August 24th, 2011

Foreign ministry rejects Slovak president’s statement

Hungary’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday rejected Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic’s recent statement labelling ethnic Hungarian leader Janos Esterhazy as a follower of Hitler, and said that the ideology reflected in the statement did not contribute to the development of bilateral relations.

The ministry “notes with regret and incomprehension” that issues surrounding the martyred count are in the focus of daily Slovak politics, the ministry said in a statement sent to MTI.

The achievements of Esterhazy – the only member of the Slovak parliament to vote against anti-Jewish laws during WWII – are recognised in many countries including Israel, the statement noted.

Marek Trubac, the Slovak president’s spokesman, told MTI that Esterhazy is considered a war criminal in Slovakia, “for supporting fascist ideology”. Though Esterhazy did vote against the anti-Jewish bills, he also welcomed (former Hungarian governor) Horthy’s “fascist troops” that occupied Kosice, the spokesman added.

Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen said he was appalled by Gasparovic’s statement. He said that Esterhazy “heroically exercised the virtues” and was all along committed to the teachings of the Catholic church, so it is not by chance that his beatification is under way.

Semjen called the attack on Esterhazy’s memory an insult to the Hungarian nation and the Catholic Church and a violation of universal human rights.

Giving an interview to anti-fascist biweekly Bojovnik, Gasparovic opposed erecting a sculpture in Esterhazy’s memory in Kosice, saying that the one-time deputy had been a follower of Hitler and fascism.

Esterhazy died in a Moravian prison in the 1950s.

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  • justasking

    Oh, isn’t this rich…from a country (Slovakia) who were one of the first countries in Europe to snuggle up to Hitler willingly. A country that send troops to Russia, helping Germany and one of the first to deport Jews. I believe it happened all under the command of a man named Tiso.

    Esterhazy, who defended Jews with everything he had…and not a word of support from the Jewish community?

    Hungary, that was forced to chose…do you want a head shot (going with the Russians or we’ll level you) or a gut shot (to go with Germany or we’ll level you).

    • Viking

      justasking says:
      August 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm
      A country that send troops to Russia, helping Germany
      —-
      Well Hungary’s involvement with Hitler was hardly ‘noble’

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovak%E2%80%93Hungarian_War

      It was built on ‘realpolitik’ co-operating with Hitler to pressure the Slovaks to take back the pre-Trianon borders
      And in the end of the day, Hungary joined Nazi-Germany in its attack on Soviet, so why complain that the Slovaks did the same?

      • justasking

        @Viking,

        I never said it was noble…I said it was a decision, between a head shot or a gut shot.

        Hungary had already experienced Communism (Bela), and look at what happened there? They had yet to experience Nazi-ism, were in essence naive, AND Hitler seemed the lesser of 2 evils.

        Hindsight is 20-20 and it is what it is.

        Did you happen to forget how limited Hungry was with their Military might, due to the restriction as set by the conditions of the Trianon Treaty?

        When Hitler offered Yugoslavia back to Hungary…Horthy refused, saying “Not under those conditions/not that way”, meaning by force. When Stain offered Horthy the opportunity to carve up Romania…Horthy said “Not under those conditions/not that way”.

        The Slovaks joined BEFORE anything or anybody knew what Hitler was all about…that is the difference, and that is the complaint!

        • justasking

          ooppps, I meant Stalin and not Stain :0

        • TiborB

          In 1938 you got our south teritories from hitler and you are saying that you were no friends of his? Slovakia did not exit that time yet. We started to exist in March 1939 so it is nonsense to say that we were his allies long time before.

          Anyway, slovakia and hungary are just small countries that are mostly victims of strong players, be it fascist germany or soviet union.

    • Pete H.

      Israel send Orit Zuaretz as a rep for a remembrance of Esterhazy held in the Hungarian Parliament. Simon Wiesenthal has also issued his support in proceedings to rehabilitate Esterhazy and drop the charges that he is a war criminal. So, I’m not sure why you jump to the conclusion that he get’s no support from the Jewish Community.

      If there was any hint that Esterhazy was a supporter of Hitler, he would not win Wiesenthal support. Wasn’t Esterhazy wanted by the Gestapo?

      Gasparovic needs to take a chill pill and focus his energies elsewhere. He comes out looking very foolish on this issue.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, Hungary was a noble place between WWI and WWII. Full of anti-semitism, fascism, and extreme nationalism.

    • American in Budapest

      Starting in 1938, Hungary under Miklós Horthy passed a series of anti-Jewish measures in emulation of Germany’s Nürnberg Laws. The first, promulgated on May 29, 1938, restricted the number of Jews in each commercial enterprise, in the press, among physicians, engineers and lawyers to twenty percent. The second anti-Jewish law (May 5, 1939), for the first time, defined Jews racially: people with 2, 3 or 4 Jewish-born grandparents were declared Jewish. Their employment in government at any level was forbidden, they could not be editors at newspapers, their numbers were restricted to six per cent among theater and movie actors, physicians, lawyers and engineers. Private companies were forbidden to employ more than 12% Jews. 250,000 Hungarian Jews lost their income.

      In the elections of May 28–29, Nazi and Arrow Cross (Nyilas) parties received one quarter of the votes and 52 out of 262 seats. Their support was even larger, usually between 1/3 and 1/2 of the votes, where they were on the ballot at all, since they were not listed in large parts of the country[28] The “Third Jewish Law” (August 8, 1941) prohibited intermarriage and penalized sexual intercourse between Jews and non-Jews.

      • Bill E. Boye

        At that same time in Canada, Montreal’s McGill University restricted the number of Jewish students admitted so, unfortunately, this happened in other countries and was not limited to only Hungary.

      • justasking

        @American,

        You forgot to mention that these laws were hardly, if ever, enforced

        • American in Budapest

          250,000 Hungarian Jews lost their income.

        • djoci

          Then why were they passed? It’s like saying the current media law might restrict freedom of press/speech but won’t be enforced. If a govt. don’t want to enforce a law, it shouldn’t pass it in the first place.

        • Pete H.

          Nonsense. And what about the forced labor camps? As an American of first generation Hungarian ancestry I am willing to admit that the US has committed atrocities and that Hungary has also committed atrocities. Why do you find that so hard to do? Why always the apologetic and defensive attitude towards any criticism of Hungary’s darker history when under right political leadership?

          • justasking

            @Pete H,

            “Why always the apologetic and defensive attitude towards any criticism of Hungary’s darker history when under right political leadership”

            Because you never give the same time and effort when it’s under the left political leadership.

      • Vándorló

        @Amcık: You neglected to cite the reference or put quotation marks around the text you lifted verbatim from: http://goo.gl/frcVQ

  • vdx

    “The ministry “notes with regret and incomprehension” that issues surrounding the martyred count are in the focus of daily Slovak politics, the ministry said in a statement sent to MTI.

    The achievements of Esterhazy – the only member of the Slovak parliament to vote against anti-Jewish laws during WWII – are recognised in many countries including Israel, the statement noted.”

    Pity that Hungarian ministry didn’t elaborate more and explained against what other “anti-Jewish laws” Esterhazy voted, except one anti-deportation law.

    Since he voted in favour of all anti-semitic laws that the Council of interwar Slovak state passed. Furthermore, even when he raised his hand against the deportation law, he didn’t forgot to describe himself as a person who “since his childhood had anti-jewish orientation and wished to preserve it until his dead”.

    Of course in such case, one could start asking whether Esterhazy’s heroic act and “martyrdom” wasn’t more an act political calculations and expediency than an expression of his “jew-loving” nature. And that wouldn’t be something that the government, which is so fond of Horthy’s legacy (see the new constitution) would like to hear, right?

    Whether Esterhazy was a “Jew-lover” or a “Jew-hater” is rather irrelevant in a given context as Esterhazy wasn’t convinced for his jew orientation, but for irredentism and collaboration with fascism. The same way as Tiso was.

    It quite strange that while Fidesz is so tenaciously trying to portray a picture of Esterhazy as a “Jew-lover”, they wouldn’t utter a word about his irrentist activities. Indeed, we can all see very clearly that Fidesz is not a revisionist and irredentist party. It’s a modern European party from 21th century, which only happens to pay proper respect to the “martyrdom” of irredentist figures. And since Esterhazy was Horthy’s person, defending him is clearly a must.

  • Bill E. Boye

    Horthy was not a fascist – no way!

    • justasking

      @Bill E,

      Who said he was?

      Certainly, not people who know their history as opposed to some posters here who rely strictly on propaganda :DD

      • Bill E. Boye

        Implied -“Horthy’s fascist troops”

        • Bill E. Boye

          Addendum: Horthy was a great man and statues should be erected honouring his accomplishments. Far too many rememberances for Nagy Imre and way too little for Kormanyzo Horthy Miklos.

    • Anonymous

      In March 1920, Admiral Miklós Horthy was named Regent and Sándor Simonyi-Semadam was named Prime Minister of the restored Kingdom of Hungary. Charles I of Austria (known as Charles IV, Karl IV, or IV. Károly in Hungary) was the last Emperor of Austria and the last King of Hungary. He was not asked to fill the vacant Hungarian throne.

      The government of Horthy immediately declared null and void all laws and edicts passed by the Karolyi and Kun regimes, in effect renouncing the 1918 armistice. Horthy’s authoritarianism and the violent anti-communist backlash resulted in interwar Hungary having one of the quietest political landscapes in Eastern Europe. Later on, when he wished to take out loans from the West, they pressured him into democratic reforms. Horthy only did as much as he absolutely had to, since the Western powers were geographically distant from Hungary and soon turned their attention to matters elsewhere.

      Horthy appointed Pál Teleki as Prime Minister in July 1920. His right-wing government set quotas effectively limiting admission of Jews to universities, legalized capital punishment, and to quiet rural discontent, took initial steps towards fulfilling a promise of major land reform by dividing about 385,000 hectares from the largest estates into smallholdings.

      • Bill E. Boye

        Horthy inherited a crippled, disfunctional, indebted country and “handcuffed”, as he was , by infamous conditions (maudit Trianon) fared relatively well. He was not perfect but did the best he could – all things considered. Monday morning “quarter backing” is not Saturday’s playing.

        • justasking

          @Bill E,

          Exactly.

        • Anonymous

          You could say the same thing about Hitler …

          :)

        • Pete H.

          Passing anti-Jewish laws and looking the other way during the White Terror hardly passes as doing the best he could. And you are the same guy who is perfectly willing to Monday morning quarterback when it comes to actions of Hungary’s left. At least be consistent.

          What’s the big deal about seeing Horthy as a flawed figure instead of some kind of hero?

          • justasking

            @Pete H,

            “What’s the big deal about seeing Horthy as a flawed figure instead of some kind of hero?”

            There is a big difference in being a person with flaws and being a flawed figure…so, with that in mind, he was a hero. You keep forgetting that his ‘White Terror’ was the direct result of Kun’s ‘Red Terror’.

      • Vándorló

        @Amcık: I’d put any money on this being you again. Why quote directly from Wikipedia and the not cite this or provide references?

    • Anonymous

      Hitler was not a fascist! No way!

      :)

  • GEZA

    Gasparoc and Slovakia are really hiting the bottom.
    They are a dark spot on the map of Europe. By what can you expect from this bunch.

  • GEZA

    Correction. Last sentence should read: But what can you expect from this bunch,

  • Farkas László

    This is a troubling rehash of some old differences that go back three or more regime changes for either side. What good it does for a sitting national leader to bring this up now is open to question. To revisit the Horthy/Tiso era can be very distracting for a President whose responsibility is the maintenance of relations in the present and future. Whether Eszterházy, Tiso or Horthy were fascists or not makes for great discussion on a political website such as this, don’t get me wrong- but public statements on this subject are best avoided by a current head of state who ideally should have other things to concern himself with.

    • justasking

      @Laci,

      Do you think Gasparovic said that, to avoid having to erect a statue that honors a Hungarian Slovak?

      Kind of like, to avoid being reminded how their country came about and from whom…completely erasing anything and everything Hungarian from that area?

  • Geza Cseri

    Farkas you are right to a point. But to be silent to Gasparovic offensive provocative remarks is totally irresponsible. Since other ostracities of the past are constantly brought out and mentioned, the Eszterhazy issue and the Benes Decrees are part of the Holocaust legacy committed by other the Hitler in this case by TISO and Benes must be condemned most vigorously.

  • justasking

    @VDX,

    \Pity that Hungarian ministry didn’t elaborate more and explained against what other “anti-Jewish laws” Esterhazy voted, except one anti-deportation law\

    Seriously…do you need therapy!?

    If I were a Jew, and my choices were…a) not allowed o attend a University within a city limit, only in the country side VS b) getting sent to a camp where torture, disease and death, were sure to follow…hmmmmm, yeah Esterhazy is a monster!

    —–

    \Since he voted in favour of all anti-semitic laws that the Council of interwar Slovak state passed. Furthermore, even when he raised his hand against the deportation law, he didn’t forgot to describe himself as a person who “since his childhood had anti-jewish orientation and wished to preserve it until his dead\

    Not standing somebody and annihilating them…2 different things you animal! I can ‘hate’ somebody for whatever reason…due to ignorance, lack of experience/knowledge, etc…but, to make that leap of deliberately, systematically destroying a fellow human being….that was not Esterhazy….that was Tiso!
    ——

    \Of course in such case, one could start asking whether Esterhazy’s heroic act and “martyrdom” wasn’t more an act political calculations and expediency than an expression of his “jew-loving” nature\

    Does it really matter? He and he alone, against your precious government, saw Jews as they are…fellow human beings and worth protecting.

    ——
    \Whether Esterhazy was a “Jew-lover” or a “Jew-hater” is rather irrelevant \

    Yup..you tell that to a person who lost a loved one in the Nazi Holocaust…I dare you!
    —-

    \And since Esterhazy was Horthy’s person, defending him is clearly a must\

    Yes, and as EVERBODY knows, NO deportation of Jews occurred while Horthy was in power…it occurred only AFTER Horthy had been removed by the German Reich and orchestrated by a Mr.Eichman…(yes Google that folks).

    Even after those orders by this man, Jews in Budapest were spared….thanks to the Hungarian resistance and world opinion.

    So please VDX, share with us your vast knowledge, which I am sure is in par with American in Budapest… as a matter of fact, is there any better match, then a Slovak and a Zionist Jew?

    More like 2 peas in a pod, as far as I’m concerned.

    • Anonymous

      Under Horthy’s regime the access of Jews to the universities and professions was limited. A law was also passed prohibiting sexual intercourse and hence marriage between Jews and non-Jews.

      Facts. Not disputable.

      • Bill E. Boye

        As I had previously stated(see Aug. 25th. 3:57 P.M. reply to AIB),not only Hungary limited Jewish students, this practice was implemented in North America, in Canada at Montreal’s McGill University as well!
        By the way, during Horthy’s regime, a protestant relative of mine married a Jewess and though she had converted, the Nazi Salesi sent both to their death’s at Auswitch.
        Facts. Not disputable!

      • justasking

        @Ugly American,

        Some more Facts. Not disputable.

        Hungary became the last safe heaven for Jews in Europe, under HORTHY, and they flooded Hungarian boarders. Earning Hungary the name of ‘Magyar Israel’.

        The deportations of the Jewish people, only occurred AFTER Horthy was removed from power. Meaning, while he was in power, they were safe.

    • American in Budapest

      The Inter-War-Years

      “There is no doubt that this persecution of Jews in Hungary and their expulsion from enemy territory is probably the greatest and most horrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world….”
      Winston Churchill, July 11, 1944

      In the first few decades of the 20th Century the Jews of Hungary numbered roughly 5 percent of the population. This minority had managed to achieve great commercial success, and Jews were disproportionately represented in the professions, relative to their numbers.

      In 1921 Budapest, 88% percent of the members of the stock exchange and 91% percent of the currency brokers were Jews, many of them ennobled. In interwar Hungary, more than half and perhaps as much as 90 percent of Hungarian industry was owned or operated by a few closely related Jewish banking families.

      Jews represented one-fourth of all university students and 43% percent at Budapest Technological University. In 1920, 60 percent of Hungarian doctors, 51 percent of lawyers, 39 percent of all privately employed engineers and chemists, 34 percent of editors and journalists, and 29 percent of musicians identified themselves as Jews by religion.[26]

      Resentment of this Jewish trend of success was widespread: Admiral Horthy himself declared that he was “an anti-Semite,” and remarked in a letter to one of his prime ministers, “I have considered it intolerable that here in Hungary everything, every factory, bank, large fortune, business, theater, press, commerce, etc. should be in Jewish hands, and that the Jew should be the image reflected of Hungary, especially abroad.”[27]

      Unfortunately for Jews they had also become, by a quirk of history, the most visible minority remaining in Hungary; the other large “non-Hungarian” populations (including Slovaks, Slovenes, Croats, and Romanians, among others) had been abruptly excised from the Hungarian population by the territorial losses at Trianon. That left Hungary’s Jews as the one ethnically separate group which could serve as a scapegoat for the nation’s ills.[22] The scapegoating began quickly. In 1920, Horthy’s government passed a “Numerus Clausus,” restricting the Jewish enrollment at universities to five percent or less, in order to reflect the Jewish population percentage.

      “Anti-Jewish policies grew more repressive in the interwar period as Hungary’s leaders, who remained committed to regaining the lost territories of “Greater Hungary,” chose to align themselves (albeit warily) with the fascist governments of Germany and Italy – the international actors most likely to stand behind Hungary’s claims.[22] The inter-war years also saw the emergence of flourishing fascist groups, such as the Hungarian National Socialist Party and the Arrow Cross Party.
      [edit]

      • Bill E. Boye

        You write that Horthy was an anti-semite, which if true, is terrible and especially for a leader, but may I remind you about your Harry Truman and what this leader said about the Jews? Equally terrible!

      • Vándorló

        @Amcık: This is again lifted directly from Wikipedia. Why not simply use your brain (God forbid) or simply link to the source?

    • vdx

      justasking,

      I don’t understand why should I need therapy when I only asked for futher clarification against what “anti-Jewish laws” Estehazy voted. Unless you wanted to provide further examples of anti-Jewish laws that Esterhazy voted against, I take it that you agree that someone in that article was only “blatant lying”.

      Concerning your endless rambling about Tiso.. Do you know what is the difference between Slovakia and Hungary?

      Was it Slovakia or Hungary who endorsed in its new constitution the regime which was Hitler’s ally? Can you explain to me why Slovakia has the day of Slovak National Uprising as its Public holiday while Hungarian government rather chose to mourn over Trianon? Why one of the first utterances we could hear from Hungarian parliament a year ago, was to praise Vienna arbitrage? Why Tiso was convinced shortly after the war for his collaboration with fascism, while on Horthy pompous reburial in 1993, all Hungarian officials, including the Great Leader, attended?

      If you find answers to these question, that perhaps you will also find out, why you have this compulsive need to keep pulling out Tiso’s name from you holey hat.. And why Slovaks couldn’t care less for your words.

      And following up you other words about no Jew deportations while Horthy was in power.. Would you mind explaining me in light of your general knowledge the following incident?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamianets-Podilskyi_Massacre

      Could you remind me who was in power in Hungary then, on August 10, 1941?

      Excerpt from the article:

      “By August 10, 1941, approximately 14,000 Jews had been deported from Hungary to German-controlled territory. The Hungarian authorities transferred another 4,000 Jews later in the month. Once in German hands, the Jews, often still in family units, were forced to march from Kolomyia to Kamianets-Podilskyi.

      On August 27 and 28, detachments of Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) in Kamianets-Podilskyi and troops under the command of the Higher SS and Police Leader for the southern region, SS General Friedrich Jeckeln, carried out mass killings of the Jewish deportees as well as the local Jewish population. According to Jeckeln’s report, a total of 23,600 Jews were massacred in this action, the first large-scale mass murder in pursuit of the Final Solution.”

      • justasking

        @vdx,

        “I don’t understand why should I need therapy when I only asked for futher clarification against…”

        No you didn’t, go back and reread what you wrote.

        ——-

        “Concerning your endless rambling about Tiso…”

        That was in response to your President comments towards Esterhazy being a war criminal…If anybody should be considered a war criminal in Slovakia…that would be Tiso.

        ——

        “Do you know what is the difference between Slovakia and Hungary?”

        I don’t quite understand the point you’re trying to make here. Other then them both being on Hungarian land…

        ——-

        “while on Horthy pompous reburial in 1993…”

        Well, you see Horthy earned the respect and deserved the respect from all Hungarians, simply for what he did for Hungary and the Hungarian people from 1920-1944.

        —–

        “why you have this compulsive need to keep pulling out Tiso’s name from you holey hat.”

        As I said, it was you President who was throwing around accusations of war criminal…I just wanted to make sure that people knew that he was being a petty hypocrite.
        ——

        So with that in mind…please enjoy this documentary from the BBC titled ‘Slovakia’s Participation in the Deportation of Slovakian Jews to Auschwitz during WWII”

        http://youtu.be/4cOj7gLIvaE

      • justasking

        @vdx part 2,

        “Would you mind explaining me in light of your general knowledge the following incident?”

        Well, ya learn something new everyday and from you ta boot! But, let me attach an expert from an article from the Holocaust Encyclopedia of the United States:

        “More than two years after annexing Subcarpathian Rus, in the first ten days of August 1941, Hungarian authorities expelled about 18,000 Jews from Subcarpathian Rus into German-occupied Ukraine. Hungarian military units rounded the Jews up, loaded them into freight cars, and transported them to Korösmezo (Yasinya), near the prewar Hungarian-Polish border, and handed them over to German authorities.

        German SS and police units forced the Jews, many of whom were still together as families, to march from Kolomyja (Kolomyya) to Kamenets-Podolsk (Kam’yanets’-Podil’s’kyy) in the western Ukraine, and shot them there. Other than this incident, the Hungarian authorities did not kill Jews in Hungarian-annexed Slovakia or in Subcarpathian Rus prior to the German occupation”

        ————

        What I also did not know, again a excerpt from the same Encyclopedia:

        “The Germans and their collaborators killed approximately 263,000 Jews who had resided on the territory of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1938″

        • vdx

          justasking,

          For that amount you manage to produce every time, you seem to have quite a lot of problems to comprehend written text.

          Esterhazy being a war criminal is not an accusation. It’s a fact. Esterhazy was judged and sentenced for his collaboration with fascism. I have never heard of any attempts to rehabilitate someone who was only accused.

          To reiterate for you: Tiso is a war criminal in Slovakia. He was condemned and hanged after the war by Slovak court. There were no pompous reburials, commemorative actions organized by mainstream politicians, rehabilitation attempts or attempts to link his regime to Slovakia.

          Horthy earned Hungarian respect without a doubt. After all, Hitler was popular among Germans too. Despite that German politicians doesn’t mourn over Versaille year after year.

          • justasking

            @vdx,

            “Despite that German politicians doesn’t mourn over Versaille year after year”

            Well, they tried during WWII and would have succeeded if they had not lost that war as well. Beside, after the Nazi Holocaust…do you really think anybody really wanted to hear what the Germans had to say?

            Oh and because I know you like Wiki…this ones for you:

            “Barnett also claims that, in strategic terms, Germany was in fact in a superior position following the Treaty than she had been in 1914. Germany′s eastern frontiers faced Russia and Austria, who had both in the past balanced German power. But Barnett asserts that, because the Austrian empire fractured after the war into smaller, weaker states and Russia was wracked by revolution and civil war, the newly restored Poland was no match for even a defeated Germany. In the West, Germany was balanced only by France and Belgium, both of which were smaller in population and less economically vibrant than Germany. Barnett concludes by saying that instead of weakening Germany, the Treaty “much enhanced” German power.[45] Britain and France should have (according to Barnett) “divided and permanently weakened” Germany by undoing Bismarck’s work and partitioning Germany into smaller, weaker states so it could never have disrupted the peace of Europe again.[46] By failing to do this and therefore not solving the problem of German power and restoring the equilibrium of Europe, Britain “had failed in her main purpose in taking part in the Great War”.[47]

          • justasking

            @vdx,

            “Esterhazy being a war criminal is not an accusation. It’s a fact. Esterhazy was judged and sentenced for his collaboration with fascism. I have never heard of any attempts to rehabilitate someone who was only accused”

            You must have missed this post:

            Pete H. says:
            August 25, 2011 at 7:56 am
            Israel send Orit Zuaretz as a rep for a remembrance of Esterhazy held in the Hungarian Parliament. Simon Wiesenthal has also issued his support in proceedings to rehabilitate Esterhazy and drop the charges that he is a war criminal
            —————-

            I guess I’m not the only one who has issues comprehending written text….

  • Andy

    Hey Magyars, calm down !!! Gasparovic is just old communist idiot, corrupted politician. He should be in prison now, no be president.And I am also very disapointed by the offenses of Slovak because of prezident. Shall I write that all Magyars are Nazi bunch of nacionalists because they elected Jobbik? Unfornately politicians are too stupid, to know whent they shoudls hut up, espeacially in matters of history between Slovak and Magyars…

  • TiborB

    as andy said, Gasparovic is Fico’s man, I would say he is the same to Fico as your president to Orban.

    However, I admin that we should not evaluate persons in black/white colors. He might had had many good features, but was still magyar iredentist that played its role in depriving slovakia of part of his territory. Of course, I understand that when looking from other side of border thinks look different..

    • justasking

      @Tibi,

      “depriving slovakia of part of his territory”

      And what territory would that be exactly?

  • American in Budapest

    It is not simply a rehash. It’s the unwillingness of Hungary society to look itself in the mirror. A society that has never shown much aptitude for self criticism.

    • justasking

      @American,

      Care to rewrite that sentence…this time, substituting ‘Israel’ with Hungary?!

  • Farkas László

    Dear Zsuzsa,

    Hello, how are you? A lot has changed around here since we last posted together!

    My take on your question is that anything a sitting head of state says publicly, can be responded to publicly, including response by another govt of course. (Which is why every head of state needs advisors and “spin-doctors” to keep him from saying things that can stir up unecessary controversy) Obviously there is a troubled past between the two nations that breeds insecurity and distrust into the present. This continues in the wake of language laws, proclamations on the past, as well as concerns over territorial soveriegnty. I don’t see this reality changing anytime soon, on either side. The Eszterházy issue is but a symbol of the mutual disagreement and distrust, especially when it comes to viewing the past.

    • justasking

      @Laci,

      Hello to you too, I hope you and your family are doing well.

      I personally, do not care for the new format, to hard to follow new comments. That and we lost all the good posters as-well.

      Regarding your comment about the mutual disagreement and distrust between Slovakia and Hungary….I knew I should have bought that t-shirt that had written on it “Idősebb vagyok mint Szlovákia” when I had the chance :)

  • wolfi

    This discussion is so irrelevant …

    Just a few days ago my wife and I traveled to Komarom and Komarno to help a friend who needed a program on an USB-stick – we decided on the spot to be couriers for that and had a lovely day.

    Walking thru the relatively small pedestrian zone of Komarno and seeing signs both in Hungarian and Slovak and people talking in both languages – really peaceful.

    When my wife asked a waitress in Hungarian she automatically switched to Hungarian too – no problem …

    This is the 21st Century!

    PS: My wife asked the waitress for some Slovak €-coins – a minute later she returned with a complete set which will be a present for a German friend of ours who collects coins …

  • Farkas László

    Hi Wolfi!

    Of course, real life can be quite a counterpoint to politics!

  • pterois

    If Jesus comes down one day he will surely say:

    Hungarians – what a retarded nation,
    Hungary – what a useless country.

    • justasking

      @pterois,

      And after that, he would turn around and squish you like a bug for being such a retard.

  • Farkas László

    Hi Zsuzsa!

    Sounds like a shirt where if you went into the “wrong” bar….

  • Farkas László

    Hello again Zsuzsa,

    On a serious note, the thought behind that tshirt caused me to think about something earlier. Slovakia is a young state and both it and Hungary are also relatively young developing democracies, bedeviled by a unique set of past historical circumstances. I’m not surprised that politicians stir up the situation on both sides, but ultimately the two countries have to share a framework of cooperation as EU and NATO allies and members.

  • Dennis Lotus

    A forum which is always awash with comments when issues of a historical nature are under review.
    Armchair punters and academics seek to out manoeuvre one another with limited information and understanding of anything.
    Meanwhile, the present, and the future, of Hungary is in the balance and it appears that we are doomed to rely upon the same bunch of fools in the guise of politicians and bureaucrats to ensure we sink further into the abyss. And mini-Trianons surface everyday in the manifestation of the governments ill-advised investment in MOL recently!

  • Andy

    Zsuzsa – so what, you are older then Slovakia. What is that like? Proof of what? Yes, we are young country, but is that kind of sin? Of something wrong? I can write a long, long stories about the violence, magyarisation, murders which Magyars commited on Slovaks on the past. Or maybe I can put on my t – shirt this:http://www.profila.hu/site_media/upload/463/L_-34601463.jpg?rand=247132767- as a proof how were Slovak rewarded in “great” Hungary in the past. Or I can write story, that broke up of Hungary in 1918 was failure of Magyars politicians on first place, and Magyars as nation on second place.
    I am proud that I am Slovak. I am proud that we are young country. I am proud of our history – that we managed to tore off from Hungary, when we were opressed for ages, and years and years. If you want to blame somebody that you lost such part of country – you have to blame yourself . And regarding that Esterhazy issue. On the begining of this stupid incident was a one discomposed hungarian businessman (owner of Panta Rhei book store) – he revelead sculpure of Esterhazy in Kosice – despite the fact, that he knew what is going to happened, and what reaction will follow from slovak side. I thing sometimes, that we made mistake after second world war. Whe should do with magyars, what Czech did with germans from Sudety. Just kicked all Magyars from Czechoslovakia to Hungary..and we will live in peace, now. Well, I know what I will put on my t-shirt: Magyars, don´t fuck with history, or history will fuck you !!!

    • justasking

      @Andy,

      “so what, you are older then Slovakia”

      Actually, I’m not…I was born in the late 60’s…but, I still laughed when I saw that t-shirt though.

      ————

      “Yes, we are young country, but is that kind of sin? Of something wrong?”

      No, there’s no ‘sin’ or ‘something wrong’ in being a young country. It’s a ‘sin’ and ‘something wrong’ on HOW you became a country.

      ———–

      “s a proof how were Slovak rewarded in “great” Hungary in the past”

      And, how are you rewarding your Hungarian minority today?

      ————–

      “I thing sometimes, that we made mistake after second world war. Whe should do with magyars, what Czech did with germans”

      You did, twice, as Czechoslovakia.
      ————–

      “Well, I know what I will put on my t-shirt: Magyars, don´t fuck with history, or history will fuck you !!!”

      You could probably add the Czech Republic along side Magyars on that t-shirt. I would be appropriate.

      Besides, you don’t have a history, you have a reputation…of biting the hand that feeds you.

      Funny, how you survived hundred of years on Hungarian soil, if we were so bad.

      • Slovakrader

        Zsuzsanna, if I may call you that,

        there was a lot of wrong going on from Hugarian politicians after 1867 especially, before it there was not as strong nationmalisation – it was most important if you were noble or rich vs. poor and that applied also to most Hungarians.
        BTW, only 6 percent of population could wote in whole Hungarian part of monarchy, so it was the politicinas who did wrong most of the time.

        From Wikipedia, but you can find it also in some English books and in Grunwalds book A Felvidék

        The Hungarian secondary school is like a huge machine, at one end of which the Slovak youths are thrown in by the hundreds, and at the other end of which they come out as Magyars[34][35]
        Bela Grunwald, adviser to Count Kalman Tisza, the Hungarian prime minister from 1875 to 1890

        I do not blame Hungarians as a nation and neither should you blame Slovaks as a whole for what happene after WWII.
        Hungariansand Slovak political elites and officers were and harm causers at different times.

        How we became a state – it was decided by others, but Slovaks we have a right for a country as any nation.

        BTW, there was no Slovak secondary schools from 1875 as the state closed all three because of alleg.

        Even according to census in 1910 (during Magyarization which affected mostly middle class and towns as it was mostly done through education), Slovaks had a majority in several counties, had their land and houses there. Find the census.

        Magyrization was a crime.
        The colectivew guilt on Hungarians after 1945 was too.

        Neither of them is acceptable.

        The position of Hungarians ion Slovakia is not ideal, but not as bad as some would like to paint.
        The problem is, that MKP is not in parliament or government.

        There are many Hungarian secondary schools and even a university in Komarno. Hungarian is taught also at a faculty in Nitra and Bratislava.

        The language law is still operating, but so is a new law on minority rights. It was rejected by MKP, as and ally of Fidesz as well as Fico and SNS so it has some balance.

        Most Híd, which has 70 or 80 percent Magyar members and others are Slovak.
        has
        Deputy speaker of parliament – formerly from MKP
        Deputy prime minister for minorities
        Minister of agriculture
        Minister of environment

        As for dual citizenshipp, it should be allowed I think. but with voting rights there can be attempts of Hungarian politics to interfere with Slovak law,which would be unacceptable.

        Or maybe all Slovaks born and living in Hungary should get Slovak citizenship and right to vote in Slovakia an d have their own people in our parliament. There is only around 20. 000 of them but if there were 10% of populations as there are Slovak Hungarians, Orban and co would not like it, I am sure.

        To quote from my previous post:
        I have friends among Hungarian minority in Slovakia and I also got on well with Hungarians from present day Hungary, because we treated each other as people with common interests and not as beeing Slovak or Hungarian.

        I am going to learn Hungarian so I will know what my favourite Hungarian rock groups (yes, I like some Hungarian music in addition to Anglophonic, Czech and Slovak) sing about.

        • Slovakrader

          continuation of unfinshed sentence:

          BTW, there was no Slovak secondary schools from 1875 as the state closed all three because of alleged panslavism and anti Hungarian sentiment. If it was so, why did not the state change the staff for less radical teachers who knew Slovak and were willing to teach?
          Because they wanted to close them.
          All cultural organisations for Slovaks had to be funded from non state sources and state closed most of them if they had a chance, you could use Slovak in office according to law from 1868, but no officials were willing to enforce the law, etc.

        • justasking

          @Slovakreader,

          I would prefer Zsuzsa. Saying my name in it’s entirety, reminds me of when I was a little girl. My sisters and I all knew, if Anyu said your name in full…shit was about to hit the fan, and you’d better start running!:)

          Now to address your post.

          You will never hear me defending Magyarization. Plan and simple, in my opinion, it was wrong. I was born and raised in Canada, both of my parents were 56er’s. If there is one country that kicks ass on multiculturalism…that would be Canada, not the US, but Canada.

          I am a staunch believer in integration and not assimilation. When you allow people to be who they are, feel safe in being who they are…for the most part, they will accept that host country as their new country and not try to make the new country into a ‘better version’ of the one they just left. Give people the freedom and you get their loyalty.

          Now, lets leap frog back to the 1800’s…the romance of nationalism was sweeping across Europe and everybody was caught up in it. The only difference was…Hungary was in a position to enforce it’s nationalism under the Habsburgs.

          Don’t think for a minute, that the Czechs or the Slovaks would not have done the same, if the situation had been reversed.

          You made the point, that the Slovaks have a right to have a country like any other nation. I hear what you’re saying and for the most part agree…we all have a right of self determination.. BUT, what I do and always will disagree with, is how some of these nations go ABOUT acquiring their desired dream.

          As I said before, being a minority in a country, does not give you the right to claim that land as your own. It just makes you a minority of that country. Just because there is a large population of Chinese in Vancouver, BC, Canada and they have lived their for generations, does not mean they can lay claim to that land. It just means when they emmigrated to Canada…they chose to live in that port city as Canadians of Chinese decent.

          Now, I am all for dual citizenship’s, I do not see a problem with that. What I do have a problem with, is allowing the dual citizens, the right to vote. These citizens, who make yearly trips like I do to Hungary, pay no taxes and do not have to deal with the repercussions of the vote they cast…not right.

          Hats off to you for wanting to learn a new language…

      • andy

        just asking: Well, yes .. History is sometimes bizarre, sometimes strange.I can not change it. You have to blame your ancestors. If Hungarians behaved more politely to their minorities everything would be different. Right? About how we are rewarding Magyars in Slovakia – do you know, that many Magyars (living in Slovakia), especially youngsters are not speaking Slovak language at all? Later, when they looking for a job, they have a problems, because they can not understand anything. Is that possible in Magyaorzság? Are there minorities, which are not understands Hungarian language? Have you ever been in south part of Slovakia? To see how are people there “oppressed”? Hungarian soil? Well I survived on my father´s, grandfather, grand grand father soil..and they were not Hungarian. By the way, to compare Chinese people in Canada to Slovaks in Europe is logical nonsense. We – Slavs people were living on our land so many years before Magyars arrived.

        • justasking

          @Andy,

          “do you know, that many Magyars (living in Slovakia), especially youngsters are not speaking Slovak language at all?”

          Have you ever asked yourself why they feel they need to make a statement such as that?

          ——

          “Are there minorities, which are not understands Hungarian language?”

          I’m sure there are.
          ————

          “By the way, to compare Chinese people in Canada to Slovaks in Europe is logical nonsense”

          Immigration is immigration, have it be in North America, Europe, Middle East etc, etc, etc.

          ————

          ” We – Slavs people were living on our land so many years before Magyars arrived”

          I never said, that Slavs did not exist along side the Kingdom of Hungary. Czech Republic was never under the occupation of the Kingdom Hungary…The Austrians had them.

          What I’m saying and you do not seem to be understanding…that chunk of land you seemed to have survived on!? You all emmigrated to it.

          Why you decided to pull away from ‘Great Moravia’ for greener pastures…well, you have to ask your Czech cousins about that.

          • Slovakreader

            Zsuzsa, to react on your comment on Andy, before things get too overheated:
            You have probably lack of information, or just from some Hungarian books. They are often biased, just as Slovak ones. Slovaks or our ancestors never left Great Moravia. Great Moravia, which was created around 833 by Moravians invading the Principality of Nitra and joining it with Moravia ended after it was defeated by Hungarian tribes. The Czech kingdom did not exist until 1100s.
            We lived here, the states changed.
            http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagymor%C3%A1via.

            From the bit of Hungarian I understand, the article is mostly ok.

            Plus, if you live in Canada and buy /get soil with your house on it, it is your land.Not the whole town, or street ofr course. Politically and according to law you are a citizen of Canada, of course, regardless of your nationality.

            Or you imply that we should all belong to Hungary and be Hungarian citizens of Slovak origin? Or should we leave the places where we live, because they are not ours?

            I do not live on Hungarian soil, neither Hungarians live on Slovak soil, unless the land is owned by the state.

            Have a nice day.

          • andy

            So you are blaming us for something what probably happened in times of Great Moravia? Now? In 2011? This is not an opinion, this is diagnosis. I hope that is not common view in Hungary.

  • Vándorló

    @Andy: Wow, that postcard really is a classic – shocking.

  • American in Budapest

    We would probably be all better off ffocusing on how to get the Hungarian economy moving. Based on the latest GDP figures as well the performance of other Central and Eastern European countries, Hungary is falling further and behind and might not even avoid a recesssion in the next 18 months. The second quarter was 1.5% real GDP growth.

  • Slovakreader

    Extremism and chauvinism on both sides makes me sick. Each side says that only the other was wrong, while in reality both sides did take actions towards the other that are to be rejected and regretted.
    I am Slovak and I am glad to be one. I live in one the areas which had vast ,majority of Slovaks even in the census of 1910.
    I have friends among Hungarian minority in Slovakia and I also got on well with Hungarians from present day Hungary, because we treated each other as people with common interests and not as beeing Slovak or Hungarian.
    There are a lot people who come from both Slovak and Hungarian ethnic background (e.g. mixed marriages) and they are offended and hurt by chauvinism regardless from either side.
    Most ordinary people of both nations had no say in high politics and were not responsible for what was happening, with politicians, nobility and state officers feeding them with animosity to serve their interests
    There are issues from the past ve will never agree on, but that is also the case among other nations who share common past, with no side really beeing able to be objective, despite saying they are and the other is not.
    We should focus on the present and future and learn to understand and respect the feelings of each other, to be able to disagree without insulting and also to cooperate.
    A task some politicians and also chauvinists will not be capable of, but I hope the majority in both countries will.

    A nice day to everyone without prejudice and chauvinism.

  • Tillerman

    AIB. A balance of history and what is happening in the present should be the order of the day. Instead we get old hatreds surfacing, nationalist aspirations, and borders redrawn with old scores to be settled.
    Meanwhile, we have had 20 years of ineffective government and little evidence that anything has really changed since the Soviets decamped.
    As much as I admire the ability of many commentators to make a case for particular events in history, I would consider them D-minus students of the Present!

    • American in Budapest

      Agreed. They are D-minus students. :)

  • Slovakreader

    Zsuzsa,
    you know vwery Little about Great Moravia, It was situated in Present day Czech as well as Slovak republic territory. We never left it, the state broke down after Magyar tribes defeated our ancestors In 907. Over the next few decades our ancestors integrated (not emigrated!)into the Kingdom of Hungary. See even Hungarian wiki or some less biased history books, then many Hungarian ones and admittedly Slovak as well.
    There are archeological sites in present day Slovakia as well.

    We never left, states changed.
    The same applies for Slovak Hungarians, or Hungarians, even if some politicians may think otherwise.

    Plus, the soil I live on is mine, I have bought it, as have my grandparents bought theirs.
    It is not owned by Slovakia, nor Hungary., although I am a Slovak by nationality and Slovak citizen living in Slovakia, so my piece of land is pollitically and by law a part of Slovakia.

    Or you imply we Slovaks should leave our homes and jobs?
    Or be all second rate Hungarian citizens with no political represantion, selfgovernment and no cultural rights?

    We are a young state, far from ideal, but I hope things in Slovakia will improve for all of the people who have their homes here, while preserving everything that makes us who we are, in cooperation.
    Most ordinary Hungarians and Slovaks in the areas of Southern Slovakia now do, having mixed families and friendships.

    • justasking

      @Slovakreader,

      “you know vwery Little about Great Moravia”

      Well, I know enough to know, that there is major controversy over the ‘Great Moravia’s exact location….and that there is no consistency between cultural, political and written languages from these Slav people and today’s Slovakian nation.

      ——-

      “See even Hungarian wiki or some less biased history books, then many Hungarian ones”

      I do actually…because I read so much faster in English than Hungarian.

      ‘Paris 1919-Six Months That Changed the World’ by Margaret Macmillan? Fascinating read…I highly recommend it!

      Mind you…it would blow allot of what you’ve been taught about the Treaty of Trianon, the whys and the hows…out of the water. I’d hate to be the one who assisted in bursting your bubble.

      Another highly recommended read, is from a Slovak Professor, Mr. Milan S. Durica. He deals head on with the alleged ‘1000 year long suppression of the Slovak Hungarians and what he calls the ‘practices of the Czechslovak propaganda’. You’ll be able to find it in the the June, 1981, issue of the Bulletin of the Slovak World Congress

      Both, will help people who may lack proper and or biased information and not know it.

      ———

      “Or you imply we Slovaks should leave our homes and jobs?
      Or be all second rate Hungarian citizens with no political represantion, selfgovernment and no cultural rights?”

      I wouldn’t go that far, although I’m sure some Slovaks would not bat a eye seeing this happen to their Hungarian minority.

      • pedro

        I don’t want to comment on history but as person who living in south of Slovakia, I think economic and social status of Hungarian minority is much better for them in Slovakia now compare to Hungarians living in Hungary, western part of Hungarian minority realized that they have great benefits from economic cooperation with Slovaks even in small villages.

        Many times Hungarians schools which don’t have children (really bad demographic situation in south) survived only by merging them with Slovak schools and so Hungarian education can survive at the end economic collapse of our basic high school system.

        • justasking

          @pedro,

          “I think economic and social status of Hungarian minority is much better for them in Slovakia now compare to Hungarians living in Hungary, western part of Hungarian minority realized that they have great benefits from economic cooperation with Slovaks even in small villages”

          Your comment, is sadly only too accurate. I don’t see the situation changing anytime soon, given the choice of politicians people have to chose from in Hungary.

      • Jesus

        You can move Magyars from central Asia to Europe, but you cannot move the central Asia out of Magyars.

  • American in Budapest

    So what? You think the Magyars were always in Hungary? As I recollect they also migrated at some point. According to your national myth, the Magyars came from the Urals, but genetic analysis indicates no special genetic signature unique to Hungarians.

    You go far back enough, we are all immigrants.

    You are playing the sort of mind games that I come to expect from self-rationalizing Hungarian nationalists.

    • justasking

      @Ugly American,

      “You are playing the sort of mind games that I come to expect from self-rationalizing Hungarian nationalists”

      Well, did you or did you not say the other day that there was such a thing as ‘justified nationalism’?

  • Ed Monton

    We see the size of Hungary now (small) with only ten million people. An ageing population and many youngsters leaving to work abroad compounds the problems for a country only recently released from the communist yoke.
    People seek an identity via culture, tradition, and a common language. The lunatic right-wing fringe -the Nazi sympathizers- do not represent anyone’s interests apart from their own delusions of a super race ruling the world. A tired dogma that is as erroneous as the 16th century practice of burning witches at the stake for failed harvests. WE could be excused however in bringing back the “ducking stool” for some of our politicians…!!!

  • justasking

    @Andy,

    “So you are blaming us for something what probably happened in times of Great Moravia? Now? In 2011? ”

    Well…hold on a sec… Benes and Masaryk used it during the Paris Peace Conference…Slovakia brings it up to rev up those nationalistic feelings…when can’t I use it when it suits my purpose?

    • andy

      As I wrote before. History is sometimes bizarre, sometimes it goes wrong, sometimes not fair to everybody. Yes you can blame our ancestos same as I can blame yours. But, why should I do it? You know very well, that there are certain points, where is no way back..

  • Miklos T. Labda

    Hungarians should unite under one flag, sing from the same hymn sheet, and get on and do the best with what they’ve got left of a dwindling land and population.
    I appreciate these little forays into the past, and voiced from different viewpoints but, what bearing or impact they can have on the present is anyone’s guess.
    It wouldn’t be too much to ask those who appear to be sympathetic to the Hungarian cause to contribute in a more constructive and positive fashion with one eye on the present and the future!
    I know I am asking too much because most of the commentators on this forum do not live in Hungary and simply want to make a case for the defense or prosecution in establishing the truth about certain events: the most obvious being Trianon. Important yes, but so is the future of this country with, or without, the Trianon saga!

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