Sunday, 2 September 2012

More on fascism and anti-semitism in Hungary

Back in June, Elie Wiesel returned a Hungarian prize in protest at the attendance of top Hungarian officials at the reburial of fascist writer, József Nyirő , a story I had featured before, more than once. He did so by writing to the Hungarian Speaker of Parliament who had attended the ceremony, László Kövér.

That's a lot of links, but it made the government look bad. Now the weekly, government-supporting magazine, Heti Válasz (Weekly Anwer - link to English language version, worth having a check through) has a fine riposte to the insult. Three whole pages of anti-semitic views are culled from the greats of world and Hungarian politics and culture, some of them - granted - rather old, but famous enough. Here are two of the pages.

The third page came to me in PDF form and I can't upload it but it doesn't matter, you'll get the idea.

What are these snippets with the sources in red?

We begin with Winston Churchill in The Illustrated Sunday Herald in 1920, in which he tells how every negative movement, from the 19C onwards was fomented in the underworld of European cities or America, and that the 'persons' behind these movements, who now had the Russian people by the throat and had become their undisputed masters, were the same as those who played the 'same satanic role that Jews played in Hungary under Béla Kún's rule of terror.' (That's the Bolshevik Red Terror. He doesn't mention Horthy's White Terror that immediately followed.)

From Churchill we move to Roald Dahl who tells us it was not without reason that Hitler hated Jews.

We move through Bill Clinton (an odd choice as he says nothing about Jews, but makes a remark about Obama). Then we have T S Eliot in 1934 on the undesirability of too many free thinking Jews. Henry Ford proclaims how all the ills of America are down to Jews. We get Bobby Fischer talking about the murderous bandit state of Israel and its chief supporter, Jew-run America (some of our own left will recognise themselves here).

There are major Hungarian figures like the national hero, celebrated by the Communists and socialists, Endre Bajcsy-Zsilinszky, back in 1919, blaming the 'foreigners of Hungary' (guess who?) for the misery of the Hungarian nation; the poet Gyula Illyés who is quoted chiefly because he denies Jewish intellectual superiority; the poet and novelist Dezsö Kosztolányi accusing the Jewish George Lukács and Béla Balázs (the writer of the libretto of Bluebeard's Castle) of exercising 'racial tyranny', the writer Sándor Márai saying he has no problem with Jews it's just that some of the most awful people he has met were Jews; Zsigmond Móricz the novelist (in 1919) swearing that Jews have - or ought to have - a characteristic smell that makes people feel distinctly ill; the writer László Németh comparing the revenge thirsty Jews to Shylock in 1943, and Jean-Luc Godard comparing Golda Meir to Hitler. Heidegger is there for no other reason than to celebrate the free choice of the German people in electing the Führer. Ezra Pound comments on the Jews' wormlike capacity to turn everything they touch to rot and decay, George Bernard Shaw on the true enemy of the people: the Jew.  There are others I haven't quoted. How could I forget Franz Liszt?

In between these thirty items there is a sprinkling (four) of comments by Jews in which they talk of  Hungarian inferiority, or express a general hatred of Hungarians, ending with Wiesel himself talking about Jewish hatred of Germans. In between are four quotations that have nothing to do with Jews or Hungarians but in which those who might be assumed to have some sympathy for Jews show racial contempt for other races, including - clever touch this - black people or Palestinians.

In case anyone is interested, the score is 22-8 if I have counted properly, but the eight are also intended for anti-Semitic use.

And so you have a respectable government-supporting conservative paper giving over three pages to foment Jew hatred.

And the role and opinion of the Fidesz government?

If you have the stomach for it  here is another story earlier last month. about a big far right music festival. Note the picture of the badges available at the festival at the top of this post and see who they celebrate. One says Dachau Fried Jews. But there's plenty of choice.


Carrie Etter said...

This is horrifying. Thank you for covering this and making more people aware of it.

George S said...

I do try, Carrie.

Harry said...

Hi, just found your blog, and am very glad I did!

Added you to my blogroll, hope you don't mind!



George S said...

YOu're very welcome, Harry - and thank you for your website address. Should I ask about your second name? You're welcome to keep it a secret if you like.

George S said...

OK Harry, I see your name is in the blog.

Harry said...

Thanks for checking out my blog effort, George. I can do secret names too!



Carolyn Yohn said...

Thank you for sharing. I've been following the recent issues loosely-- I just wonder how far they'll take this. Sad!

Gwil W said...

The attention the human race pays and the angst generated thereby due to the whereabouts of some long deceased's ashes or bits and pieces or as the police say the remains baffles me. I cannot come to it.
I must be simple.

George S said...

Carolyn - we will see. They have already taken it a long way in terms of influence. I am not optimistic about the near future because I think this is like a landslide. The stones begin to move. With a bit of luck this might peter out before it dislodges the whole state.

Gwilym - It's not about religion. It's about the psychological drive to include and exclude, such as you will see at any sporting occasion. It is also the desire to blame, which you will also see on the same occasions.

It's just that here there is a very long habit regarding certain outsiders, developed in specific historical conditions.

George S said...

The friend who sent me the scans writes: 'Your blog needs one correction though: the Bajcsy-Zsilinszky text dates from 1919, not 29- a big difference. Considering the fact that B.Zs. later turned into a staunch anti-Nazi MP in the Hungarian parliament and that he was eventually executed by the Hungarian fascists at Sopronkoehida at the end of 1944 or early 45 (check the date!), this is one of the ugliest cases of 'selective editing'!

I have corrected the date which was too small to read in the sca. The rest of the point is well worth making.

havantaclu said...

I had hoped that the sort of caustic hatred and blatant lying that was part of the 1930's Nazi regime was now confined to a few individuals (Breivik for example). Now you show that it has surfaced again in another Central European Government.

Back in the 1960s, when I was studying Geography, I came across the concept of the 'shatter belt.' It was applied to places where, for reasons of history, many diverse cultures and races had been fragmented into a goeographical mosaic, with all the cultures and races intermingled. Needless to say, Central Europe (from Germany through Poland in the north and the Balkans in the south) was a prime example - others were the Middle East and South-East Asia.

It seems to me that, far from being a recipe for harmonious living, a multi-cultural society can allow the prejudices of one racial or cultural group to fester and break out in the most hideous manner, within such a society at any time. Yet I also feel that there is no logical, legitimate reason for this.

It is tragic that it has happened again. What can we do about dealing with this latest infection? and how can we prevent the virus from spreading?

Love and peace