Balázs Sipos: How to turn an enemy into friend – and vice versa

Pro-Soviet and anti-Soviet extreme right propaganda in Hungary

Studies on the extreme right propaganda about the Second World War and the Soviet Union mostly focus on the anti-Soviet media outlets. These articles, caricatures, books, and movies followed the pattern of Mein Kampf and were about the “Jewish-Bolshevik-plutocratic alliance”. In general, the propaganda of the Hungarian extreme right movement (Arrow Cross Party) used the same simplistic image. The journalists and politicians created the antitheses of the Christian Hungarian ‘we-group’ and the ‘Jewish-Bolshevik’ ‘they-group’. But between the August of 1939 and the June of 1941, this situation changed and new patterns were needed. The Hungarian extreme right journalists and politicians knew nothing about the purpose of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and they thought that the Soviet Union would be a friend of Nazi Germany. They tried hard to explain this situation. It was difficult to construct a new image of the former ‘Jewish-Bolshevik’ enemy. The easiest way was to simply use the very opposites of the former statements. According to the new extreme right propaganda, the Soviet Union became a national socialist (nationalist and racist) state. The aim of this paper is to share the results of the analysis of the extreme right media outlets (their anti-Soviet and pro-Soviet propaganda) and interpret these shifts and the problem of the authenticity of the daily newspaper of the Arrow Cross movement.

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