Bu­dapest averts neo-Nazi clashes

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BYTHOMASLAND BU­DAPEST

DOZENS OF sus­pected neo-Nazi ac­tivists armed with home­made weapons in­clud­ing Molo­tov cock­tails were ar­rested by po­lice in Bu­dapest on the eve of cer­e­monies mark­ing the an­niver­sary of the failed 1956 Hun­gar­ian revo­lu­tion.

Po­lice also seized sev­eral bombs, as well as hand grenades.

But the cer­e­monies were con­ducted in the ab­sence of ma­jor in­ci­dents, mark­ing a wel­come de­par­ture from pre­vi­ous years as both the Oc­to­ber 23 an­niver­sary of the revo­lu­tion and Na­tional In­de­pen­dence Day on March 15 had at­tracted re­cur­ring mass neo-Nazi vi­o­lence.

This year, the po­lice in­tro­duced new pre­ven­tive tac­tics, sur­round­ing and search­ing po­ten­tial trou­ble­mak­ers and ar­rest­ing sus­pected ac­tivists be­fore they could en­gage in or­gan­ised action.

An­other de­vel­op­ment fore­stalling vi­o­lence was a ma­jor split re­cently di­vid­ing the Hun­gar­ian Guard, a neoNazi para­mil­i­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion mod­elled on the by­gone Hun­gar­ian Ar­row-Cross move­ment that mur­dered thou­sands of Jews dur­ing the Holo­caust.

Nev­er­the­less, the two suc­ces­sor move­ments of the Guard man­aged to hold ri­val demon­stra­tions this year, don­ning their black uni­forms and march­ing in for­ma­tion.

In one mid­dle-class Jewish neigh­bour­hood, an­noyed res­i­dents pelted them with rub­bish from the up­per floors of their apart­ment blocks.

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