BUDAPEST (JTA) — A coalition of anti-fascist public figures called on the Hungarian government to investigate news reports of secret military training courses for neo-Nazis being run in the country.
Reports over the weekend in the Hungarian Nepszabadsag newspaper and the German Junge Welt describe training with heavy weaponry and in hand-to-hand combat allegedly carried out during the summer at a camp operated under the auspices of the extremist Hungarian National Front organization.
Hungarian National Front leaders are quoted as saying that the courses were held in preparation for armed struggle in which Hungary would be “reborn in fire, filth and blood.” They suggest that members of the Hungarian Guard, the banned paramilitary organization established by the extreme nationalist Jobbik Party, are receiving significant military training.
The coalition’s public letter, issued Monday and addressed to Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai, reminds Bajnai that “Hungary is bound by the 1947 peace accords to eliminate all Nazi organizations operating on its territory and to prevent the establishment or operation of new ones.”
The letter calls for a public inquiry into what its authors perceive as a grave national security threat. Among the signers are Miklos Gaspar Tamas, a philosopher; Tamas Hirschler, chairman of the League of Hungarian Antifascists; and Jozsef Marton Gold, chairman of the Civic Parliamentary Association.
Publicly active since the late 1990s, the Hungarian National Front was the first to organize commemorative ceremonies in the Castle of Buda in honor of the German and Hungarian Nazi resistance against the Soviet siege of Budapest during World War II.