Istvan Csurka, Hungarian Playwright and Political Extremist, Dies at 77

Obituaries   Istvan Csurka, Hungarian Playwright and Political Extremist, Dies at 77 Istvan Csurka, a Hungarian playwright whose achievements on the stage were overshadowed and undermined by his vocal advocacy of nationalistic and bigoted politics, died Feb. 4 in Budapest. He was 77.

Mr. Csurka, who was born in Budapest on March 27, 1934, was one of his country's leading dramatists in the 1970s. He had five plays running simultaneously in Budapest at one point in that decade, all playing to capacity audiences. He also wrote novels and short stories. But, outside the borders of his country, it was Mr. Csurka's virulent political views and activities that received the headlines. He angered Hungary's Communist government with his anti-Semitic writings and his criticisms of Communist ideology. (He took part in the 1956 uprising against the Communists in Hungary, but later was recruited by the party as an informant.) When Hungary shed its Communist yoke, he was named deputy president of the governing Hungarian Democratic Forum. But, following one too many controversial comments, he was dismissed by Prime Minister Jozsef Antall.

From October 1994, he was chairman of the small Hungarian right-wing extremist party called Party of Hungarian Truth and Life. Among Mr. Csurka's regular political grievances were the land that Hungary lost after losing WWI (under what he called "treaty of treason"); his belief that Israel eyed Hungary as the location for a "second homeland"; and a call for Romania to return parts of Transylvania to Hungary.

He is survived by a son and two daughters.

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