Magyar Gárda

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Members of Magyar Gárda gathered in Békéscsaba on Trianon Day, 2009.

Magyar Gárda Mozgalom (English: Hungarian Guard Movement) founded by Magyar Gárda Hagyományőrző és Kulturális Egyesület (English: Hungarian Guard Association for Protection of Traditions and Culture)[1] was a nationalist[2] organization in Hungary related to (and allegedly funded by) the Jobbik party.[3] It was founded through an "oath of loyalty to Hungary" by its members in Buda Castle, Budapest, on 25 August 2007.[4] It was dissolved by the Budapest Tribunal on 2 July 2009.[5] The president of the Association was Gábor Vona, and it had such prominent members as Lajos Für former (1990–1994) defence minister of Hungary.

Ideology[edit]

The group itself claimed to aim at "defending a physically, spiritually and intellectually defenceless Hungary".[1][6] The international press and its opponents, such as Hungary's former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, have described the organization neo-fascist[7][8] or neo-Nazi,[9][10] similar to Hitler's brownshirts ("SA") in Nazi Germany and the fascist Arrow Cross Party in Hungary.[11][12]

The Magyar Gárda is described by the Western European press[13][14] as a paramilitary organization, a civilian militia[15] or party militia. On one hand, it was never armed; this is also occasionally acknowledged by those who call it a paramilitary.[16] On the other hand, there was an occasion when Samu Tamás Gergő, president of the Békés County Jobbik organization expressed: "[…] if the Jobbik gains power […] the members of the Gárda will form the backbone of the [new] Hungarian gendarmerie, will be invested with public authority, and will march here, on the streets of Sarkad with weapons on their side".[17]

The uniform was composed of black boots, black trousers with white shirt and black vest with the shape of a lion on its back and a coat of arms on the front, a shielded black cap and a red-white striped scarf. The Guard's coat of arms is based on that of Emeric of Hungary which features the Árpád stripes with 9 golden lions in 4 red stripes (3-3-2-1 lions per stripe).

Relationship with Jobbik[edit]

Members of the New Hungarian Guard at a Jobbik rally against a gathering of the World Jewish Congress in Budapest, 4 May 2013

On 10 March 2008 three leading figures of Jobbik (Dávid Kovács, the founding president of the party, Ervin Nagy, committee chairman, and Márton Fári, former chairman of the party’s ethical committee) resigned from the party because of its relationship with the Magyar Gárda, and issued a statement that "Jobbik has been merged inseparably with the Guard, taking responsibility for something that it cannot really control in the long run".

Gábor Vona, founder of the Magyar Gárda, remains the head of Jobbik.

Dissolution[edit]

The Hungarian Public Prosecutor sued the Gárda, alleging that its activity differs from its memorandum of association. The case was delayed several times. On the first day of litigation members of the Guard physically blocked journalists from entering the court, leading to a change in court rules.

On 16 December 2008 the Metropolitan Court of Budapest (Fővárosi Bíróság) as the court of first instance disbanded the "Magyar Gárda" Organization because the court held that the activities of the organization were against the human rights of minorities as guaranteed by the Hungarian Constitution.

The "Magyar Gárda" Organization appealed against the judgment, but the judgment of the first instance court was upheld by the Budapest Tribunal (Fővárosi Ítélőtábla) on 2 July 2009. Following the judgment, the Guard's representatives said they would apply for a review by the Supreme Court and ultimately challenge the judgment before the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg and claimed that the Hungarian courts were bowing to political pressure.

Reorganization[edit]

Since its dissolution ordered by the courts the Guard has attempted to reorganize itself as a civil service association, known as the Magyar Gárda Foundation, engaged in cultural and nation building activities rather than politics. It has held at least one "swearing in" ceremony and plans to expand its activities around the country.

Its renewed activities are opposed by the Hungarian authorities[18] and prosecutors claim that the founding of the new organization is in contempt of previous court rulings. In February 2010 the Parliament passed a law which significantly raised the punishment for participating in a dissolved organization.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/meldung487764.html (German)
  2. ^ "BNP in alliance with nationalists". BBC News. 12 November 2009. 
  3. ^ "Magyar Garda Is 'Hungary's Shame'". Der Spiegel. 2007-08-27. 
  4. ^ Hundreds join Hungary "[dead link]
  5. ^ FigyelőNetFeloszlatták a Magyar Gárdát (The Magyar Gárda has been dissolved). FigyelőNet, MTI, 2 July 2009.
  6. ^ Alapito nyilatkozat Establishment manifesto (Hungarian)
  7. ^ http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,3752785,00.html
  8. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,502184,00.html
  9. ^ http://www.jta.org/news/article/2009/07/03/1006311/budapest-court-disbands-neo-nazi-hungarian-guard
  10. ^ http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/123850#.TuybQDX9O8A
  11. ^ Hundreds join Hungary far-right "guard", take oath, Reuters, Oct 21, 2007;
    Brown Shirts March in Budapest as Gyurcsany Condemns `Fascists', Bloomberg, Sept 5, 2007
  12. ^ Katalin Fábián (14 October 2009). Contemporary women's movements in Hungary: globalization, democracy, and gender equality. Woodrow Wilson Center Press. pp. 331–. ISBN 978-0-8018-9405-3. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Thorpe, Nick (22 August 2009). "Hungary far-right event broken up". BBC News. 
  14. ^ Inside Europe | Deutsche Welle "Hungarian neo-fascist paramilitary group expands". Dw-world.de. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  15. ^ "Growing marginalisation of Hungary's Roma". BBC News. 29 August 2009. 
  16. ^ index.huMagyar Gárda: báránybőrbe bújt farkasok? (Magyar Gárda: Wolves in Sheep's Clothing?). Joób Sándor, 27 August 2007.
  17. ^ BEOL.huTüntetés Sarkadon: fegyvert adna a Gárdának a Jobbik (Protests in Sarkad: The Jobbik Would Arm the Gárda). 1 March 2009.
  18. ^ "Police investigate "new" Magyar Gárda; former minister mulls banning Jobbik". Politics.hu. July 14, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Az utolsó pillanatban mentek át a Btk. módosítások - bűntett lesz a holokauszt-tagadás". Koziranytu.hu. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  20. ^ "ERCC" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-28. 

External links[edit]