For the West and for younger generations of Hungarians, what the name Bauer most likely calls to mind is “Jack Bauer”, the CIA agent played by Kiefer Sutherland in the TV series “24”. But in Hungary there’s another man who arguably should come to mind when that name rings out: Bauer Tamás.
But in actual fact, the dubious honour of being recalled to mind upon hearing that particular surname should be even more firmly attached to Bauer Tamás’s murderous father. Bauer Tamás’s father was a man who made a name for himself in the Hungarian State Protection Service (ÁVH). The Soviets had the KGB, the East Germans had the Stasi, the Hungarians had the ÁVH.
The ÁVH was the secret punishment arm of the communist dictatorship in Hungary. The ÁVH were the communist party’s fist.
There were two official ÁVH prisons in Budapest and four internment camps within Hungary. In these prisons and internment camps, the men and women who worked for the ÁVH used torture to extract confessions.
In countries with normal governments, in the wake of WWII, parliaments were trying to sort their countries out. Normal countries had normal priorities, and the top priority was to get the economy up and running again to improve the lives of the nation. Compare that with what was happening in the communist dictatorship that was Hungary: between 1951 and 1953, the costs of the ÁVH almost doubled, and the amount of money spent by them is almost inconceivable: 3.2 billion forints. To put that into perspective, in Hungary at the time, the average monthly salary was HUF 800. Rather than trying to assist the people or the country, the communists spent obscene amounts of money in terrorising their own citizens.
And they succeeded. The ardent activities of the ÁVH even led to the development of a new term in the Hungarian language: ‘Csengőfrász’, or ‘Doorbell fright’. This came from the tactics they employed, calling to take people away mainly at night. The doorbell would ring, and the thugs of the ÁVH would storm into the unfortunate soul’s flat before dragging them off to a waiting black, Soviet ‘Pobeda’ car.
One of the constituent parts of this eager communist fist was Bauer “Nails” Miklós.
Yes, “Nails”. His nickname was derived from his habit, when torturing people, of tearing their fingernails out. And Bauer Miklós wasn’t just a low-level, minor cog in the wheels of the machine. He regularly reported straight to the dictator himself.
Bauer Miklós not only tortured and murdered, not only created blatantly unbelievable reports and confessions, but was also an avid participant in the torture, leading to death, of a one-time Social Democrat Minister of Justice, Ries István. Ries’s 'crime' was to resign in protest at outrageous communist election fraud in 1947. After two months of torture, Ries died of his injuries. Bauer’s report contained the following lines:
“Preceding the confession there were tears, I endeavoured to enhance the sense of humiliation by spitting on him and delivering a few blows.”
“You can’t interrogate him. As you can see he preferred to die rather than be guarded by me.”
This man was a very nasty piece of work.
The son of this nasty piece of work, the son of this murdering, torturing stain on the world was a Hungarian politician. A man who was a founder-member of what became the SZDSZ (The Alliance of Free Democrats), having originally joined the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (the communists who then transformed into the Hungarian Socialist Party to be found in Parliament today). More recently, Bauer Tamás was a member of Gyurcsány Fletó’s DK (Democratic Coalition), initially serving as vice-president.
Bauer Tamás, the son of a torturer and murderer has never suffered as a result of his father’s crimes. In communism, having a murderer for a father was not an impediment to progress. Bauer Tamás is a man who has no sense of nation and takes no pride in being Hungarian. He learnt the mantra of internationalism at his father’s knee. He has repeatedly called for Brussels to intervene in Hungarian sovereign affairs. This is a man who considers the peace dictate that followed defeat in WWI, in which two thirds of Hungary were gifted to other nations, as fair and just.
Bauer Tamás, crying wolf about expected election fraud in 2014, appealed directly to the EU for them to alter the Hungarian state’s election law!
This man has no place in public life, be that Hungarian public life or the public life of any other country to be found in the world.
Another Hungarian unhindered by her family is Dobrev Klára, granddaughter of one of the men who ensured the execution of Nagy Imre, Prime Minister of Hungary, and wife of Gyurcsány Fletó, leader of the party that welcomed Bauer Tamás as a vice-president. She stated in an interview:
“You cannot deny the family that you come from, it’s within you. What I think about the world is up to me, but as to what I think about the world in which my grandparents lived and what they stood for — with that I can’t identify at all.”
So, self-acquittal-serving verbal trickery from someone whose grandfather, like Bauer Tamás's father, was involved in the communist dictatorship that ruined Hungary to the greatest degree possible.
We could argue about who was worse; Dobrev’s grandfather who assisted with (among other sins) the execution of an elected Prime Minister, or Bauer’s father “Nails”, who enthusiastically tortured and killed God alone knows how many with his own hands.
The sins of the father…that may well be a fine morally correct attitude for most cases, but here we are dealing with people who can be regarded as pariahs, nothing more. That Bauer Miklós was a torturer and murderer in the pay of the communist dictatorship is one thing. That his son was able to join the successor of the same party that his father had served, and then reinvent himself as a ‘social democrat’, is nothing less than astounding. The father of this so-called ‘social democrat’ tortured to death the social democrat Minister of Justice. Like other children of the communist elite, Bauer Tamás and Dobrev Klára have benefitted from being born into the families of torturers, murderers, and thieves.
This is fact. No matter how reluctant these people are to admit it.
Evidently, Bauer Tamás has not an ounce of shame in his body. Then again, perhaps he does – the most recent news from Bauer was a statement that he would never vote for the Democratic Coalition. That might be a start, but I still think it's far too little, far too late.