European neo-Nazi organisations plan to hold a three-day networking congress in Sopron, Hungary.
Residents of the city are protesting, the mayor has issued a statement stressing that there is zero tolerance of all forms of antisemitism, and accommodation providers are not aware of any such event, reports the Telex about the neo-Nazi networking conference, which is about to be held in Sopron in early October.
The Austrian press already reported in May that Europe’s neo-fascists were organising their 1st Gerd Honsik European Congress in Sopron., Hungary. The news started to spread in the city this week after an antifascist blog post about it appeared online. Upon discovering the information, even the Fidesz city council and the opposition sat down together to discuss avoiding having fascists in the city.
This is not the first time since the regime change that neo-Nazis have made a spectacle of themselves in Sopron. In the early 2000s, they met for a musical meeting in Harka near Sopron. Moreover, the man after whom the far-right named their congress had lived in the town for years. Gerd Honsik, one of Austria’s best-known Holocaust deniers, was in and out of prison several times.
He has thrown Molotov cocktails, written a book exonerating Hitler and written an open letter to the Arab world calling for them to promote the unveiling of „the greatest propaganda hoax in world history, the gassing of the Jews.” He was released early from his last prison sentence when he was 70 and moved to Sopron, Hungary. The proximity of the border with Vienna made him choose the city, and he died there in 2018.
The congress, organised by Austrian neo-Nazis, aims to expand their European network. The Italian, Austrian, German and Scandinavian groups will discuss topics such as European unity, Europe’s past struggles for freedom, and national movements and their perceptions. According to the Der Standard newspaper, the organisers consider Hungary a safe venue.
Registration for the event was open until 22 September, and the invitation is available on a Telegram channel called Infokanal Deutschösterreich. The exact location of the meeting, which is scheduled from 6 to 8 October, will only be known to those who buy a ticket, with an admission fee of EUR25 per person. The site is no longer available.
The opposition Momentum has announced that it will protest outside the congress venue. The police have not yet responded to press inquiries, but the mayor of Sopron has issued a statement, as residents have also organised protests in front of the town hall. Mayor Ciprián Farkas said that the organisers had not asked for permission. They are likely meeting on private property, making it more difficult for the authorities to act legally.
However, the mayor’s statement „expresses strong rejection of any political rally, whether far left or far right, that creates fear among the people of Sopron. As in all Hungary, Sopron has zero tolerance for all forms of antisemitism.”
Photo credit: Nagy Márta / Telex