Recently in the spotlight

László Nemes accepts his award at the Cannes film festival.

Fidesz intellectuals believe Son of Saul proves there is no antisemitism in Hungary

On a popular television news talk show called Civil Kaszinó, which airs on the right-wing HírTV network, pro-government intellectuals managed to come up with a remarkably passive aggressive response to something that should have been positive news for all Hungarians: namely, that László Nemes’ film Son of Saul (Saul fia) won the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival. The 38 […]

by · May 26, 2015 · Antisemitism
Poster advertising RCA Victor radios in 1937. John Vassos papers, 1920-[198-], Archives of American Art.

András Göllner: RCA Viktor–His Master’s Voice in Canada (Overture)

We go abroad to wonder – at the towering beauty of the mountains, at the crashing power of the waves on the high seas, at the winding flow of a majestic river, at the vastness of the oceans, at the miracle of the stars above: but we often walk past ourselves, without wondering The Confessions of Saint Augustine Introduction How […]

by · May 25, 2015 · Focus
Prime Minister Orbán and Katinka Hosszú (left).

Katinka Hosszú and the doping allegation

Katinka Hosszú is Hungary’s miracle swimmer – the “Iron Lady.” She is the best all-around swimmer on earth right now, the pride of the Hungarian Swimming Association and personal favorite of sport-crazy Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. She is incredible. When she recently entered the Charlotte Arena Pro Swim Series and raced seven individual events – she won six! Ms. Hosszú […]

by · May 24, 2015 · Culture
Máté Kocsics, Fidesz's communications director and Mayor of Budapest's 8th District launches a lawsuit against a liberal politician who claimed that he's gay.

Fidesz Mayor Máté Kocsis proves he’s not gay through homophobia

In a postmodern world, people have the right to choose and construct their own public identity, be it religious, cultural, ethnic, national or sexual, and society has an obligation to respect this choice. Liberal and openly gay politician Klára Ungár’s decision to “out” two very prominent Fidesz leaders as being gay, following comments by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán that bordered […]

by · May 23, 2015 · Politics
László Trócsányi, Hungary's openly racist Minister of Justice.

Hungarian justice minister says no to immigrants, because Gypsies already pose huge burden

If any further convincing is needed, in order to show that Fidesz has morphed into Jobbik, then the words of Hungary’s Minister of Justice, shared by Inforádió Friday morning, should suffice. László Trócsányi started off by attacking the European Union’s system of quotas when it comes to accepting and assigning refugee claimants among the member states. He then added that […]

by · May 22, 2015 · Politics
Mr. Krasznahorkai with the Booker prize.

László Krasznahorkai and the Booker International Prize

In June 2012, László Krasznahorkai visited San Francisco, he met his readers at the legendary City Lights bookstore. I arrived late because parking is almost impossible in the North Beach neighborhood where the bookstore is located, and I could barely fight my way into the event. He is almost a cult figure in California literary circles. City Lights is probably […]

by · May 21, 2015 · Culture
Mr. Torgyán (left) chatting  with a much younger Mr. Orbán (right), about 15 years ago.

Hungary’s deluded, xenophobic prime minister has become the new József Torgyán

I was a teenager living in Budapest, when József Torgyán, the colourful chair of the right-wing populist Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKGP), bumbled his way through Hungarian party politics for over a decade, following the transition to democracy. He was, essentially, a self-important fuddy-duddy: the awkward uncle that both amuses, but at times causes embarrassment for the family.  Under Socialist Prime […]

by · May 20, 2015 · Politics
In October 2014 Mr. Koszorus received the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit from Hungarian official Mr. Zsolt Németh in recognition for his outstanding achievements in promoting Hungarian-American relations.

War among Fidesz lobbyists in Washington DC

An unusual war broke out among the Orbán-government supporters in Washington DC. Frank Koszorus, President of the American Hungarian Federation told Heti Válasz, a Hungarian weekly, that the upcoming congressional hearing about Hungary is a terrible idea. Whoever organized it does not understand the real issues and called for postponement. He himself is on the witness list, but he’ll boycott […]

by · May 19, 2015 · Diaspora
The Debrecen refugee camp. Photo: Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI.

Hungary set to turn away refugees and close main refugee camp

Szabolcs Takács, the deputy Minister of State for European Affairs, who some of our readers will recall from last fall–when a few of us asked him questions during his talk at Ottawa’s Carleton University–gave an interview to Italy’s La Stampa paper, entitled: “Enough of the immigrants! Hungary will lead the front against EU quotas.” Mr. Takács underlined that Hungary plans to […]

by · May 18, 2015 · Politics
A wooden Orthodox church and historic villas in Szovátafürdő/Băile Sovata. Photo: Christopher Adam.

Szováta: a tiny Hungarian resort town nestled in the heart of Transylvania (Photo Report)

I had the chance to visit Szováta, a primarily Hungarian-speaking resort town located in Romania’s Transylvania region, which is an admittedly off-the-beaten track destination for nearly any tourist who isn’t either ethnic Hungarian or Romanian. Most famous for the thermal salt water Bear Lake, or Lacul Ursu/Medve tó, and for its cliffs made of solid salt, the area around the […]

by · May 17, 2015 · Culture