It seems like an episode of the Dave Chappelle show: An up-and-coming leader of Hungary’s virulent anti-Semitic party got the shock of his life when it was uncovered recently that he is of Jewish descent.
Csanad Szegedi was notorious for his anti-Semitic comments about Jews, accusing them of “buying up” the country, claiming Jews were desecrating national symbols, complaining about the “Jewishness” of other politicians, and referring to Israelis as “lice-infested, dirty murderers.”
He started his career in 2007 as a founding member of the Hungarian Guard, a group that modeled itself after a pro-Nazi party called the Arrow Cross, which briefly governed Hungary at the end of World War II and killed thousands of Jews. Though the Hungarian Guard was banned by the courts in 2009, Csanad was already a rising star in Hungary’s far-right Jobbik Party, the only party to openly campaign with anti-Semitic imagery and messages.
After Csanad was confronted by a convicted felon with evidence of his lineage, Csanad tried to bribe the man to keep the revelation a secret, but he didn’t take the bait. To top it off, not only is Csanad Jewish, but he’s the descendant of Holocaust survivors. When he confronted his grandmother, she revealed that she was, indeed, in Auschwitz and Dachau and was the sole survivor in her extended family. She hid the truth, she explained, because anti-Semitism is still alive and well in Hungary. Not surprisingly, Csanad was sacked from all of his positions and forced to resign from Jobbik.
When the team at 4Zion heard about Csanad’s predicament, we thought we’d throw him a bone, and so we brainstormed a list of things Csanad should do as he attempts to adjust to his new life as a Jew.