Friday, 1 March 2013

Hungary, Hungary: students, liberals, losses


Almost two weeks since my last posting. Sometimes I feel I should seriously consider the existence of this blog if posts are going to be so rare. But for now I continue.

I continue now because news continues to filter in from Hungary and I feel someone has to log it. Here are three items.

1. Students Union versus students at ELTE

HÖK students with Jobbik flag

ELTE Budapest is the top university in the country and many of its students who have formed themselves into a group called HaHa have been conducting a sit-in for the reasons reported here:

HaHa organised the action to demand the restoration of the number of fully state-financed places at least to the 2011 level, halting funding cuts, cancelling student contracts, restoring the autonomy of universities and colleges and guaranteeing state-financed positions in all faculties.

This is not a sit-in supported by the official students union, HÖK, which has a fascist Jobbik leadership.  Here is how one English language site puts it:

...for years the Hallgatói Önkormányzat (HÖK) of ELTE’s faculty of arts (BTK) has been keeping tabs on incoming students’ alleged religious affiliation, ethnic background, sexual orientation, and political views. For good measure they also assessed the sexual potential of female students. What one ought to know about this particular HÖK is that it has been a breeding ground for Jobbik politicians and activists.

Here is a Hungarian source giving the background, fitting some names to the Jobbik group.

2005 óta a BTK HÖK elnökei mind Jobbik-tagok voltak - Szávay István, Nemes László, Garbai Ádám -, és szinte az összes alelnökre, illetve több aktivistára ugyanez igaz. Bár az egyetemen szigorúan tiltott a politikai tevékenység és „véleménydiktatúra” – erre maga Garbai hívta fel a figyelmet a Hallgatói Hálózat által kezdeményezett egyetemfoglalássalkapcsolatban –, az információi szerint gyakoriak az ilyen megnyilvánulások a BTK HÖK rendezvényein.

The article  tells us that ever since 2005 the presidents of HÖK -  Szávay, Nemes, Garbai, and, almost all the vice-presidents and the majority of activists - have been members of, or allied to. Jobbik.

And then a list comes to light. Here is a Hungarian source:

A hallgatók neve, középiskolája, telefonszáma és pólómérete mellett egy-egy rövid „jellemzés” is megtalálható, például: „Egészséges világlátású klassz csaj”(1) ; „Szerintem cigó”(2); „Latinmániás minifeminista”(3); „Vicces gyerek udvari bolondnak jó lehet”(4); „Langy fideszes”(5); „Csúnya zsidó feje van”(6); „Vízilabdásokat kedveli, Pista, repülj rá!” 

My translation of some of the comments above: (1) "Classy chick, healthy world views", (2) "A gyppo I reckon", (3) "Latinmaniac minifeminist", (4) "Funny kid would make good court jester", (5) "Lukewarm Fidesz supporter" (6)"Ugly Jew mug" etc. [I haven't translated the seventh, too obscure]

And back to the English one, that quotes some other epithets with one overlap, the language a little awkward, not quite racy enough.

I must admit that I was unfamiliar with many of the descriptions. Although I could figure out what “cigó” and “libsi” could mean, when it came to “ratyi” I had to look it up on the Internet. Among the notations: “atheist, acquaintance of Demszky” (SZDSZ mayor of Budapest between 1990 and 2010), “stupid Lutheran girl, revisionist, Transylvanian picture,” “he has an ugly Jewish head,” “ugly broad who bicycles,” “little liberal fag,” and so on. I urge people who know the language to take a look at the original text. Some of the notes also described actions of the student association. For example, the almighty HÖK leaders who decide whether someone can have a room in the dormitory remarked that “we aren’t going to give him a place.” 
Beside each name there was a hidden question whether the person is Jewish or not. Answer: I for igen and N nor nem. Party preferences were noted too: A = MSZP; B = LMP, C = Fidesz, D = Jobbik.

My bold type. Add to that from the Hungarian above (my translation)

HÖK now says that, yes, the list existed, but that it has been tampered with. Jobbik doesn't usually see the need to tamper with with its clear agenda, but this is, perhaps, a little inconvenient. The fact remains that the official students union is dominated by fascist students.

2.  Rant

Zsolt Bayer with the prime minister Viktor Orbán

From today's Magyar Hirlap, the far right daily in which we find the writings of Zsolt Bayer, a co-founder of Fidesz,  who has appeared in this blog before.

It's a long piece in which he denies ever having written that gypsies are animals, nor did he ever say that Jews should be buried up to their heads in the earth as they were in 1919, nor did he ever claim that Jews had wormed their way into the heart of the nation. No, he cries, it's all a lie.

What he says is that he meant only gypsies that were murderers and only those Jews who took every opportunity to damage the nation, "a situation that has not changed since 1919" he wisely adds.

Having got this off his chest he goes, as is his wont, on the rampage. He speaks of France as a lawless country in which immigrants have taken the laws into their own hands so the real French are cowed and want the army not the police to handle them. These immigrants herald the downfall of Europe.

He goes on to castigate what he calls the 1968 generation for its 'politically correct' support of the global market, multiculturalism and liberal democracy. Let me give you the rest in his inimitable Hungarian, and then I will translate it.

Falkában vetitek magatokat a kiszemelt áldozatotokra, mint nyáladzó, undorító hiénafalka. És nem eresztitek. Nektek csak a halál a megfelelő büntetés. A halálban hisztek, a társadalmi nyilvánosság előtt végbemenő kivégzésben, amelynek során áldozatotok végképp magára marad, tönkremegy, barátai megtagadják, munkáját elveszíti, vége lesz. Ez a célotok. Közben a külvárosokban és a falvakban gyűlik a bűn, a kín, gennyednek a sebek, a többségi társadalom segítségért üvölt; amíg ezt olvassátok, magyar öregasszonyokat és öregembereket gyaláznak meg éppen, vagy tán meg is ölik őket. Míg ezt olvassátok, a Nyugat külvárosaiban bevándorlók milliói rúgják fel a törvényt, és elmebetegek hiénafalkái mentegetik őket. 
Míg ezt olvassátok, Európa ismét közelebb került önnön végzetéhez. Ti, és csakis ti vagytok ezért a felelősek. Bűnötök mérhetetlen, és az lesz büntetésetek is. 
Még nem is sejtitek, micsoda szörnyeteget élesztgettek. Sőt már fel is ébresztettétek. Azt pedig végképp nem sejtitek, hogy értetek majd csak mi fogunk szót ejteni. Mi, kijelölt áldozataitok. Mi vagyunk az egyetlenek, akikhez majd fordulhattok segítségért. Csak mi fogunk elbújtatni titeket. Ugyanis mi önsorsrontóan jók vagyunk. És ezt vegyétek nagyon komolyan, ti, nyomorultak.

You have fallen on your specially selected victims in a pack, like a salivating, repulsive pack of hyenas. And you will not let the victim go. You want nothing less than the victim's death. You believe in death, in slow motion public execcutions in the course of which your victims are left isolated, ruined, rejected by their friends, without a job, until they perish. That's what you want. In the meantime, out in the suburbs and villages, crime and suffering increase, wounds grow septic, and society at large is screaming for help; and all the while old Hungarian women and men are being humiliated, maybe even murdered; and all the while, in the the suburbs of the West, millions of immigrants reject the law while mentally deficient hordes rush to defend them. 
While you read this Europe approaches ever closer to its extinction. And it is you, you alone, who are responsible for this. Your crimes are boundless, and you will receive due punishment. 
You have no idea what monster you are bringing to life, have in fact already woken. And what you have not begun to guess,what you will only later understand, is that we are the only people who will stand up for you. We, your selected victims. We are the only people you will be able to turn to when you need help. We are the only ones who will hide you. Because we are decent to the point of self-destruction. And you'd best take this seriously, you scum. [literally 'miserables', but with the force of 'miserable bastards']

So that's you, you miserable pack of hyenas, you Jews (sorry, only those who are bad for the country), gypsies (only those who are criminals, of course), politically correct multiculturalist liberal democrats. It - is - all - your - fault. And you pick on poor lost creatures like Mr Bayer. Shame on you!

3.  Loss

Ádám Nádasdy

Back to ELTE. Ádám Nádasdy , one of the leading poets in the country is to lose his job. He is not only a poet but a leading translator of Shakespeare into Hungarian. Even more than that, in the eyes of many, certainly at the university, he is the greatest living expert in English and German historic linguistics, a teacher whose lectures everyone wants to attend. He is the  founder of a school "at the best faculty in the best university of the country".

The School of English has written to ask for continuation of his contract. It is signed by everyone in the School.

He is sixty-six years old and is entitled as a professor to teach there until he is seventy. He looks remarkably young and is vastly productive and influential.

The reasons for "letting him go" are likely to be political. He is, no doubt, one of Bayer's hated liberals. What is more he is gay and he writes for a magazine, Magyar Narancs, that is critical of the government. Ergo he must go as soon as possible. There is no other reason for him to go and he himself doesn't want to go. 

It may be that the governing body of the university that has been so tolerant of fascist activism in the university is less tolerant of those who are amongst its greatest scholars and teachers, never mind the poetry and the translation.

This is the way Fidesz and its supporters go about their task of eliminating opposition. Termination of contracts. Financial intimidation and strangulation.

I know Ádám Nádasdy personally and have translated his complex, playful, sad, elegant, beautiful poems. I have gone in awe of his knowledge, his humour and kindness.

It's just another first-rate disgrace.

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