Europe and populist parties
A chara, – Michael O’Loughlin makes the claim that the only difference between the regimes of Admiral Horthy, Josef Pilsudsky and the present-day Polish and Hungarian governments is that the former were hostile to Jewish people and the latter are hostile to immigrants and Muslims (“Winter replaces Spring in Prague as populist takes charge”, Opinion & Analysis, August 22nd).
To be clear, Admiral Horthy was a dictator who was an ally of Nazi Germany and complicit in the Holocaust. The Hungarian government under Horthy pursued an aggressive foreign policy that sought to increase the territory under control through annexations and invasions. Pilsudsky was not only another military figure, but also a dictator who came to power in a bloody putsch in 1926. During the interwar years many Jewish Poles were forced to sit in special areas known as “ghetto benches”, while attending university.
While it is understandable that many people are upset at the turn that some central European governments have taken in recent years, to compare them to their early 20th-century counterparts is at best ridiculous and at worst trivialises some of last century’s most horrible atrocities. – Is mise,
CIAN Ó DÚILL,