Pillars of the Future (III)

BUDAPEST/BERLIN | | ungarn

BUDAPEST/BERLIN (Own report) - During his appearance at the European Parliament, last Wednesday, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán successfully defended the nationalist policies of his government in Budapest. The scenarios under consideration for EU sanctions against Hungary, because of Budapest's new media law and its ethnic chauvinist propaganda, have become merely "yesterday's hot air" according to the obviously contented German right-wing press. The Orbán government has to neither worry about breach of contract proceedings nor a suspension of its voting rights. "The excitement over the media law", which places the Hungarian press under government surveillance, will "soon dissipate." As the German chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, Klaus-Heiner Lehne (CDU), declared, the Hungarian prime minister can be assured of the "broad solidarity" of the largest caucus in the EU Parliament, the EPP, saying that the criticized Hungarian projects correspond, to a large extent, to German models and are acceptable. This actual consensus has its origins in the German-Hungarian revisionist strategies of the 1920s and 30s. Both countries used ethnic pretenses to reverse their territorial losses and threaten their European neighbors. This proximity brought Hungary to ally itself with its Nazi conquerors. Budapest sacrificed hundreds of thousands of its citizens to the German racists because they were Jews. This collaboration continued after 1945 and can be traced up to the present day.

In spite of protests from the EU Parliamentary opposition, the Hungarian prime minister had nothing to fear during his visit to Brussels. The approbation or wait-and-see attitude of many EU parliamentarians harvested Orbán German respect and even applause. There would not even have been "a majority in favor of a resolution",[1] if one had been attempted, writes "Die Welt." The Hungarian prime minister "takes on Europe", writes the daily admiringly about Budapest's ruling experiment, which is supplementary to the dictatorial ambitions of other countries at the periphery of the EU.

Territorial Demands

In Brussels, Orbán reiterated that Hungarian policy is in line with the practices of other EU countries. This is true. For example, Budapest's new citizenship law, granting citizenship rights to foreigners of ethnic Hungarian origin, is comparable to German legal concepts.[2] This concept was developed in the aftermath of the Versailles and Trianon peace treaties (1919/1920), to reconquer the territories lost through defeat in the war. Since military means were inaccessible, Berlin and Budapest used their respective minorities abroad ("Germans abroad", "Hungarians abroad"), placing these citizens of foreign countries under their protection. Berlin and Budapest maintain, in unison, that the common ethnic origins dating back to the German and Magyar (Hungarian) tribal days are stronger than any territorial boundaries. The minorities deserve cultural autonomy. Then the cultural pretexts will be transformed into territorial demands by those deciding minority policy tactics. In Hungary, the ethnic subversion policy is principally directed against Rumania - up to this day, Budapest's "Hungariandom's" object of animosity.

Leading Role

The European Nationality Congress, founded in Switzerland in the 1920s and 30s, which assembled all of the ethnic minorities on the European continent, served as an instrument of German-Hungarian subversion. The neutrality of the location suggested that this was aimed at the defense of supra-national claims to human rights. At the congresses, "German and Hungarian minority representatives played leading roles," reported in late 2001 Ksolt K. Lengyel, former administrator and current director of the Hungarian Institute in Munich. "Germans abroad" and "Hungarians abroad" pursued their objectives "often in auspicious coordination".[3] The coordination was done by the German foreign ministry. German agents and their Hungarian helpers ("Germans abroad") were directing the Nationality Congress. The leader of the agents was the general secretary of that "European" disguised organization.[4]

Greater Hungary

Lengyel explains that already back then, the Hungarian-speaking minorities played a vanguard role. They had maintained the consciousness of "having been rulers within a great empire" - ruling over the Hungarian sector of the Habsburg Empire - and therefore, with their striving for a Greater Hungary, had to be classified a "minority of a political sort." In the 1930s, explains Zsolt K. Langyel, "the question of Germans and Hungarians living outside of the mother countries," became "an element of a policy aimed at the retroactive correction of the peace agreements" - in other words, a policy clearly aimed at a revision of borders.[5] On the German side, this led to the Nazi annexations after 1938. Budapest sought similar occupations - and in coordination with Berlin - achieved quick success, initially with the acquisition of larger portions of Czechoslovakia.[6] Soon, Berlin's war of ethnic reorganization created not only a "Greater Germany", but opened also the perspective of a "greater Hungary".

Mass Murder

The price for Hungarian great power chauvinism was paid by hundreds of thousands of Jewish citizens, who were handed over to the German occupiers in 1944 by the collaborationist regime in Budapest under Miklós Horthy. The Hungarian regime, whose racism was notorious, was hoping that by giving in to the Nazi demands, it would be able to maintain the remaining vestiges of its supposed sovereignty and bring its ethnic territorial gains under the protection of its own national flag. From May 15 to July 9, 1944 "around 440,000 people in 147 trains were deported" from Hungary.[7] The railroad wagons were provided by the German Reichsbahn. In preparation for mass transports, the German camp administration had rapidly expanded Auschwitz. For hundreds of thousands from Hungary, the route led from the railroad ramps to the gas chambers. In no other occupied country had ethnic fanaticism, collaboration and great power chauvinism led to such a catastrophe.

Benevolence

The continuity linking today's German and Hungarian ethnic policies to one another are being propagated by Berlin's foreign interest front organizations. For example, in a talk held at Budapest's Hans Seidel Foundation (closely affiliated with Bavaria's CSU Party) Zsolt K. Lengyel told his audience that Berlin and Budapest are laying claim, today "as in the first half of the 20th Century" to "a protective responsibility for the German and Hungarian minorities" of neighboring countries. He continued that the current "protective role" is due to the "new German-Hungarian partnership," derived through their common victory against the socialist system.[8] "Hungary has since been orienting itself (...) on Germany, which has been accepting this rapprochement with explicit benevolence."[9]

Ethnic Exile

The two phases of the German-Hungarian "ethnicity" cooperation (1920 - 1945 and from the 1980s - today) are linked to one another. Numerous Hungarian ethnic chauvinist militants were able to flee into exile following the war. According to one analysis, "Germany, particularly its southern region," had become an "important country of refuge" for the "1947 wave of Hungarian exiles - a heterogenous conglomeration of representatives of the Horthy and Szálasi regimes," grassroots "members of the [fascist] Arrow Cross Party", but also civilian refugees as well as Nazi victims.[10] In the Federal Republic of Germany, particularly in Munich, exiles formed their own associations, where partisans of Hungarian fascism played an active role. In as much as they could be useful in the anti-communist struggle of systems, they were deployed in long-term propaganda actions by the Western occupying powers.

Co-Financed

The rightwing author, József Nyírő , who in 1948 was the chairman of the newly founded, Munich-based Hungarian Cultural Alliance (Magyar Kulturális Szövetség), was one of these exiles, as was the convicted war criminal, the author, Albert Wass, who had been employed by the CIA-financed Radio Free Europe, based also in Munich. Thomas von Bogyay, a former ministerial secretary of the cultural ministry in the criminal Szálasi government was also working for Radio Free Europe. Bogyay became the first chairman of the Hungarian Institute in Munich, founded in 1962, dedicated until today to making "scholarly research into the history, culture, society, policy and economy of Hungary and the ethnic Hungarian groups outside of Hungary."[11] It is co-financed by Bavaria.

Prototypes

Even Germans who had played a decisive role in the murderous ethnic policy that sent millions of Hungarians to their doom, for example Edmund Veesenmayer, were able to make the transition to the Federal Republic of Germany. Veesenmayer had been the Greater German Reich's Special Envoy to Budapest. He had been the primary German organizer of the mass transports of Hungarians to Auschwitz. US authorities pardoned him in 1951. Thereafter he found sanctuary with a former ethnic chauvinist propagandist and multimillionaire, Alfred C. Toepfer, founder of the Toepfer Foundation of Hamburg. After 1953, ethnic chauvinist "Volkstum" circles formed again in Hamburg, Luneburg and Flensburg, took on the label "European" and elaborated altered tactics for regaining former prominence. After having passed through numerous metamorphoses and with the growing dynamism that followed the annexation of East Germany, the outlines of their continental project expose dictatorial options disguised as ethnic chauvinism, whose prototypes are the Hungarian neo-chauvinism and its German counterpart.

Further information on the history of German-Hungarian ethnic policy can be found in Pillars of the Future.

[1] Ungarns Premier Viktor Orban nimmt Kampf mit Europa auf; www.welt.de 20.01.2011
[2] see also Völkisch radikalisiert and Pillars of the Future
[3] Zsolt K. Lengyel: Deutsche und ungarische Minderheiten in Ostmitteleuropa und die deutsch-ungarischen Beziehungen im 20. Jahrhundert. Vortrag auf der Tagung "Reflektiert mit Geschichte umgehen als Ziel des Geschichtsunterrichts/des Unterrichts im Fach Minderheitenkunde" bei der Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung in Budapest, 13. Dezember 2001
[4] Meir Buchsweiler: Volksdeutsche in der Ukraine, Tel Aviv 1984
[5] Zsolt K. Lengyel: Deutsche und ungarische Minderheiten in Ostmitteleuropa und die deutsch-ungarischen Beziehungen im 20. Jahrhundert. Vortrag auf der Tagung "Reflektiert mit Geschichte umgehen als Ziel des Geschichtsunterrichts/des Unterrichts im Fach Minderheitenkunde" bei der Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung in Budapest, 13. Dezember 2001
[6] Erster Wiener Schiedsspruch vom 2. November 1938. See also Nicht zum ersten Mal
[7] Christian Gerlach: Das letzte Kapitel, Frankfurt am Main 2004
[8] see also Tragsäulen der Zukunft (II)
[9] Zsolt K. Lengyel: Deutsche und ungarische Minderheiten in Ostmitteleuropa und die deutsch-ungarischen Beziehungen im 20. Jahrhundert. Vortrag auf der Tagung "Reflektiert mit Geschichte umgehen als Ziel des Geschichtsunterrichts/des Unterrichts im Fach Minderheitenkunde" bei der Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung in Budapest, 13. Dezember 2001
[10] Eva Behring, Juliane Brandt, Mónika Dózsai, Alfrun Kliems, Ludwig Richter, Hans-Christian Trepte: Grundbegriffe und Autoren ostmitteleuropäischer Exilliteraturen 1945-1989, Wiesbaden 2004
[11] Ungarisches Institut im Wissenschaftszentrum Ost- und Südosteuropa Regensburg; www.ungarisches-institut.de. Das Ungarische Institut München hat heute seinen Sitz in Regensburg.