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To the artists of Europe and the World – Hungarian artists appeal for protection of European values

We, artists who love freedom, now observe, with great concern, the extent to which exclusion, agression towards minorities, and intolerance are on the rise in Hungary and Europe. Many of us had long thought these these phenomena to belong forever in the past, and that they had once and for all lost their influence.

Instead, and with dismay, we must with now see that – even within the European Union – these horrific ideas still take hold, and that they are always growing stronger in their influence. We must also realise that Hungary, the country that has been representing the EU for only a few days, is unfortunately a leader in this respect. To a shocking degree, the daily life of Hungary is infected with racism against Roma, with homophobia and with antisemitism. At the same time, the freedom of the media, of the arts and artists, and of those who could most effectively act against such tendencies is more and more curtailed. During the EU presidency, Hungary has a particular responsibility to work more definitively and more responsibly against social exclusion and to insist on the fundamental moral values of Europe – both everywhere in Europe, but in particular at home.

However, we must also be aware that we – lovers of freedom and humanistic artists who truly believe in the intangible worth of mankind – cannot leave the task solely to governments. It is the duty of all of us to fight such that those ghosts which have been summoned, should disappear again. These ideologies are a deathly poison to our democracies. Each person should think how they can help to protect our free societies. We must defend the ideals of the European community more actively because they are in danger! The magnificent idea of an open, peaceful and unified Europe must stay for future generations. And the events in present day Hungary show us how easy it is for us to lose that which is important to us.

January 2011

András Schiff, Pianist
Ádam Fischer, Conductor
András Adorján, Flautist
Béla Tarr, Film director
Ágnes Heller, Philosopher
Géza Komoróczy, Historian and writer
Lászlo Rajk, Architect
Miklós Janksó, Film director



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