Hungary’s President, Janos Ader, is quietly visiting Canada and the United States this week. The Hungarian press has provided little information regarding Ader’s trip, perhaps because it does not include any meetings with Canadian or US officials.
On Wednesday evening Ader spoke at a 1956 commemoration event hosted by Canadian-Hungarian Rozsa Dancs in Toronto. Publisher of the Hungarian-English cultural magazine Kaleidescope, Dancs is no stranger to controversy. Her magazine publishes material written by such controversial writers as convicted World War II era fascists Jozsef Nyiro and Albert Wass. Dancs told the Canadian Herald that she was being compensated for her work by the Hungarian government’s Gabor Bethlen Foundation.
On Friday Ader was in Boston where his program included a visit to the offices of US software developer Logmein. From there he will travel to Los Angeles where he will attend a dinner reception on Saturday at the Hungarian House of Los Angeles. On Sunday he is scheduled to attend a morning memorial service in Los Angeles at Mindszenty Square on the northwest corner of MacArthur Park. After making a brief appearance at the San Fernando Hungarian Presbyterian Church, Ader will travel 300 miles up the coast to Portola Valley where he is scheduled to attend the 1956 Hungarian uprising memorial event at the Woodside Priory founded in 1957 by Benedictine monks from Pannonhalma.
This is the first visit by a Hungarian head-of-state to the United States since Fidesz came to power with a two-thirds parliamentary majority in 2010. A planned visit last year by the president of the Hungarian parliament, Laszlo Kover, was allegedly cancelled after several organizations with whom Kover was scheduled to meet cancelled, apparently in protest of Kover’s role in last year’s failed attempt to rebury convicted war criminal Jozsef Nyiro in Romania. (Nyiro’s remains were allegedly smuggled into Romania in the briefcase of a Hungarian government official). The resulting international scandal prompted Hungarian Holocaust survivor Ellie Wiesel to send back an award given to him by the Hungarian government and the Israeli government to declare Kover persona non grata.
A former EU parliamentarian and a member of Fidesz’s moderate wing, President Ader is less likely to ruffle feathers than the occasionally gruff Kover. The Budapest Beacon wishes President Ader a pleasant and productive trip to the United States! Next time let us know you’re coming so we can schedule an interview!