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Distorting the Holocaust in Hungary – Tablet Magazine

So at which point does Paul Bogdanor suggest that we should have started resisting? Who could have risen to the challenge? Uncle Fisher, the blind friend of my grandmother? The Jewish concierge of our yellow star house, who betrayed my father to the Arrow Cross when he came home to see my mother from forced labor? The rich Jews who tried to bribe their way onto the Kasztner train? The mothers who aborted their children? My aunt, Elvira? The 100,000 converted Jews who didn’t believe themselves to be Jewish? People like Bogdanor can glibly speak about Jews taking a chance to escape or fight. But is he serious? Perhaps most illustrative example I know of concerns my mother, who at one point found herself among a group of 200 women rounded up by four Arrow Cross men and being marched toward a collection camp. When my mother made a run for it, the young recruits took shots at her but missed. The ensuing confusion was the perfect opportunity for some or even most of the others to try and do likewise—make a run—but instead, they stayed put and awaited their fate.

Distorting the Holocaust in Hungary – Tablet Magazine

The German Army physically occupied Hungary in March 1944, and Eichmann arrived with only about 200 SS men. In June 1944 the Budapest government designated around 2,000 apartment buildings for Jewish occupation, each building marked with a yellow star. My home in the suburbs was taken over with all its contents by neighbors and my father’s business by his foreman. We were allowed to go out between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. wearing a yellow star, and the concierge was to report to the Arrow Cross (the Hungarian Fascist organization, which toppled the government of Miklos Horthy, which had refused to transport Hungarian Jews to death camps) on all our movements. People committed suicide. Supervision and enforcement of these edicts were taken overenthusiastically by the 22,000 Hungarian gendarmes and later the Arrow Cross.

A Letter From Viktor Orbán's New Nationalist Hungary – Tablet Magazine

Last spring, they told me, when the government first sought to outlaw the Central European University, mass demonstrations were held in support of the university all over the city, and some professors in Hungarian institutions, both in Budapest and elsewhere, signed a petition of protest on Facebook. Very soon after that, the rector at one university in Budapest called together all those who had signed, wanting to know who had initiated the petition, on whose computer it was composed. The rector at a university in another city told one young woman professor who had signed, “You have two young children, think about them.” Such veiled threats of reprisal for speaking out are not new, my friends told me. It’s well-known nowadays that anyone who is considered a critic of the regime will not receive research or fellowship support from government-backed institutions if they apply for it. So people are becoming cautious. “’Don’t talk about this to your friends,’ that’s what I sometimes tell my son,” he said. Are people actually afraid? I asked. “Not afraid, exactly, but cautious. It’s a bit too reminiscent of the Kádár regime,” he answered.

A Letter From Viktor Orbán's New Nationalist Hungary – Tablet Magazine

According to Heller, who is known the world over for her philosophical writings, today it is Fidesz that has become the extreme right-wing party, not Jobbik. “Everyone says that we have to protect the country from the anti-Semites. But for God’s sake, I’m the Holocaust survivor! And with that experience behind me, I say that if there’s no collaboration with Jobbik, then Fidesz will remain in power. If Fidesz remains in power, it will be a tragedy for Hungary,” she stated in a long interview in the liberal weekly Magyar Narancs on Nov. 30.  She is convinced that if Orbán retains power, he will destroy the last remnants of democracy in Hungary, starting with the free press. “We should pay attention not to what Jobbik said five years ago,” she says, but to what it says now. “Just hold your nose and do what’s necessary to oust Fidesz.”

A Letter From Viktor Orbán's New Nationalist Hungary – Tablet Magazine

On a mild fall day in early October, a couple of blocks from the CEU in downtown Budapest, I glimpsed a photo of a laughing George Soros on the wall of a bus-stop shelter. It was part of a large poster, where paid advertising would normally go. Across the top of the poster, above Soros’s head, ran a line in large block letters: “A SOROS-TERVRŐL,” ABOUT THE SOROS-PLAN. And beneath that, “6th question. The aim of the Soros Plan is to squeeze the languages and cultures of European countries into the background, in order to facilitate the integration of illegal immigrants.” This is followed by a question in larger letters: “What do you think about this?” And on the bottom, running along the whole width of the poster, a banner headline: “Let’s not remain silent about it!”

Piketty Thinks the EU Is Bad for Eastern Europe. He's Half Right. - Bloomberg

A billionaire owner of a private German company might stash them in an investment account in some offshore area or they could be reinvested in the Polish subsidiary that made them, pretty much from anywhere. What matters for a country is its ability to tax these profits adequately. In their race to be competitive foreign investment destinations, most eastern European countries don't overburden the corporations. And, given the prevalence of foreign companies -- as Piketty points out, they account for more than half of corporate assets in eastern Europe -- the foreigners end up contributing less to the construction of east European social safety nets and infrastructure than they do in their own countries. Instead, the local populations, who already earn less because relatively low wages are what attracts investment to the region, contribute more than people in wealthier countries in the form of consumption taxes.

Enterprise fund spending

▸ Enterprise funds. The House report on the bill offered a highly critical assessment of the Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund, one of several such equity and credit funds established to promote business development. The report said that the fund had failed to notify Congress before investing $4 million in a new merchant bank. The bank, called EurAmerica, paid three of its managers annualized salaries of almost $400,000 each. The report reverberated from Washington to Budapest as the president of the Enterprise Fund, Alexander Tomlinson, resigned and the organization cut the salaries of EurAmerica's officials. AID moved to tighten oversight of the enterprise funds, which had operated with considerable latitude since their creation. Chairman David R. Obey, D-Wis., of the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee also had questioned the legal costs run up by the enterprise funds. Since their creation, several of the funds had been represented by the New York-based law firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges. According to an article in the Legal Times newspaper, the firm had reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from the arrangement.

Hungary: The War on Education | by Jan-Werner Müller | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

The number of university students has been declining dramatically since 2010; meanwhile, the age at which students can legally leave school has been lowered from eighteen to sixteen. Orbán, as part of his self-professed turn to “illiberalism,” has put forward the notion of a “work-based state.” In theory, such a state is the opposite of a polity where financial speculation generates most of the wealth. In practice, this idea has meant public works programs—especially for Roma—that critics view as highly exploitative; it has also resulted in an attempt to create a workforce primarily of manual laborers, where everyone knows their place and can at most aspire to employment by German industry (Mercedes is currently spending a billion euros on a new plant in central Hungary).

Vélemény: Gyáva - NOL.hu

During Tickets and all other activities of terrorist attacks in the bus terminal - topped with the words TEK up Janos Hajdu-chief presented to the Prime Minister late-night spectacle . The counterterrorism megfogalmazásunkat probably indignantly rejected, as was a serious exercise. But the commando techniques rarely is often presented to the public and foreign visitors. Sharp right position for the enemy unexpected, but well-rehearsed devices are the most important advantages. This only endangers the public initiation.

Budapest's non-stops remembered

he sweet-natured but infinitely weary Egyptian Copt who sometimes has to serve us through an anti-personnel grille in his shop door when street activities get lively around 1am. The two painfully thin grizzled men with missing teeth (one customer, one salesman) in the shop with only two shelves – 12 boxes of biscuits on each shelf – who challenged me to a series of mathematical match puzzles they had stretched out across the counter at 3 o’clock one difficult night. Or the mildly busy 24-hour shop around midnight where a man and woman, both in their 20s, were intently watching a porn channel on a TV set near the ceiling, ringing up each purchase and silently handing back change without once taking their eyes off the carnal congress on the small screen.

Hungary's Tokaj wine region revives Jewish heritage | Reuters

Alongside the plaques, however, there is a push to rediscover the wine-making region's Jewish roots. Hundreds of Hasidic Jewish pilgrims flock annually to Mád to visit the Baroque synagogue and the newly restored rabbi's house. The plaques marked the first time that any Jewish family was given public recognition in Tokaj. "This is a unique story: as far I know this is the first time that a (Jewish) family is remembered this way with a plaque in the Tokaj region," Mariann Frank, who leads a project to revive the region's Jewish traditions, said.

Hungarian Central Bank 'invests' $1 billion in 'private' foundations

The foundations have awarded grants to a right-wing publisher to publish books by pro-government journalists and by Mr Matolcsy’s former chief of staff. One funded the publication of a six-volume heroic history of Hungary, written not by a historian but by an oncologist, which board members believed would “strengthen the patriotic sentiment against the globalist views”.

Great radio performance kids!

She likened working with Fidesz MPs to resolve the crisis in the over-centralized public education system to being in mental hospital, citing a recent statement by former education undersecretary Rózsa Hoffmann that it simply isn’t true there are problems in schools because she has heard wonderful children’s performances on the radio. Szabó conceded that the government has toned down its attacks on dissatisfied teachers. Realizing the vast majority of Hungarians were aware of just how bad the problems in education really were, the government had now started to admit there were concerns. One such problem discussed on Egyenes Beszéd was that of the government’s public education overseeing agency, KLIK, not paying bills to suppliers and service providers. In one case, reports surfaced of the utterly deplorable condition of the village school of Tarnazsadány. “We see what the government’s solution is after a few weeks of deliberating on the subject: they’re going to rename KLIK and appoint [President] János Áder’s kid sister to run it,” Szabó said. “Absolutely nothing will change.

Grow up controlled, become paranoid?

“Small children are justified in being conspiracy theorists, since their world is run by an inscrutable and all-powerful organization possessing secret communications and mysterious powers—a world of adults, who act by a system of rules that children gradually master as they grow up,” write the cognitive scientists Thomas Griffiths and Joshua Tenenbaum in a 2006 study on coincidences.

The Finnish educational model and current Hungarian reality

The Finnish system is radically different from the Hungarian one, especially as transformed by Viktor Orbán in 2011. One difference is that in Finland parents can’t choose the school to which they will send their children. All children attend the school maintained by the local community closest to his or her home. Moreover, there is no tracking like in the United States. Proponents of the Finnish system claim that the success of this model lies in the uniformity of education provided. Thus, there are no “elite schools” but there are no markedly inferior schools either, such as one finds in Hungary. The Hungarian system exacerbates the divide between the haves and the have-nots and stands in the way of social mobility. While the current government made it compulsory for children to attend kindergarten for three years, beginning at the age of three, and to enroll in first grade at the age of six, Finnish children start school only at the age of seven, preceded by a voluntary preparatory year. Children must attend school between the ages of 7 and 16, but almost all of the graduates continue their education. About half of them attend gymnasium, which is a three-year course of study. The other half attend basic-level vocational schools. The choice of trades is great: a Finnish 16-year-old can choose among 119 programs. There are 17 universities and 27 colleges in Finland, where the competition for admission is fierce. In 2011 out of 66,000 applicants to universities only 17,000 gained acceptance, while out of 70,000 applicants to college only 22,100 were accepted. Finnish higher education is free. According to OECD’s “Education at a glance,” Finland has one of the highest levels of educational attainment among the OECD countries: 84% of 25- to 64-year-olds have completed at least upper secondary education (against an OECD average of 75%) and 39% hold college or university degrees (OECD average: 32%). A few more facts about Finnish elementary education can be found here and here. The same “Education at a glance” of the situation in Hungary points out that although a large number of people finish high school, only 23% of young people are expected to complete university studies. The OECD countries’ average was 39% in 2014. “Moreover, this rate has considerably decreased since 2010, by almost 9 percentage points.”

Economists of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences speak out against the central bank’s “foundations” – Hungarian Spectrum

These purchases are nothing compared to the €700 million earmarked by the Hungarian National Bank from its profits for foundations to support the teaching of economics, outside of the regular channels of higher education. The Bank set up five such foundations named after Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. A perfect description of Hungary today! The amount the National Bank allocated to teach economics is one and a half times more than the Hungarian government spends a year on higher education.

How did Calvinism survive in Hungary?

In Hungary the situation is different, due mostly to the semi-independent Transylvanian Principality (1570-1711) and the Ottoman occupation of the central parts of the Kingdom of Hungary (1541-1699). In the principality, the elected princes were either converts to Calvinism, as in the case of János Zsigmond, the first prince of Transylvania (1565-1571), or were already born as Calvinists and were therefore promoters of freedom of religion. In the case of the Ottoman-held territories, Catholic aristocratic families fled north or west into so-called Royal Hungary, and therefore their former serfs could follow their own religious inclinations.

Hungarian doctors ask public support for improvements to healthcare – Hungarian Spectrum

Between 2003 and 2011, 12% of Hungarian doctors left the country, most of them after 2010. Sixteen percent of MDs simply abandon their profession and work in the pharmaceutical industry or in fields completely unrelated to medicine. According to some calculations, if the salaries of doctors were raised by 40-50%, the outflow of Hungarian doctors could be stopped.

Hungary shrinks

Sometime in May we learned that Hungary’s population was continuing to shrink. The equivalent of a smaller town had disappeared within one year. In today’s papers one can find new data on the subject. It is true that 0.5% more children were born between January and October, but the number of deaths rose by 5.5% during the same period. Thus, another middle-sized town disappeared. To be precise, 33,291 people.

The greatly touted Hungarian terrorist story is a hoax | Hungarian Spectrum

A young fellow who lives in Budapest is a World War II history buff who collects wartime memorabilia. This past weekend, with his father and two of his friends from Slovakia, he headed to some wooded areas around Veszprém with a metal detector to look for items like shells and old grenades. They packed the things they had found into the trunk of the car and headed home. Great was their surprise when they were surrounded by members of the Hungarian anti-terrorist group. TEK units, with their uniforms, masks, and heavy weaponry, are quite a frightening sight. A search of his parents’ apartment followed, where TEK grabbed everything that looked suspicious to them, including, for example, the above mentioned fire extinguisher. Naturally, the three boys and the father were arrested.

"Not brave enough to speak about this" may translate as griping re Soros & The Cosmopolitans

"I am not brave enough to speak about this in public with certainty, but you cannot get around imagining that some kind of master plan is behind this," he said in an interview with Die Weltwoche published on Thursday. He cited essays by "the European left and radical American democrats" that envision the emergence of a European super state to the detriment of traditional nation-states.

Imre Mécs’s eulogy for Árpád Göncz savages Fidesz

One time “young democrats” now turn against their principles, seek exclusive power, centralize practically everything, create a new predatory-exploiting stratum of society of their choice, and all that out of the money of the poor. They have institutionalized corruption and poverty, centralized the autocratic system, and oppressed self-governance in every field. They stir up hatred, and ignorance is rampant. Love, which determines the quality of your life, is persecuted and is ‘non-grata’.

Grow up in a fog and you'll believe mysterious, malign winds move the world

Földi’s favorite theme is that Europe is at war. A war that was started by the United States and her allies and that by now has reached Europe in the form of the influx of migrants. They are foot soldiers sent by ISIS to destroy Europe. He is convinced that there is a whole intelligence network behind the refugees whose members organize the movement of the people. “This is a consciously planned, built-up system in which everybody to the last man is channeled in.” All of them receive instructions from the organizers. Földi believes that the intelligence agencies of European countries are fully aware of all this and that, if the fence is not enough, “if necessary even weapons must be used.”

Escape from German-Occupied Europe

Close to 30,000 Jews were admitted into Switzerland, although an estimated 20,000 were turned away at the Swiss border. Spain allowed almost 30,000 Jewish refugees to enter, primarily from 1939 to 1941. These refugees, mostly from France, were permitted to cross Spain on their way to Portugal. German pressure reduced the number of Jews admitted entry into Spain to fewer than 7,500 during the years 1942-1944, although Spanish consuls distributed 4,000-5,000 identity documents (crucial to escape) to Jews in various parts of Europe. Portugal (a neutral country friendly to the Allies) permitted many thousands of Jews to reach the port of Lisbon. A number of American and French Jewish organizations helped the refugees, once in Lisbon, to reach the United States and South America. Neutral Sweden provided sanctuary for some Norwegian Jews in 1940 and for virtually the entire Danish Jewish community in October 1943. The Danish resistance movement organized the escape of 7,000 Danish Jews and 700 of their non-Jewish relatives across the Sund Channel to Malmo, Sweden.

Hungary at the Milan Expo: An expensive, embarrassing pavilion - Hungarian Spectrum

Former Hungarian Prime Minister weighs in on surging refugee tide.

Today no one dares to say that immigration is not a cultural but an ethnic problem. Namely, millions arrive in Europe whose languages and skin colors are different from those of Europeans. It is important to note that they don’t just come from different cultures but their psychic apparatus, their biological and genetic endowments are different. It is a well-known fact that in Western Europe third-generation immigrants oppose the nations that took them in.