The Tószegi Affair
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The Tószegi Affair book
The Toszegi Inquiry Commission Report put the blame for the triple murders in Fonyod, in part, on the rumormongers and denunciators, who had invited Pronay’s men into the community. The importance of rumor as a source of violence thus ties the Toszegi Affair to larger political events. In his classic study published more than half a century ago, the historian George Rude drew attention to the function of rumors in generating hate and mobilizing the lower classes during the French Revolution. The factor of rumors as a source of antisemitic violence ties the Toszegi Affair both to the longue duree of anti-Jewish hysteria in Western Europe, and to the waves of pogroms that swept the Russian Empire and Romania in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Social identity and institutionally generated prejudices also help to explain why Captain Lajos Papp and Lieutenant Colonel Béla Barkóczy-Klopsch joined the rumor network and acted as denunciators.