Miklos Radnoti 1909-1944
Radnoti remembers Nyiro in his 1941 diary. I translate from the website where the news of the event appears.
Confusion about Poetry Day at Weimar. The latest article says: The Third Reich has also arranged a Poetry Day in Weimar in which invited poets from the eleven Central and European nations will take part. Hungary will be represented by the Transylvanian writer Jozsef Nyiro. Nyiro in his statement to the press said: 'We are witnessing the spiritual rebirth of Europe. I, like the rest of Hungarian literature, am happy to be able to take my part in this spiritual development. Earlier in the church I saw a beautiful painting in which Luther is pointing out the verse in the Bible that declares that we will be washed clean by blood. It is blood that will cleanse Europe. The nations of Europe are discovering each other and drawing together in the name of peace, of soul, and of spiritual revival. I support this enterprise with my heart and soul. Long live Adolf Hitler! Long live Germany! Long live the German Society of Authors!'
Now, as I copy out the article on Monday morning 3 November I am left wondering. Is it by accident I don't have a single line of his on my shelves? Not even in an anthology...'
The mayor in question is a member of Fidesz, who claim to maintain a safe distance between themselves and the perils of an openly fascist Jobbik. In effect they are 'saving' Hungary from a fate far worse.
Big deal, you say. It's just an evening and it happens to be there. Very little 'just happens' in Hungary. It is a significant gesture and there is no chance it is carelessness. What it says is: You think it's your house. Well, we're taking it over.