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Neo-Nazi assault against Jewish Theatre in Budapest

This is a guest post by Karl Pfeifer

The Jewish Theatre in Budapest produced a piece together with another company which was considered by extreme right wing websites as offensive to Hungarian national pride. The neo-Nazi riff raff insinuated that a “Jewish director and a Jewish theatre” was running down a classic Hungarian drama written in the 19th century with “a pornographic film produced at the expense of the state”.

On their websites the neo-Nazis voiced extremely dangerous threats and published the pictures and the personal data of the writer, the producer and actors. Because of those threats the main actor and others cancelled their participation.

The Jewish theatre asked for police protection, which was granted for the premiere last Saturday, but not for the following evening. The police did not protect the theatre because they had been informed that the play would not be shown. It looks like this was a deception perpetrated by the neo-Nazis. The theatre found it most disturbing that the neo-Nazis knew that the police would not protecting their second performance, last Sunday.

After the performance black hooded Neo-Nazis came to the theatre and threw animal excrements on the visitors and splattered butyric acid on four visitors. Doctors took care of them. The producer and another person were beaten by the neo-Nazis.

Tamás Polgár, who is known as “Tomcat”, an extreme rightist activist with good connection to the Neo-Nazis was present and he filmed the assault. The perpetrators fled before the police, who arrived only after the alarm had been raised. Many signs indicate that it was a carefully planned action of the neo-Nazis. Polgár was later detained on “suspicion of hooliganism” and released after interrogation.

The neo-Nazi websites are showing the film made by Polgár, and publishing their antisemitic comments.

After democracy was established in 1989 it there was a suggestion in Hungary to pass a law similar to that in Austria and Germany forbidding Nazi activities [1] and denial of the crimes of National-Socialist; also the crimes committed by the Hungarian administration before and after the German occupation of Hungary on March 19, 1944 and the crimes committed by the Hungarian Arrow Cross Movement after taking power on October 15, 1944.

This law was not passed because the Hungarian elite preferred freedom of speech. The extreme right is abusing this right and the denial of Nazi crimes, as well as blatant antisemitic and anti-Roma incitement, is permitted.

In Hungary black clad extreme right wing militias can march in cities and villages. One of them threw a Molotov-cocktail on the house of a Roma family. This incident was – as far as I am informed – not published outside Hungary.

Karl Pfeifer

(1) Karl Pfeifer: “The case of David Irving: “Revisionism” and freedom of expression”