A close reading of István Csurka’s antisemitic play, The Sixth Coffin

Thanks to a friend of Hungarian Spectrum, yesterday I received a copy of István Csurka’s Hatodik koporsó (The Sixth Coffin). Since just the other day one of the commenters complained that we are discussing a play that none of us has read, I was mighty glad to have an opportunity to do so.

It is only forty pages long and I could have read the whole play in less than an hour, but I was taking notes and kept checking  the historical accuracy of some of the characters and events Csurka describes. So it took me about an hour and a half to go through the play’s rather bizarre plot.

The play is about a fantastic invention of two Hungarians that allows its users to recapture every word, every movement, every person from the past. Centuries later we can find out precisely what happened at any moment in history as long as the invention is on the spot where the event took place. The falsifiers of history can thus be eliminated and the past becomes completely knowable without any distortion. In addition to this “truth machine”–my own description of the invention–these two Hungarian geniuses are also able to make people and objects invisible.

The two inventors bring their machine into one of the conference rooms of the Palace of Versailles. They also employ a young Hungarian who is referred to as Apród (Page) whose grandfather was executed in 1958 because of his involvement with the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. They also drag in a huge coffin which, in addition to the grandfather’s remains, contains a few pieces from Stalin’s smashed statue. Interestingly enough, the dead grandfather in the coffin can merrily converse with Georges Clemenceau, and among his otherworldly possessions he even has a lighter tucked away.

The day that this “truth machine” focuses on is February 17, 1919, when there is a meeting of  the committee that was entrusted with coming up with the new frontiers of Romania and Yugoslavia. I assume that Csurka’s source was Francia diplomáciai iratok a Kárpát-medence történetéről, 1918-1919, a collection of French documents pertaining to the Paris Peace Conference, edited by Magda Ádám and Mária Ormos.

Csurka couldn’t have read the text very carefully, however, because he even makes mistakes when recounting the names of the participants. Reginald Leeper of Great Britain becomes Lepper, Sir Stuart M. Samuel becomes Sir Samuel Stuart, and Lieutenant Reuben Horchow of the United States Army becomes Harchow. Horchow was one of the eight secretaries for territorial questions; his job was most likely recording the meeting in shorthand. Csurka pegged him as a Jew and Horchow/Harchow became Csurka’s main villain. According to Csurka, Harchow officially handled the service personnel, but in reality he was a spy. He was originally from Poland and trained in the United States but paraded as part of the French delegation. According to one of Csurka’s inventors, Harchow visited Hungary only once when he apparently got in touch with the people in the Galileo Circle. Naturally! The evil Harchow was spying for the British secret service and later passed on a wealth of information to “the secret services of the burgeoning Israel, Russia and Great Britain.”

It turns out early in the play that “”four American Jews and Arthur Balfour were responsible for the dismemberment of Hungary.” How does Csurka manage to find four Jews among the top decision makers?  Jews and quasi-Jews come and go throughout the play, so I’m not sure who the real American villains were. Charles Seymour, history professor at Yale University and later its president, wasn’t Jewish; even Csurka doesn’t try to convert him. Csurka thinks that he was “a shyster of a lawyer in New York.”  However, according to Csurka, Seymour reports to Edward (Colonel) House. Csurka makes a Jew out of House, whose ancestry goes back to Dutch immigrants of the colonial period. The family’s original name was Huis, Dutch for “house”. Not so for Csurka who decided that House’s original name was Mandel and that he was the son of a rabbi. In fact, House’s father was the mayor of Houston. Another Jew in this company was actually Jewish, Bernard Baruch. But Baruch had absolutely nothing to do with the territorial questions at the peace conference. He advised President Woodrow Wilson on economic matters and in fact argued against the exceedingly harsh reparation payments Germany had to pay after the lost war.

Another villain is Sir Stuart M. Samuel, formerly high commissioner for Palestine, who was entrusted with minority rights in Poland. Csurka certainly doesn’t like the idea of protection for the rather large Jewish minority in Poland. Csurka talks about a Rothschild without being more specific, but I guess he is talking about Edmund James Rothschild, a great supporter of  Zionism. Csurka puts the following words into Rothschild’s mouth: “The tribe of Jews always accepted suffering for the survival and realization of the whole nation. If suffering awaits the Jews of a dismembered Hungary, they should bear it or should emigrate to the United States, but the matter of power over the whole world must go on.” Csurka’s Rothschild also makes it clear that Trianon is really the work of American Jews who try to shift the blame onto the French. Another American Jewish financier, Jacob Schiff, enters the scene in a conversation with Bernard Baruch and Arthur Balfour. It is about Wilson’s idea of setting up the League of Nations. Schiff is originally opposed to the idea but eventually relents on the condition that “the first president of the League of Nations will be Jewish.” Baruch inquires from Balfour whether this is possible or not, and Balfour assures him that it is possible. As far as I know, the first president of the League of Nations was Léon Bourgeois, former French prime minister, and I don’t have the foggiest idea of his ethnicity.

Léon Trotsky is also mentioned by these Jewish conspirators. Referring to him by his original name, Leon Bronstein, he is described as a close friend of Rothschild, Baruch, and Schiff. Granddad in the coffin and grandson Apród keep asking members of the committee questions. One concerns Trotsky who was, according to Csurka, financed by the American Jews who later advised Wilson on matters of state. And all the Jewish immigrants working in sweatshops talk about Trotsky whom they consider to be the real leader of Bolshevik Russia. Apród wants to know who the first and second presidents of Soviet Russia were, and naturally both were Jews.

Eventually Clemenceau enters the stage and has a long conversation with the dead revolutionary from 1956. He tells the French president that he was killed by Hungarians on Soviet orders. Clemenceau thinks that the man in the coffin is Romanian. Our revolutionary proudly retorts: “Thank God, no. I’m a Hungarian.” The conversation turns to Stalin and thus Clemenceau: “Oh, I remember him from the early days when he was an insignificant character. He was a Georgian, not Jewish and not a freemason. I never thought that he would ever amount to anything.”

Granddad informs Clemenceau about 1956 in this vein: “Stalin out of revenge delegated power to four Muscovite Jews–Rákosi, Gerő, Farkas, and Révai–who not only introduced a dictatorship but robbed the country blind.” This was also the peacemakers’ fault, including Clemenceau, because “if they hadn’t torn Hungary apart, the Russians would never have occupied Budapest.” Well, that’s an interesting theory. Hungary would have been able to stand against the mighty Soviet Union? On Germany’s side? And win the war? Is that what Csurka is getting at?

Throughout the play Edvard Beneš is lurking in the background. In Csurka’s theory the Czechoslovak foreign minister is behind everything–or at least everything that the Jews don’t control. He feeds false information to the peacemakers who robotically accept all his recommendations, even those concerning the future Romanian-Hungarian border. The February 17 meeting deals with the controversial decision to leave about 200,000 Hungarian speaking people on the Romanian side for the sake of a north-south railway line. The much abused Americans in fact wanted to leave the territory with Hungary but they were outnumbered: the British, the French, and the Italians all voted in favor of Romania. Beneš’s name did come up during this particular discussion, but Csurka’s Clemenceau gave him a commanding, prescient role. Bidding goodbye to the members of the delegation, Csurka’s Clemenceau said, “Continue with your work according to the Beneš decrees.” How unhistorical can you get?

In brief, István Csurka’s truth machine came up with a grotesque re-creation of  the twentieth century. What is truly frightening is the reaction of the play’s director, Zsolt Pozsgay. To him “Csurka only used a historical event in its historical reality.” As for its antisemitism, to Pozsgay “there are no antisemitic thoughts in the play. There are only historical facts.”

There is history and there is fiction, and sometimes the two can be bedfellows. But Csurka’s play doesn’t even begin to rise to the level of historical fiction. It is propaganda pure and simple. History is not a bedfellow of fiction but a rape victim.

80 comments

  1. Pitiful. Many dumb Hungarians prefer to reject education, and take the Csurka replacement history as a shortcut to history. Another great failure in culture.

    Madach, Babits etc. can cry big tears.

    It would be a great play to dump all Hungarian leaders who ruled in the past 100 years on one theater stage, and ask them for an explanation of the many errors committed.

  2. Dear Eva, You earned all my respect. I could not get further than page 25. It is such a bad rubbish that it is impossible for me to read it. Anti-semite or not I would let them play it.
    I am not sure how many tickets will they be able to sell after the first few performances. I think the punishment for the anti-semites is in the play, and I think it should be mandatory to sit through the play to all Jobbik members, and the Hungarian Guard. Maybe the Hungarian parliament should sit through one of the performances. I guarantee that 99% of the audience would have not a clue about the references.
    I vote for keeping the play on.

    As Csurka’s writing goes, at some pages he uses “falsifiers of history” five times. I thought if I have to read that once more I will jump out the window. Every single conversation, and every sentence is Csurka’s philosophy. It is so painful… He also tries to be funny. That is the worst. “Bill Gates be with you!” says the page to the inventors at some point. These are nit even the worst parts of the play. Let them have it!

  3. Super-History :
    Pitiful. Many dumb Hungarians prefer to reject education, and take the Csurka replacement history as a shortcut to history. Another great failure in culture.

    Trust me they will tune out in five minutes, It is a vert bad play.

  4. Thanks Eva for reading and commenting this load of crap of former police informer “Rasputin”
    In Fidesz near Budapest daily Magyar Hirlap Péter Tamáska has published on June 8, 2012 an article under the bombastic title “Világpolitika” (Worldpolitics) which he resumes:
    “I love Csurka because he has spoken openly since 1990 about this postnational world while others lied (On Broadway not his plays were on stage but those of Göncz, because of Antal’s suggestion)
    His drama the sixth coffin – which will be shown hopefully by the new theater – begins with the conference of the commission to fix the borders in February. The dialogues moving from the present into the past and from the past into the present quote all that straight horror, brought to us by the past century.” We learn about the vision of Dezsö Szabó about the nation condemned to death. “But we the intellectuals of national sentiments – try to play in our time without religion – the wanting role of the lower clergy politics.”
    This is a very quick translation to give those who do not speak Hungarian an idea about the ruling madness.
    “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t”

    I was amused to hear Budapest mayor Tarlós in Egyenes Beszéd on atv to say that he did not like the end of the sixth coffin. Tarlós also warned about the false accusation of anti-Semitism. This is an evergreen subject matter of Hungarian right wing politics. Usually they argue that Fidesz itself is accused to be “zsidesz” and that they are between those accusations and the false leftwing accusations of being anti-Semitic.

    I am under the impression, that they are in a catch 22 situation, if Dörner and his ilk will play the sixth coffin, Tarlós will say, I told them not to, but they would not listen. If they decide not to play it, the nazis will accuse Fidesz and Tarlós to do what the “world conspiracy” against Hungary (Washington-Tel Aviv-Brussels) told them to do. And that is what Fidesz and its leader do not want to hear. After all they like to show themselves as fighting this colonialist “world conspiracy”, while of course denying that such a conspiracy exists.

    If foreigners try to understand the ruling elite in Hungary, they must first learn some lessons of political psychology. Because I do not believe, that they are just cynical, they do believe in their own falsehood, they have internalized their own lies. And they have created a Hungarian newspeak.

    “Szeretem Csurkát, mert 1990-től nyíltan beszélt erről a posztnacionális világról, miközben mások hazudtak. (A Broadway-n nem is őt játszották, hanem Gönczöt, egy antalli sugallat alapján.)

    A hatodik koporsó című drámája – amelyet remélhetőleg az Új Színház bemutat – a versailles-i határmegállapító bizottság egyik februári ülésével kezdődik. A jelenből a múltba, a múltból a jelenbe mozgó figurák párbeszédei felidézik mindazt a tömény borzalmat, amelyet az elmúlt század hozott nekünk. „A halálra ütemezett nemzet” Szabó Dezső-i víziója ez, és bemutatása minden bizonnyal befolyással lesz a közvéleményre. S ránk, nemzeti érzelmű értelmiségre is, amely vallástalan korunkban néha jól-rosszul, de megpróbálja a politizáló alsópapság nagyon is hiányzó szerepét eljátszani. ”
    http://www.magyarhirlap.hu/velemeny/vilagpolitika.html

  5. Thank you for the thorough analysis. I can’t even make myself read Csurka and similar writers, so I thank you even for the act of reading it, plus for your background research. It is a frightening writing/play, because the ‘truth-machine’ gives and extra twist, which is more emotional then rational. Not many people know much about the actual historical events, most people imagine the events according to their political standing, wearing rosy or dark glasses, and most of us believe the ‘facts’ as presented by people who share our political views (I am the same, as I am happy to believe the ‘facts’ as presented by Eva S Balogh, as I like her perspective, and I am unlikely to spend this lovely weekend doing more research). I don’t even dare to think how many people would have been convinced by Csurka’s writings and speeches, as unfortunately he had many followers. I am not sure what would be the best way to try to get into a ‘dialogue’ with these people, as it seems to me – from the distance of the UK – that both political camps are only talking to themselves, not to each other. Unfortunately the arguments about the ‘facts’ won’t make a huge difference, although it is important when trying to inform (or convince) those who are undecided. Piroska Markus

  6. I’m not so sure, Some1. There’s a growing audience for conspirationist conceptions of History, whatever conspiration they pretend to uncover. By ‘conspirationist conception’, I mean precisely the way this play operates: you choose certain dots, then you connect them to form a closed figure. And pretend the figure had always been in the carpet.

    I admire Dr Balogh’s efforts in pinning down factual errors. Yet I wonder whether the strategy is sufficient, or even efficient, against this modus operandi. For instance, Léon Bourgeois (if we’re correct in the assumption that he’s the person alluded to in the play) was not jewish. However, he was both a freemason and a sympathizer of Herzl – and there, the conspirationist mind exults and shouts ‘I told you!’. When you’re a hammer, everybody and everything looks like a nail.

    In my view, it is more productive to dispute the method itself. Does this work even slightly tries to substantiate the way a particular actor’s origins and political commitments determined his actions? No, it doesn’t. Actually, it couldn’t, unless it was ready to acknowledge well-studied phenomena such as, for instance, resistance to Zionism in jewish communities, antisemitism among French freemasons and the U.S. banking establishment, and so on… In a nutshell, to acknowledge that human History doesn’t follow any determined design.

    But then, this play would have lost its raison d’être, wouldn’t it?

    PS: does anybody else think the ending is absolutely hilarious?

  7. Reading this entry and trying to understand the play’s story I somehow got lost – how does the play end ?

    40 pages of this crap must be terrible to read – and is anyone trying to comprehend the whole thing ?

    The ideas remind me of some “constipation theories” (pun intended) that you read on US internet pages about the communist Muslim Obama being a puppet of the Jews in Wall St etc etc …

  8. London Calling!

    Marcel Dé:

    I have to admit (I have not read the play) that the device of the coffin connecting time periods could be a clever theatrical device.

    As you say it could convince one that it “…….had always been in the carpet” – if I fully understand your metaphor.

    If it had been used by one of our funniest and cleverest playwrights – Alan Ayckbourn, then it would have been hilarious. Even Chekhov.

    But Eva’s analysis suggests a didactic experience! Extremely boring without humour it seems – except maybe the ending – which would come as blessed relief!

    When you say ” ….the ending is absolutely hilarious” is that funny ha ha – or funny boo?

    Regards

    Charlie

  9. ….and I forgot to add another flash thought that escaped!

    Brilliant closing summary Eva!

    “History is not a bedfellow of fiction but a rape victim.”

    It should end up in the Oxford Book of Quotations!

    Regards

    Charlie

  10. “The evil Harchow was spying for the British secret service and later passed on a wealth of information to “the secret services of the burgeoning Israel, Russia and Great Britain.””

    That will be the “burgeoning” Israel which was three decades away from its creation?

  11. @CharlieH: Actually, this connect-the-dots approach also forms the basis of many bad thrillers, including bad leftist political thrillers. Or documentaries. Mr Moore comes to mind, here, as well as unnumerable dystopian/disaster movies or TV series in the recent years. There’s an audience for that, and it is growing.

    The problem, to me, comes when it is applied to politics. For with the ‘uncovering’ of the figure in the carpet, of the alleged perpetrators’ evil scheme and its unfortunate victims, inevitably comes the yearning for a great vengeful and consolating myth.

    Why would the City of Budapest subsidize that?

    PS: in the end, the Hungarian uprising becomes an inspiration for the independence struggles of Algeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. Now, I don’t object to artists being megalomaniacs, but then again, when it comes to politics…

  12. wolfi :

    Reading this entry and trying to understand the play’s story I somehow got lost – how does the play end ?

    40 pages of this crap must be terrible to read – and is anyone trying to comprehend the whole thing ?

    The ideas remind me of some “constipation theories” (pun intended) that you read on US internet pages about the communist Muslim Obama being a puppet of the Jews in Wall St etc etc …

    How does it end? With a whimper. That’s a joke, of course, but pretty close to the truth. There is a last encounter between Apród and Harchow. Apród hits the “spy” in the face who tells Apród that he will be working in the White House handling European affairs. So, Apród knows what is waiting for Hungary. Naturally nothing good.

    Granddad’s coffin is closed and two movers appear on the scene to take the coffin to Budapest. While at the beginning of the play two French workers bring in the coffin at the end they are foreigners: an African and an Algerian. I assume this is to show what has happened to France in the intervening years.

  13. Some1, you’d be right in any self respecting and open minded society – let them have it – since a healthy natural selection would certainly eliminate it within seconds.
    However, the present days Hungary is totally different.
    Now people will hear certain things what they will believe in – kind of premeditated and self inflected delusion – and they happy being ascertained. ( – I made up my mind already, don’t confuse me with facts!)

    Count in that very few people will ever read the play, let alone check upon facts, so the only effect of it will come verbally, among like-minded audience. It will be a great success, no doubt and the seed will fall on fertile soil, guaranteed.

    I used to read Mr.Orban’s speeches – recommending to everyone, who thinks, there’s some kind of intellect involved, (no, there isn’t!) – and first having a hard time to fathom, how on Earth such load of crap could have any kind of effect, let alone positive.
    The answer is, that people wouldn’t even try to follow and understand, they just want to hear, they just want to experience the presence, an want to cheer on certain well chosen words and expressions together, and that’s all what matters further on.

    If we accept again spreading this kind of manipulative antisemitism, we can only blame ourselves.
    Again.

  14. Eva, thank you for the explanation of a “whimper” of an end!

    BTW, the Forint is weakening again – right now 278 to the € (it was at 275).

    OT:

    At least thze heatwave will end – tomorrow we’ll have some rain here at the Balaton – might save some of the plants, it’s been unbelievably hot and dry.

  15. spectator :
    Some1, you’d be right in any self respecting and open minded society – let them have it – since a healthy natural selection would certainly eliminate it within seconds.
    However, the present days Hungary is totally different.
    Now people will hear certain things what they will believe in – kind of premeditated and self inflected delusion – and they happy being ascertained. ( – I made up my mind already, don’t confuse me with facts!)
    Count in that very few people will ever read the play, let alone check upon facts, so the only effect of it will come verbally, among like-minded audience. It will be a great success, no doubt and the seed will fall on fertile soil, guaranteed.

    spectator, I have to say that the play is so boring and confusing that the “regular” audience (and I bet the “regular” right wing fan club is not a “regular” audience of live theater) will walk out or scratch their had at the end. I am not sure what kind of deus ex machina the director will use to make the audience wanting to stay. It is forty pages of “facts” with poetic freedom. Of course Magyar Hirlap will put some great criticism up, but that will not make it any better.
    If they will not let them play it, the right will always say that it did not play because it told the truth and the Jews and the Americans do not want the truth to get out. By not playing this crap will not prevent anyone to buy into the anti-semitic bs, and the Trianon conspiracy. Those people already made up their minds play or not. Csurka only speaks to the already converted, and ll the others will hate the play or will not take it serious. Nobody will leave the the theatre saying “Oh I did not know this. THank goodness I learned something new.”
    Let them have it, and let see how it does, not as a historical gem but as a gem of a drama.

  16. wolfi :Eva, thank you for the explanation of a “whimper” of an end!
    BTW, the Forint is weakening again – right now 278 to the € (it was at 275).
    OT:
    At least thze heatwave will end – tomorrow we’ll have some rain here at the Balaton – might save some of the plants, it’s been unbelievably hot and dry.

    Wolfi, these last two observations may not be as off-topic as you think …

    My wife recently heard someone (in a hairdresser’s waiting room in Budapest) saying that the current series of heatwaves were not natural phenomenon. In fact, the heatwaves are an attempt by ‘them’ to destroy ‘us’ the Hungarians. But ‘they’ failed because the Hungarians are strong.

    Seriously.

    And I suppose, the same evil forces who are out to destroy Hungary with 39C heatwaves are also to be blamed for the weakening of the Forints.

    I’m afraid Csurka’s play will not fall on deaf ears in modern Hungary.

  17. Eva S. Balogh :
    Granddad’s coffin is closed and two movers appear on the scene to take the coffin to Budapest. While at the beginning of the play two French workers bring in the coffin at the end they are foreigners: an African and an Algerian. I assume this is to show what has happened to France in the intervening years.

    Hmmm… not so sure about that interpretation, considering the two delivery men at the end are classified as ‘Felidézett személyek’, whereas the two from the start are ‘Élő személyek’.

  18. Well, this ain’t the Merchant of Venice, that’s for sure …

    Pitiful, last-ditch attempt to piggyback brain dead conspiration theories with a nationalistic syrup on top in the theatre life on Csurka’s past reputation. Now or never …

    I don’t think Csurka had all his marbles in his last years. I used to receive these Csurka pamfletts in e-mail from my elderly friends (it’s called “granny spam”). The last one I received iaround January was about Orban’s 56 style freedom fight against the push button financial attack on the Forint – Jewish bankers, USA, Trianon, 56, the whole nine yards. It was a shorter version of this play but almost exactly the same thing.

    I don’t think there is way to prevent this from showing. The withdrawal of the public funds would be the only way but it’s not going to happen during this government. We should of course beat the drums and let the world know that in Hungary the taxpayers finance a play that blames the Jews for the Holocaust.

    Here is related cartoon from the Nepszava:

    http://www.nepszava.hu/articles/article.php?id=578042

    It says “We’re never going to close this coffin”.

  19. Colonel House’s role in Trianon: ” To fill in the details of this vision, Wilson asked House to assemble a group of experts. The resulting project was known as the Inquiry, and the plan it created became the basis for Wilson’s Fourteen Points and for his principal proposals at the Versailles conference. The Inquiry ultimately placed 126 scholars on its payroll. Although each of them had substantial credentials, hardly any of them was expert on European politics—a shortcoming that helped to doom the president’s dealings with the likes of David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau at Versailles. Indeed, as one ponders this big committee’s hubristic attempt to redraw the map of large parts of Europe and other regions, such as the Middle East, F. A. Hayek’s idea of the “pretense of knowledge” springs to mind:

    Few [members of the Inquiry] had any detailed knowledge of, for example, the disputed frontiers of Romania, Hungary, or Bulgaria, still less of the history and ethnography of Poland or the Ottoman Empire. One who was assigned to work on Italy confessed later that he was “handicapped by a lack of knowledge of Italian.” . . . [W]hen it came to what we would now call the Middle East, the Inquiry more or less gave up. (160)

    Is it any wonder, then, that the arrangements made at Versailles for the Middle East proved to be the source of what has aptly been called “a peace to end all peace” and that almost a century later the world continues to pay a horrible price for the statesmen’s bungling in 1919?”

    Sourcehttp://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2294″

  20. Louis Kovach :
    Dr Balogh: “As far as I know, the first president of the League of Nations was Léon Bourgeois, former French prime minister, and I don’t have the foggiest idea of his ethnicity.”
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:French_Jews

    @ Louis “the Harvard Lecturer” Kocacs

    You’re a disgrace to Darwan and the idea of the advancement of the human species.
    You quote a Wiikipedia website that lists “French” jews under which Leon Bourgeois
    name is listed. (We don’t, of course, know how a name gets on the list..) A little
    further inquiry (ie. Nobelprize.org or Wikipedia for “Leon Bourgeois”) and there’s no
    mention of his religion whatever. But still…he might’ve been a jew, no? Except this
    student of Law and oratory chose to while away his time studying Hinduism and
    Sanskrit (no doubt, to hide his secret studies of the Talmud..).

    Louis, you’re a clinical example of the saying, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”…but
    you are entertaining…in a weird, Hungarian sort of way.

  21. Louis Kovach and others:

    Forget about the Jewish conspiracy to destroy Hungary. Everyone knows the real truth. That a race of reptile aliens are really controlling everything to make slaves out of mankind. Oh, and we are all descended from aliens, who built the pyramids, etc.. For empirical historical proof, I urge you to read the works of Erich von Daniken. I look forward to von Daniken being on the Hungarian history syllabus in the near future.

  22. Louis K.

    Wait, wait! I’ve done more research on Leon Bourgeois. As a lawyer he took no part in defending Dreyfuss. He didn’t march in support of him; he made no speeches. Yecchh! What a bad jew. In fact, I secretly suspect him of being a wannabe christian. A reminder
    here of the Maximillian Schell movie where he plays a man on trial for being a rabid
    nazi. In the climactic scene, he’s discovered to be a jew who just couldn’t stomach
    all the hate that came his way and ‘switched’ sides. Just like Leon, that clandestine jew!

    You’re right, Louis ‘the lecturer’ Kovacs, he’s despicable.
    Now we know why the yellow star!
    So that schmucks like you can tell a jew apart from others….

  23. London Calling!

    Kovach get this.

    When Germany, Austria and Hungary visited their warmongering on the Allies – why should they give a toss that the reparations were fair? The Allies just wanted to draw a line under everything – a sort of letting the pond settle.

    Out of the goodness of our hearts we set up the German Trade Unions based on what we had learnt in employer/employee relations and set up a better system than our own – and we set the German reparations a little high and nearly bankrupted Germany.

    But we ourselves were bust – on our knees – bankrupt, understand? So how does fairness come into it?

    And the modern Horthy- , Nazi-, Wass-, Nyiro- events just deepens the resolve of those with long enough memories to just tell Hungary to go…well you know.

    The English aristocracy too couldn’t give a toss at the time either – why should they even have tried to understand “…………the disputed frontiers of Romania, Hungary, or Bulgaria, still less of the history and ethnography of Poland or the Ottoman Empire.” ?

    Yes they were going to rub the losers nose in it – why not?

    When the Hungarians went in to re-negotiate Trianon it was observed that they behaved as though they had won the war. Do you think that helped negotiations?

    And still this attitude prevails.

    And you live in a country that did so much to stabilise peace in the world – you hypocrite.

    Why the hell should the international community even now review anything as regards ‘Greater Hungary’?

    This is something that Orban and his hopeless, useless unrealistic government had better recognise.

    Suck it up means suck it up means suck it up

    Regards

    Charlie

  24. @Louis Kovach, you’re joking. A wikipedia unsourced addition to a category, moreover in the English version for a French politician?

    Léon Bourgeois was a militant atheist probably of catholic extraction, his grave – empty since he was incinerated – being in the cimetière de l’Ouest in the town of Châlons-en-Champagne, which has not a single jewish grave (they’re in the cimetière de l’Est).

    Some French catholic bigots labeled him a protestant, and apparently some Hungarian antisemites label him a jew… And what if he were born this or that? Shame on all of them not to understand that there is more to every man’s life and works than the markers which fuel their fantasies.

    PS: Petofi : nice reference to ‘The Man in the Glass Booth’. What a performance by Schell.

  25. Charlie H: Get this!

    Most of the records, although not all the French are stiil released indicate that it is not the Central Powers wwho were responsible for the WWI. The Serb records were the first for partial release and the Russina ones are still trickling out. There are numerous post 1980 books written based on the info aavailable from the archives,indicateing that the French and Russians in addition to the Serbs were the main culprits.

  26. Four years ago I found in Radebeul near Dresden in a bookshop a book of Csurka published in the GDR in 1982: István Csurka: “Erzählungen, Wer setzt schon auf Fortuna”. I paid for the book one Euro.
    The editor described him as a socialist writer taking a stand for Socialism. However he wrote also of the day to day problems of Hungarians, of the lack of beer in summer.
    I met Csurka after 1973 at the horse race in Budapest and I have seen one of his dramas in Vigszínház “Házmestersirató”. How this bohème, who informed on his colleagues became a shoddy anti-Semitic politician is subject matter of a drama somebody will write one of this days.
    Remarkable how popular Csurka is today in Fidesz circles. And how they deny his rabid anti-Semitism.

  27. Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :

    @Louis Kovach, you’re joking. A wikipedia unsourced addition to a category, moreover in the English version for a French politician?
    Léon Bourgeois was a militant atheist probably of catholic extraction, his grave – empty since he was incinerated – being in the cimetière de l’Ouest in the town of Châlons-en-Champagne, which has not a single jewish grave (they’re in the cimetière de l’Est).
    Some French catholic bigots labeled him a protestant, and apparently some Hungarian antisemites label him a jew… And what if he were born this or that? Shame on all of them not to understand that there is more to every man’s life and works than the markers which fuel their fantasies.
    PS: Petofi : nice reference to ‘The Man in the Glass Booth’. What a performance by Schell.

    Yes, that’s the one: a powerful film.

    Ain’t Louis a card?
    He’s like hitting a tennis ball against the wall–the ball comes back, but there’s nothing on it.

  28. @Some1 – I hear what you saying and I still don’t agree.

    Today we accept a “little” antisemitic play, tomorrow we’re supposed to accept a little more, – see, it wasn’t that big impact – and before long we will find ourselves in a spot, where we have no chance to stop it anymore.

    Just look at the images what Bowen linked above – to me the 7/18 is the most frightening – this is Budapest, Hungary in 2012.

  29. 1.
    Moi, aussi, quote from the Wikipedia, but from the French one, because this should be more knowledgeable:

    “Léon Bourgeois est le fils de Marie Victor Bourgeois, horloger, et Augustine Euphrosine Élise Hinoult. Il naît le 29 mai 1851 au 12 rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Île, à Paris.”

    His parents’ name does not indicate Jewish heritage.

    2.
    From the Nobel committee:

    “The son of a clock-maker of Jurassian and Burgundian descent, Bourgeois lived most of his life in Paris in an eighteenth-century townhouse on the rue Palatine.”

    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1920/bourgeois-bio.html

    Sorry, dear United Anti-semites of Hungary, this Nobel prize winner was NOT Jewish.

  30. Since it’s fashionable at the moment to quote from Wikipedia articles, I thought I’d have a go.

    “Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

    Yes, that’s right! Anyone! Which means that Wikipedia is a valuable resource for making spurious (and not particularly reliable) points on internet blogs.

  31. “On November 1, 1895, Bourgeois formed his own government. His political program included
    the enactment of a general income tax,
    the establishment of a retirement plan for workers, and
    implementation of plans for the separation of church and state,”

    This sounds pretty progressive, 117 years ago …

  32. London Calling!

    Bowen.

    Yes you are right – that’s why most of us on here only quote wiki stuff if it’s been corroborated elsewhere.

    A pinch of salt caution.

    Except trolls of course.

    Regards

    Charlie

  33. CharlieH :London Calling!
    Bowen.
    Yes you are right – that’s why most of us on here only quote wiki stuff if it’s been corroborated elsewhere.
    A pinch of salt caution.
    Except trolls of course.
    Regards
    Charlie

    I was wondering if it’s acceptable in Harvard to treat Wikipedia as reliable secondary source material.

  34. Two things herein:

    First, a mea culpa–it seems, indeed, that Louis Kovach is lecturer in the continuing education program at Harvard. Here’s the bio that appears on him:

    J. Louis Kovach, DChE
    President
    NUCON International, Inc.
    Visiting Lecturer
    Harvard School of Public Health
    Forty years of experience in nuclear, chemical, and petrochemical process technology and the development of processes and products for diverse applications. Degree in Chemical Engineering. Consultant to U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, ERDA, and U.S. Department of Energy for waste management and fluid processing. Chairman of International Atomic Energy Agency and OECD Nuclear Energy Agency committees regarding source term and air cleaning in accidents and sever accidents in nuclear facilities. Past Chairman of ASME CONAGT Technology Subcommittee. Lecturer at Harvard University, School of Public Health. Author and coauthor of over 100 publications. Participate in the U.S. Department of Energy High Level Waste Technical Advisory Panel and its Chemical Reactions, Characterization and Pretreatment Sub Panels, Organizing Committee member of DOE/NRC Nuclear Air Cleaning & Treatment Conferences. Currently Senior Technical Advisor on the licensing activity for the Yucca Mountain Project. Participated in the development of standards, specifications and codes for the design and testing of nuclear processing systems and components.
    01/03/12

    Two, WHAT IS FRIGHTENING:

    That a man of some accomplishment can support the nationalist/Fidesz/Orban nonsense.

    Get your Nationalism treated, Louis–It’s outdated nonsense from the past.

  35. London Calling!

    Thomas – I nearly did (again) too. But refrained this time – and will in future.

    Regards

    Charlie

  36. Thank you very much, Eva, for reading this play and sharing your insights. I am baffled that a play can claim to be the main transmitter of historical truth. Is Mr Csurka a historian or a playwright? His truth will not become “truer” by staging a play with the Hungarian super-invention of a time machine. As the Hungarian genius that invented this time-machine is also only imagined, why should the rest of the play be “truth”? I share some1’s assessment that this play will not really make it to a blockbuster, not even in circles that might share the main message.

    But what I have not yet fully understood is why Jews are so important for the definition of the Hungarian nation by “true Hungarians”? Why is it necessary to define the Hungarian nation through a statement about Jewish faith and Jewish people? I started to wonder already whether the “true Hungarian”, true to his traditional rural life, has defined himself against the background of the strengthening importance of the typically non-true Hungarian towns and urban life, so that the Hungarian “cultural” anti-semitism was a reflection of the uneasiness with modernisation (and urban life). It is tragic, and not only for the Hungarians of Jewish faith, that it has been impossible to identify this pre-modern anxiety as what it was, since by now the full range of anti-semitism appears to be a necessary ingredient of the “true Hungarian culture”. I really hope for another revolution in Hungary, this time not in the voting booths but in the minds.

  37. Petofi1 :
    Two things herein:
    First, a mea culpa–it seems, indeed, that Louis Kovach is lecturer in the continuing education program at Harvard. Here’s the bio that appears on him:
    J. Louis Kovach, DChE
    President
    NUCON International, Inc.
    Visiting Lecturer
    Harvard School of Public Health
    Forty years of experience in nuclear, chemical, and petrochemical process technology…

    That a man of some accomplishment can support the nationalist/Fidesz/Orban nonsense.
    Get your Nationalism treated, Louis–It’s outdated nonsense from the past.

    I wrote it already: it is very unlikely that the person that writes as Kovach here has anything in common with that person above except through identity theft. He writes as a person not older than 35, he has way too much time for sharing his thoughts with us about everything except nuclear etc. technology, and he is too well informed about current Hungarian politics. Whoever he is, locate him close to the Fidesz cash boxes.

  38. The identity of Kovach is highly unsure. His/her contributions are irrelevant.
    He could stole the identity of the listed guy.
    Suggestion – ignore him. Better, ban him.

  39. Kirsten: ” I started to wonder already whether the “true Hungarian”, true to his traditional rural life, has defined himself against the background of the strengthening importance of the typically non-true Hungarian towns and urban life, so that the Hungarian “cultural” anti-semitism was a reflection of the uneasiness with modernisation (and urban life).”

    Excellent observation. You put your finger on it. Just think about the népies ~ urbánus controversy. The népiesek were first generation intellectual of often peasant background. Among the urbánusok there were many intellectuals, writers of Jewish background but not exclusively. The same controversy was renewed at the at the 1980s: MDF versus SZDSZ.

  40. Petofi: “First, a mea culpa–it seems, indeed, that Louis Kovach is lecturer in the continuing education program at Harvard. Here’s the bio that appears on him”

    I have only one question. How does Louis living in Columbus, Ohio teach at Harvard?

  41. About Bourgeois. For Csurka et al one doesn’t have to be Jewish to be called Jewish. See what happened to Colonel House.

    Louis Kovach :

    Charlie H: Get this!

    Most of the records, although not all the French are stiil released indicate that it is not the Central Powers wwho were responsible for the WWI. The Serb records were the first for partial release and the Russina ones are still trickling out. There are numerous post 1980 books written based on the info aavailable from the archives,indicateing that the French and Russians in addition to the Serbs were the main culprits.

    Would you be good enough to go into the details. The French documents indicate that it wasn’t the Central Powers who were responsible for WWI? That would be an interesting new discovery especially from French sources.

    By the way, for years I taught a seminar on the First World War: its diplomatic background and the consequences, i.e. the Peace Conference. And, by the way, I saw decades ago the documents Magda Ádám and Mária Ormos translated and edited from the French collection in 1999 because almost all the documents in this volume is simply the French version of those documents that have been available for a long time in the House Collection at Yale University. I spent months and months going through the documents relating to the Peace Conference, including the territorial commission’s records.

  42. Kovach quoting someone else: “The Inquiry ultimately placed 126 scholars on its payroll. Although each of them had substantial credentials, hardly any of them was expert on European politics—a shortcoming that helped to doom the president’s dealings with the likes of David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau at Versailles”

    I disagree with his authors. The problem was not that the scholars were ignorant of the details. The Americans were voted down time and again in the territorial commissions. One could have been the greatest expert if the British, the French, and the Italian voted the Americans down.

  43. Eva S. Balogh :

    Petofi: “First, a mea culpa–it seems, indeed, that Louis Kovach is lecturer in the continuing education program at Harvard. Here’s the bio that appears on him”
    I have only one question. How does Louis living in Columbus, Ohio teach at Harvard?

    He’s listed as a “Visiting Lecturer” which, of course, is not the
    same as Lecturer, which suggests continuing employment and the requisite Phd degree. So, there’s was that film-flam element
    about his Facebook entry.

    I don’t think he’s a continuing lecturer; perhaps a part-timer
    who lectures for a week or so.
    …And maybe it is ‘identity theft’…

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