BUDAPEST, Hungary (JTA) — At least eight clandestine camps in Hungary are regularly providing advanced weapons training to neo-Nazis, according to media investigations.
The Wiesenthal Center of Europe has called on the Council of Europe, to which it holds consultative status, to place the Hungarian neo-Nazi resurgence on its agenda for an assembly scheduled for Sept. 28-Oct. 2.
Revelations of the training program first surfaced in the Hungarian Nepszabadsag and the German Junge Welt newspapers, attracting further intense mass media attention. One subsequent investigation mounted by a Magyar Television news program showed that at least eight training camps are periodically being operated, including one in a countryside in hilly territory near Gyor, near the Austrian border, and others in the Matra and Bukk mountains.
The extreme-right Hungarian National Front organization has been quoted in published reports as openly stating that it runs annual weapons training programs for candidates who can demonstrate that they are free of Jewish or Gypsy ancestry. They must also forswear a Jewish, Gypsy or homosexual way of life, by which the organizers mean drug dependence and disorderly behavior. The avowed purpose is the creation of a well-trained and trustworthy military elite.
Laszlo Bartha, a specialist spokesman for the National Security Investigation Authority, declined comment Tuesday but indicated that an official announcement was being prepared.
Shimon Samuels, director for international relations at the Wiesenthal Center, warned that Hungary is sinking into the abyss of racial hatred that could easily spread throughout this region and urged the 47-member Council of Europe to investigate the neo-Nazi revival.
“The contagion must be stemmed,” he said. “It behooves the Council of Europe to seek conformity of its members with its own principles to the point of naming, blaming and shaming those that risk the social health of the entire continent.”