A longlasting racial conflict appears to be rekindling in Hungary. Hardcore believers in the political far right are assuming a new name. They are keen to establish their identity with a party called Hungarian Dawn – ‘Magyar Hajnal’. Their bid is under consideration by the courts.
The group’s ambitions include nothing less than turning back the clock by nearly 100 years; they want to cancel the Treaty of Trianon, which in 1920 dissolved the Astro-Hungarian empire and left Hungary smaller.
Would-be party leader Andras Kisgergely reveals a sense of Hungarian Dawn’s reasoning, its mentality, with the assertion he makes in a speech, saying: “Everybody in Hungary should have the right to protect himself, his family and his values and property. We are going to fight for the right of every Hungarian to own a gun!”
The men and women behind Kisgergely feel the far right party Jobbik, the country’s third-largest, is not radical enough, that it is too ‘soft’. They are connected to paramilitary organisations identified with violent criminal acts – organisations that Hungarian Dawn wants to unite under one banner.
This would fill the relative vacuum left after the disbanding of the infamous Magyar Gárda (Hungarian Guard), which was initially linked to Jobbik. These vigilante paramilitaries terrorised Roma gypsy neighbourhoods.
Their opponents say that the Roma-hating, Jew-hating, anti-European Union nationalists are proud of their Hungarian ethnicity. Last year they sidelined prominent Jobbik leader Csanad Szegedi when they discovered his Jewish side. Half his family were exterminated in WWII.
Till his ejection, Szegedi had condemned Jews and Roma as a plague on Hungarian society. Now he is an independent member in the European Parliament, goes to synagogue and says he works hard to eat kosher.
Jobbik got 17 percent of the votes in the last general elections, and polls say it is young Hungarians’ party of choice. There are new elections to be won coming up in six months.
Andrea Hajagos, part of the euronews Budapest team, said: “More and more organisations are turning away from Jobbik because they don’t find the party extreme enough. In contrast, concerted European nationalist parties don’t want to work with Jobbik because they find it too extremist.”