Monthly Archives: January 2024

A missed anniversary

Memories of the Avarffy trial1

Of course, one hundred and fifty is a dignified and awe-inspiring anniversary and we celebrated it more ways than one. Next to that a mere one hundred years may seem like some object of insignificance, but not this one. And yet, we have skipped by it, forgetting and not mentioning it, although it was much worthy of mention.

The story of the following chain of events began on the 6th of January 1921, when a parliamentary back bencher, one Elek Avarffy, published an article in the National Newspaper (Nemzeti újság), entitled ”A few words about the Galicianers and a bit of statistics.” The word ”Galicianer” referred to those Jews who had flooded into Hungary since the 1880s under anti-Semitic pressure in Russia from the province of Galicia. Which province, by the way, at this time was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and therefore, those refugee Jews were really citizens and not ”migrants”. In fact, up until the early 1920s, most of them were transitory, eventually setting out for America; only a minority remained in Hungary.2 But in the anti-Semitic political climate of Hungary after World War One, even those few were far too many.

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