May 7th, 2008

Für flies in inter-family fight on Hungary’s right

deutsch-für-rosette.jpgIn a family feud that could force him to drop the the second barrel in his surname, the Fidesz politician formerly known as Tamás Deutsch is locked in a bitter public battle with his father-in-law Lajos Für over his loyalty to the fatherland. Deutsch-Für took on his wife’s name when they married in 2006. However, now, Former Defense Minister Für, who recently became a member of the Hungarian Guard far-right paramilitary group, is demanding his name back after Deutsch-Für distanced himself from the family and the Gárda in an interview two weeks ago. Für responded by calling the openly Jewish Deutsch-Für “a Liberal wearing a Hungarian rosette,” indicating that he was not nationalistic enough to carry the family name. In a letter posted on a radical rightist portal, Für wrote that it would not be good for anyone if “what the names Deutsch and Für represent” were to be confused. Ouch.

It all began when Deutsch-Für, who was chief of staff to former PM Viktor Orbán, talked about the extreme right phenomenon and his father-in-law in an interview with conservative weekly Heti Válasz at the end of last month. He expressed his disapproval of Für joining the Hungarian Guard and said: “I love and respect my father-in-law, but we don’t agree on this matter at all, and we sometimes express this. We will probably never convince each other.” He added that it would be incorrect to draw any conclusion about his political activity based on his father-in-law’s new affiliation.

Für was so outraged by his son-in-law’s comments that he responded in an open letter sent to a radical rightist portal, writing, “Since Deutsch has been using our family’s name, many people have rightly thought that it is useful to him politically. His shamefully incorrect comments about the Guard, however, show that the situation has reversed, and what used to be an advantage is now a disadvantage. So, it would not be good for anyone if in the future anywhere, anyone confused what the name Deutsch and the name Für represents.” contacted Deutsch-Für who repeated what he said in the interview, that he respects and loves his father-in-law but does not agree with his affiliation.

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