History

Outrage over Hungary PM ‘pure Nazi’ speech

Rise of the right: Holocaust survivors said Orbán’s speech was “stupid and dangerous”.

Could there ever be another Hitler? Viktor Orbán's comments about “race mixing” were widely condemned. But some fear that the extreme far-right could infect mainstream politics. Zsusza Hegedus wrote her letter of resignation carefully. She was one of Viktor Orbán’s closest advisers, but even for her his speech was too much. She called it “a purely Nazi diatribe worthy of Joseph Goebbels". In the speech Orbán said that it was fine for Europeans to marry each other, but not anyone else. The idea of “racial purity” was a key Nazi doctrine. Orbán also made a joke about the Holocaust. Criticising the EU plan’s to cut its gas demands, he mentioned “German know-how on that” – a reference to the gassing of Jewish people in World War Two. The International Auschwitz Committee of Holocaust Survivors called the speech "grist to the mill to all racist and far-right forces in Europe". Over half a million Hungarian Jews were murdered in Auschwitz. But the newspaper Magyar Nemzet praised Orbán. And his hard anti-immigration stance has helped him win four terms as prime minister. Orbán is also against gay rights, the freedom of the press and independence of the judiciaryThe part of a country's government that is responsible for its legal system, including all the judges in the country's courts.. Far-right politicians are also doing well in other parts of Europe. Marine Le Pen’s party is now the second largest in France’s parliament. In Italy, the extremist Brothers of Italy party is favourite to win September’s elections. Its leader, Giorgia Meloni, has downplayed MussoliniThe fascist dictator of Italy from 1925 to 1945. ’s crimes. In Spain, the far-right Vox party has won a place in regional government for the first time. Poland’s governing PiS party, which opposes gay rights and abortion, has earned strong criticism from other EU countries for trying to undermine the rule of law. And in the US, Donald Trump is accused of conspiring with right-wing militias. But there is also plenty of resistance to these movements. Support for the AfD party in Germany has plunged. In Poland, thousands have marched in protest against the PiS. Could there ever be another Hitler? Far-right fright Yes: Hitler exploited an economic crisis by promoting racism, and overturned the legal barriers that stood in his way. That is exactly what Orbán and politicians like him are trying to do.

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