Antifa march against Budapest Nazi-nostalgia fest

Anti-fascist protestors marched in Budapest on Feb. 10 in response to a previously banned right-wing gathering to commemorate the so-called "Day of Honor." Activists travelled from across Europe to take part. The dueling rallies came amid diplomatic tensions between Budapest and Rome, as an Italian anti-fascist activist remains imprisoned in Hungary.

Celebrations of the "Day of Honor" take place annually in Budapest to remember a failed breakout attempt by 28,00 German and Hungarian troops in 1945, when the Soviet Red Army besieged the city. The event was initially banned by the police this year, but this decision was overturned by a judge, allowing the commemoration to go ahead. The European Roma Rights Centre reported that German, Bulgarian and Czech far-right groups attended this year's event, many mobilized by the UK-based international network Blood & Honour. Participants were confined behind barriers in Városmajor Park during the event.

In response to the commemoration, anti-fascist activists organized the opposition march in Budapest. Protestors "gathered to noisily demonstrate," with anti-fascists "sounding sirens, beating drums, and blowing whistles," reported the European Roma Rights Centre. Many Roma were also in attendance at the opposition march. Police were heavily present throughout the city to prevent clashes between the two groups.

These demonstrations took place a year after an Italian anti-fascist activist, Ilaria Salis, was arrested and imprisoned in Hungary following the Day of Honor in 2023. Salis allegedly committed assault as she protested in opposition to the event, and has since been held in prison in Hungary. She appeared in court last month in shackles and handcuffs, and could face up to 11 years if found guilty. Criticisms have arisen regarding the conditions Salis is being held under, as media have reported the presence of rats and general poor hygiene at the prison. The European Parliament is set to investigate the situation of prisoners in Hungary, particularly the case of Salis.

From Jurist, Feb. 11. Used with permission.

See our last report on the "Day of Honor" controversies.