Home > Uncategorized > Slovak-Hungarian relations: A new stab at reconciliation?

Slovak-Hungarian relations: A new stab at reconciliation?

October 2, 2012

It was on September 28 that the prime minister’s office announced that Viktor Orbán and Robert Fico, prime minister of Slovakia, would meet in Pilisszentkereszt, about 35 km northwest of Budapest. This village of about 2,300 inhabitants holds a unique position in Hungary. It is the only place in the country where the majority of the population declared themselves to be of Slovak ethnicity. This is especially unusual since the neighboring Pilisszántó, which was overwhelmingly Slovak at the turn of the twentieth century, today is a Hungarian village without much trace of its Slovak origins. But somehow Pilisszentkereszt remained largely Slovak, although the younger generation’s knowledge of the language is fast fading.

According to the sources I read, both the language and the cuisine of this Slovak island in the sea of Hungarians have retained their uniqueness. The originally Hungarian village became largely Slovak after the Turks were pushed back by the imperial forces at the end of the seventeenth century and Slovak settlers came down from the north, to be joined by Germans from the west. The Slovak settlers renamed Pilisszentkereszt (The Holy Cross of Pilis) Mlynky, which means “little mill.” Everything is bilingual in Pilisszentkereszt-Mlynky, from street names to store signs.

Slovaks and Hungarians lived together peacefully enough until 2008 when the six-member town council decided to move the offices of the Slovak self-government from the town hall to another building. Prior to 2006 the mayor was also the head of the local Slovak self-government, and thus the two offices were not strictly separated from each other.

This move was not received well by the local Slovaks, and the local controversy became the source of an international incident. At that point Slovak-Hungarian relations were touchy at best because of mutual grievances–the Slovak language law and László Sólyom’s far too frequent semi-official visits to Slovakia. Moreover, Ferenc Gyurcsány and Robert Fico didn’t get along, and the couple of times they met the meetings usually ended in barbed exchanges. When Gordon Bajnai became prime minister he mended fences with Fico while Viktor Orbán in opposition criticized Bajnai’s efforts at normalization of relations between the two countries. In those days Fidesz took an intransigent attitude toward the Fico administration.

After the 2010 elections it looked as if the Orbán government had no intention of cultivating a warmer relationship with Slovakia, especially since the Slovak government was not exactly enamored with the idea of Hungarian dual citizenship offered to Slovak citizens of Hungarian extraction. The Slovak government immediately enacted a law that forbade dual citizenship for the inhabitants of Slovakia. Or rather, taking out foreign citizenship meant losing Slovak citizenship.

In any case, the Orbán administration didn’t seem to be terribly bothered by the bad blood between Slovakia and Hungary; the new Hungarian foreign policy was built on a close friendship with Poland and Romania. In the last year and a half I wrote twice about Romanian-Hungarian relations. First in May 2011 and again a year later. My second piece had the title: The honeymoon is over: Romanian-Hungarian relations. If possible, relations have further deteriorated since. Only yesterday the Romanian foreign minister visited Budapest and after the meeting János Martonyi couldn’t even hide his dissatisfaction with his encounter with Titus Corlatean.

So, it seems that Viktor Orbán is now ready to make a deal with Fico. After all,  the political views of the two men are not very far apart, although many critics of Orbán would find Fico preferable to Orbán with a two-thirds majority behind him.

After the 2008 upheaval in Pilisszentkereszt/Mlynky the decision was made by the Slovak and Hungarian governments to build a new center for the Slovak majority in the village. The recently finished building presented an opportunity for Fico and Orbán to meet officially. The emphasis is on “officially” because the two men had met twice before. First, on April 26 in Warsaw when there was a half-hour conversation between Fico and Orbán. I don’t know who accompanied Fico, but in Orbán’s entourage were Péter Szijjártó, György Matolcsy, Péter Gottfried (foreign policy adviser to Orbán), and Róbert Kis (Hungarian ambassador to Warsaw).

They also met once really informally in Bratislava at a Slovan Bratislava-Videoton football game (1:1). Orbán and Fico sat beside each other and, according to Orbán, they mostly talked about football. However, Fico was a bit more expansive and, when asked, he indicated that he was ready to be more constructive. He announced that “the quality of Slovak-Hungarians relations could be entirely different from what they have been in the past.” He emphasized that “we should concentrate on the future.”

The signing ceremony in Pilisszentkereszt/Mlynky
Photo by Zsófia Pályi, Origo

As usual of late, it is not the Hungarian foreign minister who announces decisions on foreign relations but Péter Szijjártó, undersecretary in charge of foreign relations in the prime minister’s office. He announced on September 28 that Viktor Orbán and Robert Fico will meet on October 2 and will talk about new bridges and roads to be built between the two countries. He added that “we decided on a new program of border openings.” Szijjártó indicated that European Union money can be allocated for such projects.

Orbán before his departure to Pilisszentkereszt/Mlynky had talks with József Berényi, the chairman of Magyar Közösség Pártja, the party close to Fidesz and the only one that Hungary officially recognizes as a bona fide Hungarian party in Slovakia. According to the press release, they talked about concerns of the Hungarian minority and also touched on the so-called Beneš doctrines. I have the sneaking suspicion that in his talks with Fico Orbán avoided mentioning–in my opinion very wisely–the  Beneš doctrines, which would have ended all avenues to successful negotiations.

For the time being the two men agreed on building a new bridge at Komárom-Komárno across the Danube. There is already a bridge between the two cities, but the one that was restored and opened in 2006 is apparently not fully functional. For example, it cannot accommodate trucks heavier than 21 tons. It is also very narrow.

Currently there are border crossings between Slovakia and Hungary every 24 km. They would like to change that to 7.5 km. We will see what will happen. But for the time being at least, Slovak-Hungarian relations are on the mend.

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  1. Petofi1
    October 2, 2012 at 5:39 pm | #1

    Ahh, the shrewdness of the Felcsutian–the statesman breaks out. Viktor is a charming little rascal, ain’t he? But this rapprochement has more to do with an energy deal having to do with pooling electronic grids with the Czech Republic and Slovakia in which–you guessed it–Hungary would be the big winner.

    Having done a good days work, Viktor can now go back into his Buda Hills study and continue reading Mein Kampf.

  2. Petofi1
    October 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm | #2

    Correction: “Electronic” should read “electric”.

  3. wolfi
    October 3, 2012 at 2:42 am | #3

    A bit OT:

    Komarno is a nice little old town. We went there one summer to bring a computer part to someone and spent the afternoon in a cafe. When we came, the waitress talked to us in German (me being blonde) but when my wife asked something in Hungarian, she automatically switched to Hungarian too -and also brought us a complete set of the new Slovak €-coins when we asked about them …

    BTW, the last house on the Slovak side near that old bridge is the hotel “Pokol” aka Hell …

    The Slovak name is “Pekla” so this might be another Slav word in the Hungarian language ?

  4. tappanch
    October 3, 2012 at 6:54 am | #4

    Today’s news:

    1. Fidesz intends to put the new rules of voter registration into the “Basic Law”, so the Constitutional Court will not be allowed to judge on them. The new rules allow registration by mail for ethnic Hungarians abroad only [opportunity for massive fraud], but denies citizens living inside Hungary the same thing. This way all people, even very old people, have to stand in line to register either to be allowed to vote in person or to register to be allowed to vote electronically.

    2. A street in Budapest was named today after Count Teleki, the rabidly antisemitic Prime Minister of Hungary (1939-1941). He introduced the “numerus clausus” law against Jewish students in 1920 and the Second anti-Jewish law in 1939. This law defined Jews racially, everyone with 2 or more Jewish grandparents were deprived of civil rights, and later exposed to extermination.

  5. petofi
    October 3, 2012 at 7:07 am | #5

    tappanch :
    Today’s news:
    1. Fidesz intends to put the new rules of voter registration into the “Basic Law”, so the Constitutional Court will not be allowed to judge on them. The new rules allow registration by mail for ethnic Hungarians abroad only [opportunity for massive fraud], but denies citizens living inside Hungary the same thing. This way all people, even very old people, have to stand in line to register either to be allowed to vote in person or to register to be allowed to vote electronically.
    2. A street in Budapest was named today after Count Teleki, the rabidly antisemitic Prime Minister of Hungary (1939-1941). He introduced the “numerus clausus” law against Jewish students in 1920 and the Second anti-Jewish law in 1939. This law defined Jews racially, everyone with 2 or more Jewish grandparents were deprived of civil rights, and later exposed to extermination.

    I think I see Orban’s plan: for all the Hungarians leaving the country–generally, ones with education–we
    will get all the skinheads, and right wing screwballs from all over Europe. The mecca of anti-semites!

    (Is the Felcsutian trying to get Iranian oil cash to buy
    Hungarian ‘paper’?–Wouldn’t surprise me…)

  6. Kuner
    October 3, 2012 at 7:15 am | #6

    wolfi :A bit OT:
    Komarno is a nice little old town. We went there one summer to bring a computer part to someone and spent the afternoon in a cafe. When we came, the waitress talked to us in German (me being blonde) but when my wife asked something in Hungarian, she automatically switched to Hungarian too -and also brought us a complete set of the new Slovak €-coins when we asked about them …
    BTW, the last house on the Slovak side near that old bridge is the hotel “Pokol” aka Hell …
    The Slovak name is “Pekla” so this might be another Slav word in the Hungarian language ?

    OT:I think there is one much nicer: palinka. Its origin is slavic word “palit” I believe which means “to burn – (alcohol from fruits)” Slovak or czech equivavalent is “palenka”
    But to the point: My view as Slovak is that slovak hungary tensions really decreased. We still see a lot of nationalism and iredentism on Hungarian side. But in comparison to 2-3 years ago nobody take them so serious anymore. The reason is I see much less ability to perform. In certain way the region has “luck” Orban has such a economical problems on his main agenda. If Hungary would economically stronger – I have no doubts they would be aswell much more effective in implementation of nationalistic agenda.Eg its marketing expenditures to promote dual citisenship has decresed on the ground significantly. And regarding Benes decrees: Zoltan Bago from Fidesz just two weeks ago rised them in EU Parlament. He with professor Imre Juhasz asked to send special mission to Slovakia to explore legal ground with respect to decrees…So the story to be still continued…

  7. October 3, 2012 at 7:35 am | #7

    Kuner: ” And regarding Benes decrees: Zoltan Bago from Fidesz just two weeks ago rised them in EU Parlament. He with professor Imre Juhasz asked to send special mission to Slovakia to explore legal ground with respect to decrees…So the story to be still continued…”

    I still maintain, it is not wise. Anyone who can read Hungarian should read a very good article on the subject of the Benes decrees:

    http://dotoho.blog.hu/2012/09/20/mehettek_haza_hitlerhez

    He is a Hungarian who used to live in Bratislava and now in Prague. Smart guy.

    I agree with you concerning Hungary’s economic problems and the lull in nationalistic propaganda in the surrounding countries.

    As for the negotiations between Fico and Orban, I was pretty sure that no mention was made of the usual Hungarian grievances. It seems that I was right. Or at least today’s papers claim that Orban raised no questions concerning the citizenship issue.

  8. tappanch
    October 3, 2012 at 8:01 am | #8

    More “street” news:
    3.
    Another street, named after the writer of children’s books, Jeno J. Tersanszky was also renamed today. For hours, nobody understood why.

    He was not a Communist, he was not Jewish, so why rename the street?

    Finally, somebody came out with the solution.

    His wife was probably Jewish and for sure, Tersanszky helped Jews hide in 1944!
    4.
    Another good writer lost his street today.

    Andor Endre Gelleri

    He was Jewish, sent to concentration camp and died a few days after liberation in 1945.

    I think we can rest the case whether Orban & Orban’s party are antisemitic or not.

  9. Gretchen
    October 3, 2012 at 8:04 am | #9

    Re Teleki Pál overdose–there is already a tér named for him, at the end of Népszinház ut near the cemetery, the location of a truly terrible public market.

  10. Kuner
    October 3, 2012 at 8:07 am | #10

    Eva S. Balogh :Kuner: ” And regarding Benes decrees: Zoltan Bago from Fidesz just two weeks ago rised them in EU Parlament. He with professor Imre Juhasz asked to send special mission to Slovakia to explore legal ground with respect to decrees…So the story to be still continued…”
    I still maintain, it is not wise. Anyone who can read Hungarian should read a very good article on the subject of the Benes decrees:
    http://dotoho.blog.hu/2012/09/20/mehettek_haza_hitlerhez
    He is a Hungarian who used to live in Bratislava and now in Prague. Smart guy.
    I agree with you concerning Hungary’s economic problems and the lull in nationalistic propaganda in the surrounding countries.
    As for the negotiations between Fico and Orban, I was pretty sure that no mention was made of the usual Hungarian grievances. It seems that I was right. Or at least today’s papers claim that Orban raised no questions concerning the citizenship issue.

    It was nice to read all those peacefull and constructive articles in slovak newspapers and magazins.Since Iveta Radicova came to power there exists unwritten agreement with Orban not to open old pains – at least until economic situation will not stabilise.Just worth to mention standard rejection to meet Bela Bugar – strongest hungarian minority politician. Who is respected for his pragmatism and perceptivity aswell by slovakian majority.

  11. October 3, 2012 at 8:16 am | #11

    tappanch :
    2. A street in Budapest was named today after Count Teleki, the rabidly antisemitic Prime Minister of Hungary (1939-1941). He introduced the “numerus clausus” law against Jewish students in 1920 and the Second anti-Jewish law in 1939. This law defined Jews racially, everyone with 2 or more Jewish grandparents were deprived of civil rights, and later exposed to extermination.

    When you look at it, Teleki is very similar to Orban. (No oRban is not half as smart or educated, but how they operate.) Teleki wanted Hungary back as it was before Trianon, not because he wanted to please Hungarians, but because Hungary lost some of his large universities, and he was a professor. He valued true Hungarians, just like the Jobbik does, and in the process he created place for them in the remaining universities by putting in the “numerus clausus”, pushing many talented Hungarians of Jewish heritage out, His reasoning was that there were not enough place left for young Hungarians who fought in the war. (He completely ignored the fact that thousands of Hungarian Jews fought in that war too. My great grandfather was killed at Isonzo. Hence he used Jews on the way Orban does today, until they are not in the way of true Hungarians they are OK. He used jews as pawns and protected true Hungarian interests. He double talked, and double acted. He was mentally not strong enough to take the pressure of his “double life”, cracked and committed suicide. Yu see, those days without Internet, and without people have such a great immediate access to media, Teleki had a much easier job than Orban today. His propaganda warmed the heart of true Hungarians, Hitler and some of the neighboring nations. By commemorating him, Orban has a chance to reflect to his own greatness.

  12. October 3, 2012 at 8:28 am | #12

    Gretchen :
    Re Teleki Pál overdose–there is already a tér named for him, at the end of Népszinház ut near the cemetery, the location of a truly terrible public market.

    It is named after Laszlo Teleki and NOT Pal Teleki. Big difference. He was aliberal.

  13. tappanch
    October 3, 2012 at 8:58 am | #13

    Some1 :

    Gretchen :
    Re Teleki Pál overdose–there is already a tér named for him, at the end of Népszinház ut near the cemetery, the location of a truly terrible public market.

    It is named after Laszlo Teleki and NOT Pal Teleki. Big difference. He was aliberal.

    Laszlo Teleki (1811-1861) emigre in Paris until 1860 after the suppression of the 1848 revolution.

  14. Jano
    October 3, 2012 at 10:58 am | #14

    Kuner: The perception of the Benes decretes are very different in Hungary than in Slovakia. On our side what most of the people know that they provided the legal foundation for stripping the German and Hungarian inhabitants of their civil rights on the basis of collective guilt. Of course the situation is a great deal more complicated than this (I strongly recommend reading Eva’s excellent link), although I have to emphasize that the the aforementioned actions of the Czechoslovakian government were nothing less than shameful.

    As I was talking to my Czech friends in Prague last spring (no pun intended), they all agreed (I wasn’t the one raising the topic), that someday the Czech and Slovak society has to face that pretty dark moment of history (they were mostly talking about the Germans). Of course my friends are all liberals so I doubt this would be representative but I was pleasantly surprised.

    In my opinion it’s useless and – as Eva put it – not very wise to attack the decretes as a whole. We would be much more right if we pushed for the supervision of that very few particular ones. On a strictly moral basis, I think the issue could be also solved by a joint Czech-Slovak apology condemning the idea of collective guilt.

    Of course, this is not going to happen anytime soon, and the national pride is just a minor reason for that. An apology could unleash a stream of lawsuits from the descendants of the expelled to reclaim what was taken from their ancestors. (This is actually actually a bigger problem for the Czech with the Germans)

    On the other hand I’m also glad to see that the tensions have eased up a great deal. Ever since Fico doesn’t need Slota, he’s not forced into the who has the bigger biceps game and Orbán is also showing his friendly side (for whatever reason, probably the economy). Apparently, nobody wants to jump into tanks and ruin Budapest anymore…:)

  15. Gretchen
    October 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm | #15

    Some1 and Tappanch–Thank you! This makes me very happy that it’s Laszlo and not Pal. The market is still bad.

  16. tappanch
    October 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm | #16

    The late Jeno Ranschburg, the psychologist, predicted correctly in January 2011 that Orban would not permit another free and democratic election.

    http://fn.hir24.hu/itthon/2011/01/12/ranschburg/

  17. October 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm | #17

    Dr Balogh: “I still maintain, it is not wise. Anyone who can read Hungarian should read a very good article on the subject of the Benes decrees:

    http://dotoho.blog.hu/2012/09/20/mehettek_haza_hitlerhez

    He is a Hungarian who used to live in Bratislava and now in Prague. Smart guy.”

    Please read the commentaries after the blog also, several of those are also very smart>

  18. petofi
    October 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm | #18

    Louis Kovach :
    Dr Balogh: “I still maintain, it is not wise. Anyone who can read Hungarian should read a very good article on the subject of the Benes decrees:
    http://dotoho.blog.hu/2012/09/20/mehettek_haza_hitlerhez
    He is a Hungarian who used to live in Bratislava and now in Prague. Smart guy.”
    Please read the commentaries after the blog also, several of those are also very smart>

    “Smart”, Louie, as in..’clever’, ‘slick’..?
    Ahh, yes, the Hungarian penchant for the film-flam–the discoverers of the ‘Spanish Wax’.

    ‘Smart’ is one thing, Mr. Louie, but ‘intelligence’ is altogether another matter.

  19. October 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm | #19

    Is there another country in Europe where a street could be renamed after someone who brought in anti-Jewish legislation?

    It’s hard to believe just how far Orbán has moved away from normal civilised behaviour.

  20. October 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm | #20

    Paul: “Is there another country in Europe where a street could be renamed after someone who brought in anti-Jewish legislation?”

    Any Balfour street names in the UK? At one time there was one in Jerusalem…..

    See the Alien Control Act of 1905……..

  21. October 3, 2012 at 6:12 pm | #21

    Louis Kovach :

    Any Balfour street names in the UK? At one time there was one in Jerusalem…..

    Zsidózunk egy kicsit?

  22. tappanch
    October 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm | #22

    Eva S. Balogh :

    Louis Kovach :
    Any Balfour street names in the UK? At one time there was one in Jerusalem…..

    Zsidózunk egy kicsit?

    Eva, I think Mr Kovach is right this time, to some degree.

    The British Aliens Act of 1905 was enacted under Prime Minister Balfour with the aim of limiting Jewish immigration from Russia.

    But
    1. it did not single out Jews in its wording (I have to double-check this),
    2. the anti-Jewish laws of 1938-1944 in Hungary deprived citizens and not potential immigrants of their rights.

  23. October 3, 2012 at 8:13 pm | #23

    Louis Kovach :
    Paul: “Is there another country in Europe where a street could be renamed after someone who brought in anti-Jewish legislation?”
    Any Balfour street names in the UK? At one time there was one in Jerusalem…..
    See the Alien Control Act of 1905……..

    Can you expand on that thought Louis, as I just cannot see the connection. My bad of course.
    The Alien Act was to do with incoming immigrants, the non-citizens of England. Am I wrong?
    Balfour worked on a plan to establish a State for the Jews. You know the Jews that everyone wants to get rid off. What would be your solution Louis?
    But you know what? I do not care. This is about Hungary, and about Hungarians commemorating Hungarian people who successfully paved the road to termination of thousand of TRUE Hungarians. If you wish to defend this action with any kind of stupidity that is your choice.

  24. October 3, 2012 at 9:21 pm | #24

    Some1: Lets stay with Paul’ question!
    <Paul: “Is there another country in Europe where a street could be renamed after someone who brought in anti-Jewish legislation?”Any Balfour street names in the UK? At one time there was one in Jerusalem…..See the Alien Control Act of 1905……..
    Can you expand on that thought Louis, as I just cannot see the connection.

    See the text of the Alien Control Act:http://rense.com/general45/antiz.htm

    See who and why:http://rense.com/general45/antiz.htm

    It was anti-Jewish legislation and it was introduced by Balfour..
    End of story

  25. October 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm | #25

    Dr Balogh: “Zsidózunk egy kicsit?”

    Please post it English, so the readers can see its stupidity>
    The subject of the discussion were Jews!

  26. October 4, 2012 at 8:28 am | #26

    Louis Kovach :
    Some1: Lets stay with Paul’ question!
    <Paul: “Is there another country in Europe where a street could be renamed after someone who brought in anti-Jewish legislation?”Any Balfour street names in the UK? At one time there was one in Jerusalem…..See the Alien Control Act of 1905……..
    Can you expand on that thought Louis, as I just cannot see the connection.
    See the text of the Alien Control Act:http://rense.com/general45/antiz.htm
    See who and why:http://rense.com/general45/antiz.htm
    It was anti-Jewish legislation and it was introduced by Balfour..
    End of story

    Louis Kovach :
    You are kind of not to smart, are you? The act deals with immigration in general. In Canada, the Immigration law even today is an ever changing document that needs to be altered according to various issues. Today’s biggest problem in Canada, the arrival of illegal immigrants via boats, human trafficking, and immigrants who arrive with visa then claim refugee status. THe later category contains the influx of Hungarians (mostly Roma descent). THe current immigration law has been changed to allow to deal with the situation that is fair to those who are in queue. THe law is not anti-Roma, anti-Tamil, anti-anything, it simply makes sure that those who are granted landed status are not criminals, or a fraud. Immigration laws, similar to this exist in EVERY country!
    So, let’s so the Act:
    No entry
    - where immigration officers and medical inspectors are
    - if cannot support himself or his dependents [I guess Louis, now you can cry that they were also anti-women)
    - considerably sick
    - criminally sentenced in a country with no extradition treaty (except political)
    - if already expelled under this act
    CANNOT BE REFUSED ENTRY:
    - political reasons
    - violent prosecution awaiting in home country
    EXPULSION
    - if lied ay entry
    - if commits a crime
    - prostitutes

    The document does not put a quota on any nationality or race.
    THe other hand the Numerous Clausus put did put quotas on Hungarians, based on their nationality and race.

    I am sorry that I had to make you look very ….. again.

  27. October 4, 2012 at 8:30 am | #27

    Sorry, the last part where it states Lousi Kovach quote, is actually my reply to Louis.

  28. October 4, 2012 at 8:44 am | #28

    I see a great difference between the Aliens Act of 1905 and the anti-Jewish laws connected to Pál Teleki’s name. The Hungarian laws were enacted at the detriment of citizens of the country. They were deprived certain rights that was open to others. Immigration laws are an entirely different matter. They prevent certain people from entering the country.

    One more thing about the Benes doctrines. En bloc expulsion of the people on the basis of nationality is repulsive all right. But then what about the expulsion of the Germans from Hungary? I still recall seeing the endless lines of horses and wagons going through Pécs toward Germany. Leaving everything behind, depriving them from house, land, and other belongings. That wasn’t a nice sight either.

  29. October 4, 2012 at 10:12 am | #29

    Some1: “The document does not put a quota on any nationality or race.
    THe other hand the Numerous Clausus put did put quotas on Hungarians, based on their nationality and race.

    I am sorry that I had to make you look very ….. again.”

    Neither the numerus clausus nor the Alien act mentions Jews, however both were enacted to limit Jews, the first in entry to Universities, the second in entry to a country. Even the frequently quoted Wikipedia states that the British Alien Act of 1905′s intent was antisemitic.

    The current Canadian immigration story has zero relevance to this issue.

  30. wolfi
    October 4, 2012 at 10:17 am | #30

    @Eva:

    I mentioned that expulsion of the Schwab people (more than 200 000 says wiki) on pol.hu when the Benes decrees were discussed – but got no answer of course …

    A very good friend of mine came with his family then and he’s been back to Hungary as a visitor regularly, no hard feelings anymore.Why can’t we all try to forget these bad times ?

    A bit OT:

    My father’s family originally lived in West Prussia (Danzig or Gdansk in Polish) and those that hadn’t come to West Germany (like my father who fell in love with and married a Schwab girl …) left in a hurry in the last days of WW2 – most made it.

    In the late 1970s my parents accompanied my sister and her British husband on a journey through Communist Eastern Europe where they also visited Gdansk – my father later told everybody how nicely the Polish people had restored the old town and how friendly they were to the visitors from capitalist Germany/Britain!

    So no hard feelings on our side and now idea of “taking back what used to belong to us once” – we live in the 21st Century now!

  31. wolfi
    October 4, 2012 at 10:22 am | #31

    Just saw the L4 post – Loony lying Louis’s Logical fallacy aka Kindergarten logic:

    Someone else did something similar last week (in this case hundred years befor) – so why am I being punished ?

    It’s nothging new that a lot of bad things happened in the past – but that’s no excuse!

  32. October 4, 2012 at 10:23 am | #32

    Dr Balogh: “One more thing about the Benes doctrines. En bloc expulsion of the people on the basis of nationality is repulsive all right. But then what about the expulsion of the Germans from Hungary? I still recall seeing the endless lines of horses and wagons going through Pécs toward Germany. Leaving everything behind, depriving them from house, land, and other belongings. That wasn’t a nice sight either.”

    Which event are you citing? It looks to me that you are referring to the one before the arrival of the Russians into Transylvania, Banat and Bacska, when the Germans incited the Volkdeutsch to leave (citing massacres of civilians in East Prussia), while the Hungarian authorities were pleading with them to stay or the second one after the war which was dictated by the Soviets?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_and_expulsion_of_Germans_(1944%E2%80%931950)

  33. October 4, 2012 at 10:27 am | #33

    wolfi: “It’s nothging new that a lot of bad things happened in the past – but that’s no excuse!”

    It was not cited as an excuse. It was an answer to Paul’s question: ”
    Is there another country in Europe where a street could be renamed after someone who brought in anti-Jewish legislation?”

    It appears that the acolytes did not expect a citation of England in the answer. You may not like the fact, butit stays a fact.

  34. October 4, 2012 at 10:28 am | #34

    Louis:”The current Canadian immigration story has zero relevance to this issue.”
    Sorry to say this Louis, because I understand that contrary to your often irrelevant outburst, ANY current immigration law has a lot to do with past immigration laws. Your theory between immigration law and anti-Semite laws on the other hand has very little relevance. As I wrote above even the current Canadian immigration law contains elements that were found in your “imaginary” ant-Semite immigration law. Would you call Canada anti-anything? Well Louis, if you cannot see my point and it’s relevance, maybe you should lay-off posting. Most people on this board have a hard time to figure out the relevance of your post on any given subject, and you fail to see the relevance of a counterargument. You have real issues that cannot be dealt with here.

  35. October 4, 2012 at 10:51 am | #35

    Some1: See citation from Wikipedia: “The Aliens Act 1905 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.[2] The Act for the first time introduced immigration controls and registration, and gave the Home Secretary overall responsibility for immigration and nationality matters.[2] The Act was designed to prevent paupers or criminals from entering the country and set up a mechanism to deport those who slipped through. One of its main objectives was to control Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe.[3]”

    This is the relevance of the post…..one can lead a horse……

  36. Leo
    October 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm | #36

    Maybe Balfour rather saw the Jews fleeing from Eastern Europe to Palestine than to England, but I’m not so sure we need anti-Semitism to explain his Aliens Bill. There are many anti-immigration laws, and they are aimed against whatever group that is on the move in a given situation. Anyway, to compare the legislature of Balfour with the second anti-Jewish law (1939) adopted during Teliki’s premiership, is absurd (and, I’m afraid, insincere).

    The law reduced the number of Jewish lawyers, physicians, engineers, journalist and artist to a maximum of 6%. It also intended to reduce the number of Jewish civil servants to 0% within five years. Jews were excluded as theatre managers and newspaper editors. In trade and industry the maximum number of Jewish employees was reduced to 12%. The right of Jews to own land was strictly limited. According to the historian Romsics, 200.000 Jews lost their job as a consequence of this law (another 15.000 had already lost their jobs after the first anti-Jewish law of 1938).

    Romsics concludes: “Much higher was the number of those who were indirectly affected, who were stigmatized by their environment and who saw their friends turn their back upon them as a consequence of the general atmosphere. The banishment from society of the majority of the Hungarian Jewry … became a merciless reality because of these two laws, against which only very few (Hungarians) protested.” (p. 197)

    Few protested then, but even now Hungarians do not really seem to care. Romsics himself does not exactly stress the drama with just half a page in his 600 page history of “Hungary in the XXth Century”. The lemma “Pál Teleki” in the Hungarian Wikipedia does not even mention his anti-Jewish law. And yes, you may take that as in indication for the sorry state of that important medium. No need is felt to think about the relationship between Teleki’s law and the thousands of Jews dying in the forced labour battalions employing the jobless, the 1941 deportation to Germany of immigrant Jews and eventually the integration of Horthy Hungary in the Nazi Endlösung.

    Hungarians are more interested in Teleki’s foreign policy. It is indeed fascinating to watch him struggle to find a way out of the dead end he and others had manoeuvred the country. After Horthy and the army decided to attack the Yugoslavia allies in April 1941 Teleki couldn’t stand it any longer and committed suicide. The English Wikipedia (not the Hungarian) cites from his suicide note: “We broke our word, – out of cowardice [...] The nation feels it, and we have thrown away its honor. We have allied ourselves to scoundrels [...] We will become body-snatchers! A nation of trash. I did not hold you back. I am guilty”. These words should be added to every street sign bearing his name in Hungary.

  37. October 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm | #37

    Leo: “Maybe Balfour rather saw the Jews fleeing from Eastern Europe to Palestine than to England, but I’m not so sure we need anti-Semitism to explain his Aliens Bill. There are many anti-immigration laws, and they are aimed against whatever group that is on the move in a given situation. Anyway, to compare the legislature of Balfour with the second anti-Jewish law (1939) adopted during Teliki’s premiership, is absurd (and, I’m afraid, insincere).”

    I had compared the numerus clausus with the Alien Act. I did not say anything about 1938 laws.

    The issue was and I repeat “was there any other country where they named streets for somebody who was responsible for anti-Jewish laws.

    It appears that everything else is being brought up instead of admitting yes and in England where , if I correctly recollect, Paul resides.

  38. An
    October 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm | #38

    @Louis Kovach: Is there water in the ocean? Yes. Is there water in Balaton? Yes. Is Balaton an ocean? No. Case closed.

    In your argument, you just merely pointed out that just like in the ocean, there is water in Balaton, nit-picking on a piece of fact out of context (as usual).

  39. wolfi
    October 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm | #39

    I’m sure Louis will never say anything on the treatment of Jews in Hungary between WW1 and WW2 – well maybe:

    The Hungarian Jews had it so good (compared to the Polish ones e g) – until the Nazis came in 1944 and took them all away …

    It’s no use trying to reason with idiots like him, but it’s interesting to study this kind of “reasoning” – but only for a while, after a minute or so you either get depressed or …

  40. October 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm | #40

    Stop the press. Louis must be right as he quoted Wikipedia.
    Dear Louis, at the time we are talking about most immigrants came from Russia and Poland and they were mainly Jews , so obviously any immigration law would deal mainly with Jewish immigrants. As today most immigrants to Canada are Czech and Hungarian gypsies. Naturally any tightening of immigration laws would have the largest effect on them. Still they are not anti-Roma laws.
    Talking about leading horses to water….

  41. Louis Kovach
    October 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm | #41

    Some1: “Stop the press. Louis must be right as he quoted Wikipedia.”

    Only as a last resort, I quoted more verifiable source in my # 24 post, but it looks like Wiki is more convincing here….

  42. October 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm | #42

    Louis Kovach :

    Some1: “Stop the press. Louis must be right as he quoted Wikipedia.”

    Only as a last resort, I quoted more verifiable source in my # 24 post, but it looks like Wiki is more convincing here….

    I’m warning you again. Stop talking about the readers of the Hungarian Spectrum in this manner!!

  43. Some1
    October 4, 2012 at 11:44 pm | #43

    Louis Kovach :
    Some1: “Stop the press. Louis must be right as he quoted Wikipedia.”
    Only as a last resort, I quoted more verifiable source in my # 24 post, but it looks like Wiki is more convincing here….

    No Louis. You qioted twice the same resorce. By the way I already replied to that. Scroll up.
    I found the realevant documents w/o you but you fail to resarch any other counter arguments.

  44. October 5, 2012 at 10:51 am | #44

    Woolfi: “It’s nothging new that a lot of bad things happened in the past – but that’s no excuse!”

    One was enacted in 1905 the other in 1920. The latter’s citing, which was 92 years ago is perfectly OK for you, but something that happened 15 years earlier is totally irrelevant. You are picking the relevance of dates for your convenience only. Or probably more correctly, you pick only the ones that are suitable for Hungary bashing.

  45. October 5, 2012 at 11:00 am | #45

    Kovach. Congrats for degrading anti-Semitism to an immigration issue. Bela Varga is proudly smiling.

  46. wolfi
    October 5, 2012 at 11:48 am | #46

    Louis you really are an idiot!

    I did say “that’s no excuse” – I did not say that Balfour did the right thing. You’re trying again (as usual btw …) to “turn round the words in my mouth” as we say in Germany.

    You’re really famous here now for your logical fallacies – look it up here: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

    Any way there’s a slight difference between not letting some people immigrate and putting your own people into camps and then give them to the Nazis do deport and gas them – if you don’t see that ?

  47. October 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm | #47

    Some1: “It’s nothging new that a lot of bad things happened in the past – but that’s no excuse!” Sorry. you are right, I was going to post the act itself, will redeemthe mistake.

    There is a general background info for the 1905 Act in :
    http://www.engageonline.org.uk/ressources/funny/chap2.html

    The Act itself is :http://www.uniset.ca/naty/aliensact1905.pdf

  48. October 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm | #48

    Dr Balogh: You had zero comment on the quoted items naming me below, but you have trouble for my citing Wiki level on the blog????
    Where did you learn “equal treatment”???

    “It’s no use trying to reason with idiots like him, but it’s interesting to study”
    “Loony lying Louis’s Logical fallacy aka Kindergarten logic:”
    “Smart’ is one thing, Mr. Louie, but ‘intelligence’ is altogether another matter”

  49. October 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm | #49

    Crybaby …

  50. cabbage
    October 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm | #50

    BTW, the last house on the Slovak side near that old bridge is the hotel “Pokol” aka Hell …
    The Slovak name is “Pekla” so this might be another Slav word in the Hungarian language ?

    Pokol = Hell = Peklo

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