Articles by: Christopher Adam

Gábor Staudt (left) and István Szávay (right) are comfortable in Mr. Ferenc Kumin's New York office. Photo: Facebook.

Hungary’s Jobbik continues major North American campaign

The far right Jobbik party’s politicians are engaging in their first major political tour of Hungarian diaspora communities in the United States, with stops in Boston, Washington D.C. and New York City. In New York City, Jobbik Members of Parliament Gábor Staudt (who had previously given a highly controversial talk in Toronto) and István Szávay descended upon the offices of […]

by · April 23, 2015 · Diaspora
Hungarian Red Army monument in Újpest. Fidesz and Jobbik have partnered to have it demolished.

History wars: Hungarian radical leftist writes to college classmate, Gábor Vona

Hungary is a small country and early twentieth century author Frigyes Karinthy’s theory on the six degrees of separation isn’t really applicable to a society of this size. As it turns out, during his university days, the chairman of the Left Party (Balpárt), Szilárd Kalmár, lived in the same dorms as Gábor Vona, the leader of the far-right Jobbik party. […]

by · April 22, 2015 · Focus
Lajos Erdélyi, an 87 Holocaust survivor, holds an illustration made by a campmate in Auschwitz. Photo: László Balogh/Reuters.

Victims or perpetrators? Hungary isn’t the only country haunted by Nazi collaboration

The Polish government is in the midst of a polemical and defensive historical debate around World War II and the Holocaust. The official Polish narrative could have been taken directly from the speaking points of the Orbán government in Budapest, which has enshrined in the country’s constitution the preposterous idea that Hungary was purely a victim of German occupation and […]

by · April 20, 2015 · Focus
Marion Smith, the president of the Common Sense Society in Budapest. Photo: CCS/Facebook

The Hungarian right’s new “Common Sense” voice: Orbán in English translation

I stumbled upon the so-called Common Sense Society and its blog, “Paprika Politik,” completely by accident. A friend and prominent Hungarian civil rights activist, Eszter Garai-Édler, drew my attention to this youthful, cheerful, well-dressed group of thoroughly respectable young professionals, who enjoy research grants and write English-language articles, all about how Hungary finally crossed the Rubicon in 2012, when the […]

by · April 18, 2015 · Focus
Kathy Clark: The Choice. (Second Story Press, 2015).

Hungarian Canadian author launches children’s book on Holocaust

How does one broach the painful history of the Holocaust with children, especially when there is a family connection to this tragedy? Hungarian Canadian children’s author Kathy Clark’s book The Choice serves as one way to introduce teens and pre-teens to the Shoah. The Choice is Ms. Clark’s second children’s book that weaves her own family’s experiences during World War […]

by · April 15, 2015 · Antisemitism
Hungarian soldiers undergo training. Photo: / Sándor Galambos.

Hungary sends troops to fight ISIS

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) joined Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz and the Christian Democratic Peoples’ Party (KDNP) in voting to send 150 soldiers into Iraq, in order to bolster the American-led campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). While Fidesz, KDNP and DK supported the mission, the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), the Politics Can Be Different (LMP) green party, the […]

by · April 14, 2015 · Politics
Lajos Rig scoops up critical Tapolca riding for the far-right Jobbik party. Photo: Lajos Rig's Facebook page.

Far-right Jobbik set to win key Hungarian by-election

Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party put aside its usual antisemitic and anti-Roma rhetoric, campaigning instead on an anti-corruption platform. This strategy paid off, with the party’s candidate appearing to win in a critical by-election held in western Hungary’s Tapolca riding, long dominated by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party. With 98% of the votes counted (approximately 500 votes cast at embassies […]

by · April 12, 2015 · Politics
A flashback to 1990: A Russian customer at the first McDonald's in Moscow gives a thumbs up, standing alongside George Cohon, the chairman of McDonald's Canada. Photo: Rudi Blaha/Associated Press.

A great idea from Moscow: Russia to open state-funded fast food chain

Someone quickly phone Andy Vajna, aspiring Hungarian oligarch and pro-regime filmmaker. There’s a great idea coming out of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and it is sure to resonate in Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Hungary as well. The Russian government has confirmed that it is pumping $13 million (or 680 million rubles) into launching a national and patriotic fast […]

by · April 12, 2015 · East
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Péter Szijjártó, in Kazan, Tatarstan. Photo: Hungary's MFA.

Hungary’s foreign minister gets gushing reception in Tatarstan

The fact that Hungary’s pro-Moscow foreign policy has managed to alienate key partners like the United States, Germany and regional allies within the Visegrád Group isn’t much of a success story for Budapest. But at least Hungary’s 36 year old Minister of Foreign Affairs, Péter Szijjártó, got an admittedly warm reception in Tatarstan this week, where he inaugurated the Hungarian […]

by · April 11, 2015 · East
Musai/Muszáj demonstration in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca, calling for greater trilingualism. Balloons represent the  colours of the Hungarian and Romanian flags. Photo: Tamás Bethlendi.

Multicultural Romania: Young Hungarians use creative protests to call for trilingual Cluj-Napoca

A group of local Hungarians and liberally-minded Romanian allies in the Transylvanian town of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) are attracting some international attention, thanks to their flash mobs and a creative use of social media that call for the municipality to replace unilingual Romanian road signs with trilingual ones, featuring Romanian, Hungarian and German. The group calls itself Musai-Muszáj (the Romanian/Hungarian word […]

by · April 10, 2015 · Diaspora