Csanad Szegedi, a leader of Hungary’s notoriously anti-Semitic party Jobbik, found out that he has Jewish roots, reports AFP.
“I learnt not long ago that I had parents of Jewish origins, that’s the big news,” Szegedi told the extreme-right daily Barikad, adding “I’m not saying I wasn’t surprised by this news.”
Since 2009, Szegedi has belonged to Jobbik-Movement for a Better Hungary, a nationalistic political party denoted by scholars and media outlets as anti-Semitic, anti-Roma, homophobic, and neo-fascist. Szegedi garnered copious media attention three years ago for attending the first session of the European Parliament clothed in the Uniform of Jobbik’s banned paramilitary arm, the Hungarian Guard. In an interview with the Hungarian website Politics.Hu, Szegedi said he found the ban on the Hungarian Guard “hard to accept”, despite the Metropolitan Court of Budapest’s ruling that the party violated the human rights of minorities.
The revelation of his Jewish heritage came to Szegedi after finding out that his grandmother, Magoldna Klein, was Jewish. In the blog Narancs Hirado, it was called “impossible” for Szegedi not to have known about his grandmother, who was a Holocaust survivor in addition to being Jewish.
Meanwhile, the news has not brought about a penitent attitude for the politician.”I think that what counts is not to know who is a pure race Hungarian, the important thing is the way one behaves as a Hungarian,” said Szegedi in an interview. “To be Hungarian for me has always been a responsibility towards my country that has nothing to do with racial supremacy.”
Szegedi will retain his position in government, notwithstanding the news of his heritage. Responding to heckles from the blogosphere calling for Szegedi’s resignation, Gabor Vona, Jobbik’s party leader, said on national television that the anti-Semite with a Jewish background has no plans to resign.