Csanád Szegedi was a prominent right-wing extremist in Hungary until he discovered his own Jewish roots in 2012. Szegedi, 31, had been the deputy head of right-wing extremist party Jobbik, which he also represented in the European Parliament.
He had made a career of claiming that the Jews sought to plunder Hungary and that they had entered into an alliance with the Roma to turn “pure” Hungarians into a minority in their own country.
But then he learned that his family was Jewish, a revelation that turned his life on its head.
Now, he calls himself Dovid Szegedi, eats kosher, is learning Hebrew and goes to the Synagogue every Friday. “This is my true identity,” says Szegedi, who is almost two meters (6″ 6′) tall. He wears an Italian designer suit, scruffy stubble and a black kippah.
In 2003, he became one of the founders of the Jobbik party; his membership number is 63… Some were envious of Szegedi’s success — people like Zoltan Ambrus, a right-wing acquaintance of Szegedi’s…
Four years ago, Ambrus was given documents — likely from the archives of Hungary’s communist secret police — showing that Szegedi is of Jewish origin. Ambrus challenged Szegedi, who by then was a representative in European Parliament, and filmed the conversation.
Szegedi reacted by trying to bribe Ambrus, offering him jobs and money in exchange for silence.
But Ambrus refused and informed the party. In the summer of 2012, Jobbik leaders confronted Szegedi, with party head Gábor Vona initially enthusiastic about the news. “Super,” he said. “You are now our shield against accusations that we are anti-Semitic.”
But the majority of the party was of a different opinion. One member said: The best would be to shoot you in the head right now.
His entire family has now returned to being Jewish — except for his grandmother. “She still thinks that the Holocaust could be repeated at any moment and that hatred of the Jews will never disappear,” Szegedi says. When she learned that he was planning to become circumcized, she tried to talk him out of it. And she still doesn’t go to the synagogue. (No reader restrictions)
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The mainstream media should stop using the term “right wing extremist” so casually. They use to refer to Geert Wilders, who is pro-Israel, and use to refer to Jobbik too. Not wanting your country to become Islamic does not make you “far right.”
Interesting that Der Spiegel refers to him by his old name throughout. They would never do that with someone who had had a sex change.