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Movie Review of Keep Quiet-The Journey of Hungarian Far Right Leader Known for His Antisemitic Comments who learns he is Jewish-Worth Watching

by Rhonda Spivak, January 10, 2018

 

This is a fascinating documentary about a young burly Hungarian neo-Nazi leader, Csanad Szegedi, whose identity is smashed to smitherines   when he discovers his maternal grandparents were Jewish and that his beloved grandmother who survived Auschwitz had hidden her faith, for fear of further persecution.

 

In the opening minutes of the documentary, we learn that a failing economy led to the rise of nativist right-wing parties such as Jobbik, one of whose leaders was  the charismatic Csanad Szegedi. He helped found another extremist organization  the Hungarian Guard,  a  militia that was inspired by a pro-Nazi group complicit in the murder of thousands of Jews during WWII, which was outlawed for bring clearly fascist. (Note that according to the notorious Nazi Adolf Eichmann, during the Holocaust Germans had an easier time arresting up and exterminating Hungary's Jewish population because it had so many willing local accomplices) Notwithstanding that the Hungarian guard is banned the firebrand Szegedi enjoyed a rapid ascension in politics, and at the age of only 27 was elected to the European Parliament in 2009. 

 

As vice -president of Jobbik, Hungary's far right extremist party, Szegedi made anti-Semitic comments playing on the centuries old canard about Jews controlling finance and media worldwide so as to oppress patriotic innocent white Christians. While no one openly advocated exterminating Jews, Szegedi  engaged in Holocaust denial. But when one of  Szegedi's right-wing comrades confronted him with proof of his Jewish ancestry, and as a result his political career in Jobbik is over. 

 

Keep Quiet depicts Szegedi’s three-year journey to embrace Judaism, his newfound religion. But the question becomes whether his transformation is genuine or whether he simply does not have elsewhere to turn

 

The film’s title comes from Szegedi’s grandmother, who is sure that antisemitism will rise again in Hungary. She is asked, should Jews do to avoid being targeted again? “Keep quiet,” she says. She kept quiet not telling Szegedi  

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.