The Far Right And Self-Hatred: Jewish Nazis And Gay Fascists

Palash R. Ghoush

The recent revelation that a leading far-right, anti-Semitic Hungarian politician is actually of Jewish origin again brings to light the fact that many neo-Nazis and other fascists are deeply ensnared in a crippling, lifelong struggle with dealing with who and what they are.

Csanad Szegedi, a leader of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party and also a member of the European Parliament, admitted on Monday that he is Jewish.

It was even revealed that his grandmother, Magoldna Klein, was a Jewish Holocaust survivor.

While Jobbik denied that it has an anti-Semitic ideology, both the party and Szegedi have frequently vilified Jews – as well as Roma (Gypsies) — in their public utterances over the years.

In a bizarre interview with the press, Szegedi tried to downplay the revelation by declaring: “I think that what counts is not to know who is a pure race Hungarian, the important thing is the way one behaves as a Hungarian. To be Hungarian for me has always been a responsibility [towards my country], that has nothing to do with racial supremacy.”

Jews have had a long, illustrious (and ultimately tragic) history in Hungary — today, there are about 100,000 Jews left in the country, mostly concentrated in Budapest, down from an estimated 850,000 in 1941, just prior to World War II.

Hungarian Jews have frequently been attacked by nationalists and skinheads, among others. It is inconceivable that Szegedi did not know of his Jewish ancestry all of his life.

However, given the anti-Semitic environment in Hungary, Szegedi may have realized that it was best to hide his Jewish origins and camouflage himself by becoming a prominent member of a far-right political organization like Jobbik. In the coming weeks and months, we may learn why he concealed his ancestry for so long – out of self-hatred or political expediency?

It will also be interesting to see how his Jobbik comrades deal with this news.

Still, such phenomena are not that unusual in the milieu of Europe’s extreme right wing.

Szegedi’s saga reminded me of the bizarre story of an Englishman named Martin Webster, who was one of the most high-profile members of the National Front, the anti-immigration, anti-Semitic, and anti-gay neo Nazi group in Britain that reached the zenith of its power in the late 1970s.

Webster is gay — a reality that ultimately led to his expulsion from the NF by around 1983. To make matters even more interesting, in 1999, he told British media that he had engaged in a long-term homosexual relationship with Nick Griffin, the man who had by then taken over leadership of the NF’s ideological successor, the British National Party.

Griffin has denied the allegations, spewing the BNP’s official party line that homosexuality is vile (although he admitted that Webster had propositioned him for sex when he was a teenager).

He also said he was in “shock” over Webster’s behavior, given that the NF advocated the persecution of gays.

However, there has long existed a bizarre link between homosexuality and far-right political parties which purportedly espoused an anti-gay stance. Ernst Rohm, the founder of the Nazi Party’s Sturmabteilung (SA) Brownshirt paramilitary wing, was himself a promiscuous and predatory homosexual, while rumors about Adolf Hitler’s true sexual orientation have been debated by scholars and psychiatrists for decades.

Such behavior is also to be found in American political circles, where a number of conservative Republican lawmakers who pushed for anti-gay legislation were revealed to be secretly gay themselves. Idaho Sen. Larry Craig (who was arrested for lewd conduct in a men’s room at the airport in Minneapolis in 2007) is perhaps the most well known.

As for the Hungarian Szegedi, his case harkens back to the tragic story of Daniel Burros, a member of the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan who committed suicide in 1965 after the New York Times reported on his Jewish ancestry. He was only 28 years old and had a history of mental illness and behavioral disorders.

Burros was the grandson of Russian Jews, attended Hebrew school in his native Queens, N.Y., and even had a bar mitzvah. At some point during his adolescence, his fascination with World War II, the German military and Adolf Hitler metamorphosed into an all-consuming obsession with Nazism and an urge to join the 1960 variant of Nazism — and a desire to completely eradicate his true identity and background.

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5 thoughts on “The Far Right And Self-Hatred: Jewish Nazis And Gay Fascists

    • Could you please explain that further? I think the article was making the point that many people who are struggling to accept a part of themselves identify with these types of groups as a way to continue their denial.

      The case of Ernst Rohm has often been used to attack the gay rights movement. Attempts to link the rise of the Nazi party and homosexuality, such as the book “Pink Swastika,” have been throughly discredited by historians.

      http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2005/spring/holy-war/making-myths

      I find the notion of assigning people traits based on their sexuality to be problematic.

      • In my opinion male violence and sexuality plays a big role in world history, I consider it even as one of the driving forces of history. It will need a lot of solid evidence to convince me of the contrary.

        I wrote about this extensively and in detail in mato48.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/another-essential-question/

        This is not per se connected with male homosexuality and I didn’t want to blame male homosexuals for the rise of right wing movements, I only wanted to point out, that the prevailing human culture, which is defined by male dominance and the glorification of male aggressive behavior, will attract some male homosexuals.

  1. Thank you mato, I read your essay and found myself in agreement with a lot of what you had to say. I especially liked your comments on animal rights.

    The root cause of our disagreement here likely results from my perspective of class being the factor which ultimately divides, where as you seem to place emphasis on gender being the main divider.

    Are these perspectives irreconcilable? I don’t necessarily think that is the case.

    What disturbs me is when all sexuality is identified with “male aggression.” People who hold this view often end up in a sinister alliance with religious reactionaries and “family values” bigots. You hailed chemical castration for “sex offenders” as a solution in your essay. This is a form of eugenics and stems from the idea that so-called “deviants” — people who break bourgeois moral codes — or other “undesirables” should not be permitted to reproduce.

    Do you think that the State is a neutral arbiter and has a right to regiment people’s private lives?

    My view is that laws regulating sexuality are, at their core, designed to compel people to remain within the confines of the legal straitjacket of the family unit — the main instrument of oppression for women and youth, and a way to keep wealth and power in the hands of the ruling class. The family unit also acts as a conservatizing force and instills in children “obedience” to authority figures.

    The way to alter the ‘prevailing human culture’ is to sweep away the exploitive capitalist system and establish in its place the egalitarian world, based on equality for all and recognition of the inherent worth of every individual.

    Perpetuating reactionary standards of ‘morality’ and stereotypes undermines this vision.

    “Social progress and changes of period are brought about by virtue of the progress of women toward liberty, and social retrogression occurs as a result of a diminution in the liberty of women…. In summary, the extension of the privileges of women is the fundamental cause of all social progress.”

    — Charles Fourier

    What is urgently needed is a movement that brings together all oppressed sectors of this society, with the goal of ending human scarcity, war, and all forms of bigotry.

    Feminism vs. Marxism: Origins of the Conflict

    For the Right of Gay Marriage… and Divorce!

    • I agree with your comment and also concede that the idea of chemical castration is problematic. From a deterministic point of view any kind of judicial punishment is problematic because the crimes of an individual are caused by his upbringing, his social environment, and his genes. Societies nevertheless have to find ways to restrict unsocial behavior and diminish the threat caused by aggressive (criminal) persons.

      The suggestion of chemical castration was only a practical idea with no ideological background. A judicial system in my opinion should be based on practical considerations with the sole purpose of keeping crime rates down (crime in this context is defined as unsocial, violent behavior, crime is defined as causing injury or death to fellow creatures).

      When a man beats up his wife or another woman, when a man rapes a woman, he is certainly dangerous and there is overwhelming evidence that such dangerous individuals will be offending again and again.

      Maybe psychoactive drugs will calm him down and do the trick. Maybe counseling and education will help. Maybe social reintegration will help. Sometimes nothing will help to heal the sociopath from his mental sickness. What measures shall society take in such a case to prevent further crimes?

      I’m aware of class divisions, in my youth I learned about the ideals of “Austro Marxism”, which was a driving intellectual force in Europe between the world wars and lived on after World War II in the left wings of the German and Austrian Socialist parties. I alway considered myself as a proletarian.

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