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Hungary radio
station fires two for depicting gay official with Nazi pink

Hungary radio
station fires two for depicting gay official with Nazi pink

A Hungarian radio station on Wednesday fired two staff members after a gay government official was depicted on its Web site standing outside Nazi Germany's Auschwitz concentration camp while wearing a pink triangle symbol, used by the Nazis to label homosexual men.

The photo montage showing State Secretary Gabor Szetey with a pink triangle on his suit in front of Auschwitz's main gate appeared Wednesday morning on the Web site of Lanchid Radio. It was later removed.

Szetey recently announced he was gay, the first government member to come out in Hungary.

''I have one message for those who did this and those who agree with it--I cannot be intimidated,'' Szetey said Wednesday after a government cabinet meeting.

Lanchid Radio said it had fired two of its editors for the ''impermissible and offensive'' picture.

''The owners and managers of Lanchid Radio condemn what happened and apologize to State Secretary Gabor Szetey and to everyone who was offended by the picture in question,'' the radio station said in a statement.

Socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany and other ministers also condemned the photograph and what they described as a new threat in Hungary from neo-fascist movements.

''This is a scoundrel act because somebody doesn't understand that Auschwitz is one of greatest tragedies of Europe and the history of humanity,'' the prime minister told reporters. ''Fascists are gathering. They aren't knocking on doors but are here among us.''

On Saturday, 56 members of a new nationalist group called the ''Magyar Garda'' (Hungarian Guard) were sworn in during a ceremony in Buda Castle, just outside the offices of President Laszlo Solyom.

The inductees wore black pants and white shirts, their black caps and vests emblazoned with a coat of arms with the colors of the Arpad Stripes.

The striped red-and-white symbol is a centuries-old Hungarian banner, a close version of which was used by the Arrow Cross, a pro-Nazi party that briefly ran Hungary near the end of World War II.

Gyurcsany called on Solyom, the center-right opposition parties, and Hungary's Christian churches to unequivocally condemn the Magyar Garda.

Hungarian and international Jewish groups have asked Gyurcsany to ban the Magyar Garda, saying its uniform is reminiscent of those use by the fascists in the 1940s. (Pablo Gorondi, AP)

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