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Horthy anniversary revives history debate

November 20th, 2019

A left-wing pundit accuses the government of following in the footsteps of the interwar authoritarian regime, while a right-wing author calls Horthy an incorruptible patriot.

In Népszava, Ildikó Lendvai, former Chairperson of the Socialist party admits that ‘Orbán and Horthy are, of course, not one and the same man’. However, she recalls that when Horthy rode into Budapest on his white horse, he called the capital “the sinful city”, and similarly, she accuses today’s government of disliking Budapest because it elected an opposition mayor in October. She fears that Fidesz will take revenge on the eleven opposition-led cities and therefore urges the latter to form an ‘alliance of free cities’, create ‘a common media platform’ and thus deter the government from eventual misdeeds.

On Pesti Srácok, Aristo criticises the Left for their ’obsession’ with Horthy who, as he sees it, stabilised Hungary after the post-World War One turmoil. He admits that the 1919 Red Terror was followed by a white one, but argues that Horthy condemned those atrocities. Nevertheless, he disagrees with left-wing plans to erect a monument to the victims of the White Terror in response to the recently re-erected column dedicated to the victims of the Red Terror. Moreover, Aristo writes, there should be three monuments to the victims of Red Terror, since a second one followed after 1949 and a third one in retribution for the 1956 revolution. 

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