Day of Dishonor: Hungary’s Nazi Past Fails to Pass

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Grey World // CC

Hungary is loth to leave its past behind, with radicals reemerging annually to celebrate the historic bloodshed of WW2. Athough the news was awash with the marching boots of neo-Nazis in Hungary, there is another story behind the black uniforms parading through the streets of Budapest: That of an unusual condemnation of the event by both the left and the right, in a joint statement.

The quaint cobblestones speckling Budapest’s ancient streets are not unfamiliar with the unyielding soles of military boots. The stones had been trudged deep down into the earth by the acrimonious marching feet of Nazis, and Communists, who also wanted, and succeeded in trudging on millions of innocent people. The stones remain entrenched firmly in the ground, the victims are only preserved in memory.

And yet, this memory is trudged down again by those hundreds of neo-Nazis, who refilled the historic boots of soldiers.

Budapest suffered heavily during WWII, when the city was besieged by the advancing Soviet troops. The German and Hungarian troops were ordered to stand their grounds, but after a tremendous bloodshed, they thought better of it, and decided to try to break free of the surrounding Red Army. Most of them perished.

The date is remebered as the Day of Honor and is commemorated by neo-Nazi groups annually. Tours are organized during which some people dress up in period clothing, brandishing swastikas and other Nazi sybols, and are hiking through the routes where the chimeric soldiers tried to escape.

Adding to this malarkey, the ceremonies are usually held by far-right groups honouring the Nazis.

The vast uproar didn’t deter those blinded by hate against those they deem not Hungarian enough to clad their sorry rags mimicking paramilitaristic garments, and sway during the commemorative ceremony, later to ambulate through the hiking route, once a tartarian scene of death and suffering.

This macabre charade was attended by approximately 500 radicals this year, with approximately the same amount of counterpotestors. The big deal, however, is not the number of ostracized people misguided into hatred that were more pathetic in their meager attempt of tour de force, standing awkwardly and anacronictically in modern Budapest.

The big deal is that the mayors of three districts of Budapest that are usually the unwelcoming home of the neo-Nazi parade joined in condemning the event.

One of them is from the governing party Fidesz, the other two are from the opposition. It is very rare that Fidesz politicians and the opposition does anything jointly, but in this case they realized that the emergence of radicalism is an issue beyond the lines of party politics.

The reasoned voice of the united opponents is heard over highlfatulin pontifications of hatred. The districts also organized a street exhibition to commemorate the civilians who fell victims to the clash of two inhumane forces, the Nazis and their Hungarian allies, and the Communists who stayed in Budapest after capturing the city to give no time for the people who just got out from under to yoke of one oppressive regime to breath before forcing a similarly despotic regime on them.

Looking backwards in history serves only to find lessons and not examples to follow. We should look ahead to constantly strive for a better future, whichever side of the political spectrum we are at.

If for nothing else, the horrific neo-Nazi event was usueful for showing there are still topics politicans deem more imporant to unite on, than to squabble. Hopefully, more of stronger united condemnations and action against radicals will follow, so that Hungary’s horrible history will never repeat itself.


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