There are some people in Hungary who refuse to utter the name of Zsolt Bayer, a notorious anti-Semite and a "journalist" of sorts. His style, as you will see here, is beyond what can be considered appropriate to appear on a printed page.
As was suggested by a reader of this blog, it is worth looking at Bayer's biography. It's important to recall that he was one of the thirty-seven students who established Fidesz. Despite his venomous writing, the old Fidesz leadership never disassociated itself from Bayer. Yearly there is a Fidesz birthday bash which is proudly attended by the founders, among them Zsolt Bayer. A few years ago after a particularly outrageous anti-Semitic attack, I think on Imre Kertész, Viktor Orbán made a special effort to be photographed with Bayer as they were amiably enjoying some private jokes. It was Orbán's way of saying "Bayer is our boy, we stand by him."
András Schiff's letter to the editor of The Washington Post gave Bayer a wonderful opportunity to vent against Hungarian Jews. I will translate some passages, but I'm not sure whether I will be able to give the flavor of Bayer's writing in English. It is hard for me to be that base.
The piece, entitled "The same stench," begins this way: "A stinking excrement called something like Cohen from somewhere in England writes that 'foul stench wafts' from Hungary. Cohen, and Cohn-Bendit, and Schiff. Népszava appears with the red figure of the man with the hammer and demands freedom of the press. Most people think that this is something new and that war like that didn't take place before. Nonsense. There is nothing new under the sun. Unfortunately, they were not all buried up to their necks in the forest of Orgovány." A brief explanation. Orgovány, a small village on the Great Plains, was the place of massacres committed by the leaders of the Hungarian White Terror in 1919-1920. In plain language, Bayer is expressing his sorrow that not all the Jews were killed in those days.
Bayer is trying to make the case that today's social democrats are admirers of the leaders of the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919 who escaped to Austria. There were those, according to Bayer, who never wanted to return, and he brings up the example of Imre Roboz, "the writer" who swore that he never wanted to see Hungary again. "András Schiff is his kindred soul." Perhaps I'm wrong but to my knowledge Imre Roboz was not a writer but a theater director and he lived in Budapest until his death in the Budapest ghetto sometime in January 1945.
But even worse than Roboz were those who were actually waiting for the opportunity to return. And "the stupid chancellor of Austria, Renner, and his even stupider undersecretary (sic), Otto Bauer," gave Béla Kun and his fellow communists political asylum. Naturally, Otto Bauer wasn't the chancellor's undersecretary because chancellors don't have undersecretaries. He, as the head of the Austrian Social Democratic Party, was foreign minister of the coalition government formed after the collapse of the monarchy. "These two Bolshevik lovers were waiting for them with open arms…. And these foul-smelling excrements openly attacked Hungary."
The emigration, which Bayer calls a "red cesspool," remained in Austria and "began to blacken the name of Hungary." Bayer quotes Elemér Mályusz (1898-1989), the medieval historian with right-wing sympathies, that in Hungary these people didn't have a chance because the inhabitants of Horthy's Hungary were solidly behind the new regime. Thus they tried to overthrow the legitimate Hungarian government with foreign help. The communists, the liberals, the Bolsheviks, and ordinary criminals united just like now in an attempt to ruin Hungary. The greatest traitors were Jenő Landler, Zsigmond Kunfi, Andor Gábor, Ferenc Göndör, Vilmos Böhm, and Zoltán Rónai. All Jews naturally. Their organs were Népszava; Rothe Fahne, the Austrian communists' paper; and Bécsi Magyar Újság, the Hungarian emigré paper in Vienna. "It was in these publications that they lied about the horrors of the 'White Terror'."
"Has anything changed since? No, it hasn't. Western public opinion can see Hungarian events only through the distorting mirror of the emigration." Bayer's advice is to read all the foreign press in this light. "These people didn't change a bit. We will have to be very strong and very patient."
I'm happy to announce that István Mayer, a physicist, turned to the new National Media Authority and asked them to investigate Zsolt Bayer's article. In his letter that is available on the Internet he claims that it is the Authority's duty to investigate because this article is an incitement against Jews. He added that it is most likely also the Authority's duty to report the case to the prosecutor's office. We will see what happens.