Search for Evidence

So I decided to go into town with a friend to find out if there were any traces of the rise of the far right and hostility towards minorities. I figured that the best way to get a few photographs to ‘compliment’ the study was to go to the Jobbik offices, the Jewish district and some rougher areas of Budapest to look for evidence.

I did find the evidence and it speaks volumes about Hungary’s situation as it is perfectly in line with some of the reading I’ve been doing. Most signs came in the form of graffiti, often despicable and highly offensive. The things I found show signs of a nation in struggle, in economic difficulty and confusion of being caught between hugely unsuccessful and unpopular parties with no alternative.

The graffitis I found were homophobic, anti-leftist and above all antisemitic but interestingly there have been clear attempts to undo, coverup or destroy the antisemitic slurs. Mixed amongst the discrimination you can see anti-fascist tags and calls to bring down the current Fidesz government. One the one hand there are outrageous and disgusting comments such as “Send the brain-dead jews to the mines”, “Exterminate Israel”, Exterminate the Jews”, “Kill the Gays”, “Bring down Gyurcsány and the MSZP, they are murdering thieves” and on the other hand, one can find comments such as “Orbán Viktor Dictator”, “Never again Fidesz”, “F**k the Nazis”, “A**hole Fascists”, “we are sinking like the titanic”.

I have posted the pictures below to give you an idea of what I saw. It’s shocking to see what some people are capable of believing and expressing. I think the pictures go a long way in describing the rise of the Far Right in Hungary (especially the picture of the tram stop that had been made into a home y a homeless man. Behind his improvised bed was a “Hajrá Jobbik!” graffiti which means “Go Jobbik!”).

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Graffiti accusing the socialist party, ‘MSZP’ of being murders.

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Anti Fascist!”, “Anti-*swastika*”

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“Brain dead Jews, go work in the mines”

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A tram stop becomes a homeless man’s new home.

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“Down with the Fidesz, quickly!”

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The homeless man’s bed representing the inflation of the poorer classes in Hungary. Behind him it says “Hajrá Jobbik” which means “Go Jobbik!”. How much does the economy have to do with the rise of the Jobbik?

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“Go Jobbik!”

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Multiple attempts to cover up a graffiti saying “Exterminate the sh*t jews”.

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“Gyurcsány mentally ill” and other offensive sexual and homophobic slurs.  Gyurcsány was the Socialist Prime Minister until his failed policies forced him to step down in favour of Bajnai. MSZP would go on to suffer an unprecedented defeat and Jobbik would become the second biggest party in the Hungarian Parliament.

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“Go Fidesz-KDNP” -the right-wing governing coalition. 

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The head-office for the Jobbik Party. I managed to get multiple brochures and magazines and the woman inside kindly offered me a brochure in English. It was an awkward experience.

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“Jobbik, a movement for Hungary” -Jobbik’s head office in Budapest.

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Pro-Fidesz and anti-MSZP graffiti, another sign of the political hostility in the country.

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A non-military man dressed in military clothing with a clean shaven head. I didn’t want to adhere to stereotypes of skinheads so I had a word with him. He was indeed a Jobbik supporter and pointed me towards the party’s head office. Oh the questions I would have liked to have asked him, if only there wasn’t such a tedious ethics process to complete. 

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Jobbik’s headquarters displays many stickers of the “Greater Hungary”. The Treaty of Trianon resulted in Hungary losing 2/3 of its land in 1918. The issue is still a sensitive one today and has led to much anti-French hostility. “Greater Hungary” is one of the key themes in Jobbik’s politics yet they fail to mention that while ‘Greater Hungary’ was bigger than it is now, it was also under the rule of the Austrian Habsburg family.

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Jobbik HQ

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“Never again Fidesz”. The contradiction of these graffitis hints towards the political divide and confusion in Hungary. It is in times of despair that turnout lowers, deadlocks increase, protest votes are made and the Far Right with its loyal electorate has its chance to rise in the polls. 

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“Down with Trianon”

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“OV Dictator”, ‘OV’ refers to Orbán Viktor, the current Prime Minister. 

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“Communism!”, “Clean our country!”

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“Long live communism, down with the country!”, “OV=Dictator”

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“We’ve had enough!”

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The Synagogue, centre of Budapest’s jewish district. Hungary has one of the largest European jewish populations. 

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“Sh*t jews” and a David’s star. More offensive graffiti.

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Someone has replaced Orbán’s name with Gyurcsány in a quote saying “Orbán Viktor has to go!”

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“Murderers and thieves: Mesterházy, Bajnai, Gyurcsány”. The key figures of Hungary’s political left.

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“We are sinking like the titanic”, “We’ve had enough”, “Clean it up!”

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A beggar takes advantage of the red light to approach some cars.

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A young woman begs on the street after supposedly being evicted from her home. The consequences of a failed economy.

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“Dirty Nazis!!!”

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Anarchy and chaos in Hungary?

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Yet another swastika on the side of the rode.

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“Exterminate the Jews”, “Sh*t Israel” are only two of many antisemitic and anti-zionist slurs to be found on the Heinrich István Tram stop.

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“Exterminate the sh*t gays”. Homophobia is a seriously underrated issue in Hungary and one that the Jobbik subscribes to. 

They may be shocking and despicable but it is hard to tell whether they are done in a serious attempt to injure or whether it is just young vandals wanting to be controversial. One thing is clear, serious or not; there is a clear sense of confusion, hatred and chaos even amongst the graffitied slurs. I have many more pictures and I might post some more later on.

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Intro

Where to start? I’m writing as though this was meant to be read by the public but to be honest, I’m not quite sure whether it’s meant for anyone other than myself. I am a 4th year student at Glasgow University and am doing joint honours in History and Politics.

I am doing my dissertation this year and I know that a lot of people use notepads, planners, diaries and more to keep track of their ideas and writing progress, which is why I thought I’d make a blog. My dissertation will be on the Rise of the Far Right in Hungary and I hope this blog will help me keep track of my ideas. I plan to use this blog to brainstorm, follow my writing process, plan, share materials (photos, conversations, ideas, interviews) and generally discuss and rant about this particular topic.

A lot of the work you do on a dissertation is not obvious in the final written piece, so i thought that this would also serve as a nice output for all that will not figure directly or completely in the dissertation. I also want to force myself to keep the topic fresh in my mind at all times so that I don’t miss or forget any ideas that might come my way.

That’s pretty much it.