Orbán: In April I’ll Give You Notes to Play

  • January 23, 2022
  • István

With this even for him strange comment Orbán opened the Magyar Zene Háza, the Hungarian House of Music.

We remember that Orbán wants to change the largest park of Pest into a cultural quarter, Éva trough the years repeatedly covered this as well. Városliget is roughly 1 400 by 750 m small, about 1/3 of Central Park New York, surrounded by the Szépművészeti Múzeum (Museum of Fine Arts), the Műcsarnok (Halls of Art), Budapest Zoo, Széchenyi Thermal Bath, Hősök tere (Heroes square) with the millennium memorial of 1895, and right behind the Vajdahunyad Castle, which dates only from the end of the 19th century as well, showing the traditional elements of Hungarian architecture and housing the Agricultural Museum. Within the core of the park some small buildings are spread, restaurants, memorials, pavilions, just only one place was used for a massive building. At that place used to be the Iparcsarnok (Industrial Hall), used from 1885 first as exhibition place of a craft collection, it was in use for different museums and for exhibitions through the years, until it has been severely damaged during the war and demolished in 1947. Later pavilions and glass houses served for the Budapest Nemzetközi Vásár (International Fair). The fairs were moved to today’s way larger Hungexpo area in 1974 and in 1985 opened in the place the Petőfi Csarnok, reduced to a massive, ugly building in the typical architecture of the communist days. Orbán replaces this trough a larger concrete block, the new Ethnographic Museum.

To be able to empty Buda castle from the galleries and museums and for future use as centre of power there have to be found new homes for the country’s cultural treasures. “The uneducated, neo-rich, parvenu right wants to settle for the sacred memory of the Habsburg kingdom in the Castle, from which it receives only a tertiary imitation that is barely reminiscent of the Horthy era” Miklós Gáspár Tamás wrote in 2016 ►HU. This and the plan to remodel Budapest’s existing buildings back to the architecture of the darkest days of our history are the thriving wishes of Orbán behind the massive building activity in Városliget.

As long as Budapest was in FIDESZ hands everything went on as Orbán desired. With the elections in 2019 not only the people were against these plans, but the city government as well. Orbán reacted in his own way, he changed the law and since now the building departments are no longer part of the local governments, but integrated into the national bureaucracy, and the local governments can’t decide about planning and zoning, if the central government has plans with that area.

And of course this was not the end of ugly tricks the regime has. The definition of park in Hungarian law has not been changed, since there was a way to do it much more silently. Since the area of Szépművészeti Múzeum and the Műcsarnok left and right of the Heroes Square were not part green areas of course they have been defined as own area and taken out of the Városliget. And with stamping this document alone the percentage of green grew in the now smaller Városliget. 444 listed ►HU the full amount of cheating how the green area could be reduced significantly and still results in a higher percentage.

Yesterday in the middle of Városliget the new building of the Magyar Zene Háza was opened. And indeed he promised to bring notes in April, and “that the song of the left should be pulled out in April” ►HU. It was in the afternoon of the Hungarian Culture Day when Orbán decided what Hungarian culture has to be like. He told the public that the opposition has been wrong to be against the project, but forgot to mention that 64 % did not want to extend the cultural area into the park, but 97 % wanted to improve the natural areas of Városliget during the Tarlós era ►HU. Orbán even made fun of Gergely Karácsony: “the mayor just had something else to do today,” he said ►HU. Yes, he had. Karácsony wrote ►HU: “On Culture Day, it is particularly important to remind ourselves that this building was built not in the name of culture but in the spirit of barbaric violence. Violence against the city’s most important public park. [….] Violence against the will of the people [….] violence against taxpayers, because, as usual, the investment has been many times the cost originally planned – it cost more than 10 million [28 200 €] a square meter. [….] And if Hungary did not have a violent and barbaric government, but a cultured government in this sense, perhaps with such support, a much more beautiful House of Music could have been built in another location.”

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Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
January 23, 2022 16:24

Clearly not related to the House of Music. An announced meeting between Orban and Putin does not bode well for Hungary’s future in NATO https://hungarytoday.hu/exact-date-and-main-topics-of-upcoming-putin-orban-meeting-revealed/. Especially since the agenda does not include officially in any way NATO’s concerns over a possible invasion by Russian troops of Ukraine, it is hard to believe it will not be talked about. This article https://hirado.hu/kulfold/cikk/2022/01/20/szijjarto-a-kolcsonos-elonyokon-es-tiszteleten-alapul-a-magyar-orosz-egyuttmukodes implies that Hungary will not willingly participate in additional sanctions against Russia in the case of an invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó is quoted as basically accusing members of NATO of hypocrisy in relationship to trade with Russia. He is reported to have stated that trade between the Member States of the EU and Russia has increased by 16% since the introduction of EU sanctions in 2015. According to MTI Szijjártó said many international actors wanted to prevent co-operation with Russia, but the Hungarian government was interested in a partnership based on mutual respect, from which both sides would benefit equally. Is there any question that one of those many unnamed “international actors” (számos nemzetközi szereplő) is the USA.

Currently the Biden administration is concentrating on bringing Germany fully on board with possible additional sanctions. In fact the situation is extremely difficult there too, for example the Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach, Commander of the German Navy was basically forced to resign about what can only be called defeatist comments in relationship to Urkaine were he said Ukraine would never get the Crimea back and that is was important for him as a believing Catholic that Russia was a Christian country, “although Putin himself is an atheist, it doesn’t matter.” He believed the focus of European defense should be against non-Christian China. There is considerable concern within the EU about the economic impact of additional sanctions against Russia will have on their own economies.

A former US Marine officer, now a fellow at Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Eurasia program has written a serious analysis of Russian attack options relating to Ukraine that is worth looking at https://www.fpri.org/article/2022/01/moscows-compellence-strategy/. Indeed if Russia follows any of the more aggressive options for invasion discussed by Bob Lee and a great increase in sanctions against Russia is imposed by the USA and other NATO nations Hungary could end up in theory expelled from the alliance if they openly resist implementation of additional sanctions which Szijjártó’s comments seem to indicate.

Last edited 2 years ago by Istvan (Chicago)
January 23, 2022 19:08

As always one can just wonder how the regime is able to sell this Magyar Culture thing, making the Hungarians the most civilized and developed people on earth.
When the Viktor is present at a pig killing it is a cultural event, as is the pálinka drinking during.
His friends are worried about their family, the country, Europe and the world, and then they sing about it.
According to Katalin Novák:
“Everything that has been a habit for a thousand years is part of our culture”
And this is where one can really start to learn the real stuff. When Hungarian children learn to walk it is culture, other countries don´t have children like that. The same for speaking, eating, writing, reading, and one can go on. I am always kind of amazed how the Hungarians are able to export their culture to other countries when I pass the border. People also walk there, and eat. The one thing that didn´t work until now is the language. I guess other people are too primitive for the Hungarian language.
And of course, there are also barbarians in Hungary, they are called the “Sons of Ferenc” Also known as the opposition. They also endanger the Nation, so there is still a lot of work to do.

Don Kichote
Don Kichote
January 23, 2022 21:56
Reply to  jan

What was normal 1000 years ago – poor eat innards or nothing, they served the god-like appointed by the church that were always dictators. Today they believe to be “chosen”. Pretty high demands on culture. 🙂

January 24, 2022 07:54

About German thinking (on Russia etc.). I guess Wolfi can confirm.


Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
January 24, 2022 14:21
Reply to  Marty

Germany has had long a policy of what is called “Ostpolitik,” a belief that dialogue, détente, and trade would make Europe secure and bring Russia closer to the West. It has not worked, in fact Russia under Putin has made western Europe less secure. What has been created is not western capitalism, but state capitalism under the hegemony of Putin. Germany is no more to blame than were the US think tanks that also thought from the destruction of the USSR there would emerge a happy free market Russia.

I saw it during my time in NATO in the 1970s after service in Vietnam.
Back in those ancient times it was really confusing to come to then West Germany from an open war against communists, and against some rural Vietnamese in then South Vietnam who did not support the heavily Catholic South Vietnamese government. In fact the anti-War nature of the German society back then was built on the horror of WWII for the German people. 

The book “Eight Days in May: The Final Collapse of the Third Reich” by Volker Ullrich is one among many that depicts the end days of the Reich that has been passed down generation to generation in today’s Germany. In fact even conservative West German officers in NATO tried their best to explain that reality to US officers back in the 1970s. Those of us who fought in Vietnam, especially the US officers were so filled with our own demons from that war we heard them, but did not listen. Now added to this are the economic interests of the unified German state. Now Ostpolitik is in shambles as is the historic Russian anti-communism built into the US armed forces.

By the way all US dependents of US government officials stationed in Ukraine have been ordered home starting last night East coast time. A fast reaction US force will likely be sent to Romania from what I am hearing on military chat sites. So far the estimated number of US troops is small, but at leas from what I am hearing the US Joint Chiefs of Staff what a much larger force immediately deployed to Poland and the Baltic nations of NATO. Both Sweden and Finland apparently are seriously considering NATO membership out of fear of Russia too. The higher ranked retired US Army officers on the closed chat sites that were part of the US Army NATO command are raging over sending a handful of troops to “show the flag and potentially get crushed by Russian armor,” all is confusion over here to be honest.

January 24, 2022 16:54

What are you talking about? The Ost Politik that started in 1969, and resulted in the German Wiedervereinigung was quite successful. It relaxed the situation in Europe significantly. It ended dogmatic politics like the Hallstein Doctrine.
Do you really consider this as not working? How could the German governments predict Putin at that time?
The German government cannot send troops anywhere without approval of the Bundestag and the Senat as is written in Germanys constitution, that was written under control of the US.

Istvan. (Chicago)
Istvan. (Chicago)
January 24, 2022 19:13
Reply to  jan

The idea that engagement led to the unification of Germany does not take into sufficient consideration the pressure put on Russia by the US weapons build up that cost billions and billions that the USSR could not matc.h. I was a beneficiary of that build up as were thousands of others working on US armaments. That had had a cost in the US in terms of lower social welfare spending that is tied to urban social unrest in the USA.

Putin’s historical analysis is a Russian strong state must be rebuilt using a revitalized military and repressive apparatus. The seizure of the Crimea is a step in a process of the restoration of a greater Russian Empire. There can be no engagement with that vision, that will lead only to surrender to Russia in the long run assuming Putin does not drop dead them the thieves will battle for succession.

Istvan. (Chicago)
Istvan. (Chicago)
January 24, 2022 19:37

This article on the official position of the Biden administration https://www.euronews.com/2022/01/23/ukraine-blinken-defends-germany-after-kyiv-criticises-berlin-over-russia-stance clearly does not reflect the thinking of many retired US military officers who can freely express their views.

Over all we are irritated with Germany to a high degree and pretty concerned about President Biden’s reluctance to mobilize the US reserves to defend parts of Central Europe from a potential Russian threat if we need to. Basically it would take days to do this to the point necessary to reenforce our NATO partners from being overwhelmed by the Russians.

January 24, 2022 19:55

The efforts of the US made the USSR go bankrupt, that was an important factor, I agree. And a bit of luck that Gorbatschow was a realist. Plus, the masses of people going on the street, the Solidarnosc and Lech Walesa in Poland and other factors. Maybe your visits in Europe and only talking with military personnel gave you a one-sided view. In real life outside the bullet bubble a lot happened.
It is good from Biden in my opinion to put high pressure on Putin. The EU today decided to prepare for a strong answer too if the dictator attacks. And when we are lucky no person needs to die on the battlefield, if that happens, I am happy you and your military friends take all the credit for it.
I do not think the US has so much weapons out of caritas.

January 25, 2022 14:41
Reply to  István

Imho the main reason for the fall of the Eastern Block was the economic breakdown. Instead of getting nearer to the level of the West the differences became larger and larger.
In electronics eg East Germany was at least two generations behind West Germany and Japan, so their products became almost impossible to sell. In other industries the situation was similar – cheap production went to Asia. And that money the GDR eg depended on.
West Germany alone financed the GDR and other Eastern countries with billions of Deutsche Mark every year – just like nominally independent Yugoslavia where we often went on holiday.
They had an inflation of 100% or more so I told my family to always spend all the money – it would be almost worthless soon.
I still remember when they cut 4 digits (!!!) – the new 100 Dinar note was the same colour as the old 1 000 000 note and was worth as much.
No wonder the locals were so happy when you asked to pay in Mark …
Not only the economic development in the East was a disaster, the ecological development was even worse. They were systematically destroying their environment – just as the PISsers still do today with their production and rampant use of Lignite (Braunkohle) for which the European Court condemned them to pay half a million € every day.

January 25, 2022 18:27
Reply to  István

Of course the East had very good engineers, scientists, doctors, artists …
But life was very difficult for them and many tried and managed to escape, just think of Katalin Kariko

January 25, 2022 21:45
Reply to  István

The Reagan doctrine was not only about more and more expensive weapons to bleed out the USSR. It was also giving weapons to every opposition in any country under USSR influence.
One should not forget that the US also supported groups that later showed to be criminal.
Like with the long-supported Saddam Husein.
It didn´t matter that he was a criminal dictator, it was “their” dictator.

January 26, 2022 02:56
Reply to  jan

I doubt that “the Reagan doctrine” had as it’s goal, “to bleed out the USSR”; far more likely that this was an unexpected by product. Ronnie had Dr. Strangelove (Teller) wispering in his ear. With the right weaponry they could win a (nuclear) war with the Soviets. “No more than 20 – 30 million dead (Americans)” (quote form the movie)

I haven’t forgotten; I recall that before Saddam was the “Butcher of Bagdad”, he was portrayed as “Our Strongman in the Middle East”. There was also Marcos, Suharto, Pinochet, Diem, etc etc.
To my shame , I believed in and supported much of this in my youth, because of my Hungarian origin; being anti-communist was in of itself was enough.

January 26, 2022 09:41
Reply to  Phil_S_Stine

I agree, to start with it was just hitting the USSR wherever possible.