Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) is not supporting Orbán anymore

On January 24, 2017, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit by Hungary. The award was presented in Washington D.C. with great fanfare by Orbán loyalist Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi and Kaptur expressed her support for the Budapest government. Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi (left) and Rep. Kaptur at the award … Continue reading “Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) is not supporting Orbán anymore”

A bishop in the pews

István Gégény, the editor of a Hungarian-language Catholic blog entitled SZEMlélek, explores why it’s worth remembering that religious leaders–be they parish priests or bishops–are people too. Just like members of their congregation, they struggle to live their faith in the everyday. HFP offers this English-language translation of Mr. Gégény’s piece, entitled “Püspök a padban“, or … Continue reading “A bishop in the pews”

The National Legion — Far-right launches new paramilitary group in Hungary

The Mi Hazánk, or in English the Our Homeland far-right party announced the formation of a paramilitary group called the National Legion on 14 May 2019. This new group follows in the footsteps of the banned Magyar Gárda, once the paramilitary wing of the Jobbik party–back when it represented the hard right in Hungary. The … Continue reading “The National Legion — Far-right launches new paramilitary group in Hungary”

Viktor Orbán gets his day in Washington and displays his skill as a communicator

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán last sat next to an American president in the Oval Office 21 years ago, in 1998. At the time, the 35 year old Mr. Orbán, serving his first four year term at the helm of the Hungarian government, sat in the company of President Bill Clinton. Mr. Orbán had then just … Continue reading “Viktor Orbán gets his day in Washington and displays his skill as a communicator”

American concern about Hungary’s downward democratic trajectory

The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is concerned about “Hungary’s downward democratic trajectory” and issued the following letter about Viktor Orbán’s upcoming visit to the White House. Four US Senators, among them ranking member Robert Menendez signed the letter. Not too long ago, in 2012 Senator Menendez actually praised Hungary’s democracy and politicians … Continue reading “American concern about Hungary’s downward democratic trajectory”

What Ben Shapiro’s frenzied reaction to a BBC interview tells us about political tribalism

Historians will credit Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with being ahead of his time on the nature of political discourse and on the populist transformation of what was once called conservatism. Mr. Orbán has avoided all debates with his political opponents since 2006 and finessed the tribal approach to politics that was only adopted by others … Continue reading “What Ben Shapiro’s frenzied reaction to a BBC interview tells us about political tribalism”

Pro-Iranian Viktor Orbán will visit President Trump in the White House

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s voice is the only heard in Hungary today and his rhetoric is firmly anti–Islamist. At the same time, Mr. Orbán maintains close and friendly relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. All smiles – Orbán with Eshaq Jahangiri, Iran’s First Vice President. Iran is a theocracy. Islam is an inseparable part … Continue reading “Pro-Iranian Viktor Orbán will visit President Trump in the White House”

Two examples of contemporary Polish antisemitism

Ever since I read Jerzy Kosiński’s 1965 novel The Painted Bird, I was freed from any misconception that antisemitism in Hungary is unique or somehow more odious than that appearing elsewhere in Central Europe. In fact, in some ways, Poland’s religiosity may have contributed to a particularly fervid form of hatred. In The Painted Bird, we … Continue reading “Two examples of contemporary Polish antisemitism”

Hungary’s Jesuits and Orbán’s attempt to exploit Pope Francis’s visit to Romania

Hungary’s Catholic leadership is firmly behind Orbán, in fact, church events often serve as political tools to spread Orbán’s nationalist message in the Carpathian basin. Pope Francis plans to visit Romania and is expected to celebrate an outdoor Mass on June 1, 2019 at the shrine of Our Lady of Csíksomlyó, a pilgrimage site near … Continue reading “Hungary’s Jesuits and Orbán’s attempt to exploit Pope Francis’s visit to Romania”

Charles Korvin (Kárpáthy Korvin Géza) – the blacklisted Hungarian American film star

As part of our series on lesser known Hungarian Americans we introduce Hollywood star Charles Korvin. The very good looking Hungarian was a popular star of the screen in the 1940s. Charles Korvin Géza Kárpáthy Korvin was born in 1907 in Pöstyén, Hungarian Kingdom (today Piešťany, Slovakia) in a Hungarian speaking family with a noble … Continue reading “Charles Korvin (Kárpáthy Korvin Géza) – the blacklisted Hungarian American film star”

Hungary snubbed on fifteenth anniversary of EU membership

It’s May Day in Hungary — a national holiday where major political parties hold picnics and rallies, Budapest’s Városliget (City Park) fills with families, games for children, barbecues and vendors, and the almost moribund Munkáspárt, the hard-line successor of the country’s pre-1989 Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, shows signs of life by marching on Andrássy út … Continue reading “Hungary snubbed on fifteenth anniversary of EU membership”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti at 100 – declined Hungarian PEN award

Almost 40 years ago I was a newcomer to San Francisco. On weekends we would hang out at North Beach with friends at the Caffe Trieste and always had a mandatory stop at City Lights the legendary (and cozy) bookstore on Columbus Ave. I often chatted with the tall, friendly older guy behind the cashier’s … Continue reading “Lawrence Ferlinghetti at 100 – declined Hungarian PEN award”

Erzsébet and Zsuzsanna Ránki establish the György Ránki Scholarship at Indiana University

Erzsébet and Zsuzsanna Ránki have established the György Ránki Scholarship in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. This gift will provide financial support to scholars specializing in Hungarian Studies, as well as additional support for the György Ránki Hungarian Chair. Professor György Ránki’s work … Continue reading “Erzsébet and Zsuzsanna Ránki establish the György Ránki Scholarship at Indiana University”

Hungary’s own tragic Basilica fire in 1947

On June 20, 1947 the iconic dome of St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest burned down. The cause of the fire was worker’s negligence during the roof’s renovation. Firefighters desperately tried to save the cupola, but their equipment couldn’t reach the height of the building. In the surrounding streets thousands of citizens watched with horror the … Continue reading “Hungary’s own tragic Basilica fire in 1947”

New Democratic Party MP Don Davies has “great meeting” with Orbán regime representatives

Our publication has been critical in the past of close contacts and a friendly relationships between the prior Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and representatives of Hungary’s Orbán regime. The Hungarian Free Press, its contributors and many of its readers have on numerous occasions informed different layers of the Canadian political establishment of … Continue reading “New Democratic Party MP Don Davies has “great meeting” with Orbán regime representatives”

Hungarian American organization supports convicted violent neo-Nazis in Romania

Two Romanian citizens, Mr. István Beke and Mr. Zoltán Szőcs were arrested in November, 2015. They are ethnic Hungarians and local leaders of a group called Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement (Hatvannégy Vármegye Ifjúsági Mozgalom). The two man were charged with planning to detonate an improvised device during the December 1, 2015, National Day celebration in … Continue reading “Hungarian American organization supports convicted violent neo-Nazis in Romania”

Good luck, Rev. Gábor Magyari-Köpe!

I was surprised to learn that after 15 years of service Rev. Gábor Magyari-Köpe has left the Free Magyar Reformed Church of San Francisco and Vicinity. I don’t know the reason for his departure but want to wish him good luck. Magyari-Köpe at the pulpit Magyari-Köpe grew up in an ethnic Hungarian family in Brasov … Continue reading “Good luck, Rev. Gábor Magyari-Köpe!”

Hungarian opera singers claim African American identity

Fifteen Caucasian opera singers from the Hungarian State Opera signed a document claiming that they identify, in part, as being African American. Szilvester Ókovács, the Opera House’s director, asked those with roles in George Gershwin’s piece Porgy and Bess to identify as African-American in writing, in order to get around the fact that Ira Gershwin insisted that … Continue reading “Hungarian opera singers claim African American identity”

Widespread abuse of disabled residents at Hungarian institution

A public institution for the disabled in the southwestern Hungarian village of Mozsgó (population 1,000) is under scrutiny after a complaint detailed widespread abuse of the intellectually disabled residents by staff. Hungary’s Népszava daily reported on a detailed complaint and video evidence documenting the physical abuse and the overall inhumane treatment of residents. In one … Continue reading “Widespread abuse of disabled residents at Hungarian institution”

Who’s Meshuga? Arnold Schwarzenegger and Viktor Orbán – best buddies

Last December in the Polish city of Katowice, Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a brief speech about climate change. In his speech Arnold called President Trump meshuga. The Yiddish word means crazy and the audience responded with applause. Arnold grew up in Graz, Austria as a son of a one-time Nazi party-member policeman. I don’t think that … Continue reading “Who’s Meshuga? Arnold Schwarzenegger and Viktor Orbán – best buddies”