Zsolt Bayer: It’s all the Jews’ fault

I have been waiting ever since February 27 for Zsolt Bayer to finish his magnum opus titled “Intolerable,” a series of articles railing against the “fact” that Jews tell the Hungarian people how to interpret their own history. I hoped that after two or three articles Bayer would wrap up his harangue against the evil influence of Jews in Hungarian history, but there is still no end in sight. Today he delivered his fourteenth installment and the third that deals with literary figures’ attraction to Nazi Germany: Ezra Pound, Louis-Férdinand Céline, Gerhart Hauptmann, and Knut Hamsun. All this to prove that anti-Semitism or an affinity with the Nazi ideology shouldn’t be a disqualification for the recognition of greatness. Earlier he quoted anti-Semitic writings from Hungarian classics in defense of the government’s decision to erect memorials to Hungarian interwar politicians like Bálint Hóman and György Donáth. The analogy of course is false because, in the case of Hóman and Donáth, we are talking about active politicians. And surely one cannot compare the groundbreaking modernist poetry of Ezra Pound to Bálint Hóman’s work on numismatics.

Bayer, however, insists that anti-Semitism after 1919 was a “natural” state of mind because of the Jewish preponderance in the leadership of the Soviet Republic. And with this assertion he absolves all anti-Semitism between the two world wars, which admittedly was widespread among writers, especially the Hungarian version of “narodniks” (népiesek). András Nyerges documented this anti-Semitism in Színrebontás (Color separation). Nyerges painstakingly combed through newspapers and periodicals of the interwar period looking for famous writers, especially those who became favorites of the party during the Kádár regime, and found plenty of evidence for both anti-Semitism and in some cases strong sympathy for the Nazi regime. Bayer wants to know why it is that “we forgive the anti-Semitism evoked by the Red Terror and the ‘revolt of the Jews’ of the best, the smartest, the most educated but we can’t forgive the same of the [ordinary Hungarian] people.”

Bayer defends the anti-Semitism of Hungarian villagers. “It is therefore time to ask the question: why are we surprised that the simple peasant whose determinant experience was that the Jews broke into his village, beat his priest to death, threatened to convert his church into a movie theater, why do we find it shocking that twenty years later he watched without pity as the gendarmes dragged the Jews away from his village?” Let’s look at the historical facts. First of all, the “Lenin boys” who showed up in the villages came from various religious backgrounds. For example, their leader, József Czerny, was a Protestant. In fact, of the 14 Lenin boys who were condemned to death on December 18, 1919, only three were listed as “izrealita.” Second, Chief Prosecutor Albert Váry claimed that there were 590 victims of the Red Terror, but later research proved that this number was far too high. Some of the listed victims actually died in battles between “revolutionaries” and “counterrevolutionaries.”

A group of Lenin boys

A group of Lenin boys

A victim of the White Terror

A victim of the White Terror

On the other hand, Miklós Horthy’s detachments killed about 1,200 people. How many of the victims were Jewish it is hard to tell, but from Pál Prónay’s diary we know that he and his detachment were actively looking for people who in their opinion were Jewish. But a lot of poor peasants who found the communist regime, especially at the beginning, attractive were also among the victims. Gergely Bödők’s article “Vörös és Fehér,” available online, reflects the most recent research on the Red and White Terrors in Hungary.

Claiming a causal link between the activities of the “Jewish” Lenin boys and the callous attitude of the Hungarian peasantry when their neighbors were dragged away is preposterous. Yet Bayer places this link at the center of his view on anti-Semitism in Hungary. The connection between the Red Terror and the peasants’ emotionless reaction “is important when we ponder the question of anti-Semitism, which poses further questions. For example, who can have a statue in this country and who can make such a decision.”

Bayer finds “the canonization and glorification of the Hungarian Soviet Republic” one of the greatest sins of the Kádár regime. I who did a lot of research on that period can attest to the fact that the “proper” interpretation of the Soviet Republic had to be strictly observed in those days. By the end of the Kádár period there were few historical taboos, but Béla Kun’s regime was one. Simple facts such as the weakness of the communist party in Hungary at the time couldn’t be included in an article, as I found out from personal experience. Setting things straight after the change of regime would have been easy enough and actually such corrections have taken place through several articles, including one on the Red and White Terrors mentioned earlier. But let’s hear what Bayer has to say on the topic. “We had the misconception following the regime change that everything would be tipped in the right direction. But that’s not happened. The whole thing is simply incomprehensible.”

What is Bayer talking about? There are no taboos today. Free-wheeling historical debates go on unabated. What is it that Bayer finds lacking in interpretations of the Hungarian Soviet Republic? He wants to emphasize the Jewishness of the Hungarian Soviet Republic and to exonerate the White Terror and the anti-Semitism of the interwar period as an understandable reaction. At the same time he would like to see historians rewrite the history of the Horthy regime, which in his opinion was unfairly dealt with by historians of the 1970s and 1980s. But the “liberal” historians today, and they are in the majority, resist the pressure of the Christian-national Orbán government. This is what bothers Zsolt Bayer.

Bayer would like to remove from the Hungarian historical canon not only those who were involved in the Soviet Republic and later in the illegal communist movement but even such greats of Hungarian progressivism as Károly Polányi, Ervin Szabó, Oszkár Jászi, Ilona Duczyńska, and others who were members of the Galilei Circle. I’m pretty sure that he is not alone in Fidesz in holding this view. Since Viktor Orbán formed his government there were several attempts to obliterate these names from the national consciousness. I was actually most surprised to find a couple of streets in Szombathely and Miskolc that bear the name of Oszkár Jászi. If it depended on Bayer, his name would be removed without a second thought. The very fact that streets are named after these people or that Budapest’s public library system is named after Ervin Szabó, who was its first chief librarian, is unbearable to Bayer. These are “tormenting questions.” But what is truly excruciating is how it can happen that “the sins of a real murderer, as long as he is a left-winger and a communist, are forgiven.” The “murderer” to whom he is referring is George Lukács, the philosopher and literary critic who happened to be born in the same year as Bálint Hóman.

March 14, 2016
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Istvan
Guest

Eva the depth of your knowledge of the period of 1919 is awesome and highly balanced. Since you brought up George Lukács I read today that the Hungarian Academy of Sceinces wants to liquidate his apartment and study. Moving everything into archives, which is opposed by his grandson and thousands of others who have written objections to the proposal.

As a graduate student in political science I had a Marxist professor who assigned History and Class Consciousness. For a US Army officer who was raised in the midst of a Hungarian Catholic community gripped by anti-communist hysteria reading Lukács was stunning because of his brilliance. Initially I thought about dropping the class because I thought of Lukács as a monster and believed anyone whomwould put his writings in a course had to be mad.

While I was not won over to either communism or the new left, it gave me a picture of old Marxist intellectuals, particularly the Jewish Marxist intellectuals, who were not just hacks repeating the party line but we’re actually capable of thinking in depth. Your essay was one of your best, thanks.

tappanch
Guest

Georg Lukács is being 1984’d by the Ministry of Truth.

Guest
No surprises here. Bayer and Marcsa Schmidt make a pretty pair of senior Fidesz ideologues. But as Bayer implicitly admits, their Jew-hating ideology is widely shared across the Hungarian nation, and that is what Fidesz is profitably plugged into with its wink-wink, nudge-nudge sneaky antisemitism, explicit from one corner of its mouth, disingenuously denied from the other. What Bayer bashfully averts his eyes from, however, is that the depredations of the handful of red terrorists was followed not only by the much greater depredations of the white terrorists in revenge, but twenty five years of continuous, unremitting, vicious and violent antisemitic incitement in the Hungarian parliament, media, schools, universities and public life in general. so the Hungarian population became well and truly brainwashed, desensitized and cured of any fellow feeling for their Jewish neighbours by the time open season was declared on Hungary’s Jewish citizens, when it became a matter of national pride and duty to unspeakably humiliate, bestially dispossess, loot and brutally murder, or send in horrible conditions to industrial scale mass murder at the hand of Germans, almost six hundred thousand Hungarian Jewish children, women, men and old people. Among them about one hundred and fifty thousand children… Read more »
Guest

In other words, red terror or no red terror, the perceived urgent need to displace Jews from a truncated Hungary after Trianon would have inevitably led even without any red terror to exactly the same post-WW1 chain of events as far as Hungarian Jewry is concerned, albeit perhaps with one less accusation and excuse to justify it.

Because all that it was and all that it is to this day is just an unspeakably ugly and untruthful accusation to justify and excuse the utterly unjustifiable and utterly unspeakable on the part of Hungarians against their fellow citizens of Jewish descent, most of whom do not even identify as Jewish by now, but simply as ordinary Hungarians.

Guest
And may I add that throughout all this the loyalty of Hungarian Jews to their country of birth was, and remains to this day pathetically touching and even heart-wrenching, though to Jews like myself not a little infuriating too. In the 1920s, the Hungarian Jewish leadership point blank refused to accept any assistance from international Jewish organizations that were offering to put serious pressure on the Hungarian authorities to cease and desist with its vicious and incessant antisemitic propaganda, on the grounds that relying on such external help would be both ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘unbecoming’ of loyal Hungarian citizens. And let me quote from Vilmos Vázsonyi (born Vilmos Weiszfeld), who was a prominent liberal democratic Hungarian Jewish politician assassinated in 1926 by two Hungarian Jew-haters whilst on holiday in the Austrian spa town of Baden bei Wien. These are just two of his many other similar statements on the subject, perfectly reflecting not just the strong Hungarian nationalist sentiments among the Hungarian Jews of his day, but of many, many Hungarian Jews even today , despite and regardless of the hatred swirling around them: 1. “We must love our Fatherland even if the Fatherland does not reciprocate this love” (A hazát… Read more »
webber
Guest

There is a widespread assumption in much of the population that Jew=communist.
This ridiculous equation was established a long time ago.

Pirike
Guest

Agree. And – perhaps more importantly – leftists (of any kind) are “communists”.

This means that any leftism is immediately deemed non-indigenous for most voters, especially in rural areas.

“Things were in order until the communists started to force us to change our Hungarian way of life (e.g. nationalizing lands, sending righteous Hungarians to prisons, closing down churches). We had leftists once, we don’t have them again, thank you very much.” At the same time right-wing parties don’t have that built in resistance so they are more popular to begin with. Any election is for the right wing to lose, maybe the leftists will realize that one day.

Guest

You forgot the “Orban is winning bit?” – “the left don’t have a clue” bit and the “case closed” bit?

fort
Guest

But you dismiss these points at your peril. There is no rule that the pendulum must ever swing back. In Texas it’s pretty difficult to be a Democrat or in California to be a Republican. Hungary is a conservative, right-wing place. Obviously Fidesz’ election system, occupation of important posts made it even more difficult (perhaps impossible) for the left to form a government. But still, Hungarians are like that. They just hate them commies.

Guest

They love the commies! Orban, Ader, Matolcsy, Kövér are the old families of the previous Nomenklatura! They only understand communist ‘values’. Their very genome spells C-o-m-m-u-n-i-s-t. They are the communist elite in their commocracy.

webber
Guest

What are you talking about? Ronald Reagan was a Californian.
These things swing all the time. The majority of people are not committed to one “side” or another – they are “for” their country, and will vote for whichever person or party they think is best at the moment.

Hence the results in Salgótarján a few weeks ago. The left won there massively.

spectator
Guest

“They just hate them commies.”

Right!
In this light fairly preposterous that even today the MSzMP have absolute majority in the Hungarian parliament…

Well, scattered all over the place, but they are there, left, right and middle!

Funny, I would say, if it wasn’t another sad fact regarding the Hungarian way of thinking

Guest

@spectator
March 15, 2016 2:29 pm

Spot on. Well said!

webber
Guest

Pirike, you’ve lost it. Hungarian voters have supported the left many, many times.

Guest

But Pirikes definition of ‘left’ is the unique Hungarian definition of ‘left’ – it’s a sort of bucket of hate including Jews, communists, Hungarian Roma…………

Guest
@webber Today 4:26 am There was a tiny cadre of Jewish communists in Hungary before the war, operating largely ‘underground,’ in illegality. It was like several dozen people among eight hundred thousand, a real tiny number by any account. After the war, most of the remnant Hungarian Jews left Hungary for greener and more welcoming pastures abroad. Of those who chose to remain in Hungary because for one reason or another they were too scared, too indigent or too Hungarian to make a move and emigrate, many joined the communist party in the hope that working class internationalism would put an end to antisemitism. These were largely lower middle class or working class Jews, because the remnant middle class, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, were regarded as ‘class enemies,’ and were not allowed to join the communist party, even if they wanted to, which they mostly did not, in the least. By 1956 most of them were bitterly disappointed with the communists and over twenty thousand Jews left Hungary as refugees after the uprising, and only the hardcore communist fanatics and the indigent remained in Hungary. One of the first things Kádár did in the late fifties and the early sixties… Read more »
webber
Guest

All that doesn’t matter. In my experience, anti-Semites hate Jews no matter what. They hate conservative Jews. They hate leftist Jews. They hate rich Jews. They hate poor Jews. They hate religious Jews for being different. They hate non-religious Jews for being “insincere” and “hiding.”
That is based on my own experience. I do not experience the hate on my skin, as you say, I experience it in a different, but also intimate way from people who assume that I share their disgusting mental illness because of my ethnic and religious background.

Guest

@webber
March 15, 2016 6:33 am

Very well said Webber. You are absolutely right on every point you make.

That is why after 1956 I never considered for even one moment of ever living in Hungary again, or even visiting the place.

In the end, I did have to go back there in1975 and then again in 2003 for short visits concerning urgent family matters.

In 2003 in particular it was a barely tolerable experience, and it was with immense relief that I watched Budapest recede under the aeroplane that was taking me out of there.

Guest

You know the Romans sublimated their violence and hatreds through their gladiators fighting for the crowds and their lives in the Colosseum.

And today ‘sublimation’ continues unabated as the centuries move on. It is apparent that one country indeed has found sublimation of their seemingly never-to-be quenched virulent hatreds laser-lighted on ‘the Jews’.
How much they can take of that sinister pathology I don’t know.

Guest

Bayer seems to use any excuse and distort all facts to support his primitive bigotry.

I think he should be invited by one of the Jewish communitiy centres for a questions and answers debate. It would be interesting to see how he responds when presented with actual facts, though I suspect the gray matter between his ears is too dense for any light to penetrate.

Anyone familiar with a certain famous little British bear will understand the reference when I say that he is simply a “bear of little brain”, so his nonsense can just be pooh-poohed.

webber
Guest

In a normal country Bayer would not be on television, would not be published, and would be ignored.
There is no point in discussing anything with him. He is a nonentity who is kept on the air by power – that is all. The more attention he gets, the better for him.
Anyone who has ever watched any of his shows can attest that they are incredibly boring. His shows are like watching strangers having a chat in a bar.
His writing style is similar – there is no merit whatsoever to it.
He is only on t.v. and published in newspapers because someone in Fidesz likes him and his nonsense.
Any W. European conservative party would have excluded him from party ranks ages ago. But Bayer is not only still a card-carrying member of Fidesz, the government awards him huge sums to make television shows which nobody watches.
Bayer is a media version of the trolls who sometimes visit here. They, and he, should just be ignored and treated as irrelevant, because they are.

Guest

@webber
Today 4:31 am

Easy to say Webber, when you got no skin in the game.

The world looks very different however, when you are exposed to mindless hate and relentless incitement against you and your kind day in and day out, just because one or more of your parents happened to be of Jewish descent. Then you tend to get pretty allergic to all that, after a while, that is, if you happen to have any backbone at all. And in any case, the more incitement, the more hate, and we Jews of Hungary got plenty of history on that, even in recent times. The bottom line is that experience tells us that it is best to shut it down and if possible choke it off altogether before it gets really virulent, violent and more widespread than ever.

If in Hungary none of that is possible, then it is best for a Jew to get out of there quick as possible.

No different from the situation of a black man in the Deep South who finally gets a gutful of the KKK types around him, and moves North or West.

Guest

Same as in school. If you feel strong enough to stand up to the school bully you do that and ultimately beat the sh*t out of him because that is likely to be the only way to teach him to leave you alone. Been there, seen that, done that. If however you don’t feel strong enough to stand up to the school bully then you get out and try your luck in some other school. Simple. Basic Survival 101.

webber
Guest

I have no skin in “the game” – true, in the sense you mean it.
In another sense, as a human being I am disgusted by “the game.” As a gentile I am embarrassed by it.

Guest

Re: Bayer and all who incite and protect a certain ‘mind-set’

“…and Prometheus said, ‘Let me give you fire,’ and humanity saw that It was good’.

And yet through the millennia we can see in some places the extraordinary effort to make sure some destructive ‘fires’ never ever burn out. Those fires are guarded strongly and arrogantly regardless of the strength of the winds against it. Sadly Magyarorszag appears to be a foremost bastion for the most rotten firemen in the world.

webber
Guest

Gentlemen and ladies treat anti-Semites and racists as nonentities. I am sure it is hard, but I recommend the following: change channels when they come on television, don’t buy their newspapers, leave social events if you see them there. Shun them in every way possible, and if despite our best efforts you are forced to face them, then tell them exactly what you think of their disgusting views.
That’s my strategy. Yours might be better. I don’t know. It’s what works for me, though. I sleep better this way.
I refuse to attend any event that includes a member of the Hungarian government, or their representatives – and that includes their diplomatic corps. The last time I saw the Ambassador to Paris Károlyi and his wife I acted as if I did not see them and immediately left the vicinity. I will not associate with them ever again. They have gone beyond the pale – and that goes for bag and baggage of this so-called government.

Guest

@webber
March 15, 2016 6:11 am

You are a very honourable person, Webber, and deserve every respect for it. Not too many like you, back there, in the old country.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

Zsolt Bayer’s Mantra is far too simplistic: some of the leaders of the Hungarian Soviet 1919 were Jews; therefore, antisemitism in Hungary during the Horthy period was justified. This is a perverse view on History. Because as Jewish Hungarians showed the number of Jews executed during the “red terror” was higher than the percentage of Jews in the population. Nevertheless, Bayer – the good friend of Viktor Orbán – “forgets” an important fact, the chief ideologue of Hungarian antisemitism, the catholic bishop Ottokar Prohaska wrote anti-Semitic articles before the Hungarian Soviet 1919.
In addition, let me mention a fact Hungarian anti-Semites like to forget: The Hungarian Red Army tried to defend those territories densely populated by ethnic Hungarians against the Czechoslovak and Romanian army, while Miklós Horthy had to wait in Szeged until the Romanian Army occupied Budapest.

webber
Guest

Péter Bihari has published an excellent little book on anti-semitism in Hungary during WWI. I can’t recommend it highly enough to those who speak Hungarian.
The book is Lövészárkok a hátországban – középosztály, zsidókérdés, antiszemitizmus. Az első világháború Magyarországon.
Bihari is a high-school teacher (Fazekas gimnázium), who says of himself that he is not a historian, but he is in fact one of a very few Hungarian historians whose writing is of such value that should be hired to teach in an American university (if he would be willing to leave Hungary),

Guest

It being March 15th in Hungary as I write this, I wonder what Bayer would make of the role of Hungarian Jews inthe 1848 Revolution. My understanding is that the vast majority supported the Revolution and paid a very heavy price for that support at the hands of Haynau.

webber
Guest

There was also some vicious anti-Semitism during 1848. In the fighting between Serbian insurrectionists, Habsburg forces, and Hungarian troops in what is now (and was then, briefly) called Vojvodina there were regular ethnic massacres in some places – Serbs murdering Hungarians, and Hungarian troops killing villages of Serbian civilians. All groups also murdered Jews, solely for being Jews.
I am certain that someone will challenge me on this – so if anyone doubts it I can provide a source: an eye-witness who visited the area and spoke with survivors. This was published in German back then, and has since been forgotten (or neglected). I have it on my shelf.

dos929
Guest
Just for those of you who are not that familiar with the Hungarian scene and the 20th century Hungarian history, the sad facts are that people like Bayer fuelled anti-Semitism in Hungary for over 100 years. He is the proud holder of the #5 FIDESZ membership card, and the most avid supporter of the regime and Orban himself. This later fact is not a crime however, as all kinds of political interest groups have their devoted members. But Bayer is a public figure, and as such, he is one of the most outspoken one with anti-Semitic, anti-liberal, anti-everything views that has anything to do with liberal politics, etc. And he is not only a loyal supporter of Orban and the regime, but Orban is equally a staunch ally of Bayer. There are quite a large number of people like Bayer in the FIDESZ leadership and in the Orban propaganda machine, who are not ashamed and not afraid of the consequences of spreading lies, falsifying history on a daily basis, and doing so in the 21st century… They act like if the past 6 years of the Orban-FIDESZ terror still didn’t achieve enough to gain absolute power and thus they still… Read more »
Guest
London Calling! I just find all this obsession with analysing the past to justify bad behaviour – and then re-analysing it so tiresome. Especially as it focuses on Hungarians justifying their past present and future treatment of a minority – mainly the Jews. But also Hungarian Roma, homosexuals and ‘cripples’ as they were called then. Isn’t it enough that you murdered about 1 million (to the nearest 1m!)? Thank God for death. Really. When this generation is dead – and possibly the next -this ‘collective’ mis-memory will be diluted through generations. Hungary’s dreadful past does need to be forgotten but not without a catharsis and mea culpa first. But that won’t happen – a bit like the terrible events of the Spanish civil war. Continuing sore open wounds. Churchill used that much quoted mantra of Santayana’s “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. But not in Hungary’s case. Better just to forget it. Fortunately the youth of Hungary don’t give a toss about their history. Not so long ago my partner and I witnessed a massive – really massive – horse and rider being lowered on to a plinth outside parliament in Budapest. The whole… Read more »
Guest

So go on! Tell me who it is?

It was a beautiful Summer’s day – as I prayed for the thin straps wrapped around the horse to break as the crane lowered it.

Sadly they didn’t. Presumably this statue had been there pre 1944?

webber
Guest

If you mean this statue,
comment image

It’s to Count Gyula Andrássy, who was a revolutionary in 1848, then lived in exile for some time. He returned to Hungary in 1858, later became Prime Minister of Hungary, and later still served the Emperor as Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungary.

If you mean this statue:
comment image

It’s to Prince Francis II, Rákóczi (1676-1735), who led a rebellion against the Habsburgs. It was erected in 1937, and was done by an artist called János Pásztor who died in 1945.

These statues may not be to your taste, but so what? Neither of the people depicted in these statues deserves bile. Nor do the artists who made them.

There are a few ugly statues in London as well. Would you like to smash any of these? (article link below)
http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2013/11/03/londons-top-ten-baffling-statues/

Guest
London Calling! Yes. There are plenty of ugly monstrosities in England! And your point is? I made the point that it is (in my view – and of course you never hold back giving yours..) it is completely out of scale and detracts from Steindl’s masterpiece. I made the point that it is (in my view – and of course you never hold back giving yours..) it is completely out of scale and detracts from Steindl’s masterpiece. Geddit? I have repeated what I said – please try and understand, before going off on another one. This is HS not London Spectrum – it’s only your bitterness and dislike of England – even if you profess to having lived there – that makes you go off and find some sort of weird justification. Wolfi says so many Hungarians justify things using the same technique as you. Why not go off and find some more knicker-exposing pictures in London on a Saturday night? And your point is? Listen up now. Keep it Hungary – I’m not interested in your English ‘erudition’ . In the first picture you show – it doesn’t show at all how this statue dominates the Parliament building. And… Read more »
Guest

btw – quick, frantic search to prove your erudition on Google was it?

Guest

The second picture is a joke! It should have been clear to anyone that it doesn’t dominate any building at all.
So often you have shown you don’t read people’s careful posts properly. And you certainly don’t do subtle.

webber
Guest

Good lord, man!
Are you serious??? My “bitterness and dislike of England”????
Where do you get that nonsense???? That I dislike the behaviour of drunk yobbos on Saturday nights?!!
Do you like it?
I adore the place. Spend as much of my spare time there as possible.
Let’s just look back at this little “conversation”
You spewed about a statue I happen to like. You spent quite a few lines doing it, too. You asked who it was (I rather think the people you asked just didn’t want to bother telling you who Gyula Andrássy was. Schoolkids have to learn about him.)
What you wrote had very little to do with the topic of this blog, but I answered your question.
I’m waiting for a “thanks” for that.

webber
Guest

Charlie – if you look at that second statue from the other side…

webber
Guest

You asked who it was. I answered.
“thanks”?
I’m waiting….

Guest

@charliecharlieh
March 15, 2016 8:50 am

Hi Charlie

Bit of an overreaction there. :-))

Reminds me a bit of the ways of my dear wife of 50 years, originally a kibbutz girl from Israel, she too tends to have a very short fuse on her.

Anyway, no use quarreling, both Webber and yourself are very fine people, with hearts and minds in the right place.

Best
Mike

webber
Guest

aha… judging from your comments below (the google one) you now feel your question “tell me who it is?” was a stupid one.
I agree.

Guest

This Bayer (and I’m sure there are many Hungarians with similar ideas) is just unbelievable and even more unbelievable is the fact that the creature gets official support from O and his party!

A few remarks from an “outsider”:
Antisemitism was rampant all of Europe for a long time. Many Jews in Württemberg only got equal rights at the end of the 19th Century and in Austria and Prussia etc it was the same – so there is a kind of tradition here.
If it weren’t for those like Bayer I’d say let’s just move on!

PS:
It’s interesting in my eyes that of course Jews were over represented in Hungarian politics – just as they were in science and business, art and the cinema …
So could the whole thing be some kind of Hungarian inferiority complex?
“Jews are better than regular Hungarians at everything.”

A bit OT (and sorry for the bad joke):

A Hungarian politician visits his Jewish psychiatrist and after several sessions the psychiatrist tells him:

I can’t help you – you don’t have an inferiority complex, you just are inferior!

Guest

OT but relevant: In 1947, my father asked me why both editors of my Junior High School newspaper were jewish. I looked at the masthead and said “Because they are the best”.

Guest
@wolfi7777 March 15, 2016 9:08 am –“It’s interesting in my eyes that of course Jews were over represented in Hungarian politics – just as they were in science and business, art and the cinema”– That was an inevitable consequence of the modernizing role that was assigned from 1867 onwards to Jews living in Hungary by the aristocratic leadership of Hungary, which at the time had a classical liberal (szabadelvű) political and economic orientation. The situation of Jews in the German lands was quite different, first because the proportion of Jews in their respective populations was incomparably smaller than in Hungary, and second, because German Austria and the uniting German Empire already had robust and muscular modernizing middle classes by the time the emancipation of Jews was put on the agenda, thus there was no need at all to call on Jews to put these lands on a modernizing path, as was however most definitely the case in a far more backward, still very largely feudal Hungary. –“So could the whole thing be some kind of Hungarian inferiority complex?”– I think that under the Dual Monarchy it was more a combination of fear (of competition) and envy (of success), mostly on… Read more »
Guest
There is also one more thing, Wolfi, re your point on what some suppose to be a chronic inferiority complex on the part of Hungarian gentiles. Hungarian antisemitism is inseparably bound up with the Hungarian propensity for always blaming their problems on someone else, and complaining endlessly about it. An excellent example is how Hungarians had viewed, and still view the loss of WW1 (and WW2) and the losses of Trianon. Both were, and are blamed on THE Jews in general, at once communists and capitalists, and supposedly masters of the Dolchstoß, the stab in the back. Just as the declassé gentry, the ethnic German burghers and the Church were unable and unwilling to confront and process the real reasons for Jewish successes, and for their own lagging behind in the Dual Monarchy, so the Hungarian gentile public was, and still is unwilling and unable to confront and process the real reasons behind loosing the war(s) or the real reasons behind Trianon. It was, and still is a lot easier on the Hungarian gentile ego to blame the Jews, knowing full well that the Jews in Hungary are in no position to hit back and defend themselves against the calumny… Read more »
webber
Guest

OT – HVG estimates @ 30,000 on the streets of Budapest now demonstrating solidarity with teachers. An Index reporter has estimated 15,000 have passed him personally, with more possibly coming from side streets. Even pro-Fidesz Origo says “tens of thousands.” Considering how miserable the weather is, and that nobody is busing protesters to Budapest, the numbers are impressive. It looks like Eva was right (again) and there really is a change in atmosphere (not in Győr, I know, I know…)
Does anyone have better estimates from any other source?

Guest

The German press is “not amused” about Orbán’s crazy speech today:
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/viktor-orban-diffamiert-migranten-und-kritisiert-europas-fluechtlingspolitik-a-1082441.html
“The migrants bring antisemitism to Europe” he said among other stupid things – well we all know that’s not necessary because it’s already available in Hungary …

webber
Guest

I was not amused by the Polish Gastarbeiters cheering Orban. I wonder whether the Polish government or the Hungarian one organized and paid for their trip?

Guest

“The migrants bring antisemitism to Europe” he said among other stupid things – well we all know that’s not necessary because it’s already available in Hungary …

It’s like carrying coal to Newcastle.

Tyrker
Guest

Don’t be silly, wolfi. The closet anti-Semitism that’s (undoubtedly) present in certain segments of Hungarian society is nothing compared to the rampant Jew-hatred that characterises the Islamic world where most of the migrants are hailing from. These people were raised in the belief that Jews are their enemies who should be eradicated from the face of the Earth! You know, there’s a reason why György Konrád and other prominent Jewish intellectuals – who generally detest Orbán – have expressed support for his migration policy. They know that allowing millions of Muslim newcomers into the EU presents a major danger to them.

szaboubul
Guest

That’s the thing. Unless there is this feeling in the air in Győr or Sopron or Debrecen or Kiskunhalas or Kecskemét or Zalaegerszeg or Kaposvár nothing will happen. (This is not 2002, the election system is totally different.). I didn’t feel it in Zeg recently.

And Orban knows that. He set the system up this way, he knows how it works. Budapest is almost irrelevant. It’s a great place for a show performed by CÖF or the teachers but everything is decided in rural, right-leaning regions. If they stay with Orban, nothing will change. Sorry to break the bad news.

webber
Guest

I’m not so sure. People are more quiet in the country. Maybe they have more to lose. The system is tougher there.
But when they have voted in by-elections recently, there have been some surprises.

Member

WRONG! I personally know three teachers from different regions of Hungary who made the trip to Budapest today, in order to demonstrate!

Member

@szaboubul = troll, ignore

szaboubul
Guest
Stevan Hernad: What was it that I wrote that made you think I was a troll? I have doubts whether you have intimate knowledge of the current election system or have personal connections in Western Hungary or in traditionally conservative areas of Bács, Békés or Hajdú-Bihar. I do. The current election system was set up this way: politicians can play around in Budapest, even vote left (or any opposition), but outside Budapest Fidesz can still retain its power very easily for a number of reasons. In the current system rural areas count much more than they used to be. Whatever happened from 1990 until 2010 is not a useful template. The liberal-leftist Budapest cannot compensate for the lack of popularity of the left in rural places (a fact) where voting is not based on any rational arguments nor on information gathered from the internet (but gathered from Kossuth Radió and state TV channels and free newspapers produced by Arpad Habony). In the current election system the current opposition cannot possibly gain a majority (and note that the system can easily be amended by buying a few votes at any time and a simple majority isn’t nearly enough to actually govern… Read more »
Member

Poster Profiling

The standard Turul-Triumphalist-Troll (when it is not just trying to derail the discussion with charged irrelevancies such as bar-room critiques of the US or EU or tendentious crocodile tears about the (real) suffering of Palestinians) is chanting the unending refrain that “Orban is unbeatable and the opposition is just a bunch of losers,” sometimes hedged with “It’s not that I support him, but them’s the facts.”

If one finds oneself saying much the same thing, no more, no less ( and one is not a troll — or thinks one isn’t) then one should ask oneself what one is adding to this discussion. — Because this song we’ve heard countless times before, adds nothing, and leads absolutely nowhere…

The serious readers and contributors in this forum — Professor Balogh being foremost among them — are not interested in fatalism and faits accomplis but in concrete ways forward.

Blazej doktor
Guest

What if there is no legal way forward? Have you ever thought about that?

Member

Sure.

Guest

“What if there is no legal way forward? ”

The legal way forward is retroactive law!

Retroactive legislation has been introduced as a valid legal principle by the Orban regime.

Retfroactive legislation will be used to undo the whole absurd legal edifice created by the Orban regime in one stroke.

Guest

@Stevan Harnad
March 15, 2016 4:43 pm

With the greatest respect, ill-tempered shooting the messenger is a self-defeating and counter-productive tactic, and so is a mindless boosterism of one’s own side of the argument without backing it up with any empirical evidence whatsoever, a tactic which soon begins to look more like propaganda than rational argument.

Guest

Even in Győr the mood might change when the German company Audi says one day:
We don’t need you Hungarian workers any more …
Your productivity is too low, you ask for too much money …
Then how would those workers react?
“It’s the Jews’ fault”? or
It’s the EU’s fault!
Of course it can’t be Hungary’s fault …

Istvan
Guest
I agree Webber it was a massive turn out for a one hour walk out in front of schools to be held on March 30. That is hardly a national strike. The Chicago Teachers Union where I live, is at least carrying out an equally illegal one day strike for April 1st for a full school day with picket signs and is implementing a full shut down . But virtually every teacher here in traditional non-charter schools is unionized, which is why they get paid on average $72,000 for a ten month year and 6.5 hour school day not including benefits. Somehow I don’t think this one hour walk out will intimidate Fidesz, now if it happens at the majority of schools in Hungary – not just in Budapest it might have some impact. Especially if the next week they go out for two hours and continue to escalate it as one speaker today indicated would be the strategy. Since the two unions calling this action via the strike committee really do not have any presence at all in many schools it will be interesting to see how many of those schools walk out too on March 30. Ultimately that… Read more »
Bowen
Guest

Today’s anti-government demonstration. (I was just at Oktogon.)

I watched the last ‘Bekemenet’ in 2014 pass by on Andrassy. It took a full 21 minutes to walk past.

Today, I stood in a similar place. It took 26 minutes to walk past.

A point of comparison: in 2014, it was a warm and sunny day. Today, it’s cold and raining. Plus, the yellow underground was blocked to passengers, meaning that lots of people had to walk up from Deak Ter, or join at Oktogon.

So, by my reckoning, this is bigger than the 2014 Bekemenet.

Guest

It was bigger because Orbán has successfully looted even more public money and is far richer even than in 2014, so could afford to buy several thousand more “peace” (big joke) marchers.

But never mind, the opposition, which includes teachers and doctors, were more uplifiting today than ever before and we are now prepared to put words into action, namely, striking and striking until we effect a change in the government.

bimbi
Guest

Surely we need to remember that Zsolt Bayer is the Purveyor-in-Chief of Fidesz hard porn propaganda and his principal stock-in-trade is raving anti-Semitism. (He thinks it is what he does best.) So, month after month he continues – at the behest and with the approval of his party master – to produce essentially the same script. If nothing else, this serves to induce rage in the liberal and democratic opposition (as it properly should), except that Zsolt B. serves merely as the trigger man for setting off a new wave of outrage as and when the party deems appropriate. Scum? Sure he’s scum, as are those who press the buttons to set Zsolt in operation again. Let us not forget that he is yet another little cog in Fidesz’s shameful propaganda machine, re-writing history and corrupting Hungarian society one lie at a time.

Member

Probably my comment will not be a popular one. I was debating to put anything on. I wish we would not provide more forum to Bayer. Lets face it this issue is like beating a dead horse, and was analyzed back and forth. Bayer recycles his ideas, and any time he does, and each time we talk about it it just makes him rank hire on search engines. He is like mental patient who should not be taken seriously, and let him speak amongst the likes of himself. It is very clear that he has nothing new to say, there is nothing new that comes up, and any articles about him brings up the same “arguments” we make for years. It is not Bayer who is the problem. In the States KKK still exist, and only with Trump they got any new publicity. Let Bayer be, as we would disregard a fool at the underpass.

dos929
Guest

You are absolutely right about Bayer being mental, however so are Orban and his servile admirers… But without exposing him and the likes of him it might correspond that his views are accepted without counter arguments. There is nothing plays better into the hands of these regimes than the silence of the masses. So, even if we have to repeat it endlessly, we should call the attention to their words and deeds….

Member

Bayer is nobody! He is nothing! Orban is the Prime Minister, so every time he opens he is mouth, we should talk about it. Bayer is just a regular mental patient. Only his followers take him serious. There were so many blog entries and comments about this mental case already here. I not even think Orban listens to him. What do we expect, what is going to happen because we are talking about hime again? If he starts a new Peace event, then yes, by all means, expose the guy again, talk about who are the people who are supporting Orban at this march, but otherwise why bother with this speckle of dirt, and give him the satisfaction to read about himself over and over. Every time his name is printed, he thinks he is relevant.

Guest

@dos929
March 15, 2016 1:52 pm

You are absolutely right. Silence has two profoundly damaging consequences. The first is that it shows implicit consent, thus acceptance. The second is that as a consequence of the first, its impact and influence continues to just grow and grow and grow without the slightest hindrance. Some1 is completely wrongheaded about this.

Guest

Re: ‘the groundbreaking modernist poetry of Ezra Pound’

In his very difficult last years he wrote:

‘A blown husk that is finished
but the light sings eternal
a pale flare over marshes’

Apparently the enmity addressed against him took its toll. In one way his innovative poetry dynamically changed American literature in the modern age. In another Pound is an example of poetic genius alongside weakness in character as shown in his tirades against Jews and fascist beliefs. Some described him as an ‘American Haw-Haw’.

So two contributions. One for the ‘good’ of mankind the other for ‘evil’. Great writers and people would appear to be always battling this in their arenas. It is an indication of how individuals navigate and process their view of the world as they inexorably live in it.

webber
Guest

Ezra Pound, Naples, July 1958.
comment image

Below is a good article on the (now repeated) comparison of Ezra Pound with Hungarian figures, and the role Pound now plays in American life. His poetry is still read, and taught, but there is not a single statue dedicated to him anywhere in the United States.

http://hungarianfreepress.com/2015/02/13/los-angeles-hungarian-group-to-celebrate-anti-semitic-writer-albert-wass/

petofi
Guest

Re: Los Angeles hungarian group….

(Just to show you how the Hungarian mind works…)

The LA action may be under the instigation of home forces in an
attempt to get a reaction from jews in LA….and thereby confirm to Hungarians at home that LA/Cal/USA is controlled by jews.
Thus the twisted mind of Viktor.

Guest

Mr. Lazar is right on the money when it comes to Pound here who during the war became an enemy to his native country. A great poet but ‘celebrating’ him indeed would be a ‘provocation’.

It has been noted that his ‘Cantos’ show his great achievement in American literature . And it is on that where he remarked on the work’s faults noting , as in Bartok’s music, that they came from ‘defects inherent in a record of struggle’.

spectator
Guest

As we are at it, seems that people just addicted to pose this way.

Just look at this beauty from today!
Still a way to grow, but in the right course:

comment image

To become

comment image

Exercise, exercise little Viktor, and more exercise – you’ll succeed one day..!
Or else, as later on the day we have witnessed 🙂

Guest

Orban can be very pleased with today – he’s slowly upping the ante with Brussels in engineering the refugee crisis confrontation.

He needs a big ding dong so he can do his Kim Il Un principle one ‘ Saviour of the Nation’ routine.

The snap election preamble is coming along nicely.

And the teachers? They want an apology and will strike for an hour.

“Is that all?” thinks Orban “just another damp squib.”

(“Hit me in the face with a dead sheep, why don’t you?”)

(“Maybe I’ll try for one in July? Depends on Merkel………hurry up with those quota demands and sort Turkey out please? “)

Guest

“And nice to know it’s somnambulant in Gyor……….”

(“Why do people put those two funny things over the ‘o’ in Gyor?”

webber
Guest

Is that a serious question? I’ll answer it if it is.

Guest

Btw – no need for some dead sheep pictures from England……

webber
Guest

If anyone says anything negative about England – no matter how true – do you always say they hate England. (I know people who do that about Hungary – and don’t like them one bit)

szaboubul
Guest

Dat look.

Orban shaking hands with Nemes Jeles (third picture from the top). The typical Orban grimace when he has to look people in the eye he actually hates.

http://magyarnarancs.hu/film2/fotok-a-saul-fia-alkotoi-atvettek-a-kossuth-dijat-98595

Guest

From one of my favourite Hungarian tumblr sites – prolidepp:
comment image

Guest

And here’s the original:
comment image

tappanch
Guest

An artist’s view:

Mihály Biró: White Terror in Hungary during the Horthy Regime

http://www.graphicwitness.org/contemp/biro.htm

tappanch
Guest

“Red & White Terror in 1919 – 1920” by P Konok (2010)

http://epa.oszk.hu/00900/00995/00023/pdf/konokp10-3.pdf

tappanch
Guest

Translation (2003) of the May 1920 report on Hungary by the British Trades Union Congress

http://beszelo.c3.hu/cikkek/a-feherterror-magyarorszagon

Guest
@tappanch March 15, 2016 7:37 pm I would like to personally thank you for posting the immensely valuable treasure trove of materials on the events of 1919 in your posts above. I often wonder why my forebears did not just pack up and leave for America following the explosion of Jew-hate from 1919 on, thereby condemning themselves to suffer through the hell of the Jew laws, slave labouring in the Ukraine, the Holocaust in Auschwitz and Mauthausen, then disposession and vicious discrimination by the once again incoming communists. I put it down to two main reasons why they hadn’t left Hungary in 1920 or 1921, when they could have done that in relative comfort and fit in perfectly with the German Jewish upper class in New York. On the one hand they were too well off to have any serious incentive for packing up, leaving and starting all over in America. A big, big mistake. By the time they woke up sometime in 1939 that it might be a good idea to make a move in that direction, it was far, far too late, because America’s gates were firmly shut, as were the gates of the Dominions of the British… Read more »
Guest

Correction: “. . . on the eve of WW2.” at the end of para 4.

Latefor
Guest
I do not believe that Zsolt Bayer hates Jews. Yes, he can be critical of the driving force behind some of the International Jewish commentators re: Hungarian issues, but in my view, non-Jewish journalists should be able to have a balanced view and comment on Jewish issues without being labelled ‘antisemitic’. We are living in a democratic society, are we not? Some things in here are blown out of proportion and the accusations (Charlie/Wolfi/ambalint/petofi – just to name a few) are so powerful that they can embitter the Hungarian population and stir up, even more, hatred. As a Hungarian-born person, I find the comments of these men often stomach-turning, degrading and soulless. When someone dares to speak up against these comments, they cleverly hush up everything and twist the comments of those, who don’t agree with them. Unfortunately, the poor Hungarian people are fallen victims to this fatal blindness which make it impossible for them to see the frightening consequences of these well-placed provocations. This is slowly but surely becoming a psychological warfare between Jews and Christians. There are some people out there, who are desperate to create a “Us and Them” group, one against the other, etc. etc. This… Read more »
webber
Guest

Latefor, you are wrong. Bayer hates Jews. That’s not just my opinion. In 2013 a Hungarian court found him guilty of expressing anti-Semitism and incitement of hatred against minorities (Jews, in this case) in print.
The court came to this decision because Bayer sued some people for calling him an anti-Semite, based on his articles. So, the court had to decide whether these people had defamed Bayer, and found that they had not. What Bayer wrote in several articles is anti-Semitic.

That’s an official decision from a Hungarian court. People I know who have met Bayer tell me he is actually even worse in private – he is obsessed with Jews, and spits bile about them constantly, they say.

Bayer is also a racist. In an article on Gypsies, he called Gypsies “disgusting, noxious animals” (undorító, kártékony állatok)

webber
Guest

P.S. Latefor – have I read you wrong, or have you just implicitly said that Jews are not Hungarians?
I know many people think this. I find it very strange. For such people, Hungarians might be Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans, the Orthodox, Buddhists and Hare Krishna. They just can’t be Jews.
Where do you stand on that?

Latefor
Guest

Weber – you have read it wrong. In my view a Hungarian is someone who feels Hungarian. And most Hungarian Jews are known to be very proud of their Hungarian heritage.

Guest

@Latefor
Today 5:35 am

I accept that what I write is stomach turning for you. So it should be.

What you write is equally stomach turning for me. So we are quits.

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