BUDAPEST (Jun. 24)
Hungarian Jewry today faced a new threat to its existence when Deputy Matyas Matolcy, leader of the Arrow-Cross Front, announced to Parliament the formation of a new Nazi coalition known as the Hungarian National Socialist Party.
Matolcy said a principal plank of the party’s program would be a third anti-Jewish law embracing the “strictest” control of the Jews and aimed at the eventual exclusion of the Jews from all phases of national life. Specifically he declared the party would demand immediate seizure of all agricultural land holdings still in Jewish hands–estimated at 600,000 acres.
Matolcy said the new party numbered presently 15 deputies–11 of his former party plus four erstwhile members of the Arrow-Cross Party led by Kalman Hubay, who is now awaiting the verdict of Parliament’s “Incompatibility” Committee, which is expected to vote his expulsion from Parliament on July 1.
Although Matolcy’s new party numbers only 15 deputies of a total of 260, observers expressed the belief that the movement augured imminent unification of all Nazi groups totaling 60 deputies and supported by ex-Premier Bela Imredy, the pro-Nazi bloc of the Government party totaling an estimated 40 members.
The new development foreshadows the end of a lull in anti-Semitic propaganda in the Hungarian press.
Resolved to do everything possible to maintain inner harmony and avoid all unnecessary friction, the Hungarian Government had earlier ordered the censors to prohibit publication of violently anti-Semitic and other types of inflammatory articles.
In recent weeks, as a result, the tone of anti-Semitic propaganda in Budapest’s Nazi and pro-German papers had become much milder. In fact, for several days Magyarsag, morning paper published by the Arrow-Cross Party, had hardly mentioned Jews at all.
Reason for the deceptive lull, in addition to the Government’s desire to maintain harmony, was the fact that Hungary’s anti-Semitic program has reached the point where there is nothing more to be gained by further attack on the Jews. All Gentiles of any ability have been able to increase to the maximum their incomes and their influence at the expense of the Jews and all Jews in excess of the legal ratios of 6 and 12 per cent have been ousted from their positions and professions.
Probably the most violent of the Hungarian anti-Semites is Karoly Harethy, editor of the Arrow-Cross evening paper, Pesti Ujsag. Born with the Teutonic name of Meisler and until recently a provincial attorney, he found it expedient, on his entrance into political journalism, to Magyarize his name to Harethy, the name of a non-extinct but once highly distinguished family of pure-Hungarian aristocrats.
Pesti Ujsag, for all its violence and sensationalism, is widely read in Budapest by people in all walks of life. On the streets and in trams and buses one can see working men and army officers reading the paper, as well as bourgeois people from whose class most of Hungarian anti-Semitism springs. Though unable, because of censorship, to print the sort of anti-Semitic propaganda he seems to prefer–the kind published in Julius Streicher’s Der Stuermer–Harethy and his faction are not content with the anti-Semitic measures taken by the Government to date–dismissal of all Jewish employes over the six and 12 per cent ratios, disbarring of Jewish professionals, expropriation of Jewish landowners, etc.