An open letter to Viktor Orbán

January 2, 2017

Translation of Péter Márai’s open letter to Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán published by on January 2nd, 2017.

Our publication received a request to publish the following open letter.  We thought that if it is impossible to resist anything, then this is it. We publish it without changes so as to make it clear that it is the opinion of the author (although it is not that far from our own).

An Open Letter to Viktor Orbán

Dear Prime Minister:

You, like every respectable person, are first and foremost a father, then a husband, the child of your parents, and, I hope, only then a politician.  I am writing to the father.  I have two children.  My first marriage failed because you and your party came to power, and I was branded a socialist sympathizer, fired, went broke, and got divorced.  My former wife and my son moved to London.  At best I get to meet them once every three months, and that is only if we can afford it.  Thank goodness video conferencing is also available on mobile phones, and in this way my 13 year old son and I are able to bridge the distance to a certain extent.  Part of my new family lives in the countryside and the other part (me) in Budapest, because I could only find work here.  I go home at weekends to my 2 year-old son and my partner.  I am jut a simple person.  I am not, have never been and never will be anybody’s enemy.  At most there have been opponents in my life.  However, you nearly destroyed me.

Prime Minister!

Until now I thought I was capable of sitting quietly in front of the TV while waiting for something to change because I believed I was only a vote.  What does one vote count?  However, now I realize that the anger and bitterness in me as a result of your “governance” has not merely induced me to vote, but I am thinking of calling an old MSZP [Hungarian Socialist Party] friend of mine and asking how I might help so that something might happen.

Mr. Orban!

Were I to start listing everything that you and the Fidesz-named organization has perpetrated against me and those like me whose political outlook differs from yours, this page would not be sufficient.  Your latest reckoning claimed journalists as your victims.  Before that, hospital workers, civil servants, police chiefs, public employees, teachers and students, employees of state and municipal companies, small companies, retailers and artists.  These are all people!  Somebody’s father, mother, child, husband, wife.  People.  Even if they do not agree with you. Even if they do not kiss the ass of the new “boss” you appointed, even if they do not obey with a smile the commands concocted with the ideology of a party state.  Or course, the civil servants were not happy when you wanted to take away from them the money used to buy the votes of pensioners.  Would you be happy?  Of course the teachers weren’t happy with the “curriculum” contrived by you.  Of course the health care workers grumbled over their impossibly low wages, not to mention the pathetically small increase in pensions.


Something very much slipped with you!  The priorities are mixed up in your head.  You’ve made billionaires out of your children, which is understandable. I wasn’t that upset with you over that.  Then you made a billionaire from a gas pipe fitter, and a NAV [National Tax and Customs Administration] president from someone they say is a semi-idiot who talks nonsense and likes to drink.  A crazy man is running the Hungarian National Bank, the government members are infested with corruption.  You build stadiums at the end of your garden, Rogán takes helicopters, Habony and Vajna are taking over the entire Hungarian media, and Kósa has gone crazy.  Our foreign minister is a weak little boy who weekly plunges the country into international conflict.  And you are disappointed at not being invited to attend Trump’s inauguration?  Everybody is laughing at us!  And who isn’t, feels sorry for us.  And who doesn’t is very angry with us.

Allow me to give you some advice.  It’s all the same to me.  You can’t do any more harm!

  • Resign and scram!
  • Resign and scram!
  • Resign and scram!

Happy New Year!

Péter Márai

Former public employee

Post scriptum for every HUNGARIAN

People! Don’t sit at home with your folded arms.  Don’t wait for others to solve the problems.  Don’t complain about the opposition because with that you aren’t helping anyone.  Don’t complain in the toilets of your workplace!  Nothing will change. NOTHING!!  You can only get rid of this criminal band that is corrupt to the core if you get up from your armchair.  Tell everyone that there is no such thing as indifference.  There is no such thing as just a vote.  Everybody has only one, but now everyone’s is needed.  Organize.  Help the opposition parties.  Don’t whine about solidarity.  Do something!  The election may begin in 2017.  I have already stood up.