I have been planning for some time to write a post about the neo-Nazi propaganda that can be heard daily on Duna TV.
Duna TV was established during the Antall government and is supposed to serve the Hungarian diaspora in the neighboring countries, although I understand that MTV covers a large portion of the territories in question. In any case, at Duna TV, just like at all other public media outlets, the change of government brought in an entirely new management and staff. The old right-of-center ideology that was the trademark of Duna TV was not good enough for the Orbán government. By now there are a couple of programs on Duna TV that are neo-Nazi propaganda, pure and simple.
A rewriting of Hungarian history is one of the goals of this relatively young crew, whose roots go back to their days as HÖK officials in various Hungarian universities. I wrote several times about this student association (Hallgatói Önkormányzat), which bears a suspicious resemblance to KISZ (Kommunista Ifjúsági Szövetség). Just like KISZ secretaries, HÖK presidents receive salaries and have large sums of money at their disposal. There were scandals at several universities involving HÖK, and there is no question that in most colleges HÖK is “the breeding ground for Jobbik.” At ELTE’s faculty of arts one HÖK chairman after the other ended up in Jobbik. One of the chairmen, István Szávay, is today a member of parliament.
Szávay’s predecessor at ELTE’s HÖK, Gábor Balogh, calls himself a historian, although he is in reality a Jobbik propagandist. He writes for far-right publications and, according to at least one source, is on the editorial board of kuruc.info, the site the Orbán government claims not to be able to shut down. At one time he worked for Barikád, the official publication of Jobbik. His name could also be found as a contributor to alfahir.hu, and lately he writes for Jobbegyenes (Straight Right). He gives lectures on political and historical topics to sympathetic audiences which are then made available on YouTube by igazCsepel, who seems to be the cameraman of Jobbik.
Why did Gábor Balogh’s name crop up suddenly? One reason is that in Jobbegyenes he wrote a sharply worded article about Imre Kerényi’s asinine Magyar Krónika, in which he expressed his misgivings about such primitive ideas that give a bad name to the conservative ideology. György Bolgár asked him for an interview, during which Balogh was asked about his professional activities outside of writing a blog. It turned out that he produces and edits television shows on historical and literary topics. From here it was only a couple of clicks to the notorious series aired on Duna TV called Hagyaték (Inheritance).
I don’t watch Duna TV and therefore had no idea that this series is not new. In fact, more than 50 programs were already produced and shown. Every Saturday there is a new segment which is then repeated over and over every day of the week, sometimes twice a day. So, one doesn’t have to worry about missing one of the programs. The programs are also available on YouTube. A Facebook friend called my attention to one that he found especially upsetting entitled “Geniuses at a dead-end: Endre Ady and Attila József.” The conclusion of this program was that these two poets were basically good Hungarians whose Jewish friends led them astray. One of the latest programs extolled the virtues of the Hungarian aristocracy whose only goal in life was service to people and country. Another recent program was devoted to the praise of the Hungarian gendarmes whose activities were distorted after 1945, primarily the result of personal revenge because of their involvement in the “logistics of deportation.” Naturally, what the writers and producers of the program mean is that it was the returning Jews or their surviving relatives who falsified the true role of the gendarmes. One can see many, if not all, of the segments of Hagyaték in the video archives of Duna TV.
Already two years ago people noticed that blatant Arrow Cross and Jobbik propaganda was going on at Duna TV. Péter Urfi of Magyar Narancs wrote an open letter to Zoltán Rockenbauer, the editor of MTVA in charge of cultural programs, in which he complained about Hagyaték and Száműzött magyar irodalom (Banished Hungarian literature) shown on Duna TV. Naturally, nothing happened because including such programs among the offerings of the public television stations is not the result of a misstep or an unfortunate mistake but is part and parcel of what I see as a planned political move by the Orbán government. There may not be a written or verbal agreement between Fidesz and Jobbik, but there is no question in my mind that the Orbán government panders to Jobbik with these programs which rewrite Hungarian history according to Jobbik tenets. A prominent place is given to the map of Greater Hungary, and there is a lot of talk about Trianon and “Nem, nem, soha!” (No, no, never!). Often the commentator talks about Kárpáthaza (Carpathian Home) instead of Magyarország, which is a borrowing from Ferenc Szálasi’s ideological vocabulary.
About a month ago Blikk discovered that the son-in-law of Sándor Lezsák, deputy president of the Hungarian parliament (Fidesz), has a company called Dextramedia Kft. that produces television programs. This company received an order from MTVA to produce a five-part series on the everyday lives of those people who, after losing their homes because of their Forex loans, moved into the ill-conceived newly erected community in Ócsa. At this time Blikk‘s only question was the connection between the owner of the company and a high Fidesz official. But it seems that there is a more to Dextramedia. A couple of days later hirhatar.hu reported that Dextramedia produced for the neo-Nazi Internet N1TV a warm remembrance of Hitler on the anniversary of his birth. And then we learned from hir24.hu that Dextramedia was one of the sponsors of the Christmas Eve concert of a band called Nemzeti Front. Among the other sponsors was kuruc.info.hu. I guess nobody will be terribly surprised to hear that Hagyaték is also produced by Dextramedia. The gate between Fidesz and Jobbik is wide open.
A couple more pieces of information. The new historical institute, Veritas, is supposed to spearhead the rewriting of Hungary’s history. János Lázár found an ideologically appropriate director–Sándor Szakály, a military historian who wrote a whole book on the history of the Hungarian gendarmes. Szakály was one of the experts asked to comment on the history of the organization for Hagyaték. We learned from him that the Hungarian gendarmerie was the best in the whole world. The 12,000 gendarmes were the most disciplined force in the country, and their main task was the prevention of crime. They were friends of the people but enemies of the criminals. They were extremely well trained and received continuing education. They had to wear their uniforms and carry their weapons even when off duty.
Szakály went on and on about the greatness of the force, and he was assisted by another expert–Péter Ákos Kosaras, a high school teacher (by now principal), who lost his job when he posted a picture of himself on a Hungarian social media site dressed in an SS uniform, which he captioned “a good-hearted SS officer.” But he wasn’t unemployed for long. I understand that Kosaras has since written a book entitled Magyarok a Waffen SS- kötelékében (Hungarians in the Waffen SS) in which he portrays these people as heroes.
The objectionable Hagyaték shows are directed by Attila Vándor, one of the owners of Dextramedia, and the editor is our Gábor Balogh.
even as a child, he was proud of his mother’s father who had been a “csendőr”.
(the long interview is undated)
Who will cleanse this nation from its bad characters, who have been reshuffled, recycled, but never really improved?
DUNA TV = Springtime for neonacis.
Makes me sick to the stomach to read about these exclusionary efforts by segments of society and I turn toward a wider scope of looking at human social behavior as a whole, only to notice that the segregation is a world-wide phenomenon in which intellectuals are more loath to partake because they see the evil behind the machinations.
The vast majority of society is made up of people who are dissatisfied with their own lot and look for scapegoats to hate and to blame. Hatred is the polar opposite of love and is a powerful element in the human arsenal to get an adrenalin-high.
It costs no money, and no positive energy needs to be fed into it. It is available for the asking and thrives on disillusionment and unmet desires. Something like sucking blood for leeches. It latches on to the target and sucks out the the blood and the energy.
Whichever contient or sub-continent we look at we’ve got racial hatred, one-upmanship, inter-religious fighting, warring even among scientists of one belief or another.
Syria, Lebanon, Irak, Afganistan, Iran, Pakistan, India, The Congo, North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, South Africa, Brasil, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, the rich and the poor all have a go at one another to some vile degree.
When the economy forms a very tight noose around the people’s necks they take out their anger at the easiest target to beat up on. Not all humans, mind you act in this way. I’d say about 30-50 percent. The rest manage to contain the steam realizing that hatred is not the way forward.
As I wrote in some of my comments, the only way forward is patient education in ethical thinking and values to the ENTIRE population of the world.
It is as vital as teaching literacy to all.
Tappanch, thank you for the link. Fascinating. I love the story that Lezsák’s father’s death in 1949 is due to a car accident caused by a Soviet soldier four years earlier.
“Gábor Balogh […] writes for Jobbegyenes (Straight Right). ”
Jobbegyenes is also a boxing term (right straight punch). I guess that this is an appropriate name for an extreme right-wing publication.
Can you imagine? I even knew that. But I had to look up the proper English term.
There was a 3 hour documentary on the Hungarian Royal TV (M1) about a week ago. The title was “Justice is Never Late”. It was supposed to be about the crimes of the communist era and the failed justice laws in 1991 and why the criminals of the communist government were not prosecuted. So far so good …
Then we pretty much learned that the Sephardic Jews who ruled the Ottoman empire and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy were against Hungary and the whole world, with George Soros, Jozsef Antal (former PM in 91) and Laszlo Solyom (former president), conspired against us to stop the justice laws against the communists. We also learned that America and the Soviet Union together conspired to subdue the Hungarian people.
At this point you could consider filing charges at the NMHH (National Media and Infocommunications Authority – the Hungarian FCC) against the station. Then what do you see in the credits at the end? The NMHH sponsored the film … good luck.
Well anyway, somewhere in the middle I proudly put on my tin foil hat, just in case …
They traced back the events all the way to the battle of Bratislava in 907, where the still nomadic Hungarians beat up some random German knights, even saying that this was the first freedom fight of the Hungarians against the morally corrupt West.
As you know the Hunkies arrived into the Carpathian basin at the end of the 9th century. Working was kind of new concept to our forefathers so instead they went westward and robbed, raped and killed everybody that got in their way in the 10th century. Until their asses got kicked at Ausburg. These times are still affectionately called by the Hungarian history books the “Era of Adventures”.
Apparently all these programmes made by candle light, long before electricity has been discovered, – the overall darkness is a telltale proof, let alone the mostly innocent candle…
The brain-washing machine in it’s full glory!
What a shameless bunch of lowlifes…
Seriously speaking, this is all part of a concept as I see it.It goes like this:
Let’s awake the yearning for the lost grandeur, the ever great Hungary, and hint, that you may be part of the force which once again will be able to restore all the lost glory, support Orbán and the Fidesz.
It really is simple like this, and working all the time. Basically a textbook solution, it should,
Nearly embarrassing, that a couple of millions of the Hungarian people buying this crap, but they do, however stupid it really is.
So, here we are, ladies and gents, the bigger the better. The lie, that is.
No worries, kids, Fidesz is still so much better than Jobbik. And so as far as I am concerned, I am fine with Fidesz’ little games. You know, politics is the art of compromise. And I know that deep down they are decent people at Fidesz. I just know. I even talked to Mr. Szajer and Mr. Martonyi, as well as Mr. Pröhle and they were so decent. We agreed to become friends on Facebook. They are pretty cool people, actually.
The fault of the logic is that by supposedly ‘containing’ Jobbik, Fidesz not only built out its very own cottage industry (well, it’s way more than that) of lunatic right-wingers, complete with Jewish conspiracy theories and all the usual suspects, but transformed itself in the process.
I mean the fervently anti-semitic György Dörner caused an uproar when Új Szinház (New Theatre) was awarded to him by the mayor Tarlos. Now, Mr. Dörner is the new normal, he was just one of the many invited contributors to the Magyar Kronika monthly magazine, he is one of the top 100 reliable right-wing intellectuals (he attended the first editorial meeting). He is not fringe anymore. Neither is Magyar Hirlap, the daily owned by the oligarch Mr. Szeles, which contains articles every day which cannot be described otherwise than pathologic. And the list goes on. These media and people are controlled by and loyal to Fidesz, not to Jobbik.
But despite that Fidesz-controlled extreme-right wing ‘industry’, Orban is in a bit of a bind. Now that the left got united, the question is how many votes Jobbik will take away from Fidesz. At the same time the left loses no votes except perhaps for a couple of points from LMP, but most of its voters are from self-described conservatives. Of course the left is much more unpopular to begin with, people hate to identify themselves as leftists (let alone liberals), but the right-wing is now actually quite divided (even if Fidesz gets the votes from the ethnic Hungarians and prevents the votes of the emigrants living in Western EU). We will see how much reserve Fidesz still has (my guess is that a lot).
Gabor Kalomista, Fidesz’ über-movie producer (and all-around media strongman, plus his wife works in a senior position at the state TV), also one of the top 100 intellectuals invited to contribute to Magyar Kronika (he is the mainstream of mainstreams at Fidesz), says on HirTv that unfortunately the success of Hungarian movies is decided in Tel-Aviv.
I mean, where else?
Kalomista’s mentioning of Tel Aviv was a piece of pure anti-Semitism.
Mr. Bloom, the Chairman of Cine UK was born neither in Tel Aviv, nor in Joyce’s Szombathely, but in South Africa. I do not know his religion.
What we do know for sure that Mr Kalomista obtained at least 4 billion forints of taxpayers’ money thanks to his connections to Orban.
I would like to add that it is bad indeed for the purses of the movie goers that a single chain owns every non-arts cinema in Budapest. This would be the case even with a Buddhist owner.
Ticket prices are way to high.
way too high
tappanch, the problem is that it has nothing do with the success or the failure of the films. They show anything and everything, the capacities are was too big. The problem is with the quality of the Hungarian films.
OT Bank Bomb in Budapest
Péter Ákos Kosaras book on the Hungarian SS is also available in audio format for the Jobbik who are not inclined to read. At least here in Chicago the old Hungarian SS who were parents of children from my generation tried to create excuses for their murderous service including fighting the US army in Austria right up to the end. Let’s be clear here, since 1986 at least one of the former SS from Chicago retired back to Hungary and died there because I read it in a church bulletin I get. I have no doubt he was treated as a hero by the Jobbik and lived like a king on his US social security checks and cash from properties back in Chicago. The particular former SS member heartily as I recall thanked me for my service in Vietnam when I returned to Chicago and despised me according to his children after I publicly began to oppose that war. His children five in all are conservatives and all have children of their own who go to Saturday Hungarian school here in Chicago and aside from their politics are not bad people.
Istvan, thanks a lot for the insight on this group of Hungarian Americans. I think these people had some influence on Hungarian politics today… I’m not advocating some kind of conspiracy theory, but I think the old Hungarian SS, especially the ones who decided to come back home after 1989, could have played a fairly influential role in resurrecting old the Hungarian Nazi ideology in today’s Hungary.
I remember when in the 90s independent publishers of pre-war right wing ideologies started to mushroom… you didn’t need a lot of money to start these publication companies, and those who lived abroad and came back home, were relatively well-off compared to the local Hungarian population. So that’s one possible financing for these publishers. I’m sure some of the right wing extremism is home-grown, but I’m also convinced that some of it was rekindled and supported by these Hungarians living abroad or returning home.
@An – I am sure you are right, but I still don’t think that the growth of Jobbik and the general antisemitism and chauvinism of a section of Hungarian society has really got a great deal to do with the old SS guard. It is only in the last three years that this amount of OPEN racism, anti-semitism etc. grew up. And the reason is that the FIdesz government not only tolerates it, but positively encourages it. Do not forget that Jobbik is actually a direct creation of Fidesz. Their origins go back to the civil circles set up by Fidesz after they lost the 2002 election. We know from history that the cancer that is racism, fascism and all its associated filth has to be stamped upon hard before it gets confident and starts growing exponentially. That has not happened in Hungary and I’m afraid the point of no return is very close. I fear for any minorities, any group that is even slightly different and for the poor and powerless should Fidesz win the election. Another four years will help them to consolidate. Unless, of course, the people get off their knees.
“Unless, of course, the people get off their knees.”
It is precisely because the people are such sheep; that they tolerate the years of political abuse in every level of government; that they put up–as with the present, ridiculous, taxi rate hikes–prices that outstrip earning two or threefold…that, psychologically, they have become the malleable fodder that seek the sickest sort of empowerment left open to them–the abuse of jews and gypsies. That anger and frustration which has been foisted on the hapless many has, as its only recourse, to attack–a) the foreign banks who ‘tricked’ them into taking loans; b) the jews who control the banks; c) the gypsies who sully the good name of the country and its citizens; d) and the foreign hordes who come to confuse and mislead the good Christians
of the hinterland.
On the one hand, the people of have been stolen from and frustrated; on the other hand, they’re now being pointed like a missile at the enemies without, and within.
The EU should hold up the developmental funds: send psychologists and psychotherapists by the boatload.
And the arthouse cinema in the Tabán neighbourhood (Buda) just folded…
While this seems to be the case in Hungary, I would not generalize. For example in the USA, where the Constitution assures everyone’s free speech, racists, fascists and Nazis can freely organize and spew their hatred, there doesn’t seem to be an exponential growth of their numbers.
President Ader today:
“2014 a JELES jubileumok és a választások éveként áll előttünk”
2014 is ahead of us as the year of ILLUSTRIOUS anniversaries/jubilees and elections.
[as a grade in Hungarian schools, jeles= excellent]
1514 – the blood-soaked oppression of the peasant uprising against the feudal system
1914 – the beginning of the first world war.
1944 – the extermination of the Jews of the Hungarian countryside
Which of the three anniversaries is a positive, illustrious thing to Mr Ader?
@JGrant: I don’t disagree… I think the old SS guard played a role in rekindling these extreme right wing ideas in the 90s.. but these ideas would never be so widespread and commonplace in Hungary if Fidesz hadn’t seen the political potential in courting the right-wing extremists and hadn’t lifted a lot from its ideology to the mainstream political discourse.
Tappanch, I’m the last person to defend János Ádler but it is possible that he used “jeles” in its old-fashioned meaning as “notable.”
I would like also like to thank István for his valuable insights into the 1945 Hungarian emigration whose members sooner or later ended up in the United States and Canada. Perhaps even in Australia but I don’t know anything about that Hungarian community.
I will start with a family story. My father and my uncle by marriage had a small but prosperous business that made lasts. Lasts for making shoes. Don’t forget that in those days people of means had their shoes made by shoemakers and the wooden lasts were shaped to fit the customer’s foot perfectly. In Hungary there were only two factories that could provide lasts to individual shoemakers and factories that made shoes.
My father was no fool. He knew what may happen once the Soviets liberate Hungary from the Germans. He told me later that he had enough connections that he could have packed up all the newly purchased machinery and move them along with the German army to Germany. But he said “I could have gone with them but I couldn’t.”
So, I figure that most of those who had either something to worry about or who thought that the Nazis were better than the Soviets, packed up and left. The people I encountered in Canada from that generation all had some very close ties to either the Horthy regime or to nationalism socialism.
The word “jeles” has invoked positive connotation for quite some time
Mikszáth: “A Gyula nagy tálentum, jeles ember lesz valaha.”
I agree to a point: but, a lot of these people’s children were born and grew up in the US or Canada, and despite what they may have heard around the kitchen table, were also strongly (perhaps more so) shaped by their multi-cultural environment, like going to school with african-americans, chinese, indian, latinos, etc. ( I personally know someone whose grandfather was a nyilas, but he himself is very liberal and open and often at odds with his grandfather’s attitude)
The other thing is something I have read from Krisztián Ungváry recently, where he talks about the large working-class population of Hungary comprised the bulk of the nyilas. One always reads about the more famous ones nyilasok/nazis: the aristocrats, the politicians, the rich and people like Prohászka Ottokár, etc. These people fled or where deported to the deep country or imprisoned, etc once communism took over, but the bulk of those who held nazi views, the working-class (proletárok), because they were not considered to be “class enemies” were left alone. So those people basically learned to keep their mouths shut and not to rock the boat, and so these ideas never went away and resurfaced with a vengance after the rendszerváltás. So I don’t think these ideas were imported from the West.
I also think that jeles in this context means notable, remarkable, significant, though in any case unquestionably has a positive connotation — and even that is probably unwarranted.
To use jeles is pretty old-fashioned and mannered, and unsurprisingly those are the normal style characteristics of Ader and Fidesz when they wanted to seem serious and dignified.
The last few posts,and comments, were really thought-provoking. Reading about Hungarian nazis emigrating to Canada and the U.S. reminded me of an extremely moving film I saw many years ago, about an ex-Arrow Cross member living in Chicago being accused of war crimes: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100211/ – it is very disturbing,but well worth a watch.
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