THE BLUE CENTER (2018)

And then, in the beginning of the 70th, that incident happened in Székesfehérvár, when a goose was thrown in the soccer field, with a blue-white ribbon on the neck during a Videoton-MTK match. Népszabadság referred to the incident as a ’fascist provocation’.

“There was one single case when a goose was thrown in the soccer field in Székesfehérvár. The goose had a blue-white ribbon in its neck. Népszabadság referred to the incident as a “fascist provocation”. No such topics were written about at that time; the fact that this event was published was already a miracle. There has been ’goosing’ and ’geese honking’ even today on the matches, though I think people have no clue what these all mean. Tradition has remained, it is still there. Meanwhile, MTK has taken the goose as its kabala pet; there have been huge scandals from that whether it is acceptable or not.”

“‘Blue-centre’ comes from the B-Centre in Fradi. There had been a B-Centre at MTK even before the war. That’s where Ria Ria Hungária comes from as the professional body of MTK was called Hungária at that time. Ria Ria Hungária has been used for anti-Semitic purposes since then on the matches. With that the opposition team’ fans wish to express the non-Hungarian nature of MTK.

This group was not a Jewish group, but it was the ‘Blue-centre’, which means the first Hungarian group of friends to me. Of course there were Jewish topics, too. I have met many of them in the synagogue, too. But it has never been an organized thing. We were just there. It has never been an association of Jewish youth, because it was not that, simply. Facts prove that it was not that.

MTK started out as a Hungarian democratic club. Jewish people were over-represented in it due to its democratic character, as Jewish people were allowed, too. Nevertheless, the pictures have formulated, that MTK is a Jewish club.

I was stunned by that match in Fehérvár. That was the first time where I experienced Jew-bashing on soccer field. I had come from the Soviet-Union, where there was state anti-Semitism but no such things were allowed there. And even though the Kádár era had not been anti-Semitic, there was this anti-Semitic utterance, and later, on an Újpest match, the MTK flag was torn out from one fan’s hand and it was publicly burned.”

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Anti-Semitism towards MTK has never stopped, regardless of the political and ideological pressure by the Communist Party, even not, when MTK was at its low point in the 70th (goose incident in Fehérvár). Moreover, anti-Semitism has remained strong in MSZMP (Socialist Workers Party of Hungary) despite that no public and open anti-Semitism was present at Hungarian soccer fields until the 80th. At the same time, there was silent Jew-bashing in the corridors, following the discourses in the building of the White House (Central Committee). But it is true that the Kádár era consciously tried to put an end to anti-Semitism.

The traditional countryside anti-Semitism – often packed with hostility towards Budapest – was interwoven with the apparatus’ anti-Semitism. Thus, the anti-Semitism of the intelligence and the apparatus gained its real ’sense’ within the context of the urban (capital)-countryside debate. And the whole debate was formed around the personality of the preeminent personality in the cultural policy, György Aczél, who was considered to be ‘liberal’ in his time. And especially in the beginning of the 70th the ’national’ line became stronger against the liberal Aczél line – also due to Soviet power pressure. (And maybe this is why the goose incident happened at this time). [i]

What ties together the Blue-Centre group? Whether it is MTK? Or their Jewish identity? Or their love to soccer? How do they remember that goose incident? ’Blue-Centre’ project is looking for answers to these questions.

[i] [i] http://www.eszmelet.hu/krausz_tamas-futball-es-rasszizmus-magyarorszagon-avagy-mi/

György Kósa, former president of the MTK (Circle of Hungarian Fitness Activists) fan club talks about MTK.

The project was made for Vanishing Points 3.0

See more here: 
http://enyeszpontok.tumblr.com

Main Exhibitions (selected):

2018: Vanishing Points 3.0 (Albert Ádám, Esterházy Marcell, Schuller Judit Flòra, Szabò Nòra, Szász Lilla, Véri Dániel), Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives, Budapest