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Mon Apr 2, 2012, 04:34 PM

Anti-Semitism takes the stage in Hungary

This is the first story in a five-part series exploring the rise of the far-right in eastern Europe. In part one, the political battle over an historic theater highlights growing anti-Semitism in Hungary. Part two examines the growing popularity of Svoboda, a far-right party in Ukraine. Part three visits a popular Ukranian restaurant designed to ridicule Jews. In part four, the EU considers what it can do about far-right extremism in its domain, and part five takes a broader look at the problem across the region.

BUDAPEST, Hungary — First went the director, then the prima donna.

A political tug-of-war over an historic theater in the Hungarian capital has reignited concerns about growing anti-Semitism in this Eastern European nation.

Budapest’s picturesque New Theater has long been a popular mainstay among the local cultured and urbane, who tend to be disproportionately liberal and include many of the local Jewish community. But recently, a series of firings and resignations have left the popular theater in the hands of avowed anti-Semites, sparking protests and political violence.

The deterioration of the storied theater highlights an emerging trend of rising neo-Nazi sentiment in parts of Eastern Europe. Cloaked in nationalism, the ideology has gained new traction amid Europe’s economic crisis, which far-right politicians have sought to blame on Jews and other ethnic minorities such as the Roma. Those ideas are particularly disturbing to many here, in a country where the second highest number of Jews in Europe were murdered during World War II, and from where the highest number of Roma were transported to Nazi death camps.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120329/anti-semitism-takes-the-stage-hungary-echoes-hitler-pt-1

Edit: there are 5 stories dealing with different parts of Eastern Europe.

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Reply Anti-Semitism takes the stage in Hungary (Original post)
Behind the Aegis Apr 2012 OP
frazzled Apr 2012 #1
LeftishBrit Apr 2012 #2
msongs Apr 2012 #3
BigDemVoter Apr 2012 #4

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 05:24 PM

1. That's how it all began before: removing people from their posts

My (fairly secular Jewish) grandparents left Hungary in the early 20th century, and frankly never looked back. My connection to the country was through their language and my grandmother's absolutely superlative Hungarian cooking, but other than that ... . I visited Budapest only briefly six or seven years ago, and didn't get a good sense. But everything I read lately has me worried.

A very good book on Jews who were forced to leave Hungary during the Nazi rise to power is Katy Marton's The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World. (Incidentally, she was married to Peter Jennings and then Richard Holbrooke).

The people she writes about were the mathematicians/scientists Edward Teller, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner and John von Neuman—without whom America wouldn't have developed the nuclear bomb, but who also became huge advocates for never using it; the great photographers Andre Kertesz and Robert Capa, who contributed so much to photojournalism and the art of photography; the writer Arthur Koestler; and the filmmakers Alexander Korda and, finally, Michael Curtiz (Casablanca). It's a good read. Hungary lost all its scientific and artistic geniuses in the 20th century; looks like they're trying to do it again: how stupid of them really. And how scary.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 06:01 PM

2. Not that it's ever been much off the stage in Hungary (deep sigh)

But yes, the increasing role there of the far right is quite worrying.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 06:58 PM

3. hungarians participated in the holocaust with great joy and much gusto nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 10:00 PM

4. Yes, they did,

and they, like the Austrians, have been treated more as victims than as perpetrators of genocide themselves.

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