Focus

Budapest, 2007. március 14.
Torgyán József, a Megújuló Magyarországért Mozgalom elnöke a szervezõdés céljairól tart sajtótájékoztatót a Marczibányi téri Mûvelõdési Központban.
MTI Fotó: Földi Imre

Hungary’s last Smallholder leader József Torgyán dies

Anyone who followed politics in Hungary during the nineties and in the early years of the current century remembers József Torgyán–the colourful chairman of the Independent Smallholders’ Party, former Minister of Agriculture and a true connoisseur of hyperbole. Mr. Torgyán’s wife and also a former Member of Parliament, Mária Cseh, confirmed that her husband died at their home in Budapest […]

by · January 22, 2017 · Focus
The names of survivors are read out Saturday morning in Budapest, at the Szinyei Merse Pál Gimnázium. Photo: 444.hu

Hungarians mourn 16 students killed in fatal bus crash

At least 16 students of Budapest’s Szinyei Merse Pál Gimnázium died Friday night near Verona, Italy, when their bus collided into a column and caught fire. Another 39 students were injured and transported to hospital–12 of whom are believed to be in serious condition. This is the deadliest Hungarian bus crash in 18 years–the last time Hungarians mourned such a […]

by · January 21, 2017 · Focus
Blaha Lujza tér on December 24th. Photo: MTI / Tibor Illyés

Christmas in Budapest – Standing in line for eight hours for food

I am accustomed to seeing photos of the poor and the homeless standing in long lines at Budapest’s Blaha Lujza tér for food and hot meals, mostly provided by a foundation affiliated with the Hungarian branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON), more commonly referred to as Hare Krishna. When my Hungarian friends send me these photos, as proof […]

by · December 28, 2016 · Focus
Bishop Miklós Beer. Photo: MTI.

Bishop Miklós Beer on the Roma, refugees and Christianity in Hungary

Miklós Beer is the Bishop of the Diocese of Vác, extending from Nógrád county bordering Slovakia down towards Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok county in southeastern Hungary. Some 640,000 Hungarians (or 57% of the population) of this area identify as Roman Catholic in the towns covered by the diocese, which includes regions that are among the poorest in Hungary. Bishop Beer gave a fascinating interview […]

by · December 26, 2016 · Focus
Fr. Zoltán Németh

Hungarian Catholic priest attacked for aiding refugees

Zoltán Németh is a Roman Catholic priest in the town of Körmend (population: 12,400), located directly on the border with Austria. Fr. Németh did what would not raise a single eyebrow in western Europe, nor in North America: he simply offered basic help to a handful of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, giving them shelter in a building owned by his […]

by · December 19, 2016 · Focus
Horthy plaque in Budapest XVI District.  Dozens of Horthy memorabilia were installed.

75 years ago Miklós Horthy declared war on the US, today he is revered in Budapest

On December 12, 1941, just days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Miklós Horthy’s Hungary declared war on the United States. His Prime Minister was László Bárdossy who was executed as a war criminal in 1946. Relations between anti-American Imperial Japan and pro-Hitler Hungary were warm and friendly and the Japanese frequently praised Horthy. (See rare Japanese newsreel […]

by · December 14, 2016 · Focus
Hungarian teachers protest the Orbán government's education policies in Budapest earlier this year. The banner reads: I would teach. The future of our children is at stake." Photo: Népszava

Shambolic public education in Hungary — PISA survey paints grim picture

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results, showing a dramatic decline in the scores of Hungarian teenagers and an especially grim picture of just how poorly children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds fare at school. Every three years, PISA assesses the scholastic performance of 15 year old students in […]

by · December 6, 2016 · Focus
András Göllner with László Rajk. Photo: C. Adam.

The Son of Rajk in Montreal (Video)

The following text is the uncut version of András Göllner’s introduction to Oscar winning film-maker László Rajk’s presentation on Art and the Holocaust, at Concordia University in Montreal, on November 4, 2016. The text includes video footage from the event. Dr. Göllner, who organized the well-attended talk, is an emeritus professor at Concordia and is the Founder of the Canadian […]

by · November 16, 2016 · Focus
G.M. Tamás

Hungary 1956: a socialist revolution

Hungarian political philosopher G. M. Tamás is a prominent, refreshing and thought-provoking public voice in Hungary on contemporary politics, socio-cultural issues, as well as the politics of memory surrounding the twentieth century past. This article was originally published in the London quarterly, International Socialism, N° 152 (Autumn 2016), pp. 111-116 and was re-published in LeftEast, the East European socialist web journal. With the […]

by · November 8, 2016 · Focus
Canadian student asks László Rajk about Népszabadság, authoritarianism and antisemitism in Hungary

Canadian student asks László Rajk about Népszabadság, authoritarianism and antisemitism in Hungary

The Artistic Director of the Oscar-winning Son of Saul, László Rajk, gave an insightful talk at Concordia University in Montreal on November 4th. The event was coordinated by  Professor Emeritus András Göllner, Founder of the Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter, with many partners from the university and the local Jewish community. We will publish videos of the well-attended talk itself, which […]

by · November 6, 2016 · Focus