The Troll of the Month is an episode we choose every month to expose antisemites and to show the positive outcomes in the fight against antisemitism in Europe.
András Léderer, a staff member of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights NGO and formerly a politician at the Free Democrats party recently filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request at the local municipality of Ásotthalom, a village on the Hungarian-Serbian border about the activities of a group of armed vigilantes, the so called “field guards”, a group of volunteers supporting the work of border guards by catching illegal border crossers. Léderer wanted to know what the armed group exactly does, what uniform they wear, how many of them serve there and what instructions they were given since last September.
The mayor of the village László Toroczkai, known for his right wing, antisemitic and homophobic views and statements, was elected as mayor after running at the elections as an independent candidate. He later became vice president of Jobbik, an extreme right opposition party in the Hungarian Parliament. Toroczkai had also been known as one of the participants of an anti-government riot in 2006 and also as founder of Hatvannégy Vármegye Ifjúsági Mozgalom (HIVM/Youth Movement of the Sixty-four Counties), a reference to Greater Hungary’s counties.
As a reaction to Léderer’s information request, Toroczkai published Léderer’s photo on his own Facebook page with a hostile text referring to Léderer’s Jewish origins and his being gay. Among other things, he wrote “Léderer said in an interview that the reason why he helps migrants because he is of Jewish origins and, at the same time he thought it was an important detail to make public that he gay. I do not bloody care about his inclinations, I suggest that he writes on a board that he is gay and he should walk into one of the no-go zones in Western Europe to see how his protégés receive him.”
This post triggered a series of openly antisemitic hate comments, and Léderer received a high number of violent hateful messages.