Thursday, 14 March 2013

Fast forward to a fascist Hungary


Excerpt from a letter of protest at ELTE - the Oxbridge of Hungarian universities at Budapest. The Hungarian original is given below my English version.

We past and present students at ELTE [University, named faculty] were outraged to discover the following note stuck to the doors of [the named professors, director, and senior lecturers] this morning. 
"Jews! This university belongs to us, not you! Greetings,  Hungarian students.'
[Mi, az ELTE BTK Művészetelméleti és Médiakutatási Intézet jelenlegi és volt hallgatói fel vagyunk háborodva attól, ami ma reggel az Intézetünkben történt. Magukat "magyar hallgatóknak" nevező ismeretlenek "Zsidók! Az egyetem a miénk, nem a tiétek! Üdvözlettel, a magyar hallgatók..." felirattal ellátott matricát ragasztottak Gruberné Welker Ágnes főeladó, Dr. Heller Ágnes professzor emerita, Dr. Poszler György professzor emeritus illetve Dr. György Péter intézetigazgató névtáblájára.] 

Some kind of enquiry is being undertaken. Student adds: If you thought we could sink no lower, think again.


Ferenc Szaniszló, presenter for Echo TV, the TV channel of the proto-fascist newspaper, Magyar Hirlap for which Mr Zsolt Bayer (often referred to here) writes his hate-pieces, receives the Mihály Táncsis Prize for outstanding journalism together with 400,000 Huf. 

Some choice quotes from Szaniszló (source):

In 2009, in the course of a programme he suggested the world prepare itself for a mass exodus of Jews once Israel runs out of mineral oils, that is "if there's any place on earth that still likes them." 
In a programme in March 2011 he referred to the Roma as "freeloading humanoid apes." 
He has asserted that Hungary is gripped by "gypsy terrorism" 
Last autumn he suggested that it was the IMF that caused the toxic red-sludge disaster of 2010 and that NATO planes had deliberately bombed the mining storage pits. 
In considering the gypsies and Jews he declared: "When it comes down to it some people just have to get out of this country"

My translation of course.  Lay your head in the nation's lap! Give the man a prize!


Ernesto said...

A friend at Elte brought this to my attention more or less contemporaneously as your blog. I am the English-born son of 1956Hungarian emigrés, who has had an untroubled life in the "West". I have moderately fluent Hungarian (but with lousy grammar) and read the words in the original ... the immediacy of the language was painful and I am left with an unexplained shame for my ability to access them. Until recently I was resigned to the Old Country falling back into mediocrity (similar to the years under goulash communism), but where do I find the figleaf now for my shame?

George S said...

Thank you, Ernesto. I think the situation in Hungary goes from bad to worse and that the government is leading the country back into the Thirties. I have written a lot of blogs on this subject, all with links. You can Google 'George Szirtes blog Hungary' to find a good number.

It's not your shame. It is chiefly the shame of Viktor Orbán and Fidesz.

Gwil W said...

I thought we had laws in the EU about this sort of thing. And Hungary is a member of the EU. Or am I mistaken?

George S said...

Hungary is playing a game with the EU. The anti-EU rhetoric is fierce. One of yesterday's far right papers ran with the headline, Hungary Under Attack. It's the old trick of emollient language on the international front, furious demagoguery back home. I am sure the EU knows this but is unsure how to act. Financial pressure might be the best weapon. Hungary could be prevented from voting. Any vocal criticism is as fuel to the ultra-nationalist fire, alas, which is not to suggest the criticism should be quiet but that it should be backed with financial penalties. There is resistance to the government in Hungary. It needs financial and media support.

Gwil W said...

I remember in the Haider - Schüssel coalition days the EU instigated some cultural and educational sanctions against Austria, school exchange visits were cancelled and Prince Charles refused to come etc.. The end effect was only to get people's backs up.

Bad weather in Hungary. Wind, snow, ice etc.. Many villages without power.