Far-right Hungarian party sacks member with Jewish ancestry

By Martin Mevius, August 2, 2012
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Jobbik, a far-right Hungarian party, has ordered one of its MEPs, Csanád Szegedi, to step down following revelations about his Jewish ancestry.

In June, the Jobbik MEP told ultra-right wing magazine Barikád he had “just discovered” his Jewish roots. Mr Szegedi said he had learned that his grandmother, Magdolna Klein, was an Auschwitz survivor.

Last week, the party’s vice-president, Ellod Novák, demanded that Mr Szegedi be sacked after a far-right website published a 2010 voice recording in which Mr Szegedi was heard promising a blackmailer “advantages deriving from European sources” to stop revelations about his Jewish background.

Mr Novák claims that Mr Szegedi’s Jewish roots are not the reason for his sacking, but that he “endlessly lied” about his origins.

Véleményvezér, a Hungarian blog, argues that the Szegedi–Novák conflict reveals the true colours of a party that routinely denies its antisemitism. According to the blog, the move shows that Jobbik leaders believe “that Jewish ancestry is unacceptable”.

Mr Szegedi stepped down from all his party positions on Saturday, but remains an MEP.

Last updated: 1:42pm, August 2 2012