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Nov 13, 2018 - Zoltán Kovács

Here’s my response that Süddeutsche Zeitung refused to publish

Last week, Süddeutsche Zeitung published an article criticizing Hungary’s laws that place restrictions on sleeping rough on public property. The author, a law professor, even went as far as associating it with the dark, Nazi past of his homeland. I sent the editors a response, which they never published. Here’s that response:

"I was left confused and bewildered as I read Göttingen law professor Kai Ambos’ latest guest article. Ambos, like other “intellectuals” who know nothing about our country, follows a false, incomprehensible narrative. This time the reason for concern is the Hungarian government’s introduction of measures limiting the use of public space for rough sleeping. Surprisingly, the professor makes a direct association with the dark past of his homeland, the Nazi German legislature. I wonder if he raises his voice so vehemently when in Berlin homelessness is considered a “public order abnormality” and something that should be eliminated. Or when they fine rough sleepers in Frankfurt. I wouldn’t think so. Reasons for this could be the following: (1) the professor is unaware of his own country’s legislature, which is something I don’t believe; or (2) he is simply employing the same double standards against Hungary that we have seen applied ad nauseum. Let me call the professor’s attention to the fact that the aim of the Hungarian regulation is to provide more help to those in need, who will be given a better chance at breaking free from homelessness once they have signed up to the services available to them. At the shelters they receive not only accommodation and food but also medical care, helping them to get into shape so that they will be capable of working again.”

Two things here: It’s rather unfortunate that the Süddeutsche Zeitung editors never saw fit to publish my response. And, it strikes me as more than a little odd when a German, especially a poorly informed one, criticizes another country and plays the Nazi card.