Deborah Lipstadt condemns Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban for evoking 'Nazi' ideology

His comments on mixed-race people prompted the resignation of his Jewish adviser


Deborah Lipstadt, the United States’ special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, has condemned Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for remarks on mixed-race people that she said clearly evoked "Nazi racial ideology".

Earlier this week the Hungarian leaders’ longstanding adviser Szusza Hegedus, who is Jewish, resigned over the comments made at the weekend by the right-wing Hungarian leader, who won a fourth consecutive term in April this year.

In a tweet, Professor Lipstadt said she was “deeply alarmed” by “the use of rhetoric that clearly evokes Nazi racial ideology”.

 Referring to immigration into Europe from people outside the continent, he was widely reported as saying, “We are willing to mix with one another but we do not want to become peoples of mixed race."

The West had been split in two and some countries were no longer nations but “a conglomeration of peoples”, he contended.

 He was also interpreted by some to have joked about the Holocaust when, commenting about European proposals to cut gas consumption in the fallout from the war in Ukraine, he said, “There is German know-how for this, from the past, I think”.

In her strongly-worded resignation letter, Ms Hegedus wrote, “I don’t know how you didn’t notice that the speech you delivered is a purely Nazi diatribe worthy of Joseph Goebbels”, Hungary Today reported.

 In another letter to him, she also referred to her parents, who survived the Holocaust.

 In response, Mr Orban protested, “You know better than anyone that in Hungary, my government follows a zero-tolerance policy on both antisemitism and racism.” 

 The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities is seeking a meeting with the Hungarian Prime Minister in the wake of the controversy.

On Thursday, during a visit to Austria, he responded to criticism by saying that he sometimes spoke “in a way that can be misunderstood” and his comments at the weekend reflected “a cultural, civilisational standpoint”. 

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