Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány on Wednesday called on the nation’s chief prosecutor
to monitor a new extreme-right group after Jewish organizations raised fears
over its existence.
(The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities), The World Jewish Congress and
the European Jewish Congress have all asked Gyurcsány to act against the Magyar
Gárda (Hungarian Guard) after far-right party Jobbik announced the creation of
wrote to Chief Prosecutor Tamás Kovács and asked him to keep an eye on the new
body to ensure it does not break any laws or violate the constitution.
share the view that the creation of the Magyar Gárda – based upon the facts and
statements known until now – carries the direct danger of harming our most
important common values: the respect for human dignity, the right to a peaceful
everyday life and respect for each other’s culture,” Gyurcsány wrote in his
letter to Kovács.
extreme-right-wing party Jobbik said it established the Magyar Gárda because
Hungary is currently lacking any “physical, mental or spiritual self-defence”.
The 56 founding members of Jobbik are planning to have a swearing-in ceremony
on August 25 at Budapest’s Buda Castle, the historical seat of Hungarian royalty.
party members plan to wear black uniforms bearing the controversial
red-and-white Árpád Stripes, a medieval coat of arms that became associated
with the Nazi-aligned Arrow Cross party in power for a brief period during
World War II. The initiation ceremony is to be conducted by Lajos Für, who was
defence minister in the mid-1990s, while some left-wing groups are planning
said that the uniforms the Magyar Gárda members planned to wear were close to
those wore by fascists in the 1940s.
half of the 200,000 Jews living in Budapest prior to the war perished during
the Second World War, many of them sent to concentration camps or lined up on
the banks of the Danube and shot. In total, over 400,000 Jews were sent to
death camps from Hungary in 1944. Much of the butchery was carried out under
the direction of the Arrow Cross Party.
Jobbik leader Gábor Vona said that about several
hundred people had applied to join the guard, but that he hoped numbers would
swell to 1,000 by the end of the year. He said that members of the guard would
be ready to defend Hungary in a time of war, despite the fact that the guard is
not allowed to carry out any military training.