Commentary by Juan de Dios Ramírez-Heredia: They are killing us Roma in Hungary
Berlusconi prosecutes us and his police force destroys our barracks. Sarkozy deports us and drives us out of the country. But in Hungary they are killing us like vermin.
The gypsy community’s situation in Hungary is extremely alarming. The extreme right has triumphed in the last elections and these racists, who openly broadcast their ideology, prosecute us, burn down our houses and kill our sons. And all this has even gotten worse, since the last legislative elections, when the extreme right-wing party JOBBIK received 17% of votes and 47 M.P., so that it become the third largest party in parliament. JOBBIK (The Movement for a better Hungary), which was founded in 2003, is leaded by Gábor Vona, a racist, who was inspired by the more atrocious and oppressive fascism and by the doctrine displayed by Hitler's friends: the Hungarian Nazis.
In Hungary it is like water off a duck's back, especially since last year, all alarm bells went off, due to the killing of the Gypsy Róbert Csorba, 27, and his five-year-old son Robert. The murderers had perfectly planned the attack: whilst one was launching incendiary bombs at the Gypsy family's house, another one was waiting, hidden next to door, to shoot both father and son, when they tried to escape the flames.
And the violence does not stop. We have counted more than 50 cases of extreme violence, some were committed using guns others using Molotov Cocktails, they have cost many people's lives. The last murder took place last November, when two brothers were killed in the town of Nagycsécs, in the country’s east; both were murdered in the same way as the two Csorbas.
János Frakas, man of honour and the leader of the Gypsy community of Gyöngyöspata told a local newspaper: “We are scared. I cannot forget those uniformed men and their black boots - he means the JOBBIK supporters- who paraded through our area shouting military chants". The majority of those ruthless men are former members of the Magyar Gárda (Hungarian Guard), an illegal paramilitary group, which was inspired by the philosophy and ideology of the Arrow Cross Party, the Hungarian fascist party before Word War II. This is why a lot of children do not go to school anymore, as they are too scared, to run into these racist Nazis in uniforms.
But the worst is that the racist party JOBBIK has followers in unthinkable places. Recently they organised a demonstration in Hejoszalonta, some 180 kilometres from Budapest. Some members of the local elite, led by the head of the local state school, demonstrated with the ultras, whilst Mayor Jozsef Anderko, and some pro-human rights activists, supported the Gypsies.
In March, JOBBIK leader and Deputy Gábor Vana, gave a speech in front of 1,500 paramilitaries. The majority wore Szebb Jövoert (Civil Guard) uniforms. And amongst them were some aggressive individuals, in their uniforms and shaved heads, carrying axes and whips, and some brought their pit bulls along. In the face of this situation, the Gypsy families did not even dare to take their children to school.
Whilst Viktor Orban’s centre-right government has been overrun with violence, MEP and Gypsy Lívia Járóka, has become the face of European political efforts to improve the situation. For us, the words of former Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Vladimir Spidla stay alive in our memory: "It seems, as if in some EU member states the Gypsies have become the target of racially motivated violence, which is nurtured by political populism, rhetoric of hate and the media. In some cases, Gypsies are still being made the scapegoat for society’s biggest problem”.
And Gypsies all over the world keep asking ourselves: Lord, for how long do we have to bear this cross?