Antisemitic historian’s exhibit on display at Ottawa Hungarian Community Centre

June 4th is the day when Hungary and many Hungarians in the diaspora remember the Treaty of Trianon, signed in 1920, which led to the loss of two-thirds of historic Hungary’s population and almost three-fourths of its land. The Ottawa Hungarian Community Centre (OHCC) held its commemoration, including an exhibit, a cultural program and a meal, this past Sunday. I was disappointed to learn that the exhibit was the work of the openly antisemitic historian Ernő Raffay, along with Csaba Pál, the Director of the Trianon Museum in the Hungarian town of Várpalota.

First, a few words about the Trianon Museum of Várpalota. There is little doubt that an interpretative centre on Trianon, what it meant for Hungary’s national discourse, the development of Hungarian identity and, most importantly, the impact on Hungarians who found themselves in neighbouring countries, is a worthwhile venture. The publicly-funded Trianon Museum, however, is an exercise in nostalgia for the irredentist propaganda of the interwar period. The displays are dominated by irredentist posters, songs and illustrations from the twenties and thirties. No effort is made to offer a more complex narrative and there is no invitation for the visitor to think and interpret. The museum functions as a shrine. As the Museum writes: “The national pain surrounding the loss of the country following the decision at Trianon and the joy after some lands were returned was expressed in many ways. Irredentist music was a unique Hungarian product of the first half of the twentieth century: it offered a response seeking spiritual healing after an incomprehensible tragedy that impacted the entire nation.”

Today, the Trianon Museum focuses on school groups and children. As such, the museum invites kids to play several board games. One such board game is called “Let’s Get Back Hungary!” (Szerezzük vissza Magyarországot.) The Museum also owns a small truck, with the words written on it: “Let’s Love Back Hungary (Szeressük vissza Magyarországot.)

The Trianon Museum’s truck.

It is Ernő Raffay’s role in designing the exhibit, which made its way to the Canadian capital that is most troubling. Mr. Raffay is an anti-Semite through and through. His narrative of Trianon is simple: the Jews, never willing or capable of integrating into the Hungarian nation, flooded into Hungary as malicious migrants, duped ethnic Hungarians into believing that they had assimilated, but were actually hell-bent on destroying Hungary.

In 2017, Mr. Raffay gave a lecture, which was fully recorded and uploaded to YouTube. The video is entitled: “When and why did the Jews flood into Hungary? The wool is yanked off their plans!” In Hungarian: Mikor, miért és minek özönlöttek a zsidók Magyarországra? Lehull a lepel a tervükről!” The video is 1 hour and 20 minutes long and what Mr. Raffay presents is undiluted, classic antisemitism, of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion variety. Mr. Raffay starts off by speaking about the “brainwashing effect of migration.” Then he adds: “In a moment I will tell you what percentage of journalists in 1910 were Jews. These are going to be very startling statistics!”

In his meandering presentation, he then proceeds to talk about his term as a member of Hungary’s first democratically elected government and his position in the cabinet of late Prime Minister József Antall. He speaks about how he opposed the idea of appointing a rabbi as one of several chaplains of different religions within the Hungarian military. He recounts a discussion with then Minister of Defence Lajos Für, who advocated for having a Jewish military chaplain, purely to ensure that nobody has a chance to complain and to shut up any critics. For those of our readers who understand Hungarian, Mr. Für allegedly told Mr. Raffay: “Hát legyenek már, ne érje szó a ház elejét!”

Following this, Mr. Raffay spoke about the “capacity of the migrants to integrate.” Lest there be any confusion, he is speaking in these terms about European Jews in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He noted:

“After a while, the Jewish migrants settled down, they acquired homes, they began to trade and they got jobs. In the census, they began to identify as having Hungarian as their mother tongue. I found an interesting statistic: in 1890, by which point their number exceeded 800,000, fully 63.8% of Jews living in Hungary self-identified as having Hungarian as their mother tongue. Jewish by religion, Hungarian by language. This is an interesting thing!”

In Mr. Raffay’s estimation, it is impossible to be Hungarian and Jewish at the same time. Jews are always strangers and migrants in Hungary. According to Mr. Raffay, it is not language that matters, but rather “whether one truly works with all his heart for Hungary.”

Mr. Raffay then proceeds to explains that in what is today western Ukraine, land that belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary before Trianon, Jews formed more than 30% of the population by 1910. He commented: “This is very rough! This is very rough! The Romanians needed 700 years for this. The Jew only needed one hundred years. Do you understand this? There was a very, very aggressive Jewification.” (The word in Hungarian used by Mr. Raffay was elzsidósodás.)

The Ottawa Hungarian Community Centre, located in the suburb of Nepean, decided that it was appropriate to present an exhibit on Trianon prepared by a man who holds unabashedly antisemitic views and who believes that Jews have long conspired to first infiltrate and then destroy the Hungarian nation.

Mr. Raffay’s historical analysis is bunk. What’s worse: what Mr. Raffay is saying in 2017 served as the underpinning and justification for the extermination of 600,000 Hungarian Jews in World War II (and indeed the ideological underpinning for the extermination of Jews throughout Europe). The leadership of the Ottawa Hungarian Community Centre is surely aware of Mr. Raffay’s virulent antisemitism, and how this influenced his interpretation of Trianon. Yet they chose to present his exhibit in Ottawa nonetheless, as part of the local Trianon commemoration.

18 Comments

  1. Kata Marton says:

    I have never header of this: “Mr. Raffay is saying in 2017 served as the underpinning and justification for the extermination of 600,000 Hungarian Jews in World War II “.
    Apparently he wrote books on Trianon and Free Masonry.
    His Wiki page shows no indication of any anti-Semitic content in his works.

    https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raffay_Ern%C5%91

    Kindly identify the source of your accusation! This is a very strong accusation, it should not be published without a source.

  2. Is this kata Marton same as one who was married to the anti semite Peter Jennings?
    Then, your comment makes more and more “sense”

  3. Wonderful Troll music above. Raffay is not only an anti-Semite hate monger who published three books and dozens of articles on the subject, but was a former stooge for the secret police during the Communist era. Look up the evidence trolls on your own time. I’ve already done my homework. We’re not here to do your research. The last time Raffay was here, he was hosted by the former Hungarian ambassador. You can count on my cross-references and foot notes as soon as the current Ambassador, Mr. Odor embraces him. I dare him to do so 🙂 For now, a letter to the B’nai brith’s Ottawa chapter may be enough.

  4. Pityi Palkó says:

    Bertolt Brecht said: “Do not rejoice in Nazism defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.”

    • No need to worry about “Nazis”. Reason is that fighting Nazis is currently cool, hip, popular. There is never any shortage of “Nazi-fighters” jumping on the bandwagon, ready to bash. In fact, it is so popular that even when there are no Nazis to be bashed, “Nazis” are created out of anyone daring to pass some gas in the direction of the currently-dominant ideological autocracy. It is the progressive-globalist fascists who became mainstream and are currently dominating most elite institutions such as academia, business, political, MSM and so on, which no one dares to fight back against, for fear of being called a “Nazi” that we have to worry about. When you have a movement against which there is no more meaningful push-back, you know you got a monster that will tolerate no opposition. The “Nazi”-bashing bandwagon is nothing more than one of its enforcement mechanisms, and it never seems to run out of useful idiots to fill it with.

      • Pityi Palkó says:

        Peter, today many people like yourself, do not see the dangers of Nazism. For them, Nazism is a dusty, museum relic, a black and white film, where men in military uniforms, masquerading and congratulating each other.
        An incomprehensible idea where these people attacked the Jews, threw them into gas chambers and launched a world war. It was a nasty thing but is no longer relevant. This sort of thing cannot happen today. For them, Hitler was a strange accident in history that is not likely to repeat itself, such as Black Death.

        • “This sort of thing cannot happen today.”

          This sort of thing can happen today, but not necessarily because some old ideology will be resurrected. There will be new ones. The world has moved on from the 20’th century. We have new trends, new problems, new evils, therefore continuing to fight “Nazis” is a bit of a Don Quixote mentality.

          You mentioned the Jews in Europe? I think their biggest threat right now is the new colonist population that the progressives are bringing in. If, or better said when they will become the majority population in Western Europe, I think it will be wise for all remaining Jews to move either off the continent or to Eastern Europe. Same goes for gays, practicing Christians and so on.

    • Péter fas
      So progressives somehow came to be “dominating most elite institutions such as academia, business, political, MSM ..” and you are appalled that “there is no there is no more meaningful push-back“.
      This right in your style – both nonsensical and false:
      – The people of merit do raise in all these areas -this is the essence of democracy and free market as opposite to a half baked Orbán picking sycophants and cronies.
      – The actually is a significant “push back”, ad extremis eg. in Orbansitan everybody has been replaced by the regime’s puppets although the level has not gone down to the Arrow Cross rabble.

      • “– The people of merit do raise in all these areas” Right!

        Merit or ideologically correct?

        https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/02/stripping-a-professor-of-tenure-over-a-blog-post/385280/

        And since we are debating on a forum run by a Canadian, perhaps we should ask Adam if he can recall one single instance during his adult life when a single Canadian MP stood up in parliament and raised the issue of how massive immigrant influx may be permanently changing Canada’s demographics and perhaps some of the negative consequences of it. Based on his picture, there must have been at least 1,000 MPs who have gone through that parliament, and not one rose through the “meritocracy” who would perhaps see some downsides to one of Canada’s most important if not the most important current policy has been a one-way street for decades now from everything I heard and seen. Yes, that is “plausible”.

        BTW, the meritocracy comment? I have had many years of experience interacting intensely with people from all walks of life in numerous countries in the Western World. It never ceases to amaze me how many people got degrees in foreign policy-related studies, including Masters, PhDs, all of them believing exactly what you are trying to push as reality in this regard. Many smart people, with a wide variety of views (including views I disagree with), none of them managed to get a position related to their field of study. Also had plenty of opportunities to learn who actually gets those positions that these people studied half a lifetime for yet never had a chance. It is most often those who are connected by birth to the right people, rather than those with the right educational credentials. Occasional brown-noser also rises through the ranks if they have the right patron. Some may have the right educational background, many do not, but they are connected. I don’t think it is in any way different from Hungary in my view.

  5. @ Peter

    You poor misguided troll. You ask my colleague, Christopher, if he can “recall one single instance during his adult life when a single Canadian MP stood up in parliament and raised the issue of how massive immigrant influx may be permanently changing Canada’s demographics and perhaps some of the negative consequences of it.”

    Troll ! I can name our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and millions of Canadians who embrace immigration and it’s impact on Canadian society. It’s immigrants, that made Canada the envy of the world. It’s Canada’s multiculturalism, it’s respect for diversity, that helps to integrate, rather than segregate the immigrant who comes here. Your segregationist views inherited from a segregationist country – Hungary – are not at home in Canada. No wonder you are frightened to reveal your shameful identity. You can’t cut mustard here, troll. No doubt, you’re more adept at cutting the cheese on the Puszta. 🙂

    • So you agree that the subject of debate is an exclusively one-way street, therefore a testament to ideological autocracy that reins in Canada? Good!

      Here are just some things to consider:

      1) Native rights and what will happen to them once white people become a minority, thus the disappearance of dominant white guilt culture.

      2) Canada perhaps changing into an ethnic-based caste-like society.

      http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/canada-as-immigration-booms-ethnic-enclaves-swell-and-segregate

      My understanding is that such enclavisation is often seen at workplace as well.

      3) What will happen to most founding institutions, given European roots, once Europeans will be in the minority, which should happen within 2-3 decades at the latest. Will Canada still be the current Canada?

      4) Will Canada’s perpetual colonization last forever? Or will perhaps a few increasingly powerful ethnic groups come to dominate and limit it to their own countries of origin?

      These are all questions which regardless whether you want to dismiss as nonsense or not, I think anyone who believes in a truly democratic society, should agree that there should be debate on these important issues. A debate that you just confirmed that it is 100% absent.

  6. StrandedinSopron says:

    Peter,
    The fact that, despite several long posts, you have made not one comment on the views of Raffay’s views is disturbing.

    Trying to divert the thread, do you have no problem with the views expressed???

    • Hungarian Free Press says:

      StrandedinSopron,

      I noticed this as well–especially given Peter’s propensity to be verbose.

    • That is because I started this conversation in response to a comment in regards to “Nazis”, so I continued with that debate as . I have no problem saying that Raffay and his ideas are not only disturbing, but also a source of intellectual pollution aimed at the Hungarian people. Such people are a detriment to Hungarian society, if for no other reason, because they distort reality.

      I was not trying to divert anything!

  7. @ Peter

    “So you agree that the subject of debate is an exclusively one-way street, therefore a testament to ideological autocracy that reins in Canada?”

    Now you are really getting cheesy. What kind of magic mushroom have you eaten troll, to come up with this ? Canada is only legalizing the use of marijuana, not LSD or Magic Mushrooms ! Please get a grip on reality, and keep your feet on the ground.

  8. Edward Saint-Ivan says:

    My father Andor Szentivanyi was the father of Neuroimmunology, author of The Beta Adrenergic Theory of Asthma, and knew personally Raoul Wallenberg. He would turn over in his grave if he knew about the grave injustice described in this article.

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