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Hungarian Anti-Semitic Political Leader Discovers He Is a Jew, Moves to Israel

Four years ago,  Csanad Szegedi was a deputy leader of the radical nationalist Jobbik party in Hungary, and he blamed Jews as well as the Roma people for his country’s problems. But then he learned he was a Jew himself, and everything changed.

Szegedi was once notorious for his extremist views and anti-Semitic statements, and as a leader of Jobbik, he helped co-found the Hungarian Guard – a paramilitary group that marched through Roma camps wearing black uniforms reminiscent of the pro-Nazi Arrow Cross party that ruled Hungary during the Second World War. He was regarded as a rising star in the anti-immigration party Jobbik, the third biggest party in Hungary’s National Assembly, but after making a startling discovery four years ago, Szegedi realized that his life to that point and everything he thought he believed in had all been a lie.

In 2012, the young politician discovered that his own grandmother was Jewish, and had been wearing long sleeves or plasters in the summer to conceal the Auschwitz concentration camp number tattooed on her arm. She was a Holocaust survivor, but Szegedi didn’t even believe the Holocaust had happened. He later described how “shocking” this revelation was to him “First of all because I realized the Holocaust really happened.”

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Hungarian Gravediggers Compete in National Grave Digging Competition

In an attempt to increase respect for grave digging and attract more people to the job, three dozens of the best gravediggers in Hungary competed in a unique grave digging competition, last Friday.

The bizarre competition took place at a graveyard in the city of Debrecen. 18 two-man teams were assigned their plots arbitrarily by pulling numbers out of a hat, and supplied with regulation-size shovels, rakes, axes and pickaxes to use in digging the best grave in the shortest amount of time. Contestants were judged on speed, grave neatness and whether they complied with the regulation size: 200 cm long, 80 cm wide and 160 cm deep (7 feet by 2 feet 7 inches by 5 feet). Enjoying the home advantage, the local team came out victorious, digging their grave in less than half an hour. That’s pretty impressive considering some of the other teams took almost an hour to complete theirs.

Each team had their own technique. Some preferred to dig simultaneously and clean up after the hole was finished, while others had one man digging and the other arranging the dirt into neat piles around the grave site. They all agreed that the conditions were just right on the big day, with the earth being “quite soft and humid.”

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There’s a Truly Unique Island Home For Sale in Hungary

If you’re looking for a truly unique island home, you might want to check out this newly listed property in Hungary. It’s no a tropical paradise and the water is actually a small pond in the middle of an agricultural area, but at least it’s quiet.

The small house is located straight in the middle of a 120-square-meter man-made pond and apparently includes all modern amenities, including running water, electricity and sewage system. Whoever built it must have been a real fishing enthusiast as the pond is stocked full of different kinds of fish, from carp to bream and even sturgeon. Overall, there is a total of over 10,000 kilograms of fish living in the pond and they come with the house.

island-home

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Kids Get a Taste of the Tough Life at Hungarian Military Summer Camp

Summer camp in the town of Mogyoród, Hungary plays out slightly differently than what most kids are used to in other parts of the world. Hundreds of children between the ages of 11 and 22 gather at the camp each year, to experience the tough military life for a week. These kids are actually attracted to the military way of life and volunteer to sign up for the camp. It’s not surprising, actually, given the fact that militarism is dominant in Hungarian society.

At the Military Traditional Association, the kids live in tents, receive military training from experienced, active soldiers and learn all about the Order and the Homeland. They stay up all night on guard duty, learn how to fire AK-47s (with blanks, of course) and are put through stimulation tear gas attacks. Intense physical exercise, educational behaviorism and screamed orders is what the week is all about.

Zsolt Horvath, head of the military summer camp, said: “We give them real military training at a basic level. They have endurance tests, running sessions in the morning, fitness exercises. Throughout the day they listen to trainers from various army units who teach them exercises.” Discipline is paramount at the camp – any misbehavior is punishable with push-ups. Both practical and theoretical training are imparted, hoping to groom future members of the Hungarian army.

Mogyorod-military-summer-camp

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Homeless Man Uses His Last Few Coins to Buy Lottery Ticket, Wins $2.79 Million Jackpot

Now this is what you call a dream-come-true. No, scratch that. It’s more like the ‘wildest’ dream-come-true. When László Andraschek used his last few coins to purchase a lottery ticket, I’m sure he had no real hope of winning the jackpot – a whopping 600 million forint (US $2.70 million) – but it actually happened. The 55-year-old Hungarian went from being a homeless tramp to a millionaire, overnight.

For seven long years, Andraschek lived in a homeless shelter in the city of Győr. “It all happened to me, I remember it, but I don’t miss it,” he said about his experience of being homeless. He was also a recovering alcoholic at the time. “I had drunk myself out of the family by the age of 31. I was the last child at home and spent all my wages on drink. I worked on-and-off as an agricultural repairman. I lived the typical life of an alcoholic and I thought it was all right.”

It came to a point where Andraschek’s siblings were fed up of him and asked their mother to kick him out. This was in 1989; at age 31, Andraschek had become completely destitute. He tried to hang himself, but the rope snapped and he ended up losing a foot. “Even losing a foot didn’t make me mend my ways because I would blame everyone around me, anyone but myself.” In 1991, he registered himself as homeless.

László Andraschek2

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The Blooming of the Tisza – A Stunning Natural Phenomenon

Named after the river on which it takes place every year from late spring to early summer, the Blooming of the Tisza is an incredible natural phenomenon that attracts tourists from all around the world to Hungary. As millions of long-tailed mayflies reach sexual maturity, they shed their larvae skin and burst from the river in search of a mate before dying just a few hours later.

There are around 2,000 species of mayfly worldwide. Measuring up to five inches from their head to the end of their appendages, Tisza’s Palingenia longicauda, also known as the long-tailed mayfly, is Europe’s largest. Mayflies live most of their lives as larvae in large colonies on the bottom of rivers. After three years, they shed their larvae skins and emerge from the water as sexual mature adults. Because they have a limited amount of time to reproduce -about three hours – as soon as they are able to fly, they prowl for potential mates. Males try to pass on their genes to the next generation at any cost, often forcing themselves on the females, and even clinging to them when they are still in larvae form. This mating frenzy lasts for three or four days, during which time the whole area around the Tizsa river becomes engulfed in a seemingly impenetrable humming fog.

Tisza-mayflowers

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Hungarian Collector Shows Off World’s Smallest Library

Jozsef Tari has been collecting miniature books since 1972, and is now the proud owner of over 4,500 literary works, including the world’s smallest book (2.9 x 3.2 mm).

A printer by trade, Tari has always been fascinated by the written word, and in 1972 he began collecting miniature books. Most of the items in his collection are in Hungarian, but he also has quite a few from the US, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Indonesia and Japan. Ironically, he only has a few books from the countries neighboring Hungary. As far as topics are concerned, Jozsef Tari is interested in everything from religion to sports, literature and even cooking, but he only collects books that are 76 mm in size, or smaller. His collection features books that are over 100 years old, but his most prized miniature is the world’s smallest book – it measures only 2.9 x 3.2 millimeters and fits into a nutshell.

Apart from the 4,500 books in his collection, Tari also has 15 kinds of miniature newspapers, including the smallest in the world, which measures only 19 x 26 mm.

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