Keleti Railway Station, Hungary, 2015. This cannot be.

Original Article:
by David DERCSENYI, HVG – Opinion Section

Keleti Railway Station, Hungary, 2015. This cannot be.

We have now reached a point where we can honestly say: this is just unbelievable. A state cannot do this with anyone, not even their enemy. You cannot just toy with them, leave people starving and thirsty and make them shed all their humanity. Especially not those you promised to help and take care of.

You may judge, who is Syrian and who isn’t, who comes from where, what they want, whether they are terrorists or not, economic migrants or refugees, financially how much is what, direct or indirect costs, the rate of depreciation. You can try to calculate what the Germans want, and what the Austrians do not want. You can call ambassadors in, you can try to make excuses: we have been besieged (refugees tend to arrive in large numbers and at the same time; discreet, etiquette-driven and tasteful fleeings are extremely rare).

You can do a lot of things – except one.

Play with people’s lives. Lure them to board trains, then forbid them to travel. Make children sleep on asphalt, starve people, round them up in a police cordon – in a word: make them suffer – when by law they are entitled to exactly the same as any Hungarian citizen. And not only by law: by the simple Christian-Jewish-Muslim – any human norm, that I do not leave families with small children, orphaned children, elderly people in the dirt. No ideology (even only remotely in touch with any sort of normality) or principle can overwrite the fact that I am leaving many hundreds or thousands of people, or even just one person to go hungry, thirsty and suffering. No one, who came here or got here somehow, and whom I persuaded to trust in my deliberation and judgement. Just a minute – I say, then I toy with them for days. This just cannot be done.

The state could at any time move their not so small backside, and move, take steps, do things, like they did during the crisis of the red sludge-catastrophe, like they did for those falling victim to the currency-loan scam (nota bene: according to Zoltan Kovacs /Hungarian Government Spokesperson – trans./ the 71 drowned refugees were “people mislead by treachery”, just like the victims of the currency-loan scam. Let us just compare the measures introduced by government to help the two victim-groups.) But they do not take those steps, although they know full well that the refugee situation will remain for months, if not years unchanged. Those with no voting rights are overlooked – this is not European, Christian, Humanitarian politics, but inhumanity, simple and pure sadism, a category of menial politics, judgment upon which is not a question of party politics. Actions of considerably less harm than these resulted in the resignations of ministers in countries a bit more responsible than ours.

But who cares about government ministers?
The government with their decisions made or not made in the past 4 days (and what they are preparing to do today and tomorrow in our Parliament under the pseudonym of ‘change in legislation’) is destroying the exact “trust-capital” that was built by Hungarian civil organisations and volunteers handling the refugees. Aid workers building this trust over the past 10 weeks from their own pocket, with time taken from their families, their work and holidays. Getting up at dawn, working till late at night. Taking over government duties, from (Hungarian towns and cities – trans.) Pécs to Vámosszabadi, from Cegléd to Kikunhalas, from Szeged to Debrecen. These people could be trusted so far by refugees, those who have nothing but information. This, and only this helps: we can trust this, this is a good person, that one and the other is not. From now on it is highly likely that they will not trust even the civilians, because they encouraged them to get on those trains, they settled them into transit zones, trusting that the state is trying to help.

The state, on the other hand, only makes up excuses,talks through its hat, becomes indignant, calls people in – the only thing it does not do is what any normal person with the smallest inkling of empathy would instinctively do without delay, upon recognizing the situation.
The state does not help.

I could write that being Hungarian hasn’t for a long time felt so depressive and humiliating. Fortunately, we do have that enormous amount of helping, giving people, active Hungarians, who make me feel good about being – human.


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