Are we witnessing resurrection of fascism in Hungary?
years ago, Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
wrote a poem about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis' rise to power and the
subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group
after group. He wrote in 1946:
"First they came for the Socialists, and I
did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade
Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I
did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there
was no one left to speak for me."
seeing a resurrection of that evil Nazi fascism?
is never without bigots and racists. The Jewish Holocaust did not teach Europe to be respectful of 'other' cultures and
traditions. So it is absolutely folly to expect a change of heart from the
children and grandchildren of those mass murderers and criminals who directly
or indirectly aided Fascism/Nazism and other forms of evils, racism and bigotry
just merely seven decades ago.
Many of today's European leaders entertain the same horrifying evil and
criminal thoughts and ideologies that gave us the World War Two,
which led to the death of tens of millions of innocent people. And, this,
in spite of the scores of international laws and treaties in the post-WWII
period to ensure that we are never victims of those horrendous crimes!
Consider, for instance, Hungarian leader Viktor
Orban’s statement in relation to the
migrants. His country refused
passage of the migrants through his country. Last Thursday thousands of people
desperate to reach Western Europe rushed into a Budapest train station
after police ended a two-day blockade, setting off a wave of anger and
confusion as hundreds shoved their way onto a waiting train. But instead
of heading to the Austrian border, the overloaded train stopped at Bicske, a
town northwest of Budapest that holds one of the
country's five camps for asylum seekers, facilities the refugees want to avoid
because they don't want to pursue asylum claims in economically depressed Hungary. As the
train platform filled with police came into view, those inside chanted their
disapproval and their determination to reach Germany, their almost unanimous
crowd, angrily waving train tickets to Vienna
refused police orders to board buses to the asylum center, pushing their way
past police and back onto the train. A day-long standoff ensued in which police
and charity workers took turns handing food and water to the passengers, only
to have them tossed out train windows in protest. "We don't need food
and water! Just let us go to Germany!"
one man shouted. Children held up handwritten signs reading, "Let's Go
Thursday Orban said that his country did not want to accept
Muslim refugees, as he defended his tough approach to border control on the
front line of Europe's migration
crisis. Orban spoke in Brussels at meetings
between European Union leaders and Hungary's
prime minister after images of a drowned Syrian child on a Turkish beach grabbed
world attention this week and said that it was not a moral argument for opening
"If we would create ... an impression that 'just come because we are ready
to accept everybody,' that would be a moral failure. The moral, human thing is
to make clear: 'Please don't come,'" Orban told reporters. Only an evil
person devoid of any moral compass to guide him could dare to make such an
don't want to, and I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a
large number of Muslim people in our country," Orban said. "We do not
like the consequences of having a large number of Muslim communities that we
see in other countries, and I do not see any reason for anyone else to force us
to create ways of living together in Hungary that we do not want to see.
That is a historical experience for us."
In his official website, Prime Minister
Orban gets to the crux of the matter. He writes, "Let us not forget,
however, that those arriving have been raised in another religion, and
represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but
Muslims. This is an important question, because Europe
and European identity is rooted in Christianity."
quite obvious that Orban’s directive to deny the migrants a passage through his
country, let alone settlement, is all about migrants’ religion who presumably
would dilute Christian root in Europe, much like how the Jews were perceived in
Austro-Hungarian-German ‘Axis of Evil’ in the days, months and years leading up
to their Holocaust.
is alive and kicking in many parts of Europe,
which also explains the ascendancy into power of many of the fascists. Lest we
forget Orban’s vision of a new Hungary is a “work-based
society that will abandon liberal democracy.” Minus liberal democracy, Hungary would
roll back to fascism.
of letting the migrants (mind that they
are not seeking refugee status in his country) who want to go to Germany or
other parts of western Europe for which they had bought tickets, the sick,
hungry and thirsty migrants heard savage chants, epitomizing inhumanity, at the
train station from the fascist Hungarians. On Friday, signs were held
aloft at the site stating: “No camp, no Hungary, freedom train,” whiles
others chanted “no food, no water.” How low can Hungary go down?
Obviously with a brainchild of Hitler and Mussolini in power, such an inhuman
attitude rather comes easy for fascist Hungarians.
fact is many Europeans are unaware of their deplorable racism and bigotry, and
don’t see any problem with Orban’s notorious statement. They see the current
migration crisis as a purely non-European problem. Many of them are opposed to
diversity and multi-culturalism. Thus, the
evil ideologies of fascism and/or ultra-nationalism are gaining much popularity
in many parts of Europe. It is, thus, no surprise
that the Visegrad group - Poland, Hungary,
Slovakia and the CzechRepublic
- issued a joint statement following a meeting Friday that stressed the need to
defend the EU's borders, as Hungary
has done by erecting a razor-wire border fence and deploying soldiers to assist
tragic scenes of stranded migrants in Hungary, the suffocation deaths of 71
refugees found decomposing in a truck in Austria last week, and mass drownings
in the Mediterranean plus photos of a young Syrian boy’s
body washed up on a Turkish shore should result in an
outpouring of sympathy in Europe what we see and hear instead is simply hateful
and offensive - emanating from many of the European leaders. Instead of
humanity what we witness is inhumanity; instead of compassion, sympathy and
understanding we see unfathomed hostility and pure rejection.
To make things worse, Hungary is in
the process of completing a 11.5-foot fence on its southern border with
to keep out migrants. On Friday, her lawmakers have increased penalties
for border violators as part of a package of laws passed Friday. Under the new
laws, trespassing in border zones will become a criminal act, smuggling people
will be punishable by 20 years in prison and registration centers will be
erected at points along the border.
Hungary's behavior with the fleeing
migrants is simply criminal and deserves our unwavering condemnation.
Not everything is lost though in the European front. It is good to see an
abrupt U-turn for the U.K. leader, who had previously said accommodating more
people was not the answer, instead focusing on the root cause — Syria’s civil
war. David Cameron announced that Britain would take in “thousands”
more Syrian refugees.
Ireland likewise announced that it would
resettle more refugees, taking in at least 1,800 refugees, tripling its earlier
commitment of accepting about 600 people over the next two years.
Guterres, the U.N.’s high commissioner for refugees said the EU's response
to the crisis would be a "defining moment" for the bloc, warning that
a divided EU would benefit only smugglers and traffickers.
official on Friday said the bloc was crafting a plan to distribute an
additional 120,000 refugees across its 28-nation membership, including the
relocation of 54,000 refugees from Hungary,
50,400 from Greece and
15,600 from Italy.
consistent plan from the EU is far from assured; countries are still deeply
split over how to respond. As noted by Al Jazeera, Britain’s stance has been unfavorable compared
with that of Germany,
which plans to receive 800,000 refugees this year and has budgeted billions in
additional welfare spending for them.
I am very disturbed about Hungarian leader’s
indefensible remarks and directives on the migration crisis. I see the
resurrection of fascism there, which is unacceptable and undesirable. It would be irresponsible of us to confine his
highly deplorable and criminal attitude to Muslims only. History has repeatedly
shown that the identity of the targeted victims of fascism can change very
fast! So, when Orban and his ilk talk about keeping Europe
a purely Christian continent, it would be utterly foolish of us to either
ignore or excuse his fascist mentality. They want to take us back to the Hitler-Mussolini
era of hatred, intolerance and ultra-nationalism with its deadly results. It is
alarming and sickening and must be stopped.
(Click here for the
link to Hungarian brutality against migrants).