European Interest

Orbán honors anti-Semitic poet

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
The weeping willow monument in Budapest to Hungarian victims of the Holocaust. Each leaf is inscribed with the family name of one of the victims.

A well known for his anti-Semitism poet received this week a high public recognition by the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán.

The poet and essayist Kornel Döbrentei, who is actually Vice-Chairman of the National Association of Hungarian Artists and member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts received the laurel wreath of Hungary this week.

Döbrentei, initially a worker became a journalist in 1972. He wrote poetry and essays since 1967.

But an anti-Semitic statement in a 2004 speech provoked harsh reactions among the Hungarians writers the German FAZ reports.

“False prophets in disguises and masks – only their beard is real – conduct the moral Holocaust at the Hungarians,” he stated.

The Hungarian Writers’ Union didn’t react officially at the time. However more than a hundred members, among them Imre Kertesz, Peter Nadas, Peter Esterhazy, Magda Szabo and György Konrad resigned.

The Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002 Imre Kertesz, who died in 2016, accused at the time Döbrenteis’s remarks as pure anti-Semitism.

“This is the old, classic, stupid, bad, and ultimately anti-Semitism that leads to Auschwitz,” he wrote FAZ reports.

Now Viktor Orbán, whose anti-EU campaign includes anti-Semitic remarks against the Hungarian born George Soros, honors a poet who provoked Hungarian Jews.

Hungary’s ruling party Fidesz, is currently threatened with expulsion from the European People’s Party (EPP).

Significantly Manfred Weber, the President of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, during his visit to Budapest on Tuesday also visited the Great Synagogue in Budapest.

Explore more