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In defence of the red star ban

February 23rd, 2013

Four days after the Constitutional Court lifted the ban on totalitarian symbols, the main pro-government daily argues that such decisions do not help top deter the younger generation from inhuman ideologies.

Following a verdict by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and reversing its own previous ruling, the Constitutional Court declared that the ban on totalitarian symbols was too general. It gave Parliament 100 days to enact a new regulation. (See BudaPost, February 22.) The two governing parties, Fidesz and KDNP both expressed concerns about the ruling.

In Magyar Nemzet, Zsuzsanna Körmendy suggests that uninformed new generations might under certain circumstances favour a return to one totalitarian system or another, and “such decisions are not helpful” in dissuading them. Körmendy does not mention the fact that the ECHR made an implicit distinction between the red star and Nazi symbols, nor that the Hungarian Constitutional Court considered both equally anti-democratic. She argues against any such distinction, nevertheless. “We know a lot more about Nazi and fascist horrors than about Communist crimes. The former have been publicly discussed since 1945. The latter were surrounded for decades “by an eerie silence.” “Is that the reason why the red star is seen by some as a harmless symbol?” Körmendy asks.

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