It’s always dangerous for a foreigner to attempt to make sense of Hungarian politics, but the events that follow are widely corroborated. It appears the the Mayor of Budapest, under attack from professionals for appointing an extreme right-wing actor Gyorgy Dorner as director of the New Theatre, has bolstered his position with a notorious anti-semitic writer, István Csurka, as artistic director.
A former member of Parliament, Csurka has described the 9/11 attacks as a response to ‘the genocide in Palestine’ and has employed a range of euphemisms to attack Jews and ‘non-Hungarians’ as being responsible for all the country’s economic woes.
The conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi., grandson of a famous Hungarian composer, cancelled two concerts in Budapest, saying he refused to perform “in a city whose mayor entrusted the direction of a theater to two known, extreme right-wing anti-Semites.”
There have also been mass demonstrations, but the Mayor, Istvan Tarlos, is standing by his rabid pair, who will assume office in February. It might be a good year to stay away from Budapest.
UPDATE: And here’s a fuller account in English of the present state of Hungarian racism. These people claim to be the New Europe. The Old Europe has yet to do anything about them.