By V4 Agency
Hungarians who have lived through two dictatorships appear to be irritating some Western politicians’ circles, German politician Gunter Weissgerber – who, despite having quit his party, still considers himself a social democrat – told Hungary’s public radio.
Gunter Weissgerber said these politicians do not acknowledge that Hungary, as part of Central Europe, is fully on an equal footing with them and that the Germans also owe a lot to the Hungarians.
He emphasized that Denmark, for example, had sealed its borders much tighter than Hungary, yet they are not being criticized, unlike Hungary. According to Mr. Weissgerber, this is because Hungarians are perturbing their so-called multicultural worldview.
Hungary’s critics represent an ideology that is ruffled by any statement that considers other aspects, ideas, or experiences important, he opined, adding that Hungarians should not hide their opinion and they should maintain their firm, determined views.
Mr Weissgerber said the generation that has personal memories of the regime change, and whose members have “walked their feet off during demonstrations at the time,” is increasingly being displaced from political life. The new generations have different experiences, and what one only hears or reads about is always different from what one has actually lived through, he added.
Therefore, according to the Social Democratic politician, communication is crucial, even if it means having to force a dialogue. This should be conducted with mutual respect, and not in the insulting style Manfred Weber and Katarina Barley tend to use, he said.
Mr Weissgerber stressed that “Hungary has saved Europe several times in the past, and also has experience of Muslim occupation in the region.” This, however, is not Islamophobia, he said, “they have a right to defend their identity.”
The politician pointed out that Hungary saved Europe again in 2015. “Just think of the images – broadcast by media outlets for many months – that showed droves [of migrants] walking on the motorways. Europe, and indeed the European Union, would have disintegrated long ago, had this uncontrolled influx of refugees not been halted by Hungary and others, such as Austria.” In this respect, it makes no difference who did it, Viktor Orban or someone else, “although it was undoubtedly him who did it,” he said.
With regards to the situation in Germany, Mr Weissgerber said a growing number of people are afraid to speak their mind freely, even though these are not extreme, but completely normal opinions, or simply questions or critical remarks. Anyone who refuses to toe the government line in Germany is excommunicated and “labelled a Nazi,” he highlighted.
Although by definition the law guarantees everyone’s freedom of expression and opinion in Germany – where the courts function well, the judiciary is good, and there is rule of law – the social climate is terrible, Gunter Weissgerber remarked. There is a general atmosphere of fear pervading the country, which was not the case five years ago, and especially not thirty years ago, he said.
He described the German media as completely biased and one-sided, adding that “only information critical of Hungary is heard, just as for four years we only heard how others have criticised Donald Trump.”
Asked why he left the Social Democratic Party, of which he is a founding member, he said “the party has changed it terms of its position regarding European politics, NATO, freedom of expression and other core values since 1989.” He said his former party has taken the wrong path and “is slowly turning into a sect along the way.”
Gunter Weissgerber described himself as a “non-partisan social democrat,” adding that he was not interested in any other party.