The International Auschwitz Committee said on Tuesday it was “horrified” after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s comments on “mixed-Hungarian race” and called on the European Union to “disassociate itself from such racist overtones”.
• Read also: EU criticizes Hungarian law deemed anti-gay
The national leader’s rhetoric, “stupid and dangerous,” reminds Holocaust survivors of the “dark times of their exclusion and persecution,” Christoph Huebner, the organization’s vice president, responded in a statement sent to AFP.
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nahammer, who is hosting Mr Orban on an official visit to Vienna on Thursday, called for the distinction on behalf of the European Union. We must “make the world understand that Mr. Urban has no future in Europe”, whose values he “willfully denies”.
In a speech on Saturday in Romanian Transylvania, where a large Hungarian community resides, the nationalist leader known for his anti-immigrant policy strongly reaffirmed his rejection of a “multi-ethnic” society.
“We don’t want to be of mixed race,” he said, that would mix with “non-Europeans.”
Countries where “European and European peoples live with each other are no longer states. These countries are nothing but conglomerates of peoples,” said Viktor Orbán who has made similar comments in the past but without using the term ‘race’, according to experts.
On Tuesday, the government defended itself, through its spokesman, Zoltan Kovacs, against “misinterpretation” of statements by “people who clearly do not understand the difference between the mixture of different ethnic groups in Judaism and Christianity, and the mixture of peoples of different civilizations.”
Orban also alluded to the gas chambers of the Nazi regime, criticizing Brussels’ plan to cut European gas demand by 15%. “I don’t see how they can force member states to do this, despite the presence of German know-how in this area, as the past has shown,” he said sarcastically.
The Hungarian Jewish community also rose up against this discourse. “Many different species inhabit our planet. On two legs, working, talking and sometimes thinking, only one species lives on this earth: Homo sapiens. “This race is one and indivisible,” Chief Rabbi Robert Frolich wrote on Facebook.
In the political class, Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu considered such “ideas” “unacceptable”.
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”