Budapest — c’est l’agonie


I haven’t been to the French Institute in Budapest since years, but some 5 years ago there surely was a tag on the wall in front of the building which laconically stated:

Paris, c’est la folie
Budapest, c’est l’agonie

Yesterday, published a news article about an insult against a rabbi who held Passover dinner at his apartment in Dohány Street, in the so-called Jewish Quarter. According to, there were some 50 guests at the Passover Seder—children, too. The window was open so the “party” could be heard from the street, anyway, somebody probably thought they were too loud, or as one of the guests told to the Hungarian news site, probably some right-wing people wanted to show how they disliked what was happening there. So they started to throw stones at the window of the apartment. Finally, the Jewish people celebrating Passover called the police.

Just one sentence quote from the article, and you will understand my indescribable idea or feeling why Budapest is so the agony.

[Police] warned the men who had kippah on their heads, that in this kind of headwear, it’s not safe to walk in Budapest.

As for the agony some additional material: on March 15 we have a national holiday, and on this year’s national holiday somebody recorded a video at the assembly of Jobbik at Erzsébet Square. Probably, it was the crew of Mandiner Blog who were on the spot, however they published it and could have never published anything else which shows better the frame of mind that some people have in this fantastically disappointing Central and Eastern European country.

On the video there is a man shouting extremely radical buzzwords to those standing around and coming from the other side of the street. The video is well-known by the sentence said at 00:44 “Zsidó, gyere át a zebrán!” which means “Jew, come through the crossing!”—and a guy, who knows who, a Jewish man or not, he came through the crossing and hit the man in the face. Afterwards the police came and pushed this guy to the ground, while one can hear some people shouting “We caught a commie”/”They caught a commie”.



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