A Hungarian historian, Krisztián Ungváry, collects Nazi and other historical relics. Sometimes he sells them, and last fall, he sold the uniform of a former SA soldier.
“Obviously I wouldn’t have sold it to a person who I assumed intended to perform a day of honour commemoration in this uniform,” he told Magyar Nemzet. He put the SA uniform on sale last September.
The historian collects relics, such as badges and medals of honour, ribbons, and uniforms. He emphasised that he, as a collector, sold the uniform to another collector, and not to a neo-Nazi or Nazi sympathiser.
“The person I sold it to is not a neo-Nazi to my knowledge and has enough common sense not to run around in such clothing anywhere because wearing symbols of dictatorship in public is repulsive and also a crime, unless there is a film shoot,” Ungváry explained.
The historian revealed that he does not specifically collect German relics from Hitler’s time, that is why he sold the uniform as well. He said that his collection mainly consists of objects and antiques from the Monarchy and the Horthy era. He also possessed a badge collection from Socialist times and wrote a book about a Rákosi file collection which he owned. He has lent pieces from his collection to national and German exhibitions.
Ungváry did not reveal who he had bought the SA uniform from; however, he did say that it was an internationally known collector.
There have been two instances in the early 2000s when a politician and a teacher were seen wearing SS uniforms. In November 2006, the former Vice President of Terézváros, Zsolt Gyenge, was photographed posing in an SS uniform, and the photo was leaked. Gyenge said that he tried on his friend’s uniform, as he is a huge fan of history, especially the WWII era, so he took a photo of himself, for himself, but he did not intend to make it public. He was disbarred immediately.
The other incident happened in June 2007, when the photo of the Vice Principal of a high school, Péter Ákos Kosaras, in an SS uniform was uploaded to the internet. He said he wore the uniform to “present the uniforms of the four parties in WWII in an interactive way” and that wearing it had no political or other intentions. Following the incident, he was relieved of his post as Vice Principal and his employment was terminated. He was, however, elected as the principal of a school in Tordas a year later, which caused outrage yet again.
Magyar Nemzet asked Laszló Miklósi, the President of the Association of History Teachers, to comment. He previously judged Péter Kosaras for his wearing the uniform, but he said there is a difference between his and Ungváry’s case. “The current case does not affect teaching history in any way. What happened in Péter Ákos Kosaras’s case did.” He also added that he, himself, would not collect or sell any kind of uniform but will not comment on anyone who does.
Dániel Bodnár, the President of the Tett és Védelem Foundation, fighting against antisemitism, responded to Magyar Nemzet that all tradings of relics from the Nazi era that has no scientific purpose must be abolished.