András Németh "width =" 70 "height =" 70 "src =" d5d269428be5

András Németh

It was always difficult to stand in the middle of Hungary, and now again & # 39; with us or against us & # 39; reflected, which is more typical of Rakosi times, "said Nick Thorpe, BBC correspondent in Budapest, on an HVG portrait interview.

"My first home leaves Europe and the second is from European values," says Nick Thorpe, a Central European correspondent from the BBC in Central and Eastern Europe, born 32 years ago in England.

Although he thought he'd become a journalist since he was a teenager, he decided after the report that Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union in 1985. "I was in Petrozavodsk when Gorbachev was elected party secretary, a local Russian said that everything would change," said Thorpe, who had worked in a fig farm in Greece for a few days and arrived in Hungary in February 1986.

She also wanted to stay in Senegal in England next year, and she wanted to stay half a year ago, three decades ago: love came here and five boys were born. "The oldest Sam, he said half of it was English, one hundred percent Hungarian, but he was never so good at math." He now sails in the Pacific, but the rest do not live in a normal life: his second son cruises in Costa Rica, studying in Oxford, fourth jazz guitar, the smallest books now. His wife also paints and works as a respiratory therapist.

He claims that it is the job of the journalist to criticize the current government. This was also a concern for him: he tried to send home several times during the existence of socialism, and the Fidesz government accuses him of wanting to intervene in the internal affairs of Hungary. Now he became the "public enemy" with his latest book about refugees who have crossed over in Hungary. He works a lot, has written a book about the change of the regime and the Danube. He liked cycling, but he was disrupted in Csepel and broke his vertebrae. He has been running since then.

HVG: Why did you come to Hungary in 1986?

Nick Thorpe: I knew the avant-garde artist of Miklós Erdély, his family, I lived in the kitchen for a while. I did not want to use my phone so I could not get into trouble, so I called from the front of the cab. It was a varied era: it was held on March 15, a forbidden demonstration, and changes began in the KISZ. All my articles were exclusive, since I was the only western correspondent here. My first sources were journalists who knew a lot, but of course they could not write anything. There are many things that have been shared with me to make this information come true.

Is it true that MSZMP has given you a career?

I had a one-month visa here while watching the BBC. This was soon overwhelmed by the authorities and I got an ultimatum of 24 hours: show me the appointment or leave the country. I sent a telex to the BBC and 18 hours later I received the answer to the appointment. MSZMP KB gave a great boost to my career, and the BBC would probably have mentioned it much later.

He did not really thank him, even the mighty Berecz János was upset.

"Comrades, we have to be careful, the BBC seems to be in the room," said the agitprop boss at the Clergy Closure. Although I was not there, my friend Endre Bojtár died in February of this year. The party wanted to create a loyal writing society that had marginalized the original, but the writers remained loyal. Because of my reports, I was attacked by Népszabadság and then invited to the foreign affair.

How did you escape the expulsion?

It was an interesting conversation. They said they had problems with my work, but they acknowledged that I wrote the events accurately, but they added: foreign correspondents believe that the international public should be informed, but the Hungarian language service of the BBC has intervened in Hungarian affairs. because my reports have an impact on writers. I have said this, if the consequences of the reports are a problem, it is no longer my responsibility and I will continue my work.

Have they accepted the statement?

I also reported to the British ambassador that after half an hour, in a very spectacular place, coffee was called in Gerbeaud. And he said very loudly to me: if you are expelled, we will have to do this with the Népszabadság correspondent in London. When the British Foreign Minister Geoffrey Howe – for another reason – went to Budapest a week later and the Thorpe-case & # 39; founded, he assured himself that nobody wanted to expel him.

Do not you feel that the & # 39; old good times & # 39; be back?

Unfortunately, yes, it seems that the political elite counts the duty of the journalist to serve the power. It was always difficult to stand in Hungary in the middle of nowhere, and again the thinking ability of & # 39; or we, or against us & # 39 ;, was more typical of the Rakosi times. Paranoia reigns, I feel that when the Fidesz is in power, it never stops for a moment to enjoy what it has achieved: it continues to behave like an opposition, wants more power and influence.

Will the old reflexes come up and is a newer broadcast circus expected?

Hungary is still a great country, I love Hungarians and I have always felt at home. I am rather worried about the Hungarian colleagues who continue to investigate. It is worrying that I live in a country where it was possible to win the election of anti-refugee, while nobody wants to come here: migrants are not queuing at the gates. This is not about migration, but migration, which is a very important difference.

There is no doubt that his book on refugees does not really save the policy of the Orbán government.

As a BBC correspondent, I can not have my personal opinion, but as a writer I have more freedom and I trust that everyone who reads all pages of the book knows what my opinion is. Fidesz opened Pandora's box, I do not know what will happen. I am worried about the inner peace in Hungary, because in the end we are all foreign to someone else. And if they suggest that you see the other as a threat, I do not think people can be happy forever. And the confidence between the Hungarians will also not be strengthened. A very cynical political game takes place in Hungary, the only purpose of which is to win the elections.

Have you ever thought about leaving here?

I want to stay, this country is my home, I learned it in Hungarian, the family is completely bilingual. And I also trust that if I critically report the activities of the government that is in power, I can do something useful. For a long time I was very happy as a journalist. But it is very difficult to live in a country where xenophobia is growing. People traditionally escape from war zones. I think I will leave it, but I will not be forced to do so.


The portrait interview is HVG 2018/28. It appeared in question.

The membership program of HVG membership is the first initiative that will help our readers to get closer to our editors and continue our journalistic work with the high standard we have achieved so far. We send our members weekly exclusive newsletters, we offer events and we give a big discount on our books and other products. As a sponsor you can contribute to quality journalism through the costs of a weekly coffee!

"When virtuality is so widespread in our daily lives, it is a refreshing real human relationship."
Erna K. – Patronizing member

"I have read HVG for a long time and I find it interesting every day!"
Szabolcs H. – Support

Join our program, support our work with a single contribution or pay for the week.

The membership program of HVG membership is the first initiative that will help our readers get closer to our editors and help with our support to keep our journalistic work at the high standard we have had so far. As a sponsor you can contribute to quality journalism through the costs of a weekly coffee!

Join our program, support our work with a single contribution or pay for the week.

<! –