Far-right activists in Budapest targeted a Jewish community centre that serves as the headquarters of several ethnic and refugee activist groups, filming themselves as they put up defaced posters of the Jewish billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
The video was filmed last week outside the Aurora community centre by members of the far-right Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement and posted online by ultra-nationalist media, including Szent Korona Rádió.
Seven men, dressed in black and sporting the very short haircuts in the skinhead neo-Nazi style, are seen walking through Budapest’s 8th district, a poor area with many immigrants and Roma residents.
The men place posters reading “Stop Operation Soros” on the message board of Aurora, established in 2014 by Marom, a Jewish identity group affiliated with the Conservative Movement. Aurora functions as the headquarters of several additional groups, including the Roma Press Centre, Budapest Pride, the Migszol refugee advocacy group and the Zold Pok agency for social activism.
Aurora is not funded by Soros, an American Jewish businessman and philanthropist who was born in Hungary and who has clashed with the government over his funding for several organisations in Hungary with a liberal, pro-democracy agenda.
In a text on its website about the “raid on Aurora,” the far-right youth movement said the Jewish centre promoted ”deviant circles, hosting Budapest Pride” and are “of course always open to the offices of the Roma Press Centre.” Extremist groups in Hungary regularly target the Roma minority.
The activists spray-painted anti-Soros slogans on the sidewalk outside Aurora’s entrance.
The youth movement’s account of the incident ended with a menacing message, informing the groups at Aurora that they are “far from untouchable.” Time permitting, “we will say hello again,” the authors wrote, adding an emoticon of a smile and a wink.
Adam Schonberger, the president of Marom, said the action by the far-right youth movement was the first case of such intimidation targeting Aurora. The organisation alerted authorities as to the incident, he said.
In recent weeks, the government of Hungary under Prime Minister Viktor Orban has escalated its rhetoric against Soros, who for years has been financing opposition to Orban and pro-democracy causes that are not popular among supporters of Orban’s ruling party, Fidesz.