Guess who’s back? It’s Paul Lendvai, everyone’s favorite “Hungary expert” and one of Prime Minister Orbán’s most strident critics in the international arena.
In a brief interview published yesterday in the online edition of Austrian daily Kurier, Paul Lendvai talks about “different kinds of dictatorships,” listing Hungary – and, by the way, Poland – among “hybrid regimes.” He argues that although not already a “total dictatorship,” Hungary is “very well made-up,” that is, disguising its true authoritarian nature.
“Very well made-up”? Really?
That’s particularly rich coming from someone who willingly cooperated with the communist leadership in Hungary back in the day. In fact, Lendvai reported on Hungarian anti-communists who trusted him, passing on information about their plans to officials working in the Vienna embassy of the communist People’s Republic of Hungary in order to receive small gestures and favors from the leadership.
Documents proving this fact are publicly available, as well as accounts of Lendvai boasting to the communist-era Hungarian ambassador about how he promoted the interests of the authoritarian Hungarian state in Austrian public media.
Who’s wearing the makeup now?
Meanwhile, we must not forget about Lendvai’s past — how he goes out of his way to denigrate Prime Minister Orbán and his governments. Last year, for example, he felt compelled to extend his book The Hungarians: A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat with two additional chapters. In these extra chapters, Lendvai refers to Hungary as – wait for it – a “Führerdemocracy.” Someone, like Lendvai, who is rightfully proud of his Jewish heritage, someone who knows well what Hungary went through in the 20th century should know better, but, apparently, he couldn’t resist stooping to sensationalism.
Some may even recall the strange time in 2017 when the Financial Times, an outlet with a clear, globalist agenda, published an ode to another book written by the communist collaborator. Back then, Lendvai seemed hell-bent on convincing readers that PM Orbán “reigned supreme” as the “lord and master of Hungary.” While “lords and masters” do not have to win democratic elections, the odd globalist-communist alliance showed that Orbanophobia can indeed be contagious.
Even though Paul Lendvai may have been patient zero, his interview with Kurier proves that he still suffers from severe symptoms of Orbanophobia.