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Zoltán Balog with Rabbi Köves

Rabbi Köves defended minister Zoltán Balog in 2009

Human Resources Minister Zoltán Balog’s recent comments concerning the deportation of Roma from Hungary during WWII reminds me of some of his earlier faux pas. The Hungarian Free Press reported earlier that Mr. Balog has denied that Roma citizens were deported from Hungary. He went on to warn the Roma community that it must not focus on these wartime experiences […]

by · August 7, 2014 · Antisemitism
Bálint Ódor appointed as Hungary's new ambassador to Canada.

Bálint Ódor becomes Hungary’s ambassador to Canada

Bálint Ódor, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ deputy state secretary in charge of European Union matters, has been appointed Hungary’s new ambassador to Canada. He takes over the embassy in Ottawa from László Pordány, whose term as ambassador has been brought to an end effective August 15th, 2014. Mr. Pordány leaves behind him a politically charged embassy and a […]

by · August 7, 2014 · Diaspora
Evictions in Miskolc. Photo: miskolc.hu

Miskolc removes Roma population

Miskolc, a traditionally industrial and working-class city of 163,000 residents situated in northeastern Hungary, is evicting much of its Roma population. The official explanation refers to a petition apparently signed by some 35,000 residents, in support of razing one of the city’s rundown and largely Roma-populated neighbourhoods, which will become the site of a new stadium. Those who pay close attention […]

by · August 6, 2014 · Politics
Miskolc film festival bans all films on the Roma.

Announcement: Miskolc CineFest film festival bans films on Roma

We regretfully announce that DunaDOCK will not present its MasterClass program at the Jameson CineFest International Film Festival in Miskolc this September.To our greatest surprise we found out that CineFest can only host our professional program if it does not contain – contrary to our plans – any film dealing with the topic of Roma in Hungary, or if it […]

by · August 6, 2014 · Culture
Photo: Csaba Móricz

Hungarian antisemitic horror show nothing new in far-right town

Israel’s ambassador to Budapest issued a sharply-worded statement, following a bizarre and vicious display of overt antisemitism in the town of Érpatak, located in the northeastern county of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg. The town’s far-right mayor, Mihály Zoltán Orosz, organized a mock, public execution (which Ambassador Ilan Mor referred to as a “horror show”), where effigies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and […]

by · August 5, 2014 · Antisemitism
The Budapest Roma Holocaust monument.

Opposition calls for Balog’s resignation over revisionist Holocaust comment

Hungarian human resources minister Zoltán Balog’s comments that Roma were not deported from Hungary during the Holocaust and that Roma intellectuals need to be careful not to focus as much on the experience of the Holocaust as the Jews did, for fear that the sense of “victimhood” lead to schizophrenia, has resulted in calls for the minister’s resignation. Ágnes Kunhalmi, […]

by · August 5, 2014 · Politics
Photo: Mr. Orban (left) with Mr. Saakashvili (right)  and "boychik" Péter Szíjjártó  Hungarian foreign minister-designate in the middle.

Did Saakashvili ask for asylum from Orbán?

Last week Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili showed up at Viktor Orbán’s doorstep in Budapest. He came with a video crew. Mr. Saakashvili is in a peculiar situation, he is on the run. He left Georgia in mid-November 2013, two days before his presidential term officially expired. Georgian authorities recently brought charges against him under part three of article 333 of […]

by · August 4, 2014 · East
Zoltán Balog. Photo: fidesz.hu

Zoltán Balog denies aspects of Roma Holocaust and says “victimhood” leads to schizophrenia

One day after the commemoration of the Roma Holocaust (also known as Porajmos) Hungarian Human Resources Minister Zoltán Balog denied that Hungarian Roma were deported from Hungary and went on to warn the community that they must be careful not to  focus as much on these Holocaust experiences as the country’s Jewish population has focused on the Shoah, for fear that […]

by · August 4, 2014 · Politics
Victor Ponta speaks before the Szekler and Hungarian flags in Nyergestető, Hargita county. Photo: Levente Vargyasi.

Romanian PM Victor Ponta speaks in Hungarian at commemoration

On Sunday, Romania’s Prime Minister, the 41 year old Victor Ponta, addressed about 200 people in Nyergestető (Piatra Niergeș), Hargita in Hungarian, during a commemoration that recalled the 165th anniversary of a critical battle during the 1848/49 Revolution and War of Independence. Mr. Ponta was invited to the commemoration by Hunor Kelemen, president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania […]

by · August 3, 2014 · Diaspora
Reuters / B. Szabó

Hungarian democracy in a nutshell — The Jewish contribution to the European integration project

I am speaking about democracy in a nutshell today, because pretty well that’s all is left of Hungarian democracy by today. In fact, it is even quite loose in that nutshell, after having shrunk so small. On December 31 2013, in the late night hours, as the country was well on its way to get drunk and celebrate the new year, […]

by · August 3, 2014 · Focus