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Zsolt Bayer vents against Hungarian Jews and the foreign press

“There are some people in Hungary who refuse to utter the name of Zsolt Bayer, a notorious anti-Semite and a “journalist” of sorts. His style, as you will see here, is beyond what can be considered appropriate to appear on a printed page.

As was suggested by a reader of this blog, it is worth looking at Bayer’s biography. It’s important to recall that he was one of the thirty-seven students who established Fidesz. Despite his venomous writing, the old Fidesz leadership never disassociated itself from Bayer. Yearly there is a Fidesz birthday bash which is proudly attended by the founders, among them Zsolt Bayer. A few years ago after a particularly outrageous anti-Semitic attack, I think on Imre Kertész, Viktor Orbán made a special effort to be photographed with Bayer as they were amiably enjoying some private jokes. It was Orbán’s way of saying “Bayer is our boy, we stand by him.”

András Schiff’s letter to the editor of The Washington Post gave Bayer a wonderful opportunity to vent against Hungarian Jews. I will translate some passages, but I’m not sure whether I will be able to give the flavor of Bayer’s writing in English. It is hard for me to be that base.


The piece, entitled “The same stench,” begins this way: “A stinking excrement called something like Cohen from somewhere in England writes that ‘foul stench wafts’ from Hungary. Cohen, and Cohn-Bendit, and Schiff. Népszava appears with the red figure of the man with the hammer and demands freedom of the press. Most people think that this is something new and that war like that didn’t take place before. Nonsense. There is nothing new under the sun. Unfortunately, they were not all buried up to their necks in the forest of Orgovány.”


A brief explanation. Orgovány, a small village on the Great Plains, was the place of massacres committed by the leaders of the Hungarian White Terror in 1919-1920. In plain language, Bayer is expressing his sorrow that not all the Jews were killed in those days.

Hungarian Spectrum


April 12