Former Neo-Nazi to immigrate to Israel

Czanad Szegedi, a former member of antisemitic Hungarian Jobbik party, is about to immigrate to Israel after discovering his Jewish roots.

Yoel Domb,

Czanad Szegedi in 2009
Czanad Szegedi in 2009
Photo: Reuters

The former Neo-Nazi Hungarian leader, Czanad Szegedi, a former member of the EU parliament and of the radical nationalist and anti-Semitic Jobbik party who recently revealed his Jewish past has announced that he has opened formal proceedings to immigrate to Israel.

His announcement came at a Pan-European conference which took place last week under the auspices of the Movement to Fight Anti-Semitism and Boycotts,

Szegedi was previously notorious for his incendiary comments against Jews. The turning point in his life came when his rival in the party investigated and discovered Szegedi's Jewish roots. Due to that rival, Szegedi learnt that his mother was Jewish, making him Jewish according to Halakhah, and that his grandparents were survivors of the Auschwitz death camp where they lost most of their families. They had subsequently hidden their Judaism over the course of many years.

The stunned Szegedi resigned all his posts in the party after the matter was revealed in the Hungarian Press and searched for ways to strengthen his Jewish identity. He met with Chabad emissaries in Hungary, Rabbi Baruch Oberlander and Rabbi Shlomo Kovac. He adopted the name Dovid, wore a kippah, learnt Hebrew, visited Israel, and had himself circumcised.

Szegedi now lives as a practicing Jew, observing Shabbat and continuing to study Torah with Rabbi Kovac. At the same time he has resigned his post in the European Parliament and has started working to try and obliterate anti-Semitism from Hungary and from all of Europe. Szegedi says that his former party, Jobbik, "offers only the euphoria of hatred to people who are in despair."

A documentary film is being produced about his journey from anti-Semite to Orthodox Jew.

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