Trump admin’s Hungarian fascist connection?

Veteran journalist Jim Lobe this week called out Trump's "deputy assistant" Sebastian Gorka—who just refused to admit it may have been poor judgment not to mention the Jews in the White House statement on Holocaust Day—for appearing in multiple photographs wearing the medal of the Hungarian Order of Heroes, listed by the State Department as having collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. Breitbart now runs a video in which Gorka unapologetically says he wears the medal in honor of his father, who was awarded the decoration in 1979 for his resistance activities under the communists. He says his father escaped imprisonment in Hungary with the 1956 uprising and fled to the West, so he was presumably awarded the medal in exile, although it isn't clear where the Order was based at that time. Gorka hails his father's "pro-democratic, anti-communist" agitation, but the Order appears far more anti-communist than pro-democratic.

The Order of Heroes, or Vitezi Rend, was founded in 1920 by Miklós Horthy, Hungary's inter-war strongman who in 1940 joined the Axis and turned the country into a Nazi satellite state. Horthy has recently undergone a controversial rehabilitation, with squares renamed in his honor and statues erected. The cult of Horthy abets an open glorification of Hungary's collaborationist wartime role by growing ranks of neo-fascists in the country. This is all taking place under Hungary's increasingly fascistic Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, whose xenophobic policies would warm the heart of any Trump supporter.

At the same time that statues of Horthy are going up, a statue of dissident Marxist philosopher György Lukács was just torn down by Budapest municipal authorities. Lukács was persecuted and exiled to Uzbekistan by Stalin after he fled to the USSR to escape Horthy's persecution in Hungary in the 1930s. Later, he would serve as a minister in the Hungarian government of Imre Nagy, which sought a socialism free of Moscow's orbit and was brought down in the Soviet invasion of 1956. But in the current reactionary climate in Hungary, even anti-Stalin Marxists are un-persons. The statue, raised in 1985 as communist Hungary began to loosen up, is (of course) to be replaced by one of Saint Stephen. (Hungarian Free Press)

We assume the Vitezi Rend has a happy home once again in Orbán's Hungary. But we think it may be somewhat factionalized today, as it appears to have one, two, three websites.

Hungary Today informs us that before joining Team Trump, Gorka served as an advisor to Orbán. His current hot book, Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, is plugged by the righties at WorldNetDaily as a "bold statement." A cursory review indicates it is a cut above the typical Islamophobic "alt-right" swill, intellectually. But Raw Story accuses Gorka of resume-padding, noting that his personal website, The Gorka Briefing, which has since been taken offline, had a section dedicated to his supposed role as an "expert witness" in the trial of accused Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. However, an investigation by Fusion found that he never actually took the stand in the case. Oops.

  1. György Lukács meets the new boss yet again —posthumously

    "And now, in today’s Hungary, Lukács is declared, à titre posthume, an 'enemy of the people' for having been a communist leader, a Party favorite, a propagandist in the service of the Kádár régime—the same regime that strove to shut him up and almost succeeded. That he served in the 1956 revolutionary government—officially celebrated today by the anticommunist conservatives—is conveniently forgotten." — GM Tamás in the Los Angeles Review of Books, March 6