A letter on Muslims and a short history of Hungary as a land of immigrants

Dear Doris,

I am glad you make clear your own and János’ position concerning migrants, and the very fact that you are not willing to compromise:

“Ok, Sandor. But there is one issue on which Janos very firmly support’s Orbán’s view and policies: mass migration. A quote from Janos, “‘It is crazy to welcome people, especially masses of people, into a western society who believe that God wants you to slit a person’s throat if he refuses to convert to Islam.'”

I hope we shall discuss these issues very soon together in pleasant circumstances, preferably with a touch of wine contrary to the rules of Islam, and some appetizers.

But until then let me remind you that I always must be prepared to examine the statement in front of me as to its reality content. So, let us examine them one by one!

Now, on the face of it, of course one must be a fool to request the importation of murderers, rapists, arsonists and religious maniacs. I don’t want them either. Not at all!

But the fact of the matter is, that contrary to what Orbán and his government hammers at all hours of the day and the night, there is a several thousand strong Muslim contingent living here in Hungary, there are several mosques in this city, (one is just a few hundred meters from where I live), and nobody can remember any episode, or event of misbehavior on their part for decades, or possibly ever. At the same time, numerous terrorist attacks have occurred going back to the nineties: four people were bombed in Galamb utca, a newspaper owner was gunned down on the street in broad day light, serial hunting of Gypsies was organized just a few years ago, the Arrows of the Hungarians terrorist organization and its leader was already convicted and sentenced to 13 years and the case is now on appeal, not long ago two police officers were bombed on the Körút within an inch of their lives, and a Russian-financed terrorist group in Western Hungary received the investigating police contingent with gun fire killing a detective, etc. and all these terrorist actions were produced by nice, god fearing, Christian, white-skinned Hungarians, while the Muslims were watching in amazement. This will put to rest one of the lies of the prime minister.

The other egregious lie is that ” we shall not be an immigrant country!” Well, it is too late for that! Hungarians were immigrants here on these lands at one time. This country, due to its special geographic position, is an open corridor for migration and has been for ever. After the establishment of the Hungarian state, in the 12th century first the Kuns and then the Jász people were settled here by the king. In the 1240’s again an other settlement of immigrants was needed to repopulate the areas damaged by the Tartars and the king, Béla IV. organized it. Then came the Bosnyiaks, who later proceeded further south to present day Bosnia. Meanwhile all along there were six different nationalities living in Transylvania in the greatest of peace and cooperation.

Then came 145 years of Turkish occupation, that left great damage, but didn’t turn the population into Muslims. After the departure of the Turks, there was large scale re-population by importing Swabian immigrants. At the same time a large wave of Serbian refugees arrived from the South, establishing the village of the Tabán on mount Gellért, a large part of Pest and the entire city of Szentendre, is still Serbian and orthodox today. Roughly at the same time arrived the Gypsies from the south too.

In the XVIII. century two devastating epidemics of cholera necessitated re-population with German immigrants in the Bakony mountain range, around Buda in the hills, and in the Bacska, the so-called Danubian Schwabs. In the XIX. century, large-scale Armenian and Jewish immigration took place. In 1849, the executed freedom fighting military officers, the 13 martyrs of Arad, half of them were not Hungarian, but rather Polish, German, Armenian, etc. And in the 1880’s and 90-s an enormous Jewish immigration wave swept across the country. This mounted to some two million people, most of whom proceeded to America, but a few hundred thousand settled here, to the great benefit for the country.

Even the XX. century had several waves of immigration. Just before World War II a Polish contingent came, lots of children too, then after the war in the 50’s, the Korean War refugees and the civil war  refugees of Greece arrived. In the seventies, we had Vietnamese refugees–although out of sight, but we had them too.

The Greek village of Beloiannisz, in Hungary’s Fejér county, southwest of Budapest. The community was established in 1950 by Greek communists and was named after the late Greek communist resistance fighter Nikos Beloyannis.

Based on these simple, incontrovertible facts, we can safely say that Hungary is and always has been a country of immigration of all kinds of peoples. Hungary absorbed and acculturated them with great success and also benefited greatly from their continued presence. Just look at this beautiful city of Budapest! It was built by Slovak labourers, German and Austrian stone masons, Gypsy diggers and excavators, and lots of Jewish capital.

And it turned out very good indeed.

So, as you can see, (and I am certain that János knows all this even better than I do), the government keeps the population in the thrall and in the fear of three grisly, low down awful lies.

And at last we have to consider the third lie too, namely that there is no such thing as ”migrant.” The age of migration has ended sometimes in the XV. century. What we have, however are two type of wanderers: refugees, and immigrants.

In the matter of refugees we have no option but to help them, because we committed ourselves, together with most of the countries of the world, in the Geneva Convention of 1951, that binds all signatory countries, Hungary evidently included, to help the refugees. And until we officially repudiate this agreement we have no choice, but to do our duty. It is also prudent, because one never knows when one will become a refugee and would be forced to rely on these provisions. The other, the immigrant, is he who is seeking better living conditions and is asking to be admitted. Just like Abraham and his household was in the Bible, when they asked to be admitted to Egypt. They were immigrants. And there is nothing wrong with immigration as long as it is done in an orderly, civilized manner.

Very well, discount these three lies from the reservations that you wrote me about. And after that we are ready for an intelligent discussion of this matter.

My loving hugs to you and János in the hope of meeting soon,

Sándor.

Sándor Kerekes

19 Comments

  1. First of all, let me congratulate you on your political success.

    Second, for reporting on the origin of the community of Belloionnisz. It’s history is indeed interesting and noteworthy. Since the people were actually kidnapped Greek children by the communists as they were about to lose their attempt of conquering Greece, back in the 1940s.

    They were trained to be the future communist leaders and rulers of Greece, by Rakosi’s SYSTEM. As it also turned out, that failed also. They turned out to be rather loyal to their forgotten ancestors religious faith. That happens to be kind of tolerated in Hungary, even if not Constitutionally guaranteed.

    So, for the purpose of the story, it’s a victory for individual freedom of the human spirit, and not of outlandish political ideology.

    As of “immigration”, the Hungarians, or the people of the seven tribes, were also one large group of refugees, or immigrants, whatever fits your fancy. But there were lots of immigrants long before them,and even before the roman conquest.

    By the way, those so called Korean and Viet Nameese refugees were also taken by the communists, in case they lost their war. So they were not “refugees” but taken against their will, or their parents will, unless their parents might have been killed. But they have most returned to their native country.

    Today the matter of Asian and African immigration being debated of being legal and controlled or just an uncontrolled open door policy.
    Like in the US, be it by law, accordance to the Constitution, or just sending the caravan of the masses by human smugglers across the Rio Grande.

  2. Dear Mr Kerekes. Let me remind you that not all migration events end well for the incumbent native population. Just ask the natives in Canada!

    And in fact, not all migration ended well for Hungarians either. I know Romanians have a different version of history (they were native to the land since the dinosaurs), but evidence shows periods of migration may have been responsible for Hungarians becoming a minority in Transylvania. Ask any of those Hungarians today whether that worked out well for them. Just a few months ago we were discussing on this site the fact that Romania’s prime minister was suggesting hanging Hungarians. For a taste of the environment they have to endur, here is a recent example:

    http://www.erdely.ma/magyargyulolo-zene-a-juventus-bukarest-sepsi-osk-focimeccs-bemelegitojen/

    Not to mention that aside from a few solid enclaves, most of Transylvania is now mostly ethnically homogenized, with more and more towns showing increasingly no signs of a Hungarian minority, where there once was a large population just 100 years ago. In effect, a large portion of Hungarian culture is currently being wiped out, and at its root is arguably past migration. So your argument suggesting that Hungarians should embrace all and any colonization events that comes their way is outright absurd! The one coming from the ME-Africa in particular seems very dangerous, because it is a demographic repeat of Europe’s colonization of North America. Just take the fact that the region’s 2 billion population is set to double every 35 years. Nigeria alone could send enough migrants into Europe in the next 100 years to achieve a majority population on the continent, while still retaining their current population at home.

    • Hungarian Free Press says:

      Peter,

      Hungarians in Transylvania as a whole did not form the majority even before 1920. Hungarians, were, however, dominant in major cities, such as Kolozsvár, and it is true that in these urban centres Romanian authorities settled large numbers of Romanians, pushing Hungarians into a minority status. But overall, Transylvania, with the exception of Hargita, Kovászna and parts of Maros, was not majority Hungarian. Romanians long inhabited the villages around Hungarian-majority towns.

      • Thanks for the history lesson. I am fully aware of the situation in 1920. There is archaeological & confessional evidence showing that perhaps till the 16’th century Hungarians in Transylvania were in fact the majority population. First solid evidence (written) of ethnic Romanian presence is early 13’th century. Archaeological evidence gives them a slightly earlier presence, but only limited. In any case, there are plenty of recorded migration events of Romanians into Transylvania. The Hunyadi family is thought to have been from Wallachia, from where they migrated together with all their subjects. According to Hungarian chronicles the flow of Romanians lasted for 9 months. That is just one example of one particularly notable migration event, which probably contributed to Hungarians becoming a minority in Transylvania, along with other events such as wars. We should keep in mind that it was mostly ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania that were summoned to go fight over many centuries. Sometimes those wars took a heavy toll on the male population, leaving widows, girls with no one to marry and so on. I guess, out of economic considerations land owners in the region thought it wise to import ethnic Romanians during that period.

        You are taking the situation in 1920 as a permanent situation for Transylvania’s 1000 year history, which is a flawed argument and you know it. But I guess in the name of constructing the right ideological argument….

  3. Thank you to the author of this piece–lots of fascinating historical information that the average non-Hungarian would not know about Hungary. What I do know is that below the surface, there is quite a lot of diversity in Hungary, though sometimes it’s hard to find because Hungary was mostly successful in culturally assimilating its minority populations and sometimes mainstream Hungarian culture was infused by minorities. (ie: traditional Hungarian music is often basically Gypsy music).

  4. The “Szekelys” consider themselfs remnants of the Huns, after Atilla’s kingdom fell. They never had a language of their own, other than what the Huns used, that was and is the Hungarian language. So they were in that area in the V. century, at least.

  5. Sandor Kerekes says:

    Doris and her friend, my wife, are already at my throat, fangs out, claiming that the immigration that hit Sweden and the UK have wreaked havoc with public security there. I could only stand so much of this carping, so, I had to look up some statistics on Wikipedia.
    The facts of the matter are exactly the opposite of these damning claims.

    The murder rate per hundred thousand people is:
    In Sweeden it is: 1.15
    In the United Kingdom it is: 0,92
    But in Hungary it is: 1.48

    (let’s note here that the statistics don’t make any mention about who have committed those murders and in theory it is possible that not one single moslem was amongst the perpetrators., just as it is possible that all were moslems.)

    These figures will become even more glaring in the light of the proportions of immigrants in each of these countries.

    Proportion of immigrants as the percentage of the total population:

    United Kingdom: 7,824,131 immigrants, 12,4% of the population

    Hungary: 449,632 immigrants, 4.7% of the population

    Sweden: 1,130,025 immigrants, 15.9% of the population

    Therefore, it could not be clearer that contrary to all spurious claims, the rate and number of immigrants are not determining factor in the murder rate and the most ridiculous in this is the fact that the country of the least immigrants produces the highest rate of murders. The ”winner” is Hungary!

    (source: Wikipedia)

    • interesting conclusions. But let us not forget that you are not comparing apples to apples. You are comparing two developed countries, versus one developing country. It is therefore necessary to instead look at trends, rather than absolute numbers.

      Hungary:

      https://knoema.com/atlas/Hungary/Homicide-rate

      UK:

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/283093/homicide-in-england-and-wales-uk-y-on-y/

      Sweden:

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/533917/sweden-number-of-homicides/

      As we can see, while in Hungary it has been in decline for many years, and decline rate seems to hold, in Sweden they saw a steady reverse of number of murders and numbers are up about 50% since the lows of 2012. Up about 35% in England & Wales since low reached in 2013/14. In other words, Hungary is becoming a better place, while the reverse seems to be happening in the other two countries in this regard.

      It should be interesting to also look at a comparison of sexual assault trends as well as an increase in other crimes, such as homophobic attacks, anti-Semitic attacks. Not to mention that in 2015-2017, over 300 people were murdered by Islamic terrorists in Western Europe, with over 1,000 wounded, many seriously, with permanent disabilities. So definitely hard to argue that Western Europe has become a better place in the past few years in terms of public safety, thanks to the colonization with ME-African migrants.

  6. People can sometimes “feel” as though something is true, but based on the cold, hard facts, it is simply is not. The quoted crime rates in Sweden (lower than in Hungary) is one example. Another is that absurd video that Lazar made in Vienna during the campaign. In reality, Lazar’s video was based on a totally false premise (that Vienna is overrun by recent Muslim migrants) when in fact he filmed a street in one of the busiest commercial districts, which showed many Turkish visitors. And this is nothing new. Vienna has always attracted Turks. They are not migrants.

  7. Dear Sándor,
    Not only was there a migration to present day Hungary. But we shouldn’t forget the emigration from Hungary. Speaking from the Netherlands: Centuries ago students migrated to the Dutch Republic to study, specially students of protestant theology at the university of Franeker/Frentsjer. After the WW I 150.000 children came to the Netherlands to recover, many married and stayed. And many fled the country at the end of WW II and in 1956. All these Hungarian refugees shouldn’t have received a place to stay? What will be the effect of such a strategy of isolation? Other countries refusing Hungarians? How will it be posible to have trade contacts without personal contacts? Will people sell products for a reasonable price when Orbán is calling them names?

    • “How will it be posible to have trade contacts without personal contacts?”

      Japan takes in almost no migrants from anywhere, yet it has no trouble trading around the world. I fail to see how you concluded that there is a correlation here.

      But there is a definite correlation between the growing ME-African migrant population in Netherlands and the 400% increase in attacks on gay people since 2009.

  8. Dear Sandor,

    I respect your work very much.

    However I have 1 question…how is it possible that Europe has to be tolerant towards Muslim communities, their culture and their religion…yet Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia or the northern African countries are not tolerant towards Christian communities? Why We have to accept their dress code of wearing hijab…but they don’t accept our dress code of not wearing one when in Saudi Arabia and they force their culture upon us.

  9. You are trying to tell us that there are close to half a million immigrant in Hungary?
    But just who do you consider “immigrants”?
    After all,all those Hungarians, all seven tribes were originally immigrants. Or would you consider them “refugees”?
    After all, they were escaping from something.
    The Vikings has caused lots of troubles in that part of the world. Also a Slaves has been increasing rapidly.

    But my real concern is not who, or where the people come, or came from, but how they are able to live wherever.
    Can they get along in a civilized fashion?
    Or are they demonstrating hostility toward others?
    Or is it rather the “natives” that are hostiles toward them?

    By the way, would you like to see Budapest look like London ? Or even Paris ?

  10. Sandor Kerekes says:

    Dear Sylvia, I fully agree with the implied criticism in your question. In fact I strongly oppose making concessions to wild, religiously inspired demands of all manners of immigrants for the imposition of sharia laws, polygamy and the practice of honour killings, just to mention a few intolerable problems. I also see that the lack of reciprocity in matters of immigration, or the horrendous treatment of christians in Pakistan and Egypt is also intolerable. However, luckily, presently no christians are forced to seek refuge in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or Egypt, so, the reciprocity is not an issue now.
    But the unreasonable claims of moslem immigrants to rights that they are not entitled to, at the detriment of the society that provides refuge to them, should be strongly discouraged, or in fact roundly rejected. In my opinion it is the minimum expected of any refugee to assiduously apply himself to the custom of the receiving society. This is a cardinal rule that should be diligently observed by all immigrants at all times, particularly because they would never dare to raise such outlandish demands in the countries of their origin.
    So I do see the many conflicts and anomalies in this issue. However, none of this is an escape from the imperative of helping the war refugees. First is helping, then may come the educating, the acculturating and failing that the rejection.
    In summary I oppose cow-towing to moslem demands to bend the hosts to their often repulsive customs and rather suggest that all refugees who fail to honour the custom of their hosts should be deported

  11. Sandor Kerekes says:

    I would also like to answer Peter and his bragging about his knowledge of the 1000 year history.
    If that is the case, then you, Peter are also aware of what happened in Transylvania in the second half of the XIX century. This is dos vividly described by Jászai Mari, the great tragic actress, in her diary.
    She complains bitterly about the aristocracy of Transylvania, whom are leaving, selling their debt-ridden estates to the Romanian state-owned bank, and as soon as the deal is done, the state brings in settlers from the Regat, illiterate, but Rumanian peasants, to adjust the population numbers. This is how the ethnic composition was turned around in Rumania’s favour.

    • Thank you for your history lesson. Bottom line is that you just identified another migrant inflow event, which as I pointed out ended badly for Hungarians.

  12. Sandor Kerekes says:

    Peter, you are not arguing honestly!
    The Transylvanian turn of events was not detrimental to the Hungarian population due to the curse of immigration. After all, there was before a large Rumanian constituency in the population of Transylvania well before. The outcome had a different cause: the abandonment of the land ownership of the aristocracy, due to their inability to deal with the economic demands of their estates. They wasted their money in a profligate life style in Budapest and Vienna, instead of reinvesting in the land. And when the money ran out, they started to borrow and they borrowed copiously.
    Never during this half century did they give any thought to the question: what effect of their abandonment of responsibility will have on the population and the politics of Transylvania. On the other hand, the Rumanian state had a clear vision and a goal in mind, policies to foster the outcome that ultimately resulted in the take over.
    When in the Paris Peace Treaty ”negotiations” Appony Albert made his plea, he had no more to rely on than the Hungarian ”Cultural superiority,” that clearly and immediately stuck in the craw of all who heard it, since the Hungarians by then have abandoned Transylvania, abrogated all responsibility and had no real claim at all. There were no ”feet on the ground” anymore.

    By the way your snide remark about ”history lesson,” the sarcasm therein is far from justified. You do need that lesson and need it bad.

  13. Sandor Kerekes says:

    Yes, my dear Bendeguz79, I would love to see Budapest look like London, or Paris.

  14. Re: “There is archaeological & confessional evidence showing that perhaps till the 16’th century Hungarians in Transylvania were in fact the majority population”. OK, you say PERHAPS. I say, let’s consider this as CERTAIN. So what? 500 years ago the majority of population in North America was native. Should the natives rule US and Canada today?

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