Words followed by acts

Author: Gábor HORVÁTH Original title: Szó után a tett
Publication: nol.hu, Photo: MTI – Edvárd MOLNÁR Date: 11/09/2015

Words followed by acts

Germany has become the country of hope. This was noted by Angela Merkel referring with open pride to the historical road her homeland has gone through. It seems obvious to name the country of hopelessness as well, but why bother. Let’s turn in the direction of Europe’s better and freer part, as many have done in the past and in the present. As the refugees do as well.

European spirit and political culture, and solidarity with those who need help is something we can still mostly find “beyond the Leitha river”. (a river flowing very close to the Austrian-Hungarian border, on the Austrian side –trans.) There are traces elsewhere, in Hungary, for instance, it comes from volunteer helpers, NGOs, and sometimes policemen. Respect goes to them. It is typical, however, that a member of the Hungarian government pronounced only ten days after the event that he felt sorry for the 71 dead people found in a truck next to Pandorf. This actually happened in an interview to Népszabadság (a major daily periodical in Hungary -trans.), after several questions have addressed it, so-to-say under moral pressure.

Péter Szijjártó (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hungary) answered no to the question whether he has even looked at the photos that shocked the world’s public opinion, depicting the dead body of a three-year-old Syrian Kurdish boy. The minister, who claims to be a practicing Catholic, doesn’t follow the guidelines of Pope Francis, apparently. The fact that it is forbidden to show refugee children on public television describes well the official position of the Hungarian state. (An extra question is if the Hungarian mother who has kicked a refugee girl near Röszke can be shown to the viewers who are ideologically instable. In the end they would feel sorry for the girl, or the tripped soccer coach holding his child in his arms…)

The Hungarian prime minister has found the time to take a look at the fence being built next to Mórahalom but not to visit Röszke, the collection point without electricity and water, or to check in on Keleti (railway station). As an opposite to this, Angela Merkel visited Spandau on Thursday, where she was hugged by Syrian refugees, and they took selfies with her. A selfie doesn’t resolve anything of course, still, somehow it makes it easier for Germans to bear the burden, and the refugees are getting the feeling of having arrived to a place where they can live, too.

Western politicians are fallible as well. They also say silly things, and they also change their opinions based on public opinion poll results. But they are unable to speak about miserable people with such insensitivity, as the members of the Hungarian government do – a pastor among them. According to historians, inciting hatred at the institutional level was an essential premise to the horror of 1944. Thea leaders of the (pre-WW2 Hungary) Horthy system were not aware what the result of decades of discriminating rhetoric will lead to, but since then, one would assume, we have become smarter. Well, no. The kicking is the direct consequence of the atmosphere created by the Hungarian government. It’s awful to imagine what would happen if Hungarian people, holding arms, would lose their temper the same way.


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