Istvan Csurka, anti-Semitic Hungarian writer and politician, dies

(JTA) – Istvan Csurka, a far-right Hungarian writer and politician who was notorious for his anti-Semitism, has died.

His family announced his death of an undisclosed illness at the age of 77 on Saturday.

Late last year Csurka, a playwright and essayist, had been at the center of controversy over his appointment as artistic director of Budapest’s New Theatre. The appointment drew sharp criticism from Jewish groups and theater professionals and was withdrawn within weeks.

Csurka was an anti-Communist dissident, and after the fall of communism helped establish the center-right Hungarian Democratic Forum, which came to power in 1990. He was expelled from the party in 1993 and founded the far-right Hungarian Truth and Life party, whose agenda was openly anti-Semitic.

He founded the far-right weekly Magyar Forum newspaper in 1989-90, in which, as editor, he published vitriolic anti-Semitic articles. He already had been sanctioned by the Communist authorities for anti-Semitism in 1972.

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