Articles by: Christopher Adam

These Afghan refugees hide in the forests of Vojvodia, Serbia, awaiting the safest moment to cross into Hungary. Photo: Sima Diab/The Guardian.

Hungarian police to patrol border between Serbia and Macedonia

Hungary is sending 20 police officers and will install thermal imaging cameras to help monitor Serbia’s southern borders, in an attempt to stop a growing number of refugees from making their way into the European Union through Macedonia and Serbia. This move follows heightened tension between Budapest and Belgrade, after the Orbán government’s unilateral decision to erect a four metre-high […]

by · June 22, 2015 · East
György Aczél

How an iconic Hungarian communist “found” his Jewish identity in Israel…

In many contemporary Hungarian cultural circles, a chill runs through the air whenever the name György Aczél is mentioned. Mr. Aczél was Hungary’s minister of culture and the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party’s (MSZMP) powerful culture “tsar” when it came to the arts and to the limited freedom of expression that characterized Goulash Communism, starting in the sixties. Hungary’s most prominent […]

by · June 20, 2015 · Focus

Budapest university considers mandatory anti-racism course

Budapest’s Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Hungary’s largest institution of higher education, is prepared to introduce a course on anti-racism, and is also considering whether to make this mandatory for all students enrolled in the Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies. Péter György, the institute’s director, said that the course would include Holocaust studies and that while faculty planned to […]

by · June 19, 2015 · Culture
Asylum-seekers arriving to the borders of the European Union.

Refugee claimants in Hungary and the EU: A statistical overview

According to figures released Thursday by Eurostat, as part of its quarterly report, Germany and Hungary received the most refugees of all member states in the European Union. The number of asylum seekers increased by 86% in the EU. Kosovars formed the single largest group of refugees arriving to EU member states, followed by Syrians and Afghanis. Forty percent of […]

by · June 18, 2015 · East
This map, produced by Hungary's Office of Immigration and Citizenship, shows the flow of migrants arriving in Hungary.

Hungary to erect fence along border with Serbia

Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced Wednesday that the Orbán government has decided to erect a four metre fence along a 175 km stretch of border with Serbia, in order to stop the flow of refugees and migrants entering the country. Mr. Szijjártó pointed to the border between Bulgaria and Turkey as a precedent, and added that in […]

by · June 17, 2015 · Politics
László Zábori.

Holocaust-denier and author works as high school teacher in Budapest

A small Jewish activist group called The Voice of Six Million Souls has long been working to uncover the identities of the people behind the neo-Nazi website, which is known for publishing the most revolting examples of Holocaust denial and hate speech of any Hungarian publication. Some months ago, I had been in touch by telephone with this group, as it is well-known that the owner of’s domain (which is registered […]

by · June 16, 2015 · Antisemitism

Boycotts and government PR: The debate on Hungarian state-sponsored klezmer concerts in North America

This past weekend, Anna Bayer, who runs a Facebook group called Hungarian Americans for Democracy, noted in what was a very tame post, that a North American concert of the Glass House Orchestra and Frank London, a musician and composer of Klezmer music, were being used by Hungary’s openly and virulently racist, authoritarian Orbán government as a public relations stunt, […]

by · June 15, 2015 · Politics
József Urbán. Photo: Tamás Thaler / Magyar Kurir.

Hungarian Catholic priest calls anti-immigration campaign “poisonous”

József Urbán is one of a very small handful of Roman Catholic clergy in Hungary who is willing to think outside the simplistic political and cultural parameters that define and curtail Christianity in much of Hungarian society. Born in 1964, Fr. Urbán is a Piarist priest and director of the order’s secondary school in Budapest. Historically, the Piarists (or, in […]

by · June 15, 2015 · Politics
András Stumpf.

András Stumpf and homosexuality: gay rights as understood by a young Hungarian conservative

András Stumpf is a prominent thirty-something conservative publicist, known most for his self-assured, sometimes aggressive and always irreverently outspoken style. He sometimes reminds me of a young, rigid, right-wing libertarian, who hasn’t come to understand that the world is full of nuance, and that these complexities require some sensitivity. Mr. Stumpf, who once worked for the Heti Válasz weekly, but […]

by · June 14, 2015 · Politics
Viktor Orbán in Kossuth Rádió's studios on June 12th, 2015. Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák / MTI.

Orbán: Hungary’s anti-immigration billboards are “mildly worded”

In his weekly Friday morning interview with the state-run Kossuth Rádió, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán asserted that the government’s openly xenophobic and highly controversial billboards telling immigrants to respect the country’s culture, not to steal the jobs of ethnic Hungarians and not to break the law are actually “mild” in tone. “They emphasize that Hungary is an open and friendly […]

by · June 12, 2015 · Politics