A hardline Hungarian politician and intellectual retracted his article comparing billionaire philanthropist George Soros to Adolf Hitler. The move came after widespread criticism against him, including from Jewish organizations over apparent misuse and belittling of the Holocaust.
"Europe is George Soros' gas chamber ... Poison gas flows from the capsule of a multicultural open society, which is deadly to the European way of life," wrote Szilard Demeter, a ministerial commissioner and head of the Petofi Literary Museum in Budapest.
He also went on to call Soros, Hungarian-born US businessman, as "the liberal Fuhrer." The cultural commissioner said the liberal backers of Soros, whom he calls 'liber-aryan army' deifies him 'more than did Hitler's own'.
The Nazi Parallel
Apart from Jewish and Holocaust memorial groups, the leading opposition politicians in Hungary criticized Szilard for the article. Former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai and Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony asked Prime Minister Viktor Orban to sack Szilard.
"SzilÃ¡rd Demeter can no longer wear any public office from 8 am. The Prime Minister has a few hours left," said Karacsony.
More pressure on Szilard came after the American Jewish Committee attacked the article saying: "Such ignorance of history and minimizing the Holocaust have to be called out."
On Sunday, the cultural tsar retracted the article. "My critics are right in that...the Nazi parallel can unintentionally offend victims' memories," he said.
The controversial article appeared on Origo.hu, a Hungarian pro-government outlet. "Poisonous gas flows from the capsule of a multicultural open society, which is deadly to the European way of life, and we, the nations of Europe, are doomed to try to fight for the last sip of air by climbing on each other," the article said.
Financing Liberal Causes
Hungary's Orban has been a bitter critic of Soros and his foundation that finances liberal causes around the world. The policies that Soros promotes, including Immigration, have run counter to the dominant popular mood in countries like Hungary and Poland, eventually pitting these governments against the European Union.
The two countries have also blocked negotiations over the EU budget due to these issues. Warsaw and Budapest were angered by the perceived snub against them in the EU document that connected the nations' eligibility in funding Covid-relief and the 'democratic standards' existing in them. Hungary and Poland say a witch hunt is on against them. And the right-wing politicians in both the countries hold Soros responsible for funding and propping up the anti-right narrative in the European Union.