The Ambassador and the racism

Just got this open letter signed by professors at different universities in Hungary. Jeszenszky used to be Hungary's Ambassador to the US, but is now the Ambassador to Norway and Iceland.


Withdraw Géza Jeszenszky’s Racist Book


As professors, researchers and students, or as ordinary Hungarian citizens, we reject the stigmatizing, anti-Roma claims made by Géza Jeszensky, Hungary’s current Ambassador to Norway and Iceland,[1] in a book used as required course material at the Corvinus University of Budapest.


Ambassador Jeszenszky’s book, in a section entitled “Minorities in Hungary: the issue of Roma (Gypsies). Minority self-government,” contains insulting and prejudiced statements, including:


”The reason why many Roma are mentally ill is because in Roma culture it is permitted for sisters and brothers or cousins to marry each other or just to have sexual intercourse with each other.” [2]


In his reply to an open letter of protest about this statement, Ambassador Jeszenszky, instead of apologizing to the Hungarian Roma community for his words, insisted that many studies and surveys prove his statement to be accurate. We, the undersigned, have no knowledge of such scientific proof.


We believe that the Corvinus University of Budapest, as a scientific community, cannot accept prejudiced statements wrapped in the illusion of science—especially not those that stigmatize an entire ethnic group. We therefore insist that the Corvinus University immediately discontinue using this book as course material.



[1] Ambassador Jeszenszky is a former Ambassador to the United States and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary.

[2] Geza Jeszenszky, Post-Communist Europe and its National/Ethnic Problems: a coursepack, Theme 9 “Minorities in Hungary: the issue of Roma (Gypsies). Minority self-government”, p. 273. Kairosz Kiado, Budapest, 2009.


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