Hungary’s dirty C-word

A spectre is haunting Hungary – the spectre of the C-word – Communist.

The right-wing Fidesz  government party has decided that it should be illegal to use any terminology or names associated with “authoritarian regimes of the Twentieth Century”.

This ban will not extend to the Miklos dictator ship which ruled Hungary from 1919 until the country was liberated by the Red Army in 1944.

But 43 Lenin Streets, 36 Karl Marx Streets, six Red Star streets, 44 Liberation Streets, as well as numerous People’s Army, People’s Front, and People’s Republic streets will all have to be renamed by January 1, 2014. Budapest’s famous Moscow Square has already been renamed Széll Kálmán Square (after Kálmán Széll, Horthy’s prime minister in 1929).

There are at present 53 Endre Sagvari streets and one of the country’s largest primary schools, all named after an anti-fascist martyr, killed by the fascist police in 1941, all of which must be renamed.

The Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party has called a special congress to change its name. Their president, Gyula Thurmer, says: “Although our name will change, our principles will not.”

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