The End of the Fairy Tale

At a ceremony in Dunaföldvár, a small town in the middle of the Hungarian puszta, a hundred and thirty new members of the extremist New Hungarian Guard were recently inducted. On the same day hundreds of supporters of the original Hungarian Guard, a militant informal branch of Jobbik, currently the third strongest party in parliament, met in Budapest. The original Hungarian Guard was banned in 2009 by the courts only to re-emerge under a new name. Its members wear black uniforms and carry striped banners reminiscent of the fascist Arrow Cross, the militia responsible for the deaths of thousands of […]

Taking Stock

Barely eight months have passed since the new parliament was formed – and since then the words and deeds of the party and government new in power have turned the political life and the workings of the state and the economy upside down. We keep being perplexed; we have not even woken up from the astonishment caused by a political step yesterday when shocked by another new announcement or measure today. It is difficult to absorb the whirlwind of events. Let us stop for a moment, let us take a deep breath, and let us re-consider what has actually happened. […]

A wave that will well up from the depths of the crisis

The year 1989 in East and Central Europe was the year of democratic revolutions, of reforms flowing into revolutions and revolutions infused with reforms. Ideas of national independence and sovereignty were combined with a democratic, European transformation oriented towards the West. A new history However, the first nationalist ethnic revolutions came along as early as 1990-1991, proclaiming another kind of regime change, secession and separation, and attacking national minorities. It began with a pogrom in Romania’’s Târgu Mureș, was followed by the break-up of Yugoslavia and the coarsely velvety splitting up of Czechoslovakia, and it ranged from Csurka’’s ideology of international conspiracy in […]

Under fire

It was one of the great hopes after the fall of Communism that the problems of the East European and East Central European national minorities would be eased and their rights asserted, without the nation-states feeling that this would be a threat or a humiliation to them.To this promise was linked the hope of European federalism, that withering away of physical borders which the liberal Romanian foreign minister Nicolae Titulescu (1883-1941) promoted in vain between the two World Wars and which seemed to be about to be realized through the eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union. In fact, […]