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They don’t make them like Hitler anymore

April 11, 2010

From Dan Bikefsky’s New York Times article, Far Right Could Gain in Hungary:

BUDAPEST — A far-right party whose black-clad paramilitary extremists invoke 1940s Europe was poised to gain new clout in elections here Sunday, a result that could tarnish Hungary’s international image and potentially undermine its economic recovery.

Analysts said that one of the biggest beneficiaries of the collective angst of a country hit hard by the global financial crisis could prove to be the party, Jobbik, which has railed against “Gypsy crime” and Jews, and is widely expected to enter Parliament for the first time. . .

Analysts said Jobbik’s growing popularity illustrates how the economic crisis was helping to fuel a regional backlash against minorities, as citizens look for scapegoats to help explain their woes. In Hungary, where Jobbik supporters have staged a series of protest marches near rural Roma settlements, at least five Roma have been killed in the past two years and Roma leaders have counted about 30 firebomb attacks against their people’s homes.

Hungary’s nearly 100,000-strong Jewish community also has been targeted, with Jobbik claiming that “foreign speculators,” including Israel, want to control the country. A recent edition of the party magazine showed a statue of St. Gellert — an 11th-century martyred bishop — holding a menorah instead of a cross. “Is this what you want?” it asked.

Jobbik has denied being racist, saying that it is merely reflecting the views of many Hungarians.

I am not sure how to interpret Jobbik’s statement. Is the party saying, “We’re not racist, but our constituency sure is.” Or is it saying that if the majority of Hungarians hold racist views, then those views are no longer racist?

If the former, than my compliments to Jobbik for saying what none of the dog-whistlers in America have the guts to say. But I think its more likely the latter, which makes for a post-modern defense, befitting Continental racists. This is one more indication that Hitler gave racism, anti-semitism, etc. etc. such a bad name that would-be Fuhrers won’t even indulge in direct appeals to the Volk anymore. Should I think of this as progress?

By the way, where have I heard this before?

“Many people have lost jobs here, and I am fed up feeling abused by the Roma [Gypsies], who have children in order to get social benefits and sponge off the state,” she added.

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