|Monumentet på Bibliotekstorget i Budapest|
Det vore dumt att påstå att det är lätt att orientera sig i den ungerska frågan. Det är tvärtom mycket svårt. Men det finns avgörande frågeställningar och avgörande beslut som kan analyseras också för människor som saknar kunskap i det ungerska språket. Landet är EU-medlem och mycket av det som sker finns presenterat också i andra europeiska nationers medier och diskussioner.
Nästan dagligen kan jag förstås läsa rapporter om detta i dagspress, här i Sverige och på andra för mig begripliga språk. Men i senaste numret av London Review of Books finns en större artikel - skriven av Nora Berend och Christopher Clark - som förtjänar spridning (den kan i sin helhet endast läsas av prenumeranter på nätet, men jag återger här nu väsentliga delar av den). Med läsvärd menar jag inte att man ska säga tack och amen när man läst den, men jag menar att den innehåller så mycket intressanta beståndsdelar att den de facto bidrar till mer kunskap i ämnet. Artikeln börjar med just det monument som syns på bilden ovan:
"This summer, a new monument appeared in Budapest’s Liberty Square. Amid a copse of truncated white marble pillars stands the metal figure of a slender young man. Wrapped from hips to feet in windswept drapery, he opens his arms to the sky. In his right hand he bears the orb of political authority surmounted by the Hungarian double-barred cross. Wings sprout from his shoulder blades. His expression is one of seraphic tranquillity, which is odd, because swooping down on him is a monstrous eagle bolted together from shards of gleaming black metal, its features convulsed into a mask of malevolence, its talons poised to snatch the orb. The young man is the archangel Gabriel, newly engaged as patron and symbol of the Magyar nation. The eagle (though it bears an uncanny resemblance to the bird that decorates the German Bundestag today) represents Nazi Germany. The monument commemorates the German invasion of Hungary in March 1944.
From early April, when construction began, there have been demonstrations every afternoon against Budapest’s latest national memorial. Armed police guarded the building site, videoing protesters and demanding to see identity cards. The structure was completed at the dead of night and there was no public unveiling ceremony. It is still under police guard. There has been a chorus of criticism from historians, art critics and other public intellectuals in Hungary and abroad. It is hard to disagree with the Hungarian art historian József Mélyi, who described the memorial as ‘academic kitsch with faulty symbolism and execution’."Nora Berend och Christopher Clark tar särskilt fasta på historieförfalskning man numera ägnar sig åt. Man vill "minnas Hitlertysklands förtryck av Ungern" men glömmer då förstås helt bort att ungrarna var alldeles särskilt villiga att samarbeta med och uträtta tyskarnas smutsiga massmord och man glömmer bort att flera av den tidens mäktiga i Ungern, de som samarbetade med nazisterna, idag rehabiliteras och får statyer, monument och till och med gator omdöpta efter sig som postuma hyllningar:
"The monument’s treatment of the war’s Jewish victims is particularly problematic. The Hungarian holocaust that followed the German occupation in early 1944 was one of the most horrific in Europe: a Jew living in the Hungarian countryside in March that year had a less than 10 per cent chance of surviving until the end of the war. The figure for Budapest Jews was around 50 per cent. Most of these people perished after being deported to the Nazi death camps. But focusing on these facts in isolation obscures Hungary’s agency in the discrimination, persecution and murder of Jews, both before and after the occupation. There had been restrictions on Jews taking places at Hungarian universities since Horthy came to power in 1920: he had committed himself to curtailing the ‘Jewish influence’ on public life. Twenty-one ‘Jewish laws’ passed by the Hungarian Parliament and 267 ministerial edicts issued between 1938 and 19 March 1944 progressively deprived Jews of all rights and prohibited intermarriage or sexual relations between Jews and non-Jews. There were pogroms in Kisvárda in 1938 and in Munkács and Máramarossziget in 1942. In 1941, the forced deportation of 17,000 Jews from areas newly occupied by Hungary to Kamenetz-Podolski (in today’s Ukraine) led to their mass murder, carried out initially by Ukrainian auxiliaries and later by German units operating in the area. Hungarian Jews were also forcibly conscripted into labour service for the army and in 1941-42 sent unarmed to the eastern front as auxiliaries.
London Review of Books- artikeln diskuterar många aspekter av det historiska skeendet. Sammantaget visar de på en nationell kultur som inte bara förvrider självbilds-synen på ungrarna själva utan också avser att locka omvärlden i en fälla där politiken ska framstå som en förebild för andra europeiska nationer som nu irrar runt i den mångkulturella ideologins labyrint och sjunker allt djupare ner i ett socialt, ekonomiskt och politiskt träsk. Om man bara intresserar sig det minsta lilla för de "alternativ" som Fidesz och Jobbik erbjuder kommer man snart att bli varse vilka skugg- och mörkersidor de också för med sig. Det nationellt isolationistiska går förstås inte att genomföra som medlemsland i EU, och även om den ungerska inrikespolitiken skulle innebär att landet får lämna unionen - kanske i sällskap med Storbritannien - så innebär det absolut inte något positivt för de icke-ungerska medborgarna. Jag citerar avslutningsvis en bit senare i artikeln som belyser inte minst pressfrihetens allt snävare definition och hur svårt, ja kanske omöjligt, det blir för oberoende medier att verka:Hungary, it’s clear, wasn’t a haven for the Jews before 1944; and the extermination of Hungarian Jews wasn’t the work of the German occupiers alone. The governing structures of the Hungarian state were left largely intact by the Germans and Horthy remained formally in power, taking part in appointing the new government. Only two ministers in the post-occupation cabinet had not been members of his government. As for the removal of 437,000 Hungarian Jews to German-run killing facilities in Poland over 57 days in the early summer of 1944 (one of the most intense phases of extermination in the Holocaust), this was primarily accomplished not by the small German Einsatzkommando deployed in Hungary, but by Hungarian gendarmes and officials, who saw to it that the deportations proceeded with exemplary efficiency. Hungarians carried out body searches, and inflicted beatings to extract information on the whereabouts of hidden valuables. In October 1944, after seeking a separate peace with the Soviet Union, Horthy was forced to abdicate and replaced by a puppet regime run by the home-grown fascist movement Arrow Cross. The brief period of Arrow Cross rule saw further waves of killing by Hungarian fascists of suspected Jewish ‘partisans’, returnees from the Jewish forced labour battalions, poorhouse inmates and even patients in Budapest’s two Jewish hospitals. It is worth noting the contrast between Hungary and France, where Jews stood a much better chance of survival, despite a much longer period of German occupation."
"But what if the current government were to succeed in transforming the framework of public discourse in Hungary, dismantling in the process the legal and constitutional machinery that provides a meaningful check on government authority? What if the pendulum is nailed to the wall before it can swing back? The alterations the government has made to the constitution and the law protecting the dignity of the nation suggest that this is its objective. Recent efforts to bring the media under government control reinforce that impression. The 2010 media law, passed quickly and without consultation, restricted media freedom. The prime minister now appoints the president of the National Media Authority, which controls the media, oversees its regulation and imposes sanctions. A media commissioner, appointed by the president of the NMA, can investigate any issues without having to prove that the law has been violated, simply in order to ‘protect community interests’. Journalists are required to reveal their sources at the NMA’s request, and anyone impeding its investigations can be fined. Public media must use the stories provided by the Hungarian News Agency. Major newspapers and magazines, including the free newspaper distributed on the Budapest underground, have been bought up by government-friendly oligarchs. Since 2010 the agency for Hungarian tourism and the official gambling agency, Gaming Ltd, have bought millions of forints’ worth of advertising space in government-controlled newspapers, but none at all in independent publications. In rural areas, where news is distributed to the media through local councils, opposition media are simply omitted from the list of recipients. The discrimination can take quite petty forms, as it did recently when opposition journalists were refused entry to events organised by the government – the opening of a football stadium, for example. For three and a half years, the NMA withheld permission for Klubrádió, an independent radio station that broadcasts news and analysis, to transmit free of charge on the frequency it had lawfully acquired, forcing it instead to pay a high price to use a different frequency. The NMA also tried to control the station’s programming by imposing a limit on the proportion of news content. When the matter was taken to court Klubrádió won, but the judgment was nullified because parliament passed a new media law with retroactive effect. Klubrádió won again in the appeal courts, but the NMA did not implement the judgment for six months, further undermining the station. In June 2014 the NMA closed down the Klubrádió frequency in Debrecen, a major provincial centre.