Recently in the spotlight

Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák, MTI.

Orbán takes hardline with his ambassadors

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spoke to Hungary’s ambassadors today at a talk given to employees of the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is an annual affair, usually held each August, and just as the summer holidays begin to wind down. Mr. Orbán highlighted the fact that he places pragmatic considerations far above lofty ideals any day of the week and while […]

by · August 25, 2014 · Politics
Stephen Harper (Photo: PMO).

Statement by Prime Minister Harper in remembrance of interned Eastern Europeans

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement in remembrance of thousands of Eastern Europeans interned during Canada’s first national internment operations, between 1914 and 1920:“A century ago, as a result of fear generated by the onset of the First World War, thousands of new immigrants of European origin were interned during the First World War even though there was […]

by · August 25, 2014 · Diaspora
Opposing view: One does not subvert a regime through house painting!

Opposing view: One does not subvert a regime through house painting!

HFP reader István Zöld responds to our piece on “Kádár kocka” architecture: This is beyond ridiculous. For a start, these houses are not cubic. Then their architecture has nothing to do with the Kádár era. They are typical East European rural homes, and they were around well before World War II. So it’s wrong to imply their structure was somehow imposed […]

by · August 24, 2014 · Culture
The Leninplatz statue before 1992.

Lenin’s head goes missing in Berlin

A statue of Vladimir I. Lenin that stood in East Berlin for over two decades and which was dismantled and removed in 1991 was thought to have been buried in pieces in the Köpenick Forest, located to the southeast of the German capital. The monument’s 3.5 ton granite head was believed to have been buried there as well, but when a […]

by · August 23, 2014 · East
New book explores Hungarian communist era architecture

New book explores Hungarian communist era architecture

A new book by photographer Katharina Roters explores an often neglected form of architecture unique to socialist era Hungary and one that is simply known as “The Cube” (or Kádár kocka). The Cube is perhaps so often neglected simply because it is incredibly ubiquitous throughout the country, especially when it comes to housing constructed shortly after World War II. Yet what made […]

by · August 23, 2014 · Culture
Ferenc Falus on the cover of Heti Válasz.

Right-wing weekly probes mayoral candidate’s Jewish “connection”

Coded antisemitism is a familiar phenomenon on the “moderate” Hungarian right (provided that there is still such a thing as moderate, centre-right Hungarian politics). While Jobbik and those to the right of Fidesz-KDNP are open in their antisemitic diatribes, the pro-Fidesz press simply aims to insinuate that the Hungarian left – en masse – is somehow beholden to Jewish interests. The […]

by · August 21, 2014 · Antisemitism
Imre Kertész

Stop abusing seriously ill Nobel laureate Imre Kertész!

This week, in a reversal of their previous position, Mr. Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party declared that the writings of author Imre Kertész, recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Literature, are actually in sync with their philosophy and are putting him up for a high state award. Historian Dr. Mária Schmidt wrote a lengthy article declaring Mr. Kertész the Hungarian […]

by · August 15, 2014 · Focus
Ágnes Kunhalmi

Socialists set Ágnes Kunhalmi and Ferenc Falus up for failure

The democratic opposition’s election campaign ahead of the October 12th municipal elections in Budapest is the very epitome of a political train wreck. It is certainly true that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s decision to completely transform the Hungarian capital’s electoral system a mere four months before the vote would have thrown a wrench into the plans of any political party, no […]

by · August 14, 2014 · Focus
Canadian embassy staff at the Salgotarjáni St. cemetery. (Photo:

Canadian embassy staff visit and clear weeds from Budapest Jewish cemetery

Staff of the Canadian embassy in Budapest visited the Salgotarjáni Street Jewish cemetery to pay their respects to the victims of the Holocaust, as well as to tend to a portion of the graveyard that has been largely neglected. The embassy workers visited the cemetery’s Budapest ghetto memorial and used this as an opportunity to reflect on the importance of tolerance, diversity and […]

by · August 13, 2014 · Antisemitism
Kassowitz and Williams

Robin Williams and Hungary

Robin Williams, a comic and sitcom star, an Oscar-winning dramatic actor, died at the age of 63. He appears to have committed suicide. The news truly rocked North-America, television channels broke into their usual programming to make the announcement, and the news dominated online trending topics. Mr. Williams was a comic genius, a star of both movies and television for […]

by · August 12, 2014 · Culture