Athena Institute Investigations


Hungarian Guard

  • Original name: Magyar Gárda
  • Year of formation: 2007
  • Presumed No. of members: 700
  • Presumed seat: Budapest
  • Presumed leader(s): József Ináncsi (m)
  • Ideology: racist extremism
  • Threat level: 4
  • Active/Inactive: Inactive

Last updated: 04. 02. 2011.

„The ethnicity- and race-based opinions expressed at the demonstrations and events organized by the Hungarian Guard against »gypsy crime«, have in fact breached the basic principle of the right to human dignity. The Hungarian Guard has […] turned discrimination into an agenda. In order to express this, the Hungarian Guard has held intimidating demonstrations on several occasions.” – the Supreme Court expressed in its verdict approving the dissolution of the Guard.

The organization is inactive.

The Hungarian Guard was the biggest hate group in Hungary, its branches operated in almost every county. Originally, in 2007, it was registered as „Hungarian Guard Traditionalist Cultural Association”. Its founders were well-known extreme right publicists and politicians.

The hate group tended to pose in the role of the Hungarian Authorities, which was justified with the „need to protect Hungarians”. The organization openly aimed to acquire certain rights and responsibilities of the authorities, for example to create a „Gendarmerie”. In addition it regularly organized demonstrations and trainings. Prior to its dissolution by the Supreme Court, its organizational structure reflected a hierarchical, para-military approach; it was composed of „wings” on county level, which in turn were comprised of „divisions”. Each „division” was made up of 20 people. The organization regularly organized para-military trainings for its members.

The hate group played a significant role in introducing racist expressions such as „gipsy crime” to the Hungarian vocabulary. This expression was based on the assumption that the members of the Hungarian Roma community are criminals because of their origins. The organization was racist, and operated on the principle of Hungarian superiority. It refused to accept the democratic institutions and laws of the republic of Hungary, and openly threatened the politicians of certain political parties which gained parliamentary representation in the general elections. The United Nations Human Rights Committee in its report published in October, 2010 drew attention to the openly anti-Roma activities of the Hungarian Guard and warned against the dangers of extremism in Hungary.

In late 2007, early 2008 more than 200 members of the Hungarian Guard participated – and marched in formations – in rallies announced as „demonstrations against gipsy crime”. The rally in Tatárszentgyörgy was labeled by the Head of State as an extremist anti-Roma power demonstration. In a speech delivered in Parliament the Prosecutor General explained that „the Hungarian Guard has abused the right to association and is propagating unconstitutional views while its gathering in Tatárszentgyörgy was irreconcilable with the rule of law.” In 2008 the law suit aiming to dissolve the Hungarian Guard has been initiated at the Metropolitan Court of Budapest.

Also in 2008, the first rift within the organization took place: citing political reasons and ideological differences, István Dósa and his followers left the Hungarian Guard and founded a neo-Nazi group, the Hereditary Hungarian Guard, which suspended any further cooperation with the original organization.

In 2009 the law suit of the Hungarian Guard was closed. The Budapest Regional Court, in its legally binding decision, dissolved the Hungarian Guard Traditionalist and Cultural Association and the related movement for violating Act II of 1989 on the Right of Association. The ruling was approved by the Supreme Court in the same year. In response to this, the members of the organization announced the formation of the „New Hungarian Guard Movement”. The organization continued to use its insignia and symbols and its leaders still coordinated the actions, thereby challenging the decision of the Court.

Later, in 2010, the Prosecution Service filed charges against „captain” Róbert Kiss, the head of the organization at the time, based on the suspicion of abusing the right to association and incitement against the authorities. Consequently the head of the organization announced the re-formation of organization, this time under the name of „Hungarian National Guard Movement”. It was made clear that the group defines itself as the successor of the banned „Hungarian Guard Traditionalist Cultural Association”.

During the second half of 2010 the Guard - due to internal rivalries and leadership changes - split to two parts, thus no longer can be seen as a single entity. By 2011, after a tumultuous period of internal rearrangements, two independent groups were formed. The Hungarian National Guard led by József Ináncsi established the "Guard Alliance", that incorporates the neo-Nazi Hereditary Hungarian Guard. At the same time the “New Hungarian Guard” was reorganized by Tamás Juhász , who distanced his organization from the actions of the “Guard Alliance”.

Accordingly, from February 2011, Athena Institute is going to list the original Hungarian Guard as an inactive hate group, while the two successor organizations (the New Hungarian Guard and the Hungarian National Guard) are going to be registered as new entities.

„Gipsy crime, however is a serious form of crime which poses a danger to everybody.”

(Csanád Szegedi, founder)

„To strengthen their unity, the members of the Movement are to wear a uniform at events organized by the Movement, or at events where they participate. The uniform is defined as follows: a pair of black trousers, a pair of boots, a white shirt, or a white polo shirt, a black vest, with a lion on its back, and a coat of arms with Árpád-stripes on the front, a black „Bocskai style” fatigue cap, and a seven-digit ID number to strengthen the sense of belonging to the Movement.”

(The Declaration of Foundation of the Hungarian Guard)