ModernityBlog

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More Bad News from Hungary.

with 5 comments

Neo-nazis in Hungary have won the right to commemorate Nazi losses during WW2, the JTA reports:

“BUDAPEST (JTA) — A Hungarian court ruled that an international neo-Nazi march can take place in Budapest.

Monday’s ruling overturns a decision by police prohibiting the demonstration, which commemorates the defeat of German rule in Eastern Europe during World War II, for reasons of maintaining public order.

The neo-Nazi Day of Honor rally rescheduled for next month is intended to mark the last stand of the German occupiers and their Hungarian supporters against the Soviet Red Army 65 years ago.

The Nazi defeat at Buda Castle is associated in Hungary with the end of the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of more than a half-million Hungarian Jews. Annual parades mourning the Nazi losses have been staged traditionally at Heroes Square in Budapest by a coalition of European neo-Nazi organizations.

This year, the march was planned for Feb. 13 but was postponed. Instead, neo-Nazi organizations held private ceremonies, undisturbed by the police, on private grounds near the capital. Groups also staged unauthorized marches in Buda.”

Written by modernityblog

17/02/2010 at 00:28

5 Responses

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  1. Between the wars Hungary was ruled by Admiral Horthy, a former admiral in the Austro-Hungarian navy before WW1. Technically it was a monarchy, but Horthy made sure that the Hapsburg claimant was never allowed in the country. This gave Hungary the unusual status of being a kingdom without a king ruled by an admiral without a fleet.

    Corruption is the nemesis of democracy, and between the wars many countries preferred the rule of a “soldier on a white horse”. Faced with the choice between Germany and Bolshevik Russia — for the Nazi record was largely unknown then — most threw in their lot with Hitler. The Serbians, indeed, refused and were crushed by the Wehrmacht; but most were not in any state to do so. Their real policies were nationalist.

    It is natural for any country to celebrate the efforts of its soldiers in war, even if they were on the “wrong” side from our point of view (as they were). By trying to demonise this natural process, and by associating it with Hitlerism, I fear that Jewish groups are merely reinforcing old stereotypes. Worse yet, if every time someone feels loyalty to the flag in Hungary they are told they are a Nazi, they will soon cease to believe that the Nazis were as evil as they were.

    Roger Pearse

    17/02/2010 at 13:56

  2. A lucid argument I must say, except for the fact that the people organising it are neo-fascists and neo-Nazis.

    I don’t see how Jewish groups are reinforcing old stereotypes, as you say, rather they are pointing out the connections and why it might not be desirable to celebrate them, it is rather elementary really.

    If someone wants to march with neo-Nazis well the natural conclusion to draw is that they’re not too fussy about the company they keep.

    modernityblog

    17/02/2010 at 17:13

  3. Yes, could well be.

    The thing about this argument that makes me nervous is the “boy who cried wolf” syndrome. You see, I don’t know whether any of these groups call themselves Nazis? Or is that someone else’s description of them? It must be the latter, I would have thought — in which case, we know that these accusations are tossed around pretty freely. So much so, indeed, that I don’t have any confidence in the reporting.

    What I’m thinking of is what happened in Germany after WW2 with “commie”. The Nazi’s threw the term around so much in their day that everyone presumed that anyone called “commie” was just a normal guy. Of course they found out that Mr Stalin’s man was NOT a normal guy — but then it was too late. We’ve already seen the term “far right” ceasing to have shock value.

    Dunno really — I don’t know much about these people, and trust very little of what I read because it uses value-judgements (“neo-Nazi”) rather than descriptive terms. Just being cautious.

    About negative stereotypes of Jews: the standard accusation against the Jews is that Jews are bad citizens, are secretly enemies of the state, are in a conspiracy against everyone else to extort money and rip them off (and eat their babies). Jewish groups shrieking “anti-semite” at people who merely want to honour old uncle Wolfgang who went off to war in 1939 is liable to create or reinforce the idea among the recipients that the “Jews are not one of us”. That idea pretty quickly would become “the Jews are the enemy within”, which takes us straight back to 1920 and the “stabbed in the back” motif on which Hitler traded. I don’t think that view of Jews as a group is actually that far away in much of Eastern Europe today, which is not a good thing to say the least.

    Not that I am saying these things should not be said. But we have to think it through, and think of all the possible ramifications. Knee-jerk politics isn’t enough any more.

    Roger Pearse

    18/02/2010 at 10:25

  4. I’m not sure whether that actually made logical sense. Sorry — very woozy this morning and not thinking clearly.

    Roger Pearse

    18/02/2010 at 10:32

  5. Well, I would assume that these groups are neo-Nazi based on the fact that apparently they celebrate Hitler’s birthday, have swastikas tattooed on their body, lionise the NSDAP, give the Hitler salute and don’t like Jews.

    I know that’s assuming a lot but I think most reasonable people would come to the same conclusion.

    modernity

    18/02/2010 at 14:06


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