08/16/2012 11:18 am ET Updated Aug 16, 2012

Csanad Szegedi To Resign From European Parliament? Jewish, Former Far-Right Leader Pressured To Give Up Seat

When one's political career is premised on virulent anti-Semitism, one can expect a hard fall when he discovers his own Jewish roots. Csanad Szegedi, a former member of Hungary's ultra-nationalist Jobbik Party, might want to consider a new job track.

Forced to resign from the party after discovering he is technically himself a Jew under Jewish law, Szegedi now also faces pressure to resign from the European Parliament, The Independent reports. Szegedi has said he wants to maintain his seat as a Member of the European Parliament.

While the Jobbik Party publicly claims it asked Szegedi to resign for suspected bribery, the Wall Street Journal reports that the party vice president wrote an internal memo suggesting Szegedi's roots are at issue: "Had he not lied about his origins, then — whether this is a nice thing or not, that is a different question — he would never have become an MEP."

According to the Associated Press, Szegedi has represented the Jobbik Party in the European Parliament since 2009. NPR notes that the party is known to campaign with anti-Semitic materials.

The Independent provides more information on the start of Szegedi's career:

Szegedi came to prominence as a founder member of the Hungarian Guard. The group formed in 2007 wore black uniforms and striped flags recalling the Arrow Cross, a pro-Nazi party which governed Hungary at the end of World War II and killed thousands of Jews.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Szegedi claims he found out about his Jewish heritage in December 2011. His grandmother reportedly survived Auschwitz and his grandfather worked in forced labor camps.



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