Home > Uncategorized > Neo-Nazi groups in Hungary: Guards of the Carpathian Homeland, National Front, and others

Neo-Nazi groups in Hungary: Guards of the Carpathian Homeland, National Front, and others

August 26, 2012

Yesterday the neo-Nazis held a “review of the troops” on Heroes’ Square in Budapest on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the notorious Hungarian Guard (Magyar Gárda). The police originally forbade the gathering, giving the usual excuse in such cases: the meeting would interfere with traffic. This was a pretty lame excuse because there is no traffic to speak of on the square. What they should have said is that the Hungarian Guard had been officially disbanded. They could have added that it is also against the law to march in formation, which the organizers planned. The uniform itself is also banned.

The organizers went to the the Court of the Capital (Fővárosi Törvényszék) where the judge allowed the march and the celebration. By the way, this court ruled in the same vein when the police wouldn’t allow the Gay Parade. One might even argue that it was a fair decision because the traffic flow excuse didn’t really wash.

Apparently the organizers expected about 2,000 participants, but at 3:30 Origo’s reporter on the scene figured that there were no more than 200 people. From the videos and pictures I saw the crowd seemed larger than that. Origo also reported that “on the square the guardists appeared in different uniforms. There are those who wear the green top of the New Hungarian Guard (Új Magyar Gárda/ÚMG) while others are in the uniform of the Association for a Better Future Militia (Szebb Jövőért Polgárőr Egyesület/SZPE).”

The logo of the Guards of the Carpathian Homeland

I did some research on the various neo-Nazi groups in connection with this “review of the troops.” It turns out that it was the Guards of the Carpathian Homeland (Kárpát Haza Őrei/KHŐ) that  organized the event. Kárpát Haza bears a suspicious resemblance to the Hungarian Nazi leader’s Kárpát-Duna Nagyhaza which for Szálasi was the name of the newly restored Greater Hungary.

This group is certainly active. They took part in the demonstration, about 1,000 strong, in Devecser–a town of 4,000. They joined others from the Hungarian National Guard (Magyar Nemzeti Gárda/MNG), the New Hungarian Guard, the Sixty-four Counties Youth Movement (Hatvannégy Vármegye Ifjúsági Mozgalom/HVIM), the Association for a Better Future Militia, and the Army of the Outlaws (Betyársereg). If every single active participant in these groups appeared in Devecser, these five neo-Nazi groups have at least 1,000 members.

The websites of the groups I visited all have online opportunities to join. They also have recruiting days in different parts of the country. This summer KHŐ organized recruiting days in Balatonfenyves, but in Budapest, Pest, and Heves counties KHŐ seems to be so strong that recruiting is continuous. It was this group that organized the demonstration in defense of the alleged war criminal, László Csatáry.

Who are KHŐ’s collaborators? Naturally Jobbik, which seems to me a kind of umbrella organization over all the groups. KHŐ also indicates on its website that it keeps in touch with a group called Blood and Honor (Vér és becsület-VB) which was banned a number of years ago. The short but “stormy”  history of VB can be read here. Another organization is the National Revolutionary Party (Nemzeti Forradalmi Párt/NFP) that only the other day held an “Anti-Zionist Bacon Grilling” in Mezőnyárád. Their website is perhaps the most lurid I found, but 791 people seemed to like both the pictures and the messages.

In addition, there is a group called the Hungarian National Front (Magyar Nemzeti Front/MNF), a viciously anti-Semitic and quite openly Nazi organization that seems to me perhaps the most dangerous among the ones I looked at more closely because it has intellectual pretensions. One can download all sorts of pseudo-scientific literature from old and new Nazi propaganda material, including one entitled “What Hitler would advise Jobbik to do.” I found with a certain glee one of left-wing David C. Korten’s harangues against capitalists and globalism. Years ago I noticed on the Internet that far-right commentators, joining a member of the Hungarian Workers’ Party, absolutely adored David C. Korten.

SZPE: Orbán, get out of here and take all your cronies with you

The KHŐ also works closely with the Association for a Better Future Militia or SZPE. This group became infamous during the protracted anti-Roma demonstrations in Gyöngyöspata. If you’re drawing a blank, you can refresh your memory by reading one of several articles I posted on this particular event. SZPE is a group that the Hungarian prosecutors actually wanted to get rid of. The prosecutor’s office of Békés County asked the court to put an end to the group’s activities because of their behavior in Gyöngyöspata and Hajdúhadháza. The prosecutors pointed out that their activities in these two villages were in contravention of Hungary’s international obligations. Moreover, the prosecutors argued, SZPE claimed that it was a cultural organization while it was patently obvious that their activities had nothing to do with culture. The judge, Erika Mucsi, found the charges unsubstantiated. The prosecutor’s office had to pay 600,000 forints in court costs. So, when the prosecutors at last move, the court decides to come to the rescue of these groups.

Banning these organizations doesn’t seem to have much effect on the neo-Nazi movement in Hungary. One can ban Magyar Gárda but then comes Magyar Nemzeti Gárda or Új Magyar Gárda. However, I suspect that without the existence of Jobbik, which is after all a party with 45 parliamentary members, these groups would fade after a while. But as long as at practically all neo-Nazi demonstrations Jobbik parliamentary members are there to give their official sanction, these groups will most likely gain more adherents.

One radical solution would be to ban Jobbik as a party, which could be legally achieved by appealing to the obligations of Hungary in the Treaty of Paris on the ban on Nazi organizations. The risks in doing so, however, would be enormous. Hungarian society is deeply divided and banning Jobbik could have lethal consequences. The ban should have been done shortly after this, originally student movement began in 2002.

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  1. gdfxx
    August 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm | #1

    “One radical solution would be to ban Jobbik as a party, which could be legally achieved by appealing to the obligations of Hungary in the Treaty of Paris on the ban on Nazi organizations. The risks in doing so, however, would be enormous. Hungarian society is deeply divided and banning Jobbik could have lethal consequences. ”

    I find this paragraph to be one of the scariest statements about the present days’ Hungary.

  2. August 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm | #2

    This Anti-Zionist picnic is horrible. Again the FIDESZ government does absolutely nothing to enforce the law.

    By the way how did these bozos end up on Mezőnyárád? Get this. The main page of Mezőnyárád’s web site http://www.mezonyarad.hu proudly announces the development of roads from grants from the European Union.

  3. Some1
    August 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm | #3

    I think that by Orban allowing these organizations is actually serves two purpose to him. By banning any of these organizations Orban burns his bridges to form an alliance with Jobbik in the future. Also by allowing the operation of these organizations who actually protest against Orban, shows the EU that he is the good guy, and not the bad guy. If I would be a conspiracy theorists, I would not be surprised if some funding to the operations of these groups somehow is tied to some Fidesz members. Just my two cents.

  4. Canhun
    August 26, 2012 at 11:45 pm | #4

    Unfortunately, Hungary is already beyond redemption.
    Reborn in the new Nazi army, the Jobbik party will not cease
    Orban will do nothing because they do not need to Nazi voters.
    The police are not the Jews or the Roma community is protected, but the guards. These days Hungary Last! sad!

  5. Lutra lutra
    August 27, 2012 at 12:26 am | #5

    I don’t think Orbán’s appeasement of the far right will do him any good in the 2014 polls, or in the hearts and minds of non-Hungarians. The Jobbik supporters we know believe he is just another Eurocrat hiding behind the Hungarian flag; their alienation comes from how none of the mainstream parties seems to be interested in helping ordinary Hungarians and the Roma “problem” is just one facet of that.
    Banning the militia is therefore not the answer; a programme of adult education and retraining so that the over 40s have the skills needed for jobs in the 21st century, economic policies that encourage direct investment and the creation of new jobs and actions that restore confidence in the police would make them much less relevant.

  6. Wondercat
    August 27, 2012 at 1:36 am | #6

    What’s with the barcode and the blood on the “anti-Zionist bacon roast” picture? I lose the trail of symbols there.

    @Mutt: The same website states that all 1,500 inhabitants of Poplar Swamp are Hungarian. Possibly even “true Hungarian”. For whose demonstrative benefit, then, the get-together? Hmmmm.

  7. tappanch
    August 27, 2012 at 1:52 am | #7

    “by appealing to the obligations of Hungary in the Treaty of Paris” :

    The new “Basic Law” that replaced the Constitution implicitly repudiates the Treaty of Paris of 1947! Any legal act between March 19, 1944 and May 2, 1990 can be declared null and void using the preamble of the “Basic Law” of 2011.

  8. xsasha
    August 27, 2012 at 2:42 am | #8

    If you want to know, why is this going on on Hungary, please read this, from ex-prime minister of Hungary, from the ex leader of the hungarian socialists…
    http://index.hu/belfold/gyurcshang/
    Please keep in mind, that the hungarian left made haungarian debts grow from 53% of GDP to 80%, the half befor the crisis! In Hungary people dieing of hunger. Some try to kill himself of hopelessnes. The trueth is much complicated, that here are some nazi groups making trouble.

  9. August 27, 2012 at 2:59 am | #9

    @Wondercat : a barcode beginning by 7-29 designates an Israeli product. It refers to the 2009 calls for individual boycott.

    The upper part of the tract is perhaps more interesting, as it is a caricature from a december 1929 issue of Der Stürmer. See here.

    Did they think they would get away with it simply by removing the swastika on the shirt?

  10. Wondercat
    August 27, 2012 at 4:01 am | #10

    @Marcel D – thanks for that.

    Indeed the jaw-clenched and righteous patriot seemed a bit ueberarisch for the Carpathian Basin.

  11. petofi
    August 27, 2012 at 5:06 am | #11

    xsasha :
    If you want to know, why is this going on on Hungary, please read this, from ex-prime minister of Hungary, from the ex leader of the hungarian socialists…
    http://index.hu/belfold/gyurcshang/
    Please keep in mind, that the hungarian left made haungarian debts grow from 53% of GDP to 80%, the half befor the crisis! In Hungary people dieing of hunger. Some try to kill himself of hopelessnes. The trueth is much complicated, that here are some nazi groups making trouble.

    A MOMENT’S REFLECTION FOR ANTI-GYURCSANI FOLKS

    I would like all the rabid Fideszers to consider this: if you were
    a multi-millionaire (as Gyurcsany is said to be) would you not
    have long ago retired from the political scene to avoid the
    constant harangue and attacks upon you by a madcap government led by a barely sane megalomaniac?
    What does Gyurcsany need all this for?

    Take a look at the Russian oligarchs who have fallen out of favor–the former mayor, Luzhkov for instance. What has he done? He’l high-tailed it out of Russia and one of his homes presently is
    a $100 million mansion just outside of London.

    Gyurcsany could do the same. But he doesn’t. He’s stayed and fought for a just government. Why has he left MSZP?
    Because they were (largely) a nest of thieves only marginally
    better than Fidesz. After all, wasn’t it his own colleagues who
    knifed him in the back?

    So, all those anti-Gyurcsany folks should take a moment to reflect why he has stayed in the arena…

  12. August 27, 2012 at 6:46 am | #12

    tappanch :

    “by appealing to the obligations of Hungary in the Treaty of Paris” :

    The new “Basic Law” that replaced the Constitution implicitly repudiates the Treaty of Paris of 1947! Any legal act between March 19, 1944 and May 2, 1990 can be declared null and void using the preamble of the “Basic Law” of 2011.

    But, of course, this is nonsense. Try to explain that to the other signatories.

  13. August 27, 2012 at 6:58 am | #13

    xsasha :

    If you want to know, why is this going on on Hungary, please read this, from ex-prime minister of Hungary, from the ex leader of the hungarian socialists…
    http://index.hu/belfold/gyurcshang/
    Please keep in mind, that the hungarian left made haungarian debts grow from 53% of GDP to 80%, the half befor the crisis! In Hungary people dieing of hunger. Some try to kill himself of hopelessnes. The trueth is much complicated, that here are some nazi groups making trouble.

    What does Ferenc Gyurcsány’s speech at Balatonőszöd have to do with these Nazi groups?

    As for the high indebtedness. As Ádám Gere, a US-educated economist, said the other day, these percentage figures in relation to the GDP are really meaningless. The important number is the economic growth of a given country. If that growth is robust there is no problem of repaying the loans. The problem in Hungary is that the economic growth is -1.2% and that is neither Gyurcsány’s nor Bajnai’s fault. It is the result of your favorite prime minister and his right hand’s reckless economic policies of the last two years. Foreign investors are keeping away from Hungary. Just a couple of days ago we learned that the Coca Cola Company changed its mind and instead of in Hungary it will build a huge plant in Romania. If this will be going on for a few more years then Hungary will not be able to repay its debts.

  14. deak-dream
    August 27, 2012 at 7:59 am | #14

    The recipe is ready. Ferenc Deak. He looked at Hungary, and reformed it.

    His honesty was the glue to unite the poor and rich.

    Gyurcsany is a genius, but mostly unsuccessful in his job.

    The Bito, Rona etc people are more promising,

    Csaba Fazekas is also remarkable.

    The 22 years has not produced Deak like politicians and leaders.

  15. petofi
    August 27, 2012 at 8:10 am | #15

    Some1 :
    I think that by Orban allowing these organizations is actually serves two purpose to him. By banning any of these organizations Orban burns his bridges to form an alliance with Jobbik in the future. Also by allowing the operation of these organizations who actually protest against Orban, shows the EU that he is the good guy, and not the bad guy. If I would be a conspiracy theorists, I would not be surprised if some funding to the operations of these groups somehow is tied to some Fidesz members. Just my two cents.

    Your 2 cents is worth a dime: of course jobbik is tied to Fidesz…they’re a surrogate party
    much like Putyin’s two parties in Russia. Nothing will hamper the two joining up to form
    a governing party after the next elections. And yes, all hell will break loose…

  16. Kingfisher
    August 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm | #16

    @Eva, no it isn’t meaningless. The debt to GDP statistic is very important. The fact Hungary has such a large debt doesn’t mean it will go bust, but it does mean that the government has to pay increasing amounts of its revenues to service it. About 10%. Which is money that could have been spent on infrastructure, reducing taxation (making it easier to employ people) etc etc. The state is also competing with banks for available funds, making credit more expensive and harder to obtain for businesses. In other words, the larger your debt, the more it impedes economic growth. And this is a huge problem for Hungary, made worse by Orbán’s mismanagement. But the debt is the result of years of economic mismanagement starting with Fidesz in late 2000, and accelerated by Medgessy and Gyurcsány.

    But the point xsasha was making (and I think quoting the Öszödi beszéd was misplaced) is that the resurgence of right-wing radicalism in Hungary is very largely because of the dire poverty that exists in Hungary, particularly in the countryside. They were failed by the MSZP. And Fidesz has now failed them. And as happens all over the world, desperate people turn to those offering apparently easy solutions. But Jobbik etc are a symptom of a disease, not the disease itself. The other point Xsasha is making, and I think he is largely correct, is that this poverty is not the work of Orbán’s government but largely that of MSZP, who in eight years of government, achieved pretty much nothing. I know people in villages in Nográd, and the work has gone, there is no prospect of any, and their existential situations are dire and hopeless. And they are turning to Jobbik. And this whole precess began not in 2010 but around 2005.

    One positive thing is that the number of followers these groups attract are miniscule, compared to the size of Hungary’s population. But when a population has been failed by successive governments, don’t be surprised by radicalism, however ugly.

  17. wolfi
    August 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm | #17

    Î already posted this on pol.hu. A very scathing report in the German SPIEGEL on Fidesz and of course Jobbik and the reactions to the murder of that poor policewoman: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/ungarn-nach-mord-an-polizistin-kata-bandy-waechst-hass-auf-roma-a-852231.html

    Some quotes from Bayer Zsolt which I won’t repeat here …

  18. August 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm | #18

    Kingfisher :
    @Eva, no it isn’t meaningless. The debt to GDP statistic is very important. The fact Hungary has such a large debt doesn’t mean it will go bust, but it does mean that the government has to pay increasing amounts of its revenues to service it. About 10%. Which is money that could have been spent on infrastructure.

    Blaming the problems of the economy on the increased debt is totally bollocks. By the way the financial geniuses fail to realize that the loans were spent on them, that is welfare. Somehow they didn’t feel like complaining about the 13th month pensions.

    So if we play with numbers … The debt went up from 50-80%. So the “servicing costs” roughly increased from 7 to 10% that is cca. 1% of the GDP. The deficit at the end of the first Orban government was 8% (give or take) and 4% (give or take) in 2010 when the “Socis” were booted. Also the cheaper old loans already got refinanced for a lot more since 2010 thanks to our cross eyed genius.

    So yes, compared to the real problems this 3% of the budget is meaningless.

  19. spectator
    August 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm | #19

    Looks like an interesting convergence:
    Mr.Matolcsy, taking a short break from his adventures in Numberland, today unveiled his new plan to save the nation, ambitiously named “Vekerle”.

    What Mr.Matolcsy laid out in essence is a kind of Economic Union of the Carpathian Homeland, with Hungary on lead..!

    The reason, why other countries of the region would joint to Hungary in a downward spiral yet to be disclosed, though.

  20. CharlieH
    August 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm | #20

    London Calling

    Spectator: Orban (plus his “right-hand man” – which maybe a euphemism for onanism!) have already attempted an ‘economic’ alliance vis-a-vis the Visegrad 4.

    Orban tried to get this potential economic ‘powerhouse’ (ok – I might exaggerate a little!) together to rival the West and to set the economic scene.

    But one by one the others were not convinced and refused and Orban was left looking a little sheepish!

    A laughing-stock in fact!

    Part of the strategy too is to unite so that the Visegrad 4 can threaten the EU if they reduce the cohesion funds – wow! they must be trembling in their boots!

    Maybe it had something to do with the credibility of ‘our cross-eyed genius’ as Mutt describes him!

    So is this attempt number two? You haven’t given any links?

    (I earnestly believe that Orban is running up all sorts of bills on the credit card before declaring Hungary bankrupt. He is currently trying to buy up Gas production from EON with money from goodness knows where – and spending EU funds like no tomorrow. Yes – spend spend spend before declaring bankruptcy – It’s just a straight bet as to whether Hungary or Greece will be the first to hit bust. However with non-euro countries like Hungary, who despite their promise, will never be in the eurozone, the EU will be counting their blessings. I think they are hoping that Hungary will self-destruct – just as Orban is hoping that the EU will self-destruct. No chance Orban – it’s in a different league – Hungary needs the EU more than the EU needs Hungary.)

    Regards

    Charlie

  21. Kirsten
    August 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm | #21

    Mutt Damon :
    Get this. The main page of Mezőnyárád’s web site proudly announces the development of roads from grants from the European Union.

    The money is always welcome. But I was also surprised to see that (I guess) all public buildings in Budapest last week flew flags not only of Hungary but also of the EU. So the current Hungarian government are exemplary Europeans! :-)

  22. August 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm | #22

    Kirsten :

    Mutt Damon :
    Get this. The main page of Mezőnyárád’s web site proudly announces the development of roads from grants from the European Union.

    The money is always welcome. But I was also surprised to see that (I guess) all public buildings in Budapest last week flew flags not only of Hungary but also of the EU. So the current Hungarian government are exemplary Europeans!

    Ditto here in Debrecen. I was quite taken aback by how much the EU flag is still displayed.

  23. August 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm | #23

    Kingfisher; “The debt to GDP statistic is very important.”

    I suggest that you watch this interview with Adam Gere:
    http://atv.hu/videotar/20120823_mikor_kerulunk_ki_a_bovlibol

  24. wolfi
    August 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm | #24

    Not only the EU flag is displayed – every project I see has the info “financed with money from the EU” – whether it’s the new bicycle path around here or the small but very nice museums (in Gynesdias and Zalalövö eg) that we visited last week with our family from Germany …

    It’s hard to imagine how new projects might be financed without that EU money.

    Does Fidesz really think they can “go it alone” – without the EU ?

    Even those Russian tourists we see around Héviz couldn’t compensate for the money that would be lost for Hungary if Germans and Austrians decided to go on holiday elsewhere …,

    And if the import/export volume gets reduced, then what ?

  25. Some1
    August 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm | #25

    About the EU money… Please do not forget Orban’s speech where he flatly said that the money we receive from the EU is NOT a grant or a favor, it is a money that we pay for the EU and they give it back to us. I am just saying this so it is easy to demonstrate the typical double talk by Orban. By flying the flags he shows the EU the respect, but giving an explanation like reassures those who hate the EU, that Hungary would survive without them.

  26. CharlieH
    August 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm | #26

    London Calling!

    Btw! When an EU project is underway they must display the EU flag (which is sometimes a tin plate) and give details that it is EU funded. It is also specified as to how large and prominent the display should be.

    It has to be displayed for a certain time too – after the project is finished.

    This is an obligation for receiving the funds – even on a municipal dump, which receives (our) money – the EU livery must be displayed!

    Regards

    Charlie

  27. Kirsten
    August 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm | #27

    Some1 :
    By flying the flags he shows the EU the respect,

    I had the impression that by flying the flags he tries to create the impression (or to convince the EU and/or the Hungarians) that what he does MUST be considered in line with the EU’s laws and European spirit. I was not sure whether this is a sign of hope (they do orient themselves at European values) or whether one should despair (he will stubbornly insist on his “ideas” being reconcilable with the EU’s spirit).

  28. P.W. Urbanyi
    August 28, 2012 at 9:33 am | #28
  29. spectator
    August 28, 2012 at 11:06 am | #29

    Hi Charlie,
    It was a news broadcast what I listened to – hence the misspelling of Wekerle, I guess – announcing the news. I still amazed, how coincidental life could be in Hungary – both the government and some right wing splinter group aiming for the same at the same time!

    Otherwise a link for the source right here, but only in Hungarian, – I guess they won’t publish an English version in the foreseeable future.

    http://www.kormany.hu/download/1/45/a0000/Wekerle%20Terv.pdf

  30. August 29, 2012 at 8:30 am | #30

    Here is a German television station’s program on a Hungarian summer camp for children “with fascists.” One doesn’t have to know much German to understand it:

    http://videos.arte.tv/de/videos/ungarn_kinder_sommerlager_mit_faschisten-6860920.html

  31. wolfi
    August 29, 2012 at 10:36 am | #31

    A Bit OT but always welcome – for those who can read German:

    http://einestages.spiegel.de/s/tb/25441/70-jahre-casablanca-propagandafilm-mit-bogart-und-bergman.html

    Another hommage to Manó Kertész Kaminer aka Michael Curtiz and this fantastic film …

  32. P.W. Urbanyi
    August 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm | #32

    For the archives, a set of photos of the Hero’s Square desecration –

    http://stavilaandrei.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/budapest-another-jobbik-demonstration-in-heroes-square/

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