Jewish by Blood: Anti-Semitic by Culture

by Dr. David Mandler

I would love to have been a fly on the wall when 29-year-old Csanád Szegedi supposedly first had a conversation with his beloved 93-year-old grandmother about granny’s “tragic family history” as Mr. Szegedi calls it euphemistically in a letter published yesterday on

Szegedi was forced to react to Előd Novák, an influential leader of the Jobbik Party whose own forceful letter denounced Szegedi as a liar two days ago. Why? Because an enemy of Szegedi released an audio recording of a meeting between Szegedi and a certain Zoltán Ambrus in 2010 when Szegedi seems to be offering monetary help stemming from his EU position and supportive articles in the media in exchange for Ambrus keeping quiet about the results of his “research” into Szegedi’s maternal ancestry. (Ambrus had apparently discovered that Szegedi’s grandmother was deported to Auschwitz and even claims to have had her tattoo number in his possession). It was to this recording that Novák, the Slavic-named MP in the Hungarian parliament known as the Goebbels of the Jobbik Party, reacted so vehemently. (Interestingly, both Novák’s letter and Szegedi’s response to it are gone from although the original posting is still on Facebook with plenty of reader response–all in Hungarian, of course).

What I want to know is what granny told her grandson and how. Here’s how I see the conversation.

Szegedi (Sz.): Granny, I’ve just learned that you may have been to Auschwitz. Is this true?
Granny (G.): Yes, my dear.
Sz: As a Jew or as a guard?
G: A Jew.
G: I’m sorry I never told you about this but I thought it best to forget.
Sz: But granny, you know that I’m supposed to hate the Jews. Jews have done nothing for Hungary. How could you be one of them?
G: I was born a Jew, my parents were born Jewish, and my great-grandparents were Jewish. Still, I have always loved my country, Hungary, and could recite Horthy’s credo were I violently awakened even at 2:00 in the morning as you mentioned in your wonderfully stomach-churning speech in Kiskunhalas. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t want a better future for my grandson. That’s why I decided to keep your ancestry from you. A BETTER FUTURE!
Sz: Jesus Christ. It’s true, then. I have Jewish blood in me. All the taunting back in school my brother suffered because of his Jewish look that made me mad with anger had a basis then.
G: Yes. I was deported to Auschwitz. Most of my–our family–was killed there.

Sz: Killed? While at work, of course. There were no gas chambers there. It’s all a fable. You can read all about it on my buddies’ website. It’s all a Jewish lie intended to make the world feel sorry for them, so they can exploit the world even more.
G: It was a concentration camp with gas chambers. We were taken there by the very gendarmes you’d love to see back in the streets today. Of course, you’d only use them against the gypsies, wouldn’t you?
Sz: Mostly, yes. And all the enemies of the Hungarians.
G: Such as? The Jews? Would you deport me to Auschwitz, my dear grandson? Would you deport yourself there, too, as a half-Jew?
Sz: It’s not the blood that counts but what a person puts down on the table for his country.
G: What party did you say you were leading, Csanád? The socialists?
Sz: Jesus forbid (I know it’s God forbid, but now I will have to use Jesus in every second sentence. I’d hate for people to think that I was a Jew).
G: Good. I hate socialists. I love you, though. You’re my grandson.
Sz: And I love you, too, granny, even though you’re a…a…Jew.

If the above conversation seems unrealistic, perhaps it is because it IS so. How credible is it that little Csanád NEVER saw his grandmother’s tattoo from Auschwitz. That he never asked what it was? That granny lied about the tattoo?

Either Csanád is lying now about when he learned of his Jewish maternal lineage (in which case he’s an even bigger scoundrel than previously supposed) or he is telling the truth that he only was informed of the truth in December, 2011. In either case, his days as an influential Jobbik Party member must be numbered. For every time he is to appear at a popular rally, his face will immediately evoke a strong reaction from the not-so-genteel crowd of the Goy Bikers and the New Hungarian Guards.

And it won’t be the line Csanád wants them to think, namely, that it’s not blood that counts.

The face of Csanád Szegedi, no matter what he does from now on to prove that he is a wonderful Christian, a radical Hungarian patriot, a gypsy-hater, a fighter for Greater, pre-Trianon Hungary, an enthusiastic expert of shamanism, the Turul bird and a proud wearer of the Hungarian Guard’s vest, the crowds of Goy Bikers and New Hungarian Guards will see nothing other than the lying face of a Jew.

Perhaps it is time for Csanád for some introspection. He is in a unique position to effect some very positive changes in the average anti-Semitic Hungarian whose image of the Jew is that of a foreigner with a hooked nose, holding a bag of money on his way out of the country with a Satanic laughter (i.e. the IMF, for example). Maybe, just maybe, a more careful look into this story would reveal at least three cardinal truths about Hungarians and Jews.

1. Hungarians with Jewish ancestry have been–and, therefore, can be–genuinely good Hungarians.
2. Some Jews who have been born or raised in Hungary (whether for generations or not) can, and often do consider themselves as only Hungarians and should be accepted as such.
3. Jews who consider themselves to be Jews and Hungarians at the same time are legitimately both. Being a religiously observant Jew does not exclude also being a patriotic Hungarian at the same time–unless the definition of the latter includes an aversion to all things Jewish.