“White Terror,” the Hungarian Press, and the Evolution of Hungarian Antisemitism After World War I
This article examines the emergence of the right-radical press in Hungary in the aftermath of World War I. It argues that right-radical newspapers served three interrelated functions. First, they protected the political and military elite from justice and popular retribution for their role in the outbreak and the conduct of the war. Second, they sought to explain the war and the revolutions to their mainly lower middle-class audience and in the process gave meanings to the events. Third, they justified militia violence against Jews, workers and peasants during the White Terror. The new type of journalist employed by the right-radical press functioned as, and used the language of, a political agitator serving mainly elite interests. The article looks at the role that the right-radical press played in the creation and dissemination of new anti-Jewish stereotypes, and examines the techniques that the journalist-agitators used to anchor anti-Jewish hatred in the minds of their readers. It argues that the right-radial press helped a peculiarly vicious type of antisemitism to survive within middle-class subcultures, especially among military and police officers, and by further widening the emotional gap between Jews and non-Jews, they paved the way to the tragedy of Hungarian Jews during World War II.