Recently in the spotlight

A photo of Aziz, after his courageous and compassionate intervention in Budapest. The photo was sent to us by Szilárd Kalmár, who knew Aziz personally during his stay in Budapest.

How a 16 year old Afghan refugee saved the life of a Hungarian homeless man

On Thursday, a homeless man in Budapest’s economically disadvantaged 8th District became agitated as he waited outside a small soup kitchen in Bérkocsis Street. The man may have been intoxicated, as he waited for his meal in Budapest’s relentless heatwave, with temperatures soaring to above 36 Celsius. According to eyewitnesses, the middle aged man became impatient and broke the glass […]

by · August 14, 2015 · East
András Heisler, President of the Hungarian Federation of Jewish Communities (MAZSIHISZ) greets János Lázár, Minister of the Prime Minister's Office. Photo: Péter Gyula Horváth.

Hungary’s government warns Jewish community about Muslim refugees

Officials from Hungary’s Orbán government, including Minister of Human Resources Zoltán Balog, met with Jewish community leaders this week to discuss new efforts to improve Holocaust education in Hungarian schools and to alert Hungarian Jews to the fact that they too may be “impacted” by the continued wave of refugees, arriving primarily from war-torn Syria and Afghanistan. Based on the […]

by · August 13, 2015 · Politics
The two Vic(k)tors: Victor Ponta of Romania (left) and Viktor Orbán of Hungary (right).

Growing diplomatic row between Hungary and Romania

In the doldrums of summer, there is a growing and increasingly public conflict between Hungary’s Orbán government and the Ponta administration in Romania. In just the past two days, the diplomatic representatives of the  two countries, serving in Budapest and Bucharest, have been summoned by the respective foreign ministries of the two EU member states and both are claiming that […]

by · August 11, 2015 · Politics
Marian Kotleba supports Prime Minister Orbán.

Slovak neo-Nazi Marian Kotleba supports Orbán’s “brave steps” on immigration

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has a new admirer just north of the border in Slovakia. The regional governor of Banska Bystrica (Besztercebánya in Hungarian) Marian Kotleba, sent an open letter to Mr. Orbán on July 28th expressing his support for Orbán’s “brave and effective steps aimed at saving European countries from an inundation of immigrants.” “I express full support […]

by · August 10, 2015 · East
Negotiations with Metzger. Left: Mr. Viktor Orbán, current Finance Minister Mr. Mihály Varga, ex-New York Consul General Mr. Károly Dán, Mr. György Szabó (MAZSÖK) – Right: Rabbi Oberlander, Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger (in hat), Rabbi Köves and Rabbi Raskin of Budapest Chabad.

Was Israel’s former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger a lobbyist for Orbán?

Politics makes strange bedfellows. And this may be the case in the unexpected alliance between former Israeli Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, Yona Metzger, and Hungary’s Orbán Government. In November 2013 Rabbi Yona Metzger was arrested in Israel on suspicion of corruption and the Magistrate’s Court ordered him to be kept in custody. According to investigators, Rabbi Metzger accepted bribes of an […]

by · August 6, 2015 · Politics
Syrian and Afghan refugees in II. János Pál pápa tér, a park in the 8th District, after being evicted from the Keleti railway station by police. There is no sign of tents, fires being lit, knife violence or fighting, as Mayor Kocsis claimed on Facebook. Photo: Zoltán Balogh/MTI.

Fidesz mayor Máté Kocsis and the hysteria around refugees in Hungary

Máté Kocsis, the Fidesz party mayor of Budapest’s 8th district, is among the most avid Facebook users in Hungary, and in his case it’s not a press secretary posting updates on his behalf, but the mayor himself. Sometimes he gets himself into trouble, like when he engaged in a homophobic tirade earlier this year, after a liberal politician outed him […]

by · August 5, 2015 · Politics
A rather edgy Kuruc.info propaganda poster.

Budapest teacher turned Nazi journalist jumped on opportunity to get inheritance from Canada

HFP readers will recall a story we published in June about how a small activist cell, which calls itself The Voice of Six Million Souls, “outed” a rabidly antisemitic and Holocaust-denying contributor to the Nazi website Kuruc.info (who wrote under the pseudonym Ottó Perge), as being a high school history teacher by the name of László Zábori. Since that article […]

by · August 4, 2015 · Politics
Mayor Orosz, in his signature military fatigues. Photo: Hir24.

Érpatak: a Hungarian town living under far-right terror

I imagine that most of our readers have not been to, and perhaps never even heard of the northeastern Hungarian town of Érpatak (population: 1,700). The small town is run by far-right mayor Mihály Zoltán Orosz, who made a national name for himself by causing a scene at last year’s Gay Pride parade in Budapest, where he showed up dressed […]

by · August 3, 2015 · Focus
Viktor Orbán in Tusnádfürdő (Băile Tuşnad), Romania.

Hungary’s Orbán is far more dangerous than Jobbik or any other extreme right movement

Dutch political scientist Cas Mudde, the author of Racist Extremism in Central and Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2005), made a critically important point in an op-ed piece published Saturday in The Guardian. According to Professor Mudde, western journalists and activists who have been concerned primarily with, and focused almost exclusively on, the rise of the far-right Jobbik in Hungary have been wrong […]

by · August 1, 2015 · Politics
Rev Ludwig and Rev. Poznan in better times.

Calvin Synod Bishop Rt. Rev. Koloman K. Ludwig responds to HFP article

Bishop Kolomon K. Ludwig responded to our article about the sudden removal of Rev. Béla Poznan the long-time Bishop of the Calvin Synod. In his email, Bishop Ludwig explained that Rev. Poznan was never accused of financial mismanagement, nor was this ever insinuated by anyone. He also indicated that the Synod has no further comment on this subject. We thank […]

by · August 1, 2015 · Diaspora