The mayor of Budapest’s 11th district spoke in a positive way about Adolf Hitler at a council meeting last week. The video of his remarks was published by the pro-government news channel, Hir TV.
Laszlo Imre won his seat in the 2019 local elections as the candidate of the united opposition – he’s a politician of the left-liberal Democratic Coalition. The party’s president is former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, whose wife, Klara Dobrev is one of the vice-presidents of the European Parliament.
According to Laszlo, Hitler deserved to be named „Person of the year” by the Time magazine, „because the work he had done before that, brought spectacular advancement for Germany after the financial crisis”.
Hungarian press was quick to remind that Hitler was named „Person of the year” in 1938, and by then, he had banned all opposition parties, sent opposition politicians to jail or concentration camps, took away the citizenship of Jewish people, banned them from marrying non-Jews and the organised, open violence against them started precisely in 1938, with the Kristallnacht.
After the video was aired, Laszlo apologised, and said that he comes from a Jewish family, several of his relatives died in Auschwitz. „nobody can seriously assume” that he was praising Hitler. Speaking in the debate about the renaming of a park, his point was that the legacy of every historical personality can be judged as a whole.
Hir Tv reported that Budapest’s left-wing mayor, Gergely Karacsony referred from directly commenting on Laszlo’s remarks. Socialist deputy mayor Kata Tutto called Laszlo’s remarks unfortunate, but she said it’s enough that he had apologised. Jobbik MP Tibor Nunkovics said that Laszlo’s remarks are forgivable.
According to opposition historian Krisztian Ungvary, Laszlo’s remarks cannot be judged without the context and there’s not „social danger” behind them, because DK is not a right-wing party.
Conservative commentators and journalists called the opposition’s reaction a stellar example of double standards, reminding that if a Fidesz-politician made such remarks, they’d be demanding a resignation and ask for the EU’s intervention. Not to mention that such remarks would end the career of any Western politician in no time.
Fidesz-KDNP’s EP delegation leader, Tamas Deutsch demanded Laszlo’s resignation in a Facebook post on Friday. According to Deutsch, the Hungarian nation is a community of values, and such remarks are not acceptable. The MEP reminded the left-liberal parties that they should act according to their „beloved political correctness”. According to Fidesz MP Lajos Kosa, there can be no acquittal for Laszlo.
Source: Hungary Journal