Viktor Orban’s favourite historian Maria Schmidt criticised Germany, when speaking to The Guardian for its article about xenophobia.
“We are Hungarians, and we want to preserve our culture. We don’t want to copy what the Germans are doing or what the French are doing. We want to continue with our own way of life”, said Schmidt, who is the director of the House of Terror museum, the XXth Century Institute and the XXIst Century Institute and owns the pro-government weekly Figyelo. Schmidt was named the 5th most influential woman in Hungary by Forbes in 2016 and 2017, and the 30th most influential person in Hungary by Napi.hu in 2017.
Schmidt reminded that when in 2009 German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Budapest, she invited her for a commemorative event, which the chancellor didn’t accept. “There is only one explanation for this,” she says. “She has a heart of ice.”
Speaking of the European Union, she said:
“There is a debate about the future of Europe: whether it can remain an alliance of nation states, or whether it should become an empire. I don’t believe in empires. Where is the Soviet Union now? Where is the Third Reich? Where is the Ottoman empire? Where is the British Empire? Meanwhile, Hungary is still here.”
Schmidt added that the state of Hungary is 1,100 years old, while “Germany, by comparison, is a young country”.
“I don’t like being lectured by people who couldn’t even set up a nation state before 1871”
she said. The Guardian added that Schmidt’s office later emailed them to clarify that she intended this remark as a joke.