Revealed! Chinese stores in Hungary are collection points for organ harvesting
In the past few weeks, stories have been circulating on the Hungarian Internet about women disappearing in Chinese shops and being discovered dead or drugged by relatives in a secret room, either with organs already taken out or in preparation for the harvesting. The women (always women, rescued by a male relative who is a friend of a friend of the author) invariably have their heads shaved (even if it is a kidney that is missing). I have been getting these emails from a friend who gets them from her university classmates, with comments like “Well, if this is true!…” “I don’t know if it’s true but I’ll forward it”.
The people waking up in a bathtub full of ice with a kidney missing are one of the most popular recent urban myths — so much so that they have figured in well-known anthropological writing, for example by Nancy Scheper-Hughes. But these stories tend to come from exotic foreign lands. Here, however, we have a cross-breed of the story with domestic xenophobia, so that the exotic locale is transported to our midst.
Chinese shops are a ubiquitous phenomenon in Hungary and some other Eastern European countries. They sell cheap clothes and shoes, and in some villages are the only provider of such goods — to some extent heirs of the pre-war Jewish shopkeeper. It is perhaps not far-fetched to see in the organ-harvesting Chinese the updated embodiment of the Jewish blood libel (the use of Gentile children’s blood in preparing matzoh for passover).
Hungary consistently gets the highest scores in European surveys of xenophobia.
In three days, I will be part of a festive roundtable in Budapest celebrating “Diversity in the united city.”