Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fascist follies in the European Parliament

Csanád Szegedi (pictured at right), one of three newly elected Hungarian members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from the fascist Jobbik party, came to the parliament's July 14 opening session wearing the uniform of the party's illegal Magyar Garda militia. (Read here, and here, in an article auto-translated from Slovak. Background here in an article in French.) This uniform is based on that of Hungary's Arrow Cross, a pro-Nazi party which committed mass murders of Jews during the Holocaust. (Read here.) A ruling declaring the Magyar Garda illegal was affirmed by a Hungarian appeals court on July 3. The original ban followed a rising tide of anti-Roma violence, in which the paramilitary conducted several pogroms culminating in the murder of a Roma man and his young son.

Szegedi's two fellow Jobbik MEPs, Krisztina Morvai and Zoltán Balczó (pictured below on an earlier occasion), came to the EP opening session attired in 19th Century Hungarian military uniforms. Jobbik advocates returning Hungary to what they regard as its "golden age" by expanding its borders to include Slovakia, Transylvania, Ruthenia, and other areas it lost after World War I. That sort of populist nationalism tends to appeal to the far-right. It bypasses the brain and goes straight to the gut. It even reaches across the Atlantic and appeals to American neo-Nazis at Stormfront (here) and the Ron Paul crowd (here).

After the Hungarian fascists had their costume party, a MEP representing Hungary's ruling Socialist Party moved that the EP ban the wearing of paramilitary uniforms in parliament sessions. (Read here.)

Meanwhile the two British National Party (BNP) representatives, Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons, were assigned seats in the back of the room. Another British non-aligned party MEP refused to be seated next to them. (Read here.)

When Krisztina Morvai gave her first speech to the parliament, she first identified herself as a "human rights attorney" (her usual shtik), then argued against a proposal that the EP study what action to take with respect to Iran. She claimed that Hungary's human rights record was worse than that of Iran, and that any look at the crimes of the Iranian dictatorship must be preceded by a study of Hungary's treatment of its far-right.

Nick Griffin later rose to support Morvai's argument, parroting her speech and taking it a bit further. Griffin claimed that the west focused on Iranian human rights violations and not on Hungary's purported suppression of its fascists because of a shadowy international conspiracy. He went on to claim that, if the EP studied the Iran question, British soldiers would soon be returning from a war with Iran with horrific injuries. (He also indicated that British soldiers live on the banks of picturesque rivers.) Based on his concern for British young people, Griffin demanded an inquiry into Hungary's suppression of its fascist militias.

Watch them here:

With respect to the Magyar Garda uniform's similarity to that of the Arrow Cross, as a point of reference, pictured below are Arrow Cross militiamen circa 1944-1945 wearing their winter uniforms. You may be interested to know the current views of an Arrow Cross leader who escaped justice in Australia. Read about that here.

Arrow Cross militia receiving machine guns from German Consular employee, 10 Pasar�ti avenue, Budpest (Source: Hungarian National Museum)

35564449.jpg (500×280)
Magyar Garda demonstration


Unknown said...

The poor writer might have misundertsood the talk of Morvai slightly:
1.) She did not say that the human right situation in Hungary is worse than that in Iran.
2.) The attack she talked about was not only against the far right people in Hungary but also against demonstrators from all other backgrounds.

It is understandable that the writer is not in picture with regards to the Hungarian events and politics but it would be wiser for him to study it first before forming and communicating an opinion with incorrectly quoted facts. If he want to write about the topic at all of course.

Adam Holland said...


You have a point concerning Morvai's speech. She did not explicitly state that Hungary was worse then Iran. Her speech did, however, equate the two situations and state that the EU shouldn't examine Iran's suppression of human rights until after it looks at Hungary. So if, as you argue, she doesn't believe that Hungary is worse than Iran, she is arguing that the EU should look at the less important issue as a precondition to looking at the important one. Are you sure that you are defending her by making this argument?

Feel free to use this space to provide information to support her argument concerning Hungary's human rights record; in spite of your insults, I will not censor you. But you should know that the standard which Morvai has set, that of Iran, is completely absurd with reference to any allegations concerning Hungary. Even her own hyperbolic charges pale by comparison to the Iranian record, as you seem to realize.

With respect to your claim that the 2006 riots represented a political cross-section, this is false. Were center-right demonstrators there? Yes. The nominally center-right Fidesz did play a leadership role, but as you undoubtedly know, there is no brick wall between the center and far right in Hungary. Fidesz has worked with MIEP and Jobbik for many years. The implied argument that Fidesz leadership indicates that the demonstrations were not far-right seems without merit. Viktor Orban called for the massive demonstrations in spite of widely published warnings that elements of the far-right would be out to incite violence. The instigators of the violence were precisely those who now seek to use it for political gain.

You should understand that the point of my post is not to defend the Hungarian government in general, or the police handling of the 2006 riots in particular, but to point out how absurd and disproportionate Morvai's charges are. For Jobbik to raise this issue is downright cynical. To support Morvai's arguments, one must have a vastly inflated view of the wrongs of the Hungarian government and a complete lack of concern about the crimes of the Iranian regime. One must also completely ignore the far-right's responsibility for instigating violence.

Readers can go here and here and here for more information.

Bóbita, feel free to state what other facts you believe that I've misstated. Would you like to address Morvai's party's role in violating the human rights of Hungary's Roma, or in advocating hatred of Jews? What kind of "human rights lawyer" (as she constantly calls herself) advocates against the human rights of minority groups in her country?

Anonymous said...

great article, congratulations. except for the fact that it's full of inconsistencies.

as I don't want to reason for hours and waste my time contradicting every single false statement you made, let me give you a very simple example:

Those costumes worn by the magyar garda, my firend, are traditional Hungarian national costumes, and have been around for hundreds of years.
if you're doing some "original" research, get the facts right, don't just google some random WWII guys with black uniforms. (yes, both uniforms are black, but that's it. does that prove anything to you?)

Anonymous said...

great, i see you even censor comments. congrats.

Adam Holland said...


You are just wrong, both about the Magyar Garda uniforms not being based on the Arrow Cross ones, and about my censoring comments.

Do you oppose the Magyar Garda being associated with fascism because you oppose fascism or do you just oppose my revealing this to an English speaking audience?

Why do you wish to conceal the very obvious fascism of this group?

Lynea said...

That Hungarian garb you see is not an old style Hungarian military jacket. That jacket happens to be traditional Hungarian dress coat for a man.

Did you say this on accident (for not knowing anything about Hungarian culture) or because you are hateful towards Hungarians?

Adam Holland said...


Although I don't believe that what you say is accurate, let's say for the sake of argument that it is. In what way can my criticisms of Hungary's far right be considered hateful of Hungarians? Do you equate Hungary's neo-fascists with the country as a whole?


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