World Jewish News
Scuffles over extreme-right Hungarian theatre director
03.02.2012, Jews and Society
Scuffles broke out in Hungary between extreme-right groups and demonstrators protesting against a theatre director who opponents say has anti-Semitic and xenophobic sympathies, police said Thursday.
About 200 demonstrators joined a protest organized by the Association of Hungarian Antifascists in front of the Uj Szinhaz theatre in downtown Budapest late on Wednesday chanting "Nazis out".
Dozens of far-right sympathizers staged a counter-demonstration, shouting slogans such as "Dirty Jews", with police intervening to keep the two sides apart.
"Two people were taken in for questioning for affray. They have already been released," police spokeswoman Katalin Horvath told AFP.
Gyorgy Dorner, an ardent supporter of the anti-Semitic and xenophobic MIEP party, was nominated as director of the respected Uj Szinhaz theatre in October by mayor Istvan Tarlos.
This was despite widespread criticism and the board tasked with vetting the appointment voting against him being given the job.
Protests in December forced Tarlos to order Dorner to retract the appointment of MIEP president Istvan Csurka as his artistic director.
Wednesday's demonstration came the same day that a declaration was read out before performances in theatres of several European cities including Paris and Vienna to protest against the nomination of Dorner.
Also on Wednesday Hungarian conductor Adam Fischer called on conservative members of the European Parliament to act against what he called the "dangerous developments" in his country.
For the first time since World War II, "a publicly financed theatre will be able to spread racist ideology," said Fischer, who is himself of Jewish origin.