BUDAPEST (JTA) — Hungary’s ultranationalist Jobbik Party called for the reconstitution of the infamous Hungarian Gendarmerie.
The Gendarmerie served as Hungary’s main law enforcement agency, responsible for the deportation of Jews and Roma, or Gypsies, during the Holocaust.
Jobbik leader Gabor Vona told demonstrators at an Aug. 3 rally in Budapest that the Gendarmerie was needed to enforce law and order on the Roma in the countryside. He also declared war on financial crime and advised “international bankers” objecting to that “to leave the country.”
About 150 party activists and sympathizers attended the rally in front of the Ministry of Finance and the Banking Alliance to protest an “international financial conspiracy” as well as “Gypsy crime” allegedly threatening the Hungarian nation.
It was held one day after an unprovoked attack on an isolated Roma home that left a woman dead and her daughter seriously injured. Police say it was part of a recent series of racially motivated attacks perpetrated by hooded death squads that has claimed six lives and caused many injuries.
Vona’s call for the revival of the disbanded Gendarmerie was made following a court order banning the paramilitary Hungarian Guard, a Jobbik offshoot, which had been modeled after the murderous Nazi Arrow-Cross movement, another instrument of terror deployed in Hungary during the Holocaust.
Rally participants flew the red-and-white striped flag of the Arrow-Cross and one sign advised “bankers” to “be afraid.” Unlike some previous rallies, there were no violent confrontations nor Hungarian Guard uniforms on display.