Daily Israel Report

‘Budapest – Europe’s Capital of Anti-Semitism’

The rise of right-wing and anti-Semitic parties heralds a new wave of anti-Semitism that is headquartered in Budapest, Der Spiegel reports.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 9/27/2011, 5:13 PM

The rise of right-wing and anti-Semitic parties heralds a new wave of anti-Semitism that is headquartered in Budapest, Der Spiegel reports.

A long and thorough analysis by writer Erich Follath concluded with stories from Jewish survivors of the Holocaust who have witnessed neo-Nazism in Hungary, complete with Nazi uniforms and blatant warnings that Jews should leave.

The Jobbik party is the country’s third largest and is openly anti-Jewish, following the ideology of the Arrow Cross Party, which was in power for six months towards the end of World War II and which sent Jews to death camps for extermination.

Ahead of the Jobbik party is the right-wing Fidesz party, which won a commanding majority in the parliamentary elections that gave Jobbik 16.7% of the vote.

“Unknown vandals defiled the Holocaust Memorial with bloody pigs' feet,” Der Spiegel reported. “The television channel Echo TV showed an image of Nobel laureate and Auschwitz survivor Imre Kertész together with a voiceover about rats,” it added.

Krisztina Morvai, a member of the European Parliament for Jobbik, has suggested that "liberal-Bolshevik Zionists" should start thinking about "where to flee and where to hid,” wrote Follath.

His chilling report buries a recent New York Times description of Budapest as the “Hollywood on the Danube.”

His report noted that Jobbik chairman Gábor Vona appeared at the Hungarian parliament, dressed in a black suit, but then took off his jacket to reveal a vest that was a reminder of the Arrow Cross party uniforms.

Interviews with elderly Jewish writers revealed despondency. Renowned Hungarian author György Konrád, 77, told Der Spiegel, "I survived two dictatorships. It's possible that the third one is now on its way.

He described the members of the Arrow Cross Party, “the Nazis' Hungarian henchmen,” as "the scum of society” who would get drunk and shoot old women and little girls on the banks of the Danube.

A Jobbik party leader, Zsolt Varkonyi, told the German newspaper’s journalist, "Well, have you already met with all of your liberal contacts? Are you finished with the Jewish mafia?"

He said that Jobbik is fighting for a "spiritually healthy society based on Christian values." Jews are referred to as people with "foreign hearts."

Der Spiegel reported that a “group of men in black uniforms and riding boots” appeared outside the  Budapest house of Jewish intellectual Gaspar Miklos Tamas last year and shouted, "Heil Hitler, Professor Tamas, how are you?"

After the election, he and 15 other employees of an academic research institute are reportedly about to be fired.

Approximately 80,000 Jews still live in Budapest. One who has left is Auschwitz survivor and writer Imre Kertész, who grew up in the city.

"Right-wing extremists and anti-Semites are in charge," he told the German newspaper Die Welt two years ago.

He told Der Spiegel he now lives in Germany “because for a Jewish writer, life is better in Berlin than in Budapest."