Recently in the spotlight

Protest in Budapest against Fidesz's homophobic law. Photo: MTI.

Hungary’s QAnon government

“Save our children!” This exhortation appeared on the bumpers of dusty North American pick-up trucks, on the darker corners of the Internet and occasionally on Facebook newsfeeds, signaling that many of us have acquaintances, friends and contacts who have bought into the worst and the most irrational of conspiracy theories. We’re talking about the likes of “Pizza Gate.” The European […]

by · June 15, 2021 · Focus
Who finances right-wing Hungarian portals in North America?

Who finances right-wing Hungarian portals in North America?

There is growing concern that Putin’s Russia established a network of websites to spread disinformation and political propaganda in the US.  And how about Viktor Orbán’s Hungary? According to public records the Clevelandi Magyarokért Foundation was registered on December 5, 2019 in North Olmsted, Ohio as a non-profit entity.   Within weeks the organization received 1.5 million Ft support from the Orbán government.  […]

by · June 3, 2021 · Politics
Lilly Toth (1925-2021)

Remembering Holocaust survivor Lilly Toth

Richard Schnurbach, president of the Montreal Holocaust Museum and Daniel Amar, the organization’s executive director, co-authored a moving piece remembering Lilly Toth (née Gluck), a survivor of the Holocaust in Hungary, who died in Montreal on May 22, 2021.  We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Lilly Toth, Holocaust survivor and Museum volunteer. Lilly was passionate about […]

by · May 31, 2021 · Diaspora
Evgeny Russak smiles in his office in downtown Ottawa, before the shuttering of the Embassy of Belarus. Photo: Facebook.

The warm smile of dictatorship

The very worst authoritarian regimes — the ones that divert airlines in order to arrest journalists, poison and imprison their critics, beat opposition activists and produce hostage videos of forced confessions — also know how to smile. Belarus has decided to shutter its embassy in Ottawa, after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a fairly tough line this week against […]

by · May 26, 2021 · East
State terrorism in Europe

State terrorism in Europe

What happened on Sunday on a Ryanair flight within the European Union ought to serve as a frigid shower for anyone who ventures into opposition or activist journalism. Ryanair was flying between the capitals of Greece and Lithuania on Sunday when it briefly passed through Belarusian airspace shortly before it was due to land in Vilnius. Under the false pretext […]

by · May 23, 2021 · East
Queer Budapest 1873-1961

Queer Budapest 1873-1961

The publication of Queer Budapest 1873-1961 by Anita Kurimay fills a gap in the history of homosexuality in Hungary. This is the first book in English dealing with the history of homosexuality in Hungary and Ms. Kurimay places the story in the context of Hungary’s turbulent history. At the dawn of the 20th century, Budapest became a growing cosmopolitan metropolis […]

by · May 20, 2021 · Culture
From Ferenc Andai’s memoirs to Ottoman expansion and Hungarian revolt — An invitation to two roundtables

From Ferenc Andai’s memoirs to Ottoman expansion and Hungarian revolt — An invitation to two roundtables

The Hungarian Studies Association of Canada is hosting a book roundtable discussion and a book launch as part of its annual conference, held under the aegis of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and moving forward in a virtual format this year. While other sessions of the conference are open to registered members, the two book sessions are […]

by · May 19, 2021 · Culture
The romance of the 56-er Hungarian refugee and Prince William of Gloucester

The romance of the 56-er Hungarian refugee and Prince William of Gloucester

The improbable romance of flamboyant Prince William of Gloucester and Zsuzsi Starkloff made headlines fifty years ago.  Starkloff was a 56-er, an ambitious, capable Hungarian refugee who loved glamour.  A recent documentary brought this romantic tabloid story into the spotlight again. The dashing Prince William of Gloucester was Queen Elisabeth’s first cousin and the page boy at her wedding in […]

by · May 17, 2021 · Diaspora
Jon Greenwald

Seventy-eight year-old Jon Greenwald is lobbying to be the next US Ambassador to Budapest

Seventy-eight year-old (!) Princeton and Harvard trained Jon Greenwald wants to be next US Ambassador to Budapest.  He has already contacted the Biden team and declared that he wishes to serve the US in Hungary.  Greenwald also wrote a letter to Béla Lipták (Hungarian Lobby) about his past Hungarian experience and motivations and we asked permission to re-publish it.  Here […]

by · May 9, 2021 · Politics
The Benedictine Abbey at Tihany with the Lake Balaton, Hungary in the background.  Photo: ilovebalaton.hu

An HFP contributor and his winemaking past featured in The New Yorker

András Göllner’s son, Adam Leith Gollner, wrote a long-form essay for The New Yorker entitled “Does Your Wine Really Taste Like Rocks?” with a focus on vineyards and wines in Hungary. The piece, at times quite atmospheric and lyrical, takes off from the land of memories, before weaving its way through the mysteries of wine. The author’s father owned a […]

by · May 6, 2021 · Culture