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December 15, 2014 5:22 pm

Jobbik Leader Remains a Holocaust Denier, Says Jewish Journalist and Holocaust Survivor

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Jobbik leader Gabor Vona claims he is not a Holocaust denier. Photo: Twitter

A prominent Jewish journalist and Holocaust survivor has disputed an assurance by the leader of one of Europe’s most dangerous far right parties that he is no longer a Holocaust denier.

Gabor Vona, the leader of the Jobbik Party which secured over 20 percent of the vote in Hungary’s April 2014 elections, establishing them as the third-largest party in the Hungarian parliament, answered “I do” when asked by a Hungarian media outlet whether he thought the Holocaust had taken place.

But Karl Pfeifer, an expert on Hungarian politics who survived the Holocaust in Hungary as a young boy, pointed out in an email to The Algemeiner that Vona “says he’s not anti-Semitic or a Holocaust denier, but then ranks the Holocaust at ‘number 20’ in terms of its historical significance.”

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Pfeifer was referring to Vona’s statement, which appeared in the Hungarian version of the interview, that “for me, the question of the Holocaust is of the 20th rank.”

Holocaust denial was made illegal in Hungary in February 2010, when a bill passed through parliament to prevent “denying, questioning or making light of the Holocaust.” However, in June that year, the ruling right-wing nationalist Fidesz Party extended the law to cover “the genocides committed by national socialist or communist systems” and omitted specific reference to the Holocaust. The leader of Fidesz, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has been accused several times of pandering to the Jobbik agenda.

Vona’s latest comments on the Holocaust indicate, as Pfeifer insinuated, that he wants to undermine the historical truth of the Holocaust while avoiding the “denier” label. Asked for his views on the number of victims of the Holocaust, Vona said, “I haven’t studied this side of the historical question. However, I am sure both as a historian and as a teacher of history that the Holocaust happened and very many Jewish people fell victim to it.”

Vona attempted to deflect his reluctance to say publicly that six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust by adding that he condemned the slaughter as he condemned “all human sacrifices. However, let me note that it is a mistake to turn the Holocaust into a political rather than a historical matter – on the side of both political activity denying its existence and political bludgeoning with it.”

Asked about endemic Hungarian racism towards Roma gypsies, many of whom have been violently assaulted by thugs associated with Jobbik’s paramilitary “Hungarian Guard,” Vona adopted the same slippery tone he used when discussing  the Holocaust.

“I say these are false generalizations,” he responded, when asked “how do you react when you hear ‘all Gypsies steal and all Jews cheat?” However,  he added, “public life needs to give a responsible and forward-looking answer to the question of why a large proportion of the prison population is of a Roma background.”

While Vona wants to sound more reasonable when confronted with the evidence of Jobbik’s racism and anti-Semitism, Pfeifer emphasized that his past record shows him to be contemptuous of Jewish suffering. “He is on video making fun of the Holocaust,” Pfeifer said, referring to the following clip from 2010, in which Vona joked about the Holocaust before an appreciative, laughing crowd of Jobbik supporters:

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  • Tarlochan Singh

    I had studied ik UK in the seventies but my english wasn’t that good for me to understand this episode in history, but now everytime i switch on my TV, there is a programme on holocaust. So I wanted to know what happened in the 20th century world, there are more Christians killed then any other religious community, 20 million by stalin alone and yet I have’nt seen a single show about this, In India there is caste system I think there is caste system in western world as well where it seem the jewish people are more important then christians, can anyone tell me if this is true that jewish people are better then christians?

  • Hans Schneiderman

    stop this garbage topic

    • Mannstein

      Garbage logic really? We have yet to see one individual being prosecuted for war crimes or crimes against humanity from members of WWII allies.

      Why aren’t Gulag death camp commandants being hunted down to stand trial. Could it be that the majority were Communist Jews?

    • Mannstein

      The Holomodor was the liquidation of 7 Million Ukrainian Kulaks by the Stalinist regime in the early 1930s. The main perpetrator was one Lazar Kagonovich a Jew. He died peacefully in his Moscow apartment after the fall of the Berlin wall and had been receiving a state pension as well as having been awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union medal. Justice was not served.

  • Marco

    Fred and Stoltz are both right. However Today many of the original beliefs of the “holocaust” have been PROVEN to be false. Auchwitze who had lowered theyre official death count millions, has now been found to have no gas chambers at all. Dachau had real shower heads(not gas plumbing) and Treblinka was found to be a transit camp. All the ground penetrating radar research has yet to find the “millions of bodies” anywhere, and The book called “Debating The Holocaust, A new Look at Both Sides” by Thomas Dalton, and unbiased Nuclear physicist, has proven scientifically and logistically that it is physically impossible to kill, burn, and dispose of anywhere near the amount of people allegedly murdered. So when you sift through all that, what exactly is left? Do you still call it a “holocaust”? The word “holocaust”, itself was a made up for a movie in the 70’s to describe these events of WW2.Thats why everyones definition can vary on what the “holocaust” means. Its criminal for a country to vilify a person who has a different opinion.

  • Stoltz

    How does one rank history? To declare the “holocaust” the greatest disaster in human history is the result of a warped historiography. It is based on the fundamental proposition that the Jews are more important, more relevant than the rest of humanity, than all other ethnic groups, races and cultures. It is based, in other words, on a fundamentally racist proposition which elevates Jewish culture above all others – however, the reality is that the ground is shifting under the feet of this false worldview, especially where it counts – among Europeans.

  • Fred

    Enough of the holocaust – we are all bored to death of hearing about it.

    • Mannstein

      Holocaust, Holocaust, Holocaust, I’m all holocausted out.

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