Why this story matters:
The "Day of Honor" -- the day when the German and Hungarian troops attempted to break the Soviet siege in 1945 -- is still commemorated by Hungarian neo-Nazis in 2018. Last year, the Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, called the fascist event unacceptable, while his spokesperson expressed hopes that the Ministry of the Interior would find a way to ban such events. And yet here they are again this year, in increased numbers.
Politicians have traditionally dodged rather than dealt with the issue. But in the wake of the Macerata shooting in Italy -- where a man wounded six African immigrants -- and the current threats to journalists in Europe, the ruling elite would be foolish to dismiss such misbehavior as harmless.
Or to make use of it.
In the last years the ruling party, Fidesz has lost many voters to the far-right Jobbik. This phenomenon partly explains the radical tone Fidesz has been embracing. It also led to the government turning a blind eye on -- at times even encouraging -- far-right groups. If Viktor Orban really wanted the Ministry of Interior to do something about the “Day of Honor”, it would have acted in time.
Details from the story:
- On Saturday, the Neo-Nazis gathered at Buda Castle in Budapest, a popular tourist spot. Not only did they commemorate the events but also made outright threats against foreigners. One of the speakers declared that it was their duty to “fight the invaders” and vowed to “break the siege of the new world order”. Another speaker targeted reporters on the spot -- but for those from the right-wing media -- calling them “liberal rats”.
- German and Polish fascists were also present at the event. Approximately 500 people attended.
- Anti-fascist groups organized a counter demonstration on Saturday.
- The Ministry of the Interior yet has to propose a solution to stop the ongoing neo-nazi gathering.
- Szabolcs Hegyi, an expert at the The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ), a human rights NGO, told Nepszava that it is not possible to impose a legal ban on an event. However, he added that, according to the Paris Peace Treaty, Neo-Nazi groups should not be allowed to operate in Hungary.