A longtime adviser to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban resigned on Tuesday, calling one of his recent speeches “Nazi text worthy of Goebbels” in reference to Joseph Goebbels, Germany’s propaganda minister under Adolf Hitler.
Zsuzsa Hegedüs, who worked with Orban for more than 20 years, issued a public resignation letter saying the prime minister’s words crossed a line and accusing him of taking an “illiberal turn”. The letter was published by Hungarian media hvg.hu and translated by The Washington Post.
Speaking in Romania on Saturday, Orban called on Europeans “not to become mixed-race peoples”.
Orban also denounced a proposal by the European Commission asking countries to voluntarily reduce their consumption of natural gas by 15% in case Russia limits gas supplies to Europe. EU energy ministers have since endorsed the proposal.
“I don’t see how this will be applied – although, if I understand correctly, the past shows us the German know-how on this subject,” Orban said, in an apparent reference to the gas chambers used by the Nazis to kill. Jews and others.
Hegedüs, who is Jewish, announced her resignation soon after.
“After such a speech, which contradicts all my core values, I had no other choice,” Hegedüs wrote in the letter announcing his departure.
Orban hit back at Hegedüs’ criticism, writing, “You can’t be serious accusing me of racism after 20 years of collaboration,” the Post reported.
Despite his offensive remarks, Orban is reportedly still at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas next week.
In response to a HuffPost inquiry into Orban’s scheduled appearance, CPAC replied, “We will post our schedule in the coming days on cpac.org.”
Matt Schlapp, the president of CPAC, had previously suggested that Orban would speak at the conference despite the backlash.
“Let’s hear the man talk,” Schlapp said in an interview at the America First Policy Institute summit in Washington after Orban’s speech, according to Bloomberg. “We’ll see what he says. And if people disagree with something he says, they should raise it.
CPAC held a conference in Hungary in May, evidence of the affection Republicans have developed for the Hungarian prime minister.
Orban is a very controversial politician in Europe. At the height of Europe’s refugee crisis in 2015, Hungary erected a 4-meter fence to prevent people from entering the country, according to The Guardian.
In 2018, the country passed a ‘Stop Soros law’ – sparked by a conspiracy theory that the Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire was trying to bring refugees into the country – banning any aid provided to asylum seekers, said reported the BBC.
Orban visited the White House in 2019 while President Donald Trump was still in office, a move former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush avoided, according to NPR.
“We are proud to stand with the United States to fight illegal immigration, to fight terrorism and to protect and help Christian communities around the world,” Orban said during the visit, alongside Trump.
The Huffington Gt