A letter on Muslims and a short history of Hungary as a land of immigrants

Dear Doris,

I am glad you make clear your own and János’ position concerning migrants, and the very fact that you are not willing to compromise:

“Ok, Sandor. But there is one issue on which Janos very firmly support’s Orbán’s view and policies: mass migration. A quote from Janos, “‘It is crazy to welcome people, especially masses of people, into a western society who believe that God wants you to slit a person’s throat if he refuses to convert to Islam.'”

I hope we shall discuss these issues very soon together in pleasant circumstances, preferably with a touch of wine contrary to the rules of Islam, and some appetizers.

But until then let me remind you that I always must be prepared to examine the statement in front of me as to its reality content. So, let us examine them one by one!

Now, on the face of it, of course one must be a fool to request the importation of murderers, rapists, arsonists and religious maniacs. I don’t want them either. Not at all!

But the fact of the matter is, that contrary to what Orbán and his government hammers at all hours of the day and the night, there is a several thousand strong Muslim contingent living here in Hungary, there are several mosques in this city, (one is just a few hundred meters from where I live), and nobody can remember any episode, or event of misbehavior on their part for decades, or possibly ever. At the same time, numerous terrorist attacks have occurred going back to the nineties: four people were bombed in Galamb utca, a newspaper owner was gunned down on the street in broad day light, serial hunting of Gypsies was organized just a few years ago, the Arrows of the Hungarians terrorist organization and its leader was already convicted and sentenced to 13 years and the case is now on appeal, not long ago two police officers were bombed on the Körút within an inch of their lives, and a Russian-financed terrorist group in Western Hungary received the investigating police contingent with gun fire killing a detective, etc. and all these terrorist actions were produced by nice, god fearing, Christian, white-skinned Hungarians, while the Muslims were watching in amazement. This will put to rest one of the lies of the prime minister.

The other egregious lie is that ” we shall not be an immigrant country!” Well, it is too late for that! Hungarians were immigrants here on these lands at one time. This country, due to its special geographic position, is an open corridor for migration and has been for ever. After the establishment of the Hungarian state, in the 12th century first the Kuns and then the Jász people were settled here by the king. In the 1240’s again an other settlement of immigrants was needed to repopulate the areas damaged by the Tartars and the king, Béla IV. organized it. Then came the Bosnyiaks, who later proceeded further south to present day Bosnia. Meanwhile all along there were six different nationalities living in Transylvania in the greatest of peace and cooperation.

Then came 145 years of Turkish occupation, that left great damage, but didn’t turn the population into Muslims. After the departure of the Turks, there was large scale re-population by importing Swabian immigrants. At the same time a large wave of Serbian refugees arrived from the South, establishing the village of the Tabán on mount Gellért, a large part of Pest and the entire city of Szentendre, is still Serbian and orthodox today. Roughly at the same time arrived the Gypsies from the south too.

In the XVIII. century two devastating epidemics of cholera necessitated re-population with German immigrants in the Bakony mountain range, around Buda in the hills, and in the Bacska, the so-called Danubian Schwabs. In the XIX. century, large-scale Armenian and Jewish immigration took place. In 1849, the executed freedom fighting military officers, the 13 martyrs of Arad, half of them were not Hungarian, but rather Polish, German, Armenian, etc. And in the 1880’s and 90-s an enormous Jewish immigration wave swept across the country. This mounted to some two million people, most of whom proceeded to America, but a few hundred thousand settled here, to the great benefit for the country.

Even the XX. century had several waves of immigration. Just before World War II a Polish contingent came, lots of children too, then after the war in the 50’s, the Korean War refugees and the civil war  refugees of Greece arrived. In the seventies, we had Vietnamese refugees–although out of sight, but we had them too.

The Greek village of Beloiannisz, in Hungary’s Fejér county, southwest of Budapest. The community was established in 1950 by Greek communists and was named after the late Greek communist resistance fighter Nikos Beloyannis.

Based on these simple, incontrovertible facts, we can safely say that Hungary is and always has been a country of immigration of all kinds of peoples. Hungary absorbed and acculturated them with great success and also benefited greatly from their continued presence. Just look at this beautiful city of Budapest! It was built by Slovak labourers, German and Austrian stone masons, Gypsy diggers and excavators, and lots of Jewish capital.

And it turned out very good indeed.

So, as you can see, (and I am certain that János knows all this even better than I do), the government keeps the population in the thrall and in the fear of three grisly, low down awful lies.

And at last we have to consider the third lie too, namely that there is no such thing as ”migrant.” The age of migration has ended sometimes in the XV. century. What we have, however are two type of wanderers: refugees, and immigrants.

In the matter of refugees we have no option but to help them, because we committed ourselves, together with most of the countries of the world, in the Geneva Convention of 1951, that binds all signatory countries, Hungary evidently included, to help the refugees. And until we officially repudiate this agreement we have no choice, but to do our duty. It is also prudent, because one never knows when one will become a refugee and would be forced to rely on these provisions. The other, the immigrant, is he who is seeking better living conditions and is asking to be admitted. Just like Abraham and his household was in the Bible, when they asked to be admitted to Egypt. They were immigrants. And there is nothing wrong with immigration as long as it is done in an orderly, civilized manner.

Very well, discount these three lies from the reservations that you wrote me about. And after that we are ready for an intelligent discussion of this matter.

My loving hugs to you and János in the hope of meeting soon,


Sándor Kerekes

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