn’t allow Gorbachev to finish his reforms. “Why didn’t we wait until he fashions the existing order into socialism with a human face?,” she claims they asked. These western politicians were disappointed and angry that “we ruined their peaceful and comfortable world” by allowing the East Germans to leave Hungary and join their fellow Germans in the West. The “idiotic” Hungarians thought that they did the West Germans a favor, but “it was exactly this gesture that caused the unbridled hatred of the German media and intellectuals toward us.” We forced them to join their “poor relatives” who were safely tucked behind the Berlin Wall.
And now that the poor relatives, East Germans as well as other East Europeans, have joined the European Union, it is time to re-educate them. The East Germans live in a world that is even worse than it was during the 45 years of Russian occupation as far as freedom of speech is concerned because now they have to conform to the rules of “politically correct speech.” Two former East Germans, Angela Merkel and Joachim Gauck, lead Germany, but they so desperately tried to conform that they became more Wessis than the original Wessis: “they have given up their national identity and try to hide their Christian values.” The conclusion Schmidt draws at this point is that perhaps those years behind the Iron Curtain were beneficial in some respects. “They strengthened our resolve against outside forces and hardened our belief in our own value system.” While East Europeans have their national identity, “West Germans are citizens of the world–Europeans, and the German Federal Republic is simply a comfortable place of residence to which they feel no particular attachment.”
Merkel’s Germany is a place where “newly announced opposition parties face a ban and the elite immediately label them far-right regardless of who they are and what they want.” Anyone who opposes them is called “fascist.” Merkel prefers to form “coalition governments” that greatly resemble the former SED, the East German unity party. As if Merkel would purposely choose a coalition over a purely CDU government. Merkel “is unfamiliar with the history of her own country, the region, or for that matter Europe. In fact, she has only limited knowledge of the world. In her view, as in that of the German elite, only the compulsory Walk to Canossa for Auschwitz can fit.” Her speeches are “hopelessly shallow and common.” They remind Schmidt of the 70s when activists from the youth movement of the German Communist party spent their summer vacations at Lake Balaton. Schmidt and her friends used to make fun of them because “it didn’t matter what the topic was, they kept repeating the party’s official line.”
Germany today is being governed by the left media and intellectual elite. Merkel “talks their language, she meets their requirements. She doesn’t really formulate policies because for such a task she is too irresponsible, barren of ideas, without any accomplishment.”
At this point I’m about half-way through Mária Schmidt’s masterpiece, but I guess there is enough here to digest and discuss. This is the Orbán regime’s way of “making friends and influencing people.”
To be continued