2. Hungary. Double Dealing With the Issue of National Minorities
3. From the Treaty of Peace of Trianon (1920) to the Treaty of Peace of Paris. Political-Diplomatic Considerations
4. The Dinamics of Ethnic Genocid of the Romanian minority in Hungary
5. Ways and Means of Forced Magyarization of the Romanian Minority in Hungary
6. The Somber Future of the Romanians in Hungary
This book is based on the studies drawn up by researchers dr. Petre Bãrbu1escu, dr. Viorica Moisuc, Tudor Stoica, Stelian Vasilescu, members of the Association for the Promotion and Observance of the Rights of the Rornanian Minority in Hungary, and delivered by them at the Round Table Conference organized by the Association in Moscow, on September 27, 1991, as part of parallel actions unfolded on the Conference on the Human Dimension of European Security.
The Round Table Conference was attended also by two members of the Budapest Parliament and two diplomats from Hungarys Embassy in Moscow.
The talks occasioned by the meeting disclosed Hungarys official standpoint on the issue of the national minorities. Among other things, the Hungarian participants maintained that the Budapest government guided itself on the matter of national minorities by the most advanced pan-European conceptions that did not in the least express the necessity that they should be represented, for instance, on the states supreme legislative body.
Unfortunately, on that occasion as well, it resulted that the drive for the denationalization and oppression of the minorities in Hungary was covered by obsolete arguments that however can no longer deceive anyone.
The information and facts presented in this book are apt to prove once more the flagrant discrepancy between what the Hungarian authorities demand from other states as regards the preservation of the rights of national minorities, Hungarian in particular, and the fierce policy of denationalization the same authorities conduct with regard to the ethnic minorities in their own country.
2. Hungary. Double Dealing With the Issue of National Minorities Inceput
The revolutions in the East brought about in the European states, that had used to be members of the Socialist Camp, deep-going and extremely complex political, economic and social changes. The transition to political democracy and a free market economy is matched by commotions that entail very wide-scale changes in the structures of the eastern societies, mass movements without precedent in the history of these societies these last few decades.
All these generate more than once political, economic and social instability virtually all over the central and eastern part of Europe, a zone that is thus going through an historic period full of unexpected turns in which hidden traps can very easily bring about special dangers for these states. Telling proof in this respect are the most serious events, more recent or under way, especially in the defunct Soviet Union, in Yugoslavia and also in Romania and other states.
Unfortunately, these traps are not only the inherent result of the phenomenon of transition. They are generated also by deliberate actions by some states or political quarters interested in it, traps which they plant to the end of giving rise to extreme tensions, open, violent crises and even war.
The most active state as regards the organization of such actions against its own neighbours is Hungary.
Is anyone still wondering: why Hungary? Things are far too clear. Upon the very foundation of the Hungarian state inside its ethnic frontiers, set under the Treaty of Treason of June 4, 1920, the fundamental target of the Hungarian foreign policy was the revision of that treatys provisions, termed as unjust by the Hungarian authorities.
The political quarters in Hungary, as well as the Hungarian states authorities, have conducted intense propaganda to this end. Unfortunately it is matched also by more or less concealed hostile and extremely dangerous actions. Numerous scenarios for the neighbors' destabilization are applied with a perseverance that would deserve a better cause. The interference in the neighbor states domestic affairs has become common practice and taken on worrying forms. The pretext for such actions, actually the permanent pretext of the official and unofficial Hungarian revisionism and irredentism, is the so-called care for the Hungarian ethnics living in the states neighboring Hungary, obviously Romania included. It is alleged that they are deprived of the fundamental human rights and in danger of being denationalized and assimilated by the nations where they live. How true such allegations are, at least as far as the condition of the Hungarian ethnics in Romania is concerned, we shall show, by briefly presenting the demographic dynamics of the Hungarian ethnics population in Romania as well as the rights and, liberties they have enjoyed here.
Certain statistical figures, resulting from the censuses periodically taken in Romania; attest to a permanently upward course of the demographic dynamics of the Hungarian ethnics after the First World War to this day. According to official data, after the remaking of Romanias frontiers in 1920, the Hungarian ethnics numbered 1,420,000. Inside Romanias current frontiers (less Basarabia, North Bucovina and Herþa), the number of Hungarian: ethnics stood at 1,300,000. Far from dropping in time, their number, as attested by the demographic dynamics, has grown in Romania, recording a perfectly natural growth in the, last seven decades, having reached by now almost two million - an absolute growth of over 50 per cent, as compared with the total Hungarian population that lived in Romania in 1920.
As far s the Hungarian ethnics rights are concerned, we should mention only the fact that the Romanian Constitution of 1923.included guarantees as regarded the rights of the populations of various ethnic origins in Romania. Here is the full text of Article 5 of the Constitution: The Romanians, irrespective of ethnic origin, mother-tongue or religion, shall enjoy the freedom of conscience, freedom of education, freedom of the press, freedom of meeting, freedom of association and all the rights established by laws.1
A concrete expression of the rights enjoyed by ethnic minorities in Romania was, among other things, the apportioning of land property to all peasants, irrespective of nationality, carried through according to the Land Reform Law of 1921, according to the same criteria and terms as for the Romanian population. There was perfect equality of treatment in the enforcement of the land reform first, all big landowners were expropriated and indemnified in the same way, irrespective of nationality, and then all peasant families entitled to, got land. Of the 539,694 persons that were given land in Transylvania, 396,000 were Romanians, 87,426 Hungarians and the remainder were persons belonging to other nationalities.2
Many other relevant evidence can be produced to certify that the ethnic minorities in Romania have always enjoyed all the rights the Romanian people as a whole has. Moreover, the Constitution passed in 1991 by Romanias
Parliament comprises provisions that, by the scope of the rights provided for the national minorities, go farther than similar provisions in the Constitutions of many states with long democratic tradition in Europe.
The fact is very well known that the leading role in the establishment of the totalitarian regime in Romania was played by the Romanian Communist Party, the overwhelming majority membership of which, by August 23, 1944, was of other nationalities than Romanian, with the Hungarian element carrying an important weight. In that context, penetrating as far as the peak of the communist hierarchy, elements of Hungarian origin induced the endorsement of profoundly anti-Romanian measures, managing to set up in zones occupied preponderantly by Hungarians a genuine state inside the state - the so-called Hungarian Autonomous Region - an element quite alien to the historical traditions and an obstacle in the path of the Romanian states progress. And, although in the five decades of totalitarian dictatorship in the formerly socialist states the national issue, i.e. the issue of ethnic minorities living in these states, was kept in a perfect lack of transparence, by the pretext of Marxist-Leninist settlement, it should however be stressed that the only state that acted, -paradoxically taking advantage precisely of the lack of transparance behind the Iron Curtain that isolated the socialist states from the world, - was Hungary. Even when socialist, that state discretely developed a vast institutional network abroad, obviously first of all in the states of Western-Europe, but also in the USA, Canada and Latin America, established connections with other institutions of Hungarian refugees, including those of anti-communists who fled the country after the 1956 events, and has come today to be possessed of a strong institutional structure abroad, made up of various foundations, disguised in cultural, humanitarian, scientific, publicity institutions that operate according to an elaborate and well-articulated program promoting only one target the revision of the territorial status of Central and Eastern Europe, so that Hungary should become again what it was in the past - Greater Hungary.
Even if today Hungary publicly admits the reality of the current frontiers in Europe, its actions, skillfully covered by most active propaganda, actually pursue the dismantlement of the current territorial-statal structures in Central and Eastern Europe, and it goes as far as to combat the idea of nation states and sustain the building upon their ruins of new structures, actually the setting up of a separate confederation of Central and Eastern Europe. that should be organized in parallel with a confederation of Western Europe. Obviously, the center of such a confederation could only be Budapest.
The well-devised Hungarian propaganda has thus managed still to deceive a large part of Hungarian and international public opinion, which it obstinately breeds with notorious untruths that arc actually driven toward the attainment of the fundamental target we mentioned above. We should mention in this respect the efforts, money and other means lavished by the Hungarian authorities in order to have public opinion convinced of the circulated truths.
The perseverance with which the Hungarian authorities approach the so-called issue of Hungarian minorities living in the states that neighbor Hungary: Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, maintaining that they are in danger of being assimilated into the majority mass, leads any honest researcher to wonder how much is Hungary really interested in the fate of those minorities, or whether it is only using this issue demagogically, for mean political purposes.
An even cursory survey of Hungarys stand on the question of national minorities, which is currently one of the priorities of the international fora that debate European security, shows the existence in fact of two official stands, or, better said, of that states double dealing with this matter.
The official stand of Hungary on the ethnic minorities living in Hungary , is well known by now and it utterly differs from the stand on the Hungarian minorities living in the states that neighbor Hungary. The national minorities in Hungary have a rather dramatic fate, being on the verge of denationalization and complete assimilation into the Hungarian ethnic mass.
The disastrous situation of the national minorities in Hungary is the natural result of the extremely tough policy of denationalization which the Hungarian authorities have conducted over the years with them. Without going now into details on the history of ethnic minorities in Hungary and on the means employed for the attainment of the final target - the complete assimilation of those minorities into the Hungarian mass - we must present, eves if very cursorily, the current stand of the Hungarian officials on the problem of their own ethnic minorities in order to strike a comparison with the stand of the same authorities on the Hungarian minorities living in Romania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Ukraine.
A first finding should be mentioned, which greatly elucidates such a presentation : the dramatic involution is obvious, illustrated even by the official figures supplied by the Hungarian authorities, of the number of minority ethnics in Hungary, and of their share in the mass of the majority population in that country. Whereas in 1920 their share was of over 20 per cent, it has dropped by now, according to the Hungarian officials, to only 1.5 per cent, which would entitle Hungary to state that there is actually no more problem of national minority there or, at least, that it has become inconsequential.
Such a stand is completely contradicted both by the historical evolution of the national minorities issue in Hungary, as the Hungarian authorities have conducted a real ethnic genocide against them, as well as by the reality of the current figures presented by the ethnic communities themselves. In absolute figures, the national and ethnic minorities in Hungary counted in 1920 over 1,800,000, including about 600,000 Germans, some 500,000 Jews, over 300,000 Slovaks, more than 250,000 Romanians, the remainder - Croatians, Serbians, etc.
Today, the Hungarian officials put the total number of minority ethnics at 200,000, while the Office for National and Ethnic Minorities in Hungary assesses they count over 400,000. As for the Romanians, whereas official or semiofficial sources mention figures between 4,000 and 10,000, the Office for National and Ethnic Minorities maintains the real figure is 25,000.3
Of course, it is difficult to tell from this real vortex of figures the actual situation, which seems to be precisely one of the purposes pursued by the Hungarian authorities. One thing is sure those authorities have hidden the truth in this respect but, beyond figures, one should note the Hungarian authorities inclination to continously and by all means diminish the number of minority ethnics, an inclination that has expressed the policy constantly promoted by the Hungarian authorities since the remotest times - the denationalization and forced assimilation of those minorities.
But what is today Hungarys official stand on its own ethnic minorities?
This stand is best expressed in its own documents, in its official position, and especially in the Hungarian authorities way of acting. Telling in this respect is the fact that, by continuing, according to the known traditions, a skillful propaganda which is equally very aggressive, by circulating half-truths stuffed with notorious lies, by promoting the idea that Hungary is a real Eden for the national minorities living in its territory, the Hungarian authorities further, in a program-like manner, on the one hand the drive for their destruction, for their assimilation into the Hungarian mass, and, on the other hand, the manipulation of the mass of minority ethnics through cats paws from among them, which they give lavish stipends. Against this background, in which government statements and stands maintain the necessity to provide normal development conditions to the ethnic minorities in Hungary, actions are in fact conducted towards the deeper and deeper assimilation of the ethnic minorities into the majority Hungarian mass.
A Stand of the Government of Hungary of April 24, 1991, reads inter alia The settlement of the issues of the national and ethnic minorities in the country their provision with normative and institutionalized bases, the articulation of certain guarantees - is an essential requisite of our being European. While formally rejecting in that document the policy of assimilation, the Hungarian government shows its interest in the consolidation of the national and ethnic minorities conscience of collectivity, in maintaining their identity as kin, in order that the national and ethnic minorities should establish unhampered connections with the countries of their language and the nations they belong to.
But how can such stands be regarded in the context of widescale actions unfolded both in the realm of theoretical theses and ideas and in the practical demarche with various research institutes or even government bodies unfold assiduously in order to find best forms of ensuring the assimilation of the ethnic minorities in most democratic conditions or, until this process is completed, to manipulate them in such a way as to have them openly state their approval of the Hungarian officials stand on the minorities issues?
A specific example, a notorious one, of the double dealing promoted by the Hungarian authorities in this respect is the real ordeal of a document of great importance for the ethnic minorities in Hungary. It is about the Minorities Bill that had been in the Hungarian Parliaments as early as the old regime, and deliberately left uncompleted to this day.
One can naturally ask why, given that the Hungarian government attaches so much importance to the democratic settlement of the minorities issue, the legislation of this document and its enforcement has been so much delayed?
On the other hand, an analysis of the documents advanced for public debate in view of working out the Minorities Bill, indicates big discrepancies between the governments publicly expressed wishes for democratic settlement of the minorities issue in Hungary, and the provisions of those documents. Well known in this respect are the provisions pursuing the legislation of the assimilation into the Hungarian mass, under the disguise of protecting every minority individuals right to free decision.
One of those documents, entitled The Political Principles of the National and Ethnic Minorities Bill stipulates the following at item 5: A fundamental requisite is the complete freedom to choose the identity, including also the right to double (or multiple) relations, and the right to depart from the minority collective (assimilation), respectively.4
Moreover, speaking of the necessity of the national minorities self-governing, a standpoint which the Hungarian authorities have vehemently sustained in international fora, obviously with reference to the Hungarian minorities living in the neighbor states, Romania included, for which political self-governing is openly claimed, the wording is so chosen that the ethnic minorities in Hungary may not have direct access to any form of the supreme bodies of state power or even to the local bodies of administration. Here are, for instance, the provisions of item 9 of the above-mentioned Principles: The most outstanding application of the collective rights is the system of minority autonomies.
The building of the system of self-governing should be ensured at a local, regional and national level alike. The minority self-governing should be vested with limited public authorizations (our underscoring).
This public authorization entails the minority self-governings right of access to documents, of participation and deliberation in the meetings of various bodies at all levels of statal leadership on social and cultural (our underscoring) matters, in the domain of legislation, and, on the part of the respective public bodies, state or administrative organizations, the obligation of information, invitation and conciliation (our underscoring).
The authorizations shall be established in such a way as to bear essential influence on making decisions regarding the minority, but not to limit the autonomy of local self-governing of its independent cultural institutions.5 (our underscoring).
It is obvious that the essence of this text, apart from the vain democratic wording, resides drastic as possible limitation autonomy or self-governing of ethnic minorities in Hungary. This clearly results from the direct reference to the fact that the self-governing should be vested with limited public authorizations (our underscoring), as well as from the indicate the problem on which the minority self-governing should have access to database and deliberation in the public bodies: only social and cultural problems. Neither political, nor economic. The limitation appears even more directly in the final wording of item 9 that explicitly shows that The authorizations should be established in such a way as .. . it should not limit the autonomy of the local self-governing and of its independent cultural institutions.
In consideration of all this, one may wonder on good reason whether it is about real autonomy and self-governing? Lets be serious, as long as the Hungarian authorities absolutely refuse to take into consideration the political representation (our underscoring) of the ethnic minorities in the local and supreme bodies of state power in Hungary, as long as deputies or council-hors of those minorities do not represent directly the interests of the minorities in the respective bodies, not only the self-governing or the autonomy are out of question, but also the full observance of the fundamental rules and principles of human rights as far as the national minorities in Hungary are concerned.
As a matter of fact, the Hungarian authorities double dealing with the national minorities issue pregnantly shows also in item 3 of the Principles that clearly reads: The law should skip the standpoint emerged from pressures of reciprocity, i.e. it should be based on the specific situation of the minorities in the country, which differs from that of the Hungarians abroad.
This item is in fact the direct and unequivocal explanation of the absurd claims put by the Hungarian authorities on the neighbor countries, directly and grossly interfering in their domestic affairs, by claiming a privileged regime for the Hungarian minorities living there and by pretending to be their protector, while acting with toughness without precedent in Europe toward its own national minorities and assimilating them.
The Hungarian authorities double dealing has also its theoretical substantiations. Molnâr Gusztav, Executive Director of the Danube Basin Institute of Budapest, showed inter alia in an interview with weekly Hety Magyarorsag No 37/1991: Minorities like the Romany, Jews, Occitans, Bretons, Welsh, the Romanian minority in Hungary (as they are aware of their own origin and specific, but, as nationality, they think of themselves as Dutch, French, British), feel offended - and rightly so - if they are not considered as belonging to the majority nation, i.e. to its state. Fundamentally this is part of the human rights, with the additional rights that ensure the preservation and cultivation of specific customs and of the mother-tongue (where it exists).6
The perfidy of such an interpretation clearly results first of all from the way how Molnár Gusztav substitutes minority ethnic groups in Europe, standing out on his own as their spokesman, presenting their specific wishes in such a way as to fully match Hungarys standpoints.
On the other hand, Molnár Gusztav advances also other theories, such as that the minority people do not have a national awareness different from that of the majority citizens, do not have a politically relevant awareness relying upon the experience or tradition of a statehood different from the majority populations. Beyond the impudence of speaking in behalf of ethnic minorities that did certainly not hire him to be their spokesman, one will note the effort to build a theoretical substantiation for attitudes and actions of the Hungarian authorities interested in promoting their final target - the revision of the current territorial-stately structures in Central and Eastern Europe for their own interest.
On trying to demonstrate by such theories that some minorities are more minority than others, actually that some minorities have the capacity of minority only to oblige or, more clearly, to serve the political targets of Hungary, Mr Molnár Gusztav ultimately does nothing else but reveal the real targets of his and his sponsors actions. Here is, in fact, his standpoint on the Hungarian minorities living in the states that neighbor Hungary, a standpoint fully matching the official one, the standpoint of that states authorities, that fundamentally differs from the standpoint expressed before by the same authorities concerning the national and ethnic minorities in Hungary: The Hungarians in Transylvania, Slovakia, sub- Carpathian Ukraine and Vojvodina cannot be considered as minority. However, in order to be less conspicous, Mr. Molnár adds to the same category also the Serbians in Croatia, the Albanians in Kosovo and the Russians in the various republics of the defunct Soviet empire.
In such situations, Molnar Gusztav goes on, the only solution can be full cultural and political autonomy, the full assertion of the right to self-determination of the smaller nations. This is where Mr. 1\folnár makes his point, expressing directly what he, the institution he is heading and, of course, the Hungarian authorities are after. The things are spelt out directly: the Hungarians in the states neighboring Hungary are not national minorities, they. are smaller nations. Mr. Molnár believes that this trick helps him get, for the Hungarian minority living in the states that neighbor Hungary, a quite different regime than the one of all national minorities in Europes states. He thinks that by taking this course of action he solves two difficult issues at a time: 1) he paves the way for a suitable definition of what could be termed as national minority which, obviously, may not include the Hungarians living outside Hungarys frontiers and 2) he produces such a definition in perfect agreement with the interests of the Hungarian authorities that pursue the gathering of all Hungarians from Europe into only one state with the capital in Budapest.
The form of achieving such a state shows today ever more clearly in the various scientific contributions by researchers and research institutes and in some actions taken by the Hungarian state on an international plane. The Hungarian authorities differing position as regards the national minorities living in Hungary and the Hungarian minorities living in the neighbor states is yet another example of the fact that the real targets of Hungarys policy with the minorities are quite different from what they pledge to he. The fine, resounding words in which the Hungarian officials pledge themselves to observe the current European territorial status quo in the continents central and eastern parts is only meant to conceal the real purpose - the undermining of this status quo, in view of generating new stately realities in Central and Eastern Europe, in which Budapest should play the leading part.
There is an already established infrastructure in Hungary and abroad for the attainment of this purpose. It consists of a host of so-called research institutions, financed through private foundations with branches in many countries by the government in Budapest.
It is the case of the Institute of the Danube Basin, whose director is Mr. Molnár Gusztav, but there are lots of such institutes, of which we mention: the Foreign Policy Institute, the Institute of Hungarian Problems Research, the Group of Research of Military and Security Issues, etc. The Hungarian authorities; that are in fact behind all these research institutes, plan to reorganize them in a near future so that, with joint forces, they should get better efficiency. The setting up is envisioned of the Institute of Eastern-Central European Regional Research.
The purpose of this network of research institutes, as shown by Mr. Molnár, who speaks of the purposes of his own institute, is the complex study of the countries neighboring directly Hungary, as the authorities in that country need alternative knowledge, because we must foresee, and even model (our underscoring) the future events there. We must elaborate, rational hypotheses, that may be adjusted and updated, about the possible development lines of some neighbor countries. We will thus be able to articulate more rational hypotheses also as regards the future of the Hungarians who live in the respective countries
From what was said above, one may fully understand the prevalent outlook in Hungary, including, the authorities in Budapest, an outlook in which, the gross interference in the neighbor states domestic affairs, going as far as the modeling - inducement (obviously, by adequate means) of the evolution of events in these states, holds pride of place.
We are naturally wondering how far can go the tactlessness and lack of moderation qt the authorities in Budapest that take such liberties, indirectly of course, through their "scientific" "annexes:" ... and how would these authorities react if scientific institutions in the neighbor states pursued similar purposes - the modeling of events in Hungary.
So, we can irrefutably state that the facts presented here are obviously telling of the Hungarian states present position as regards the minorities issue. It is obvious that, by using this issue, the Hungarian authorities actually pursue the neighbor states political destabilization, which would be the hypothesis most congenital for the achievement of a new stately structure in Central and Eastern Europe, in which the current national states crumbling would favor Budapests purpose of getting a prevalent role in an artificial, ad hoc stately structure.
Regardless of Hungarys wishes and action,. the problem of national minorities in Europe does exist, with its specific and thorny facets and it must be approached in good faith, within specialized international institutions, in order to reach equitable and fair solutions.
Hungarys stand and actions in the matter of national minorities must however be carefully analyzed, especially in consideration of their negative impact on the relations between it and its neighbors, of their baleful and contra-productive character proven by facts and concrete data.
And, whereas so far, in spite of often very laborious attempts, new legal regulations in this domain failed to be achieved, for reference of the European states actions and stands on the national minorities issue, one cannot omit the fact that the regulations comprised in the Treaties of Peace of Trianon, 1920, and Paris, 1947, are still in force, and they must be observed fully and by all European states.
AIba Julia, December 1, 1918 was the climax of the Romanians struggle for emancipation Transylvania, Banat, Crisana, Maramures and other Romanian territories ruled by Hungary united with Romania. There was a general process, the Czechs, Slovens, Croatians, etc., set up in turn self-dependent states, so that Hungary turned, from a big multi-national state where the Hungarians were a minority, into a Hungarian national state holding between its frontiers some minorities, Romanians included.
From that moment on - the dismantlement of the Hungarian kingdom into its component parts - a characteristic phenomenon can be traced as regards the political mind of Hungarys ruling circles. The changes occurred in the territorial, political, economic domains in a record time and, implicitly, the final failure of concepts and programs of governing associated with the structures of the kingdom of Greater Hungary, absolute master of foreign territories and tens of nationalities, were not paralleled as regarded the mentalities. The survival, in the new Hungarian state, of old Hungarys mentalities and nostalgias was translated into a policy the central target of which was the remaking of former Hungary. That policy was promoted by all governments, irrespective of their political color; the fact is known, for instance, that count Károly Mihalys government, for all the recognition of the rights of the oppressed nationalities in Hungary to dispose of themselves -- a principle included in the 12-point program-manifesto of the Hungarian National Council (November 1918) -- denied the legitimacy of the separation from Hungary of the Rumanians, Czechs, Slovaks, Croatians, etc., and of the territories inhabited by them (also declaring against the provisions of the Treaty of Peace of Trianon which actually only gave international legitimacy to the political-territorial changes occurred in 1918). The same stand was furthered also by the communist regime established in March 1919 under the leadership of Béla Kun, who introduced the slogan of the world revolution as substantiation for the aggressive policy toward all neighbor states, with the final purpose of remaking the frontiers of former Hungary: Horthy, in turn, took over from his predecessors the fundamental target of the foreign policy, using new ways and means. At the Society s level: such a policy relied upon two elements: a) the maintenance of the mentality of master of vast territories and entitled ruler of nations considered as inferior: b) the confidence that Hungary was the victim of an unjust Conference of Peace that allegedly imposed on it a spoiling treaty of peace, dispossessing it of its assets. The struggle against the Trianon diktat and for the remaking of former Hungary was the factor by which an attempt was made to solve the real economic and financial crisis of post-bellum Hungary, instead of the adjustment of that former multi-national kingdom to the new conditions.
In January 1941, when the Romanian people was living, since half a year, the drama of amputation of its national territory in the East and in the West, writer Liviu Rebreanu published the article Transylvania 1940, which read: No people has experienced so terribly numerous blows as the Romanians. Our past is a long train of pier less sacrifices. The moments of joy and elation have been so scarce! No historic storm and no disaster have spared us. The pain has become the nations permanent company, and its ghost has brought submission to fateful blows, just as the spirit of sacrifice reinforced the ever living faith in justice. This is how we endured in the past, this is how we are enduring now and will, in the centuries to come. To us, he added, Transylvania can exist only in one piece, body from our body. For others, it means only historical ambitions and feudal castles built with the toil of generations of Romanian slaves. For us, it means everything: the past, the present, the future or non-existence. We have not come here from anywhere ; we were begotten, born and grew up from Transylvanian land 1
Transylvanian writer Liviu Rebreanus words express a permanent truth of the Romanian peoples bimillenary history; in the fateful year 1940, when countries and peoples in their own rights were slain by the will of the leaders of the day, the Romanians history recorded a characteristic phenomenon: the violence and arbitrariness practiced by Hitler, Stalin, Horthy, Mussolini, in the congenial conjuncture of the strange war, reverted for their own benefit the decisions made by the Romanian nations as a whole on March 27, November 28 and December 1, 1918, that had led to the remaking of the unitary Romanian state within its ethnic frontiers. The Paris Conference of Peace gave international legal confirmation in 1920 to the de facto situation in Central and South-Eastern Europe, redeeming to its natural rights the principle of nationalities.
As far as the Romanians were concerned, the frontiers of 1918 -1920 were far from encompassing: more than two million were many of them in frontier zones, both to the west and to the east, but also as enclaves in farther territories. The number of Romanians who remained in Hungary after the tracing of the Romanian-Hungarian frontier is put at 250,000 in the Hungarian Tisza Plain alone.
This figure results from the calculations made upon the data supplied by the post-bellum statistics, as well as on other testimonies published in that country.2
One of the very few Romanian authors who studied the Romanian phenomenon in post-war Hungary, loan Georgescu, admits the total figure of 250,000 Romanians.3 Petre Barbulescu, in his recent book The Drama of National Minorities in Hungary, agrees with the same figure of 250,000 Romanians in post-war Hungary, based on calculations that considered the figures presented by various sources 4. Some Romanian authors circulated quite different figures in the 1930s and 1940s, obviously considering only the Romanians who lived in compact groups in the frontier zones and without having the possibility to check those data: Onisifor Ghibu, for instance, shows that after the 1918 Union, an important number of Romanians still had to remain under foreign rule. This is what happened to the about one million Romanians scattered on the other side of the Dniester, in Russia. . ., the 50,000 Romanians who remained in the Czechoslovak Republic, the 100,000 Romanians who remained in Hungary, the 800,000 Romanians who remained in Yugoslavia (Banatans, Timoc residents and Macedonians), the 10,000 ones in Albania and the 100,000 ones in Bulgaria...5. Analyzing the problems of the Romanian and Hungarian ethnics after 1918, gives data about the compact Romanian population in the north-western part of Hungary, taken from works by known Hungarian authors.6 But, irrespective of the bigger or smaller differences between the figures circulated by various authors, the phenomenon of the shrinking of the Romanian national minority in Hungary to the current level of some 25,000 is a fact. On the other hand, while statistics, even adjusted, record figures, they do not supply any information about the causes of the phenomenon. In this domain, in-depth studies are ever more obviously difficult as we draw nearer the present. But the analyst has the possibility of knowing the phenomenon in the characteristic aspects at the time when Bigger Hungary pursued with the Romanians and the other nationalities a systematic policy of destruction of the national specific and at the time when, after 1918, reduced to its normal borders, the Hungarian state devised and applied a policy the only purpose of which was the regaining of the former possessions. Among them, Transylvania was given pride of place.
1. The Treaty of Trianon - 1920
A territory inhabited by the Christian Romanian people, speaker of Latin language, Transylvania had a typically feudal statal organization at the time when the Hungarians migratory tribes of warriors penetrated that land in the 10th century. After long and hard fights with the natives, the Hungarians imposed their domination, gradually forming certain enclaves in the Romanians mass. Later, the Austrian empire colonized groups of population of German origin in Transylvania. In spite of the foreign rule -Austrian, then Hungarian - a rule matched by a hard policy of denationalization and political oppression, as well as economic, social and cultural oppression, Transylvania preserved and developed the relations in all fields with the fellow nationals across the mountains.
An artificial and obsolete formation, relying upon force and violence, the Austrian-Hungarian dualist empire, where the majority population was neither Austrian nor Hungarian, was dismantled into its component parts as a consequence, of the permanent fight for national liberation waged by the oppressed nations and of the defeat suffered at war by the Central Powers. Under the circumstances, Transylvania united with the Homeland, on Decemberie 1918, by the will freely expressed by the majority populations - the Romanians, and the German and Jewish minorities. Romanias constitutional factors endorsed the union of Transylvania, Crisana, Maramures by the Decree-Law No. 3631/11/12/1918 (published in Monitorul Oficial No. 212/13/12/1918).7
The Treaty of Peace with Hungary, signed at Trianon, on June 4, 1920 by France, England, the US, Japan, Romania, the Serbian-Croatian-Sloven Kingdom, Czechoslovakia and other nine states, on the one hand, and Hungary, on the other, acknowledged the validity of the 1918 acts of self-determination of the nations in former Hungary, including the frontiers between Hungary and its neighbors, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, within the limits established under the same acts of self-determination, limits subject to minor changes as the frontiers were traced.
Romanias Parliament ratified the Treaty of Trianon on August 17 (the Senate) and August 26 (the Chamber of Deputies).
Consequently, at the time when the Treaty of Peace with Hungary was signed, in June 1920, Transylvanias Union with Romania was an accomplished fact since one and a half years.
By the Treaty of Trianon, art. 27, Hungary pledges to give up all rights and titles to the territories lying outside Hungarys new frontiers, in favor of the successor states.8 Art. 45 read: Hungary gives up all rights and titles to the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy lying beyond Hungarys frontiers . . . as belonging to Romania. The first frontier line was to be established on the spot, so, a Commission was set up, comprised of seven members, five of whom were appointed by the Allied and Associated Powers, one by Romania and one by Hungary (art. 46).
The legal effect of the territorial clauses consisted of the transfer of sovereignty from Hungary to the sovereign states. Taken as a whole, the Treaty of Trianon has full legal validity, since the international law considers that any treaty is valid and in force as long as it was agreed upon by the lawful representatives of the signatory states, submitted for ratification to the constitutional bodies, registered with the Geneva Secretariat of the League of Nations (according to Art. 18 in the Pact) and published - which was done. Consequently, the Treaty of Trianon is a document of international law generating rights and duties, according to its Own provisions
The Treaty of Trianon definitively gives legitimacy not only to Romanias territorial area and to the frontier with Hungary, but it also casts new light on the provisions of the December 9, 1919 Treaty of Paris, between Romania and the Allied and Associated Powers regarding the international obligations in connection with the ethnic minorities inside their frontiers, so that Hungary has exactly the same duties as the other successor states: Articles 54-60 of the Treaty of Trianon with Hungary on this matter are identical to the letter with Articles 1-3, 6, 8-10 and 12 of the Treaty with Romania of December 9, 1919. So, Hungary had specific obligations regarding the treatment of the ethnic minorities living inside its frontiers, obligations stipulated in international laws.
The campaign against the Treaties of Peace, started even before they were signed, was one of the major obstacles in the path to consolidating security, achieving disarmament, settling the general economic crisis and to post-war political stability. The promoters of that policy were the states that were profoundly dissatisfied with the revolutionary changes in 191$ in Central and South-Eastern Europe, changes legalized under the Treaties of Peace of Versailles, Saint-Germain, Trianon and Neuilly, namely Germany, Austria, Hungary, Soviet Russia and Bulgaria. Taking that stand from the very beginning, Hungary aimed at the remaking of its former frontiers, implicitly abandoning at least two of the major requirements of that time: a) the fastest economic, social, political adjustment to the new, post-war situation, and b) the establishment of normal coexistence with the national minorities, in its territory, based upon tolerance and the observance of fundamental rights enshrined in treaties.
Pondering over the future of the two nations -Romanian and Hungarian - in the new conditions of dismantlement of the double monarchy, Romanian scientist Nicolae Iorga considered that a prosperous future, in step with the ethic and material requirements of the time depended upon a change in the mentalities and the understanding of the objective laws of history. Nicolae Iorga showed that the Hungarian people had something else to do in future than to regain its frontiers outside, namely: to remake its soul inside, which is to change it, from mediaeval, as it keeps being now, into modern as it should be, for its own benefit. That would allow it to see the impossibility of continuation, in the 20th century, of the creations of the pontifical mandates dating back to the year 1000, to understand that the might and grandeur of a people do not lie in a territory larger than its size but in its energy, understanding by that the elan of civilization that goes beyond the margins of a certain national habitation scattered even beyond the states frontiers. Whereas the paralyzing care for revenge enabled inside Hungary Horthys criminal tyrany, the great historian noted, the care for civilization requires a peace of mind resting upon the awareness of the right for oneself hut also for others. And then, he concluded, we can get along very well, in the interest of the great human civilization. 9
The change of mentality mentioned by Nicolae Iorga was really the essential element in the settlement of the new states of affairs upon fair, normal and lasting foundations. The Hungarians, who were a minority before 1918 in Greater Hungary; but were living for generations with the illusion of the superiority of race, culture, civilizing role, etc., saw themselves almost overnight deprived of the object of their role, namely the nations that had decided for themselves and, more than that, deprived of vast territories with everything that they represented economically. Transylvania was the most valuable of those territories. Its loss could never be accepted, understood by the new Hungarian state and its ruling circles. The big feudal estates in Transylvania of the Hungarian aristocracy the gold and salt mines, the woods, cereals and so many other riches of the province left Hungary, besides of an incurable nostalgia, also with a big void in its economy. An equally important element of the Transylvania factor was the tremendous loss incurred by Catholicism -materially, politically, spiritually - with the integration of the province within the natural frontiers of Romania.
Like Nicolae Iorga put it, the paralyzing care for revenge unfortunately pervaded postbellum Hungarys home and foreign policy directly and indirectly sustained by the Vatican. No means was ignored, no effort was considered too much, no expense too big for the attainment of the obsessive mission the Hungarian state had assumed the remaking of millenary Hungary.
The legal base of the Hungarian revisionist action was Art. 19 .of the Pact of the League of Nations.10 Conceived as a safety valve of peace, that article was meant to facilitate the peaceful revision of a treaty in exceptional cases when it would have become inapplicable for reasons others than the parties will, or in international situations that would have endangered worlds peace. Or, the Treaty of Trianon could not be considered as inapplicable, as all its territorial clauses, the questioned ones, that is, had come into force even before the Conference of Peace. The inapplicability of the Treaty of Trianon ought to result from: 1) imperious circumstances, -independent of the contracting parties will; 2) circumstances that, for all the good faith of the contracting parties, could not have been prevented; 3) circumstances that, if they had existed in the first place, would have rendered the conclusion of the Treaty impossible and unacceptable to the contracting parties; 4) finally, circumstances that might endanger worlds peace.
The League of Nations in turn, was not entitled to start revising a treaty, whatsoever, upon its own initiative, add relying upon. Art. 19 of its Pact The League of Nations could have done it only if it had been a superstate, with authority and jurisdiction on the states reduced to a position of subordination to it. At the same time, the parties had to invite the members of the League to analyze the respective treaty, and the rule of unanimity was to trigger off any procedure. Consequently, the approval of the parties concerned was the sine qua non of any revision of a treaty.
The legal arguments upon which the Hungarian revisionist thesis referring to the Treaty of Trianon was built, were: a) the Treaty was not fair because it did not draw inspiration from the idea of justice but from the idea of retribution; b) it violated the Wilsonian principles, as it ignored the will of the peoples in the territories separated from Hungary. It was alleged that those peoples were transferred to another sovereignty without any previous consultation, and even against their manifest will; c) the Treaty was even against the concept of economic solidarity of Central Europe, destroying the so-called economic unity of Greater Hungary, promoting the economic crisis and threatening the very existence of Hungary. Consequently, according to the Hungarian thesis, the Treaty of Trianon was not a Treaty generating law hence, its revision was justified.
In support of the allegation at point a) mentioned above, the Art. 161 of the Treaty of Trianon was quoted, according to which Hungary and its allies are responsible for the damage and losses incurred by the Allied and Associated governments and their nationals as a consequence of the war that was imposed on them by Austro-Hungarys and its allies aggression - a thesis that was the cause - according to the Hungarian government - of the severity of the Treaty clauses. The assertion is false because that article, included at the beginning of the Part VIII referring to Reparations, of the Treaty, drew inspiration from the principle of civil responsibility, i.e. the legal reparation for the losses and damage caused by the Central Powers aggression. Hence, Hungarys territorial dismemberment should not be associated with the idea of retribution, hut with the principle of nationalities that became fundamental in the new doctrine of international law: it recognizes for the nations divided among several sovereign-ties an imprescriptibly right to unite with the state where the same nation is dominant it also recognizes the respective states right to claim, i.e. to free and include inside its frontiers the divided parts of its nation that live under other sovereignties. That was also the case of Romania that stated in 1916 war only to Austro-Hungary, with the specific purpose to free the Romanian territories that were under the rule of those two states, a purpose the justification of which was acknowledged by the Entente powers, being included as such in the treaties of political and military alliance between those powers, on the one hand, and Romania on the other hand. We believe it is not useless to recall the progressive ideas expressed by Raymond Poincaré in opening the Conference of Peace: Le temp nest plus oa les diplomats pouvaient se réunir pour refaire lautorité dans un coin de table la carte des Empires. Si vous avez a remanier la carte du monde, cest au norn des peuples et a la condition de traduire fidelement leur pensée, du respecter le droit des nations petites et grandes, a disposer delles memes. 11 Poincarés ideas seem to us more topical today even than almost eight decades ago.
As for the arguments at point b), they lack any substantiation, which is proved precisely by the fact that the territorial provisions of the Trianon Treaty continued in broad lines the way how the nations themselves had established the area of the territories that belonged to them, by the acts of self-determination; it is a truth impossible to question that by the time the Conference of Peace started the nations had settled by their own will the problem of their political-territorial status. As far as the Romanians were concerned, under the acts of the Great National Assembly in Alba Julia, on December 1, 1918, they had decided the Union with Romania of all territories inhabited by them that were under Hungarian occupation, naming them as such in their geographic extent.
The origin of Hungarys economic crisis inside its new frontiers, mentioned at point c), was not the dismantlement of the empire into its component parts, :and the so-called economic unity of Hungary, which had actually never existed, became a slogan always to justify the claims on the revision of the territorial provisions of the Trianon Treaty. The reorganization of the Hungarian economy after the loss of Transylvanias grain basket and of other sources of raw materials in the separated territories was certainly worrysome and difficult but not impossible to surpass, as it was actually proved after that, but at any rate, it could not justify or ever explain Hungarys request to return to its former frontiers.
II. Several Data from the Arsenal of Hungarys Revisionist Po1icy
1) Distrtion of Historical Truth. Numerous works and studies in the most varied domains were meant to accredit the idea that, on their advent in Transylvania, the Hungarians found an uninhabited territory, and the Romanians emerged around the 12th century, coming from some place of Albania, Bulgaria, etc. In various forms and variants, lacking the least documentary basis, but developed by the well-known ideologist of the Transylvanian vacuum, Rösler, was intensely circulated after 1918, after it had, been consecrated right in the bulky documentation of the Hungarian delegation to the Conference of Peace in Paris.12 The campaign of distortion of the historical truth, of slandering the history of the nations formerly ruled by Hungary, was a widely employed means of misinformation of public opinion abroad and of cultivation of extreme nationalism and revenge-seeking spirit at home. We should mention, for instance, that the book of History of the Hungarian Nation, by dr. G. Takáts, authorized by order No. 93473/921 for secondary schools in Hungary, used all along the inter-war period (A magyar nemzet története, ed. III; 1931) included data, figures, statistics regarding not the real Hungary, but the Hungary with the provinces it used to master before 19l8, Consequently, Hungarys territory was presented in that school book as having an area of 283,000 sq. kin, instead of 93,300 sq. km which was its real area, and a population of 18,232,000 inhabitants instead of the correct figure of 10,256,000. The conclusion: All inhabitants of the Hungarian state, irrespective of their mother-tongue, make up the Hungarian political nation. Referring to the nationality that would have lived together with the Hungarians (considered to count ten million, i.e. 54.5 per cent), the author of the school book stresses that the Hungarian race is the dominant one, not only historically (the conquest, foundation, organization and defence of the state) and culturally, but also in point of their numeric majority. As far as the Romanians were concerned (considered as counting 2,900,000 in that shadow Hungary), it is very clearly shown: Our ancestors could not have found and they actua1ly did not find Walachians in Transylvania. The Walachians originate from southern Italy. Their tribe and language were formed in Albania and Rumelia. Later on, they passed also to Bulgaria, then, by the end of the 12th century, to the left bank of the Danube, to present-day Romania. From there they penetrated Transylvania in smaller or larger groups, starting from the end of the 12th century.
Such truths were made-up also about the Serbians (allegedly having come from Turkey, in 1691), Ruthenians (they are aliens), Slovaks (immigrated at the end of the 13th century from Austrian Silesia), etc.13
Hungarys Role in Spreading Culture. While the fake axiom of superiority of the Hungarian culture and inferiority of the culture of the nations ruled by Hungary was proclaimed, the idea was also sustained of the civilizing role of the Hungarians in Central and South-Eastern Europe, a role that was allegedly annihilated by the provisions of the Treaty of Trianon. Without going into details, we will give two examples telling of the so-called civilizing role of Hungary. First: the Romanians, a majority nation in pre-war Hungary, had, before the known Appony law was passed (1906) 2,975 schools (church, popular, etc) and their number dropped to 2,439 by 1911. The process continued. In percentages, before 1918, Hungarys role in spreading culture, as shown by the situation of education, was the following: the Hungarians had 43 high schools, five gymnasia with a total of 15,996 pupils; the Transylvanian Saxons had six high schools, three gymnasia with a total of 2,040 pupils 14; the Romanians (the majority population) had four high schools and two gymnasia with a total of 1,733 pupils; so, there was one high school in 34,900 Hungarians, one high school in 89,000 Transylvanian Saxons, and one high school in 750,000 Romanians. Second: in 1918, before Transylvanias Union with Romania, the Hungarians in this province had four dailies and seven weeklies. In 1934, the Hungarians in Transylvania and Banat had 42 dailies, 52 weeklies and nine monthlies.15
But Hungarys role in spreading culture was mainly exercised through : 1) Magyarization - a permanent and ever more active policy in step with the mounting danger of the national liberation struggle. An as telling as amazing document is the work of Huszár Antal, a functionary with Hungarys Ministry of the Interior, entitled Romanians in Hungary (Magyarországi Románok), printed in 1907, exclusively for the ruling circles of Hungary for confidential use.16 That hook, a bulky 1,000 page one, comprised, besides lavish documentary material regarding every aspect of the Transylvanian Romanians life, the systematic plan of Magyarization, i.e. of their annihilation by a vast package of political, administrative, religious measures.17
2) Catholicization. The Roman-Catholic Church in former Hungary represented not only the traditional religious offensive of Catholicism eastwards but also the Hungarian national offensive on the non-Magyar nations, shows Romanian scientist Onisifor Ghibu.18 After 1867, the Catholic church in Transylvania, by close cooperation with the Hungarian state, sustained the work for the Romanians denationalization by a big variety of means and methods. We should mention that the Catholic church in Hungary had a quite different situation in comparison with that in the other countries: it was a political church proper, where the king had the right to endorse the Popes dispositions, so that they should be valid in Hungary, a right statuted under the Royal Edict No. 911870. That special situation ended in 1918, when the Vatican, as was natural, did not recognize to the King of Romania the rights of the former king of Hungary on the activity of catholicism in Transylvania. In the years that followed, taking advantage of the Romanian states excessive tolerance towards the cults, the Vatican, by cooperation with Budapest, strengthened its activity, seeking to become a state in state, through its representations in the country, the Catholic monastic orders and the Roman-Catholic status19 circumventing the law, undermining the authority of the Romanian state and of its sovereign, sowing disunion among Romanias citizens.
3) The confederative idea. The obsession of remaking former Hungary within its frontiers of prior to 1918 also generated confederative political-economic plans. The best known is the project of Danubian Confederation, launched by Budapest in the spring of 1920. The plan pursued the setting up of a confederation of all Danubian states, with a coordinating centre in Budapest, having as economic support the attraction of French capital.20 The project was matched also by the repeated attempts to enthrone the Habsburgs in Hungary. The unrealistic Hungarian attempt failed because of the strong and concerted opposition of Romania, Czechoslovakia and the Serbo-Croatian- Slovenian Kingdom, and also because of the ultimate refusal of France to get involved in a project doomed to failure both economically and politically.21
4) International terrorism was another means employed by revisionist Hungary for the attainment of its purposes. Joining in the Nazi revenge-seeking policy, Horthys Hungary stubbornly pursued the political destabilization in Central and South-Eastern Europe, the undermining of the Little Entente and of the Balkan Entente. Yugoslavia was particularly used and pursued by those schemes. The terrorist gangs of Croatian Ustashes, organized and drilled in Hungarys territory, stipended and armed by Budapest, became an ever higher threat at that states political and social life, generally at the order and stability in the successor states. It is no secret that the attempt in Marseilles, on October 9, 1934, on King Alexander Karageorgevic, the symbol of the Serbian-Croatian-Sloven unity, and the French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou, promoter of European and central-European regional security, was the doing of Horthys Hungary, committed with the hands of the fanatic Croatian separatists. Anthony Eden said about the tragedy of Marseilles that it was then that were shot the first fires of the Second World War.22
5) The connivence with the revanchist-revisionist forces. Obstinately interested in retrieving its former territories, Hungary joined Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, being an active factor of the deepening of the crisis in Central and South-Eastern Europe, on the eve of the Second World War. Consequently, Hungary invaded, since 1938 until 1941 a large part of the territories that it had ruled until 1918, on account of Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia. Long years of fascist terror started for the nations that were occupied by Hungary again.
III. The Treaty of Peace of Paris, 1947
The text of the armistice concluded by Romania with the United Nations on September 12, 1944, reads: The allied governments consider the decisions of the Vienna arbitration regarding Transylvania as null and void and agree that Transylvania (or most of it) should be redeemed to Romania, on condition of confirmation by Peace Treaty, and the Soviet Government agrees that its armed forces should participate to this end in joint military operations with Romania against Germany and Hungary. 23 At the same time, the Truce Convention between Hungary and the United Nations, signed in Moscow, on January 25, 1945, mentioned that Hungary accepted the obligation to evacuate, to within the limits of the Hungarian frontiers in existence on December 31, 1937, all Hungarian troops and functionaries from the territories of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Romania which it had occupied; it also accepted to abrogate the legislative and administrative dispositions regarding the annexation or incorporation into Hungary of the Czechoslovak, Yugoslav and Romanian territories. The same Convention mentioned that The arbitration sentence of Vienna, November 2, 1938 and the Vienna sentence, August 30, 1940, are declared null and void by the parties present. 24
The. Treaty of Peace signed on February 10, 1947 in Paris, between Romania and the Allied and Associated Powers, stipulated in Art. 2: The resolutions of the Vienna sentence of August 20, 1940 are declared null and void.25 That Treaty was ratified by Romania on August 21, 1947.
Consequently, the Romanian-Hungarian frontier was restored, the way it was on December 31, 1937, meaning the way it had been traced under the Treaty of Trianon; with that, it may be stated that the territorial provisions of Trianon were validated in 1947 by the new Treaty of Peace with Hungary. The decisions of Union with the Homeland, of Alba Julia, December 1, 1918, were given legitimacy again.
In concluding these brief considerations, a few findings come to the fore:
Romania and Hungary, the Romanians and Hungarians are to live in a strictly delimited geographic area, recognized under international treaties. Concord and collaboration in all domains, free of hidden thoughts and nostalgias, in awareness of inexorable historical realities are the only wise and normal alternative to discord, hate, conflicts of any kind; it is the only means for the two peoples not to become blind tools of known and unknown forces, interested in turning this geographic area into a new ground of political or military experiments.
4. The Dinamics of Ethnic Genocid of the Romanian minority in Hungary Inceput
The Romanian peoples ethnic genesis proceeded on a very wide area, much beyond the limits of the modern Romanian state. This explains also the existence of compact ethnic groups of Romanians living in wide areas in Central, Southern and South-Eastern Europe, including the Romanians in Hungary.
Documents of great historical probity stand proof of the fact that on their advent in the Pannonian Plain, the Hungarians found a powerful Romanic block, crumbled by the Hungarian invasion into various Romanian communities that, in Hungary, were perpetuated to this day, which irrefutably denies the theory of immigration.
Unfortunately, the brutal treatment of the Romanians in Hungary over the years caused a permanent decline of their number. They were denationalized and forcefully assimilated into the Hungarian mass.
Official Hungarian statistics drawn up in 1920 recorded 23,760 Romanians living in Hungary. The Same statistics, in other separate sections recorded 88,871 Romanian speakers who were obviously just as Romanian, but whom the Hungarian officials, employing other methods of cosmeticating statistics, had already deprived of their Romanian nationality. So, it clearly appears, even according to the forged Hungarian official statistics that there were 112,631 registered (our underscoring) Romanians in Hungary after Trianon. Those Romanians, actually far more numerous (over 120,000) lived, according to a survey by historian Stefan Manciulea, 1 in four compact groups in the Tisza Plain: one in the Somes Valley, made up of 17 villages; one in the counties of Szabólcs, Hajdu, Solnoc and Csongrad, made up of 58 villages; one in the area between the Barcau and Cris rivers, made up of 25 villages, and another one between the Cris and Mures rivers, made up of 24 villages. So, the sum-total of the Romanian villages right after the First World War in the Tisza Plain was 124.
The figure of 120,000 Romanians living in the Hungarian Tisza Plain is confirmed also by the statistics kept by the Romanian churches in Hungary after the First World War. It is known that, after the Treaty of Trianon, the Romanians of Orthodox faith in Hungary were organized into 18 parishes and 51 phylae 2 that, in matters of faith, belonged to the Romanian Bishoprics in Oradea and Arad. According to the respective church records, the number of faithfuls stood at over 60,000 3, which reveals once more the gross forgery of the Hungarian statistics that permanently diminished the real number of the Romanian Orthodox faithfuls living in Hungary.
As for the Greek-Catholic Romanians living in Hungary, 16 parishes with some 60,000 faithfuls belonged, to the Greek-Catholic Bishóprics in Lugoj and Oradea. The sum-total of the Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Romanian believers in Hungary, who, in matters of faith, belonged to the Bishoprics in Romania, appears to be the same figure: 120,000.
This is not all, since most of the Greek-Catholic Romanians in Hungary belonged to the denationalizing Bishopric in Hajdudorog.
The Hungarian statistics recorded 175,247 Greek-Catholic christians living in Hungary in 1920. As for their nationality, it should be shown that Greek-Catholicism is a christian cult characteristic Only of the Romanians and Ruthenians in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, which they espoused hoping to defend their own national being and spirituality against the offensive unleashed by the Hungarian authorities for the assimilation of the respective ethnic elements. Obviously, the Ruthenian element was quite a minority among the Greek-Catholics in Hungary after the Treaty of Trianon, its number growing only after the first arbitration in Vienna, in 1938, when Hungary, assisted by Germany and Italy, annexed the southern part of sub-Carpathian Russia from Czechoslovakia. So, it appears that by 1938 one can speak in fact of Greek-Catholics as Romanians, as they made the overwhelming part. As 60,000 of them depended in point of faith, on the Romanian Bishoprics in Lugoj and Oradea, it results that other over 100,000 Romanians of Greek-Catholic faith depended on the Bishopric in Hajdudorog. What were those Romanians? A number of studies drawn up even by Hungarian authors mention the fact that, apart from the non-assimilated Romanians (about 120,000), another. 120,000 Romanians Magyarized - lived in the Tisza Plain. In fact, it was about Romanians who, through various pressures, religious included, put up through the Bishopric in Hajdudorog, but also through the Closing of the Romanian schools and the banning of the Romanian as language of faith and instruction, were deprived also of their language and, concomitantly, of their own traditions, and they were only left the awareness of belonging to the Romanian ethnic group. Those Romanians were mentioned also by the book published in Budapest, in 1937, by dr. Dénes Istvan, entitled Baj van Tiszdntul, that indicates the zones where they lived and their numbers by zones - in the counties of. Szatmar, Bereg, Hajdu and Szabólcs - totalling 121,000.
A simple calculation - the addition of the 120,000 non-assimilated Romanians with the 121,000 assimilated Romanians -results in over 240,000 Romanians living in Hungary between the two world wars. This figure generally coincides also with other estimates advanced by various, authors. Researcher Joan Georgescu, who seriously studied the situation of the Romanians in Hungary, writing a number of competent studies on this subject-matter in the period between the two world wars, mentions the existence of 250,000 Romanians in the Hungarian zone bordering. Romania.4
Of course, apart from the geographic zone of the Tisza Plain, Romanians live also in other parts in Hungary. We will not enlarge here on the area of dissemination of the Romanian ethnic element in that country, as it deserves a separate survey.
We will try below to investigate the fate of those some 250,000 Romanians living in the Hungarian Tisza Plain, by the frontier with Romania, in order to single out the dynamics of their forced assimilation through denationalization and their transformation into Hungarians.
It is Well known that the Hungarian statistics do not allow for a real recording of the dynamics of the ethnic genocide with the population of Romanian nationality in Hungary, as those statistics have always been cosmeticated as regarded the real numbers of the national minorities.
A comparison of the censues taken in Hungary in 1910, 1920 and 1930 is more than revealing and appropriate though, as even if the absolute figures regarding the numbers of the Romanian nationality are virtually diminished some ten-fold, the real dynamics in percentage of its forced assimilation into the Hungarian mass, was in fact the same. So, on reading the dynamics of the official figures, of the gradual reduction of these ethnics numbers in Hungary, we may have a real picture of the percentages.
We may start from the year 1910, when the figures of the census recorded in Hungarys territory, inside its current frontiers, 28,502 Romanians. The census taken in 1920 registered officially 23,760 Romanians, and the 1930 census -16,221. On the other hand, according to the 1936 statistics, 15,521 Romanians were officially registeted. In other words, as many as 12,931 Romanians vanished, between 1910 and 1936, but they were actually assimilated into the Hungarian mass, to say nothing of the natural population growth. A simple reckoning gives an absolute percentage of vanishing of the Romanian element of about 45 per cent in only 26 years. But, if one adds also the percentage, of natural growth of a Population of which the newspaper Uj Mágyarsag of December 25, 1935, issued in l3udapest, wrote that of all national minorities in Hungary, the high vital index is that of the Romanians and that it is only they that can keep pace with the natural development of the Hungarian population, one will another picture of the dynamics of the percentage of assimilation of the Rumanian minority; that may stand up to some 70 per cent over 1910 -1936.
Without going deeper into arithmetics, operating with this percentage, we may understand the dynamics, actually the pace of denationalization, of assimilation of the Romanian minority into the Hungarian mass, starting from 1920 and, along 70 years, until 1990.
A work published by Kavago Laszlo 5 shows among other things that whereas right after the Second World War, the share of the national minorities within Hungarys population was 10.4 per cent, in 1970 (i.e. in 25 years) the share dropped to only 1.5 per cent. Anyone may realize the significance of that drop, but only few know the methods by which it was achieved.
And if that was the fate of the national minorities in Hungary as a whole, obviously the fate of the Romanian minority could be none the better. On the contrary. This is really confirmed by the figures and statistics issued in Budapest of late. Whereas after the 1970 census the existence in Hungary was recorded of 14,142 citizenes of Romanian nationality, a semi-official review like The New Hungarian Quarterly (No. 107/ 1987) reduced the number of Rumanians living in Hungary only to 10,000.
Beyond the fact that the figures presented may be real or not, one thing is sure: the process of forced assimilation of the Rumanian minority in Hungary, just like in fact of the other minorities in that country, proceeded according to a scenario faithfully observed after the First World War by all governments of Hungary, irrespective of their political colour. The wide-scale scenario and especially the ruthlessness of its application must however ring a signal to all honest people who believe in the fundamental human rights and be given the due riposte by the whole international community.
5. Ways and Means of Forced Magyarization of the Romanian Minority in Hungary Inceput
A Swedish newspaper published at the end of August 1991 an article cautioning about the danger spelt nowadays by the exaggeration of nationalism and, we would say, also of irredentism and revisionism promoted by some political circles in liuropc.
Beyond the attitude and assessments of the respective newspaper, we retained a telling fact mentioned by it 87 national minorities live today in 32 European states. We think these two figures, even if partly incomplete, give the real image and dimensions of the issue of nation al minorities of todays Euro PC.
The issue of national minorities is ever more present today in the preoccupations of states and of international fora. The fact that along with the majority population, the national territory of some states is inhabited also by various ethnic minorities that preserve their own language and national customs, their own spirituality, is a concrete confirmation of the majority populations care and full understanding for the minorities, of the fair policy with them, conducted by the respective states. For other states though, this issue is really a responsibility since, as facts prove it, the national territories existing in their own territory and sometimes holding an important share within the population as a whole six-seven decades ago, were mostly dissolved into the majority mass of the population, through a ruthless policy of denationalization, some of them having simply vanished by now.
We cannot be reconciled with the fact that some political quarters, unfortunately, still use lies and calumny, various manoeuverings in order to heighten the tension of the national minorities issue for the attainment of selfish political purposes.
In this context, one cannot omit the situation of the Romanian minority in Hungary that, because of the way how the Hungarian authorities have settled the issue of the national minorities that lived and still live in Hungary, was virtually dissolved in the mass of the majority population. The ways and means employed by the Hungarian authorities to this end were and are most varied, from the most subtle to the most ruthless and gross ones.
We will give below some of the methods of forced Magyarization of the Romanian minorities employed by the Hungarian authorities.
Magyarization through censuses a method dating back to the Austro-Hungarian Empires time. Telling in this respect is the fact that in all censuses taken since the 19th century the number of the Romanian population was permanently diminished some tenfold.
Is there still a Romanian national minority in Hungary? The official (our underscoring) Hungarian statistics indicate these last few years a number varying between 4,000 and 15,000 Romanian speakers, but we must stress it that the real number of the Romanians in Hungary could never be established since, as is known, censuses in that country have always employed abusive means by which an important part of the allogenous elements of the nationalities, Romanian ethnics included, have been embezzled for the benefit of the majority Hungarian population.
By comparing the Hungarian censuses of 1910, 1920, 1930 and the releases of 1936 of the Hungarian Statistical Office, one can assess the regressive dynamics of the Romanian population in Hungary, even if the figures were diminished tenfold: 1910 - 28,502 persons; 1920 - 23,760; 1930 - 16,221; 1936 - 15,571, which practically means a decrease by 12,931 persons of the Romanian population in that period.
Of course, the play of figures is interesting, as the figures as such, like we said, are far from expressing the actual reality. Actually, it is about gross forgery and gross manipulation, by statistics, of the real figures of the national minorities in Hungary, including obviously the Romanian minority.
In a survey published in the Official Hungarian statistical reviews Magyar Statisztikai Szemle, in the December 1937 issue, dr. Thiring Ludovic presented the dynamics of the population in Hungary at the end of 1936. According to the figures in his survey, the population of another ethnic origin than Hungarian recorded an overall absolute decline by some 20 per cent over 1920-1939 (in 19 years). At the same time, the Hungarian population recorded a substantive growth, from 7,147,053 in 1920 to 8,001,112 in 1930 and 8,690,000 in 1939, meaning almost 22 percent in the same interval.
It is obvious that such big declines and growths with various ethnical groups in the same state and interval of time are a natural impossibility, so they are obviously only the result of statistical manipulations or of drastic measures of annihilation of the minority ethnic groups, of ethnic genocide. Likewise, the fact is known that if the persons recorded in the census, irrespective of their real nationality, stated they knew Hungarian language, they were registered as Hungarians, although they declared they mastered also their own mother-tongue.
The forced Magyarization of the names of the minorities in Hungary, extremely amplified in the period between the two world wars, was one of the methods permanently employed by the authorities in Hungary and by various private associations or foundations. The activity unfolded in this connection by some Hungarian patriots is well known. One of them, Len.gyel Zoltan, took care right after 1930 of the Magyarization of the names of citizens who had non-Magyar names. Moreover, it was he who headed after that the known Society for the Magyarization of Names (Országos Néumagyarositá Társasag). Dr. Zoltan noted the astonishing fact that in 1933 in Hungary there were no less than 4.5 million inhabitants, accounting for 50 per cent of the Hungarian population, who had non-Magyar names, and his society took upon itself the mending of that anomaly.
With the coming into force of the Ordinance of the Ministry of the Interior of Hungary No. 40200/ 1933 I II B.M. important allowances were given for the Magyarization of names. The work of Magyarization of names proceeded under the direct pressure put by the state authorities, starting right with the state bodies and institutions. The performance was thus achieved of not hiring on such bodies any person that was ignorant of the Hungarian language. As a matter of fact, an article published in Pesti Naplo of November 4, 1933 showed that the gendarmerie has concluded its action of Magyarizalion pursuant to the energetic measures taken by prefect Ferenczy (for name Magyarization, our note).
In the same article, Lengyel Zoltan greatly praised certain institutions for the way how they were achieving the name Magyarization The Savings and Postal Check House, the Statistical Office, the Postas, the Telegraph", he showed, had an exemplary performance in the name Magyarization. The Railways will soon apply for 15,000 nice Magyar names.
The drive for name Magyarization extended after 1938 -1941 also to the occupied territories of the neighbor states. In the Romanian territories occupied by the Horthyist authorities after the so-called arbitration of Vienna, of August 30, 1940, they started Magyanizing the names of the Romanians there. That wide-scale action was justified by the Order of the Ministry of Justice in Budapest No. 6541 of February 18, 1942, that showed inter alia: to protect our nation (Hungarian, authors note), we must use every legal (sic) means in order to prevent the big number of names with foreign sound from accounting for unfavourable appearances on the numeric assessment of the Hungarian population. So, dispositions were issued for the Magyarization of the Romanian names in the occupied zone in northern Transylvania, through Hungarian spelling of the Romanian family and given names on all opportunities, the administrative correction of the family names that sounded foreign, the Hungarian spelling or replacement by Hungarian names of the Romanian names in the civil registers on entering births or marriages or on issuing civil certificates, the change of the pupils names on enrolling them in schools, the compulsory Magyanization of the names of Romanian office workers in the public or private institutions, of the Romanian soldiers and workers in the army and in the labour camps, of parentless children in orphanages and of the premilitary youth.1
The range of pressures put up by the Hungarian authorities on the persons of non-Magyar nationalities, Romanians included, of course, was wide, sometimes taking on more than insane forms. So, whoever wanted to get a job or a licence, a state credit, had to prove by tens of papers his or her Hungarian descent, or else, to emigrate to Romania.
The tremendous drive against the Romanians in Hungary and in the Romanian territories occupied in August 1940 resulted in the fact that over 1942 -1943 alone, about 100,000 Roma mans were entered as Hungarians in the records of the administration.2
The denationalization through church was one of the most powerful factors employed in the policy of minorities Magyanization. As is well known, after the Treaty of Trianon, the national minorities in Hungary, in spite of the international commitments made by that state, did not enjoy legal cultural organization according to their national life, being subject, just like before, to powerful pressure of denationalization by the Hungarian church which imposed the Hungarian language in the divine service of the minorities parishes that were left without priests after the Treaty of Trianon. The jurisdiction of the Hungarian bishoprics was imposed on the minority churches.
After the Treaty of Trianon, the Orthodox Romanians in Hungary remained in 18 parishes and 52 phylae. Of the l8 parishes, nine depended ecumenically on the Orthodox Bishopric of Oradea and nine on the Romanian Bishopric in Arad, the respective Romanian bishoprics having only ecumenic connections with the parishes in Romania, i.e. ordaining, distribution of the holy oil, etc. According to the statistics of the Romanian Orthodox parishes in Hungary, the number of faithful was some 60,000.
On the other hand, the Greek-Catholic Romanians in Hungary had 16 parishes after the Treaty of Trianon, including 15 dependent upon the Romanian Greek-Catholic Bishopric in Oradea, and one dependent on the Greek-Catholic Bishopric in Lugoj. The number of Greek-Catholic faithful in the 16 Romanian parishes united with Rome in the Hungarian Tisza Plain was, according to the respective parishes, some 60,000, which raises the number of non-Magyarized Romanians in that geographic area to more than 120,000, both Orthodox and Greek-Catholic a figure which matches also the figures produced by other sources, and, together with the over 120,000 Magyarized Romanians who, ecumenically, depended on the denationalizing Bishopric in Hajdudorog, stood at some 250,000.
The Orthodox Church, where, in the inter-war period, the divine service was still performed in Romanian, went through an organized action of replacement of the Romanian cult language by the Hungarian. The service was already performed in Hungarian at that time in the Romanian churches at Békes and ApaLeu. Likewise, the Hungarian authorities planned a diversionist action for the creation of a so-called Hungarian Greek-Oriental Church at Szentes, that pursued the Magyarization of all Romamans and Serbians in Hungary.
As for the Greek-Catholics, it is known that this cult is specific to a big part of the Romanians of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, who espoused it with the hope to defend their national being and spirituality against the offensive started by the Hungarian officials for the assimilation by Magyarization of people of different ethnic origin. So, one can virtually speak of Greek-Catholics as being Romanians. But, unfortunately only a small part of them remained non-Magyarized (about 60,000); their numbers dropped in the inter-war period following a steady campaign of Magyarization, to remain only about 40,000 on the eve of the Vienna Diktat.
An article published by the Budapest newspaper Magyarszdg on March 28, 1936, expressed the indignation that the Walachian priests in the Romanian communes dare teach religion in Romanian in the minority church schools.
The Romanian Greek-Catholic church too, was subject to power pressure of Magyarization, even through acts of diversion like the one that led to the creation of the Hungarian Greek-Catholic Bishopric at Hajdudorog and the transfer of the Greek-Catholic church under its jurisdiction.
In 1935, the Congress of the Hungarian Greek-Catholics, held at Hajdudorog, decided that the jurisdiction of the Magyarizing Bishopric of Dorog be extended to all Greek-Catholics in Hungary is there a more telling proof than that decision of the supreme Hungarian Greek-Catholic church forum about its Magyarizing purposes? The direct assertion by the Congress of the overwhelming importance of that church for the nationalities assimilation is perfectly telling. But, above all, facts are quite telling as regards the Magyarization of an overwhelming part of the Romanians in Hungary through that church. As a matter of fact, Nemzeti Ujsag, the organ of the Hungarian Catholicism, presented in its issue of December 25, 1936, the program of the churchs drive for Magyarization: The Hungarian Greek-Catholics have a great mission... There still are in Hungary 39,893 Greek-Catholics that must be brought to union (meaning still non-Magyarized Romanians).
The role as instrument of denationalization of the national minorities played by the official church in the Hungarian state results also from the figures of the official statistics presented on various censuses.
Newspaper The National of January 21, 1938, reproduced a number of data from the survey of dr. Thiring Ludovic published itt the statistical review Magyar S1atisztikai Sze mle of 1937, that showed that the only two christian cults that recorded a decline in the number of faithfuls over 1919 -1936 were the Reformed and Greek-Orthodox ones, all the other ones recording rises; the Roman-Catholic recorded the most substantive rises.
Let us see the dynamics of the Orthodox population, made up mainly of Rumanians and Serbians, over 1910 -1936, according to the respective official statistics: there were 61,468 Orthodox in 1910. Their number declined to 50,990 by 1920, to 39,629 by 1930, while in 1936 there were only 35,118 faifhfuls. So, in 26 years alone, the number of Orthodox faithfuls drastically dropped from 61,468 to only 25,350.
As The National newspaper put it, those losses in the numbers of the minority cults were only the result of the policy of Magyarization practiced by the Hungarian national churches (Roman-Catholic, Evangelic, Greek-Catholic, authors note).
The denationalization of the Romanian minority through the Hungarian school. One of the most painful issues of the national minorities in Hungary all along the inter-war period, and that has virtually remained unsolved to this day, was the absence of schools with tuition in mother-tongues. One cannot say no laws and instructions existed for the provision of a legal regime of education. Suffice it to mention the regulations issued in 1919, 1923, 1924 and 1935.
Three types of schools for national minorities: A, B and C were instituted under the Ordinance 480011923, issued by the Chairman of the Hungarian Council of Ministers. In type A schools, all disciplines had to be taught, according to the law, in the mother tongue of the respective minorities, while Hungarian had to be taught as a secondary language. But such schools were never ever set up in Hungary. They only remained provisions in a law and reasons for Hungarian propaganda abroad. In actual fact, the Hungarian authorities only allowed the setting up of B type schools in just a few cases, and C type schools in most of the cases, which were far from being schools for national minorities, being, most of them, simply Hungarian schools. The disciplines were in fact taught in Hungarian there, and the mother-tongue was a secondary discipline to be taught a few hours a week. Moreover, the teachers came, in overwhelming proportion, from the Hungarian population.
Here is what an article by the Romanian publicist N. Stoica, entitled The Romanians in Hungary in the Graiul românesc review of October 1928 said about the way how the legal regulations on education for national minorities in Hungary were applied: These pro visions remained dead letter though. Instead of being enacted by the state bodies, they were virtually forbidden, in text and content, in the communes with a minority population, who had therefore not the faintest idea of the rights assigned to them. The Hungarian authorities behaved toward the Romanians in Hungary the way they did toward the other minorities, or even worse. We shall no longer discuss here the problem of the Romanian lay schools since they actually existed only on paper, in the laws and instructions meant to be employed in the propaganda abroad. For the Romanians there were just mock schools, the so-called C type, where Romanian had to be taught as a secondary discipline, all the other disciplines being taught in Hungarian. Even the old church schools that had operated before the First World War -Orthodox or Greek-Catholic - were closed by the Hungarian authorities after the war and replaced by Hungarian primary schools, so, of the 34 schools in existence before the First World War, only 4-5 remained in operation and without Romanian teachers at that. As a matter of fact, one can say there was no more Romanian church school.
In an article entitled Romanians in Hungary, published in Voice of Minorities no. 10 of 1930, Ivan de Nagy acknowledges straightforward the role of the school in the Magyarization of the Romanian pupils in Hungary, speaking of their so-called voluntary Magyarization and omitting the pressures of all kind put on the Romanians in order to make them give up the school with tuition in their mother-tongue, to give up even their mother-tongue and, with it, their own nationality.
It must also be said that all along the inter-war period, the Romanians in Hungary, just like the other minorities, had no political organizations or representations of their own, as the Hungarian laws did not allow the setting up of such organizations.
The Romanians social and cultural life proceeded in a quite narrow frame, as the Hungarian authorities saw the social and cultural manifestations of the Romanians in Hungary as actions running counter to the Hungarian states political ideal.
The use of the Romanian Language as well as the observance of old holidays of the Romanian people were brutally repressed by the Hungarian state authorities. Also, the Romanians had no press organ at that time.
After the Second World War, the Hungarian authorities continued to promote their programs of complete liquidation of the Romanian minority. Full silence was kept about the national issue which completely disappeared from the preoccupations of the diplomatic chancellories of the peoples democracies. However, the Hungarian authorities continued their dilligent work. While on an internal plane the measures of denationalization took on grotesque dimensions, on an international plane Hungarys government was very active, organizing the Hungarian diaspora and developing with its assistance, irrespective of political colour, a genuine web of cultural organizations, philantropic foundations, humanitarian institutes and associations with various cover activities, the real target of which has only been to propagate the ideas of Hungarianism and Magyaromania by such means as to render these ideas most credible for the international public opinion.
At the same time, going on with their program of forced denationalization and integration of the national minorities into the Hungarian mass, the Hungarian authorities have actually abolished the tuition in the minorities mother-tongue, including the Romanian minority, replacing it by Hungarian tuition or, at the most, by a tuition in Hungarian plus a few hours of tuition in the nationalities mother-tongue.
This confirms the most grave situation of the tuition in Romanian.
As a matter of fact, starting with the 60s, following a decision of the Hungarian government, the language of tuition for all disciplines, except for the Romanian grammar and language, in all schools, of any grace, where Romanians learn, is the Hungarian language.
6. The Somber Future of the Romanians in Hungary Inceput
The Romanian peoples ethnic genesis proceeded on a very wide area, much beyond the limits of the modern Romanian state. This explains also the existence of compact ethnic groups of Romanians living in wide areas in Central, Southern and South-Eastern Europe, including the Romanians in Hungary.
The Romanian minority in Hungary shares today the dramatic fate of all ethnic minorities in that country. It could even be said that the Romanians fate has been even far worse, since they have permanently enjoyed the Hungarian authorities special attention. The national dissolution of the Romanian ethnic group, its forced Magyarization, have been carried out even more drastically and rapidly, thinking of the program of Magyarization of the ethnic minorities pursued with the selfsame diabolic consistency by the Hungarian authorities both in the more or less remote past and today.
The process of Magyarization of the Romanians in Hungary has been though, ample and complex, and the results have been up to it. One of the results is that the number of Romanians in Hungary has declined tenfold in the last seven decades: from about 250,000 in 1920 to about 20-25,000 now.
But, what is even more grave is that a great many of those Romanians, who still retain a certain awareness of their nationality, have been innoculated with a deep fear of openly showing what they really are Romamans.
That terrible feeling is so deeply set in the peoples mind as many of them, when faced with extreme situations, relinquish their own ethnical origin as if it were an old, useless coat.
As a matter of fact, it can be said that the fear is actually the mother of causes of the grave situation now of the Romanian minority in Hungary. This situation of extreme gravity ought not to be easily omitted, as it is in fact the keystone of the whole policy minutely articulated by the Hungarian authorities long ago.
The Hungarian propaganda permanently pursued both at horns and especially abroad to divert the attention of public opinion from the terrorist methods of denationalization of the ethnic minorities, often shamelessly suggesting that the minorities themselves strongly wanted to be assimilated into Hungarianism. Unfortunately, quite numerous foreign researchers of the minorities in Hungary - it is obviously about foreign researchers, some of them honest - fell in the traps skillfully set by the Magyaromaniac propaganda, that managed to divert their attention from the real causes of the minorities denationalization and assimilation. That is why reputed researchers maintain in various studies that the real causes of this phenomenon include mixt marriages or migration from village to town in search of an easier and more decent living.1
The fear instilled patiently in time in the conscience of the minority populations, generated by the drastic measures of the Hungarian authorities that went as far as to severely punishing them even for having used their own mother-tongues, turned those populations into depersonalized masses with no prospects if they had taken action to maintain their own nationality instead of putting on the Hungarian ethnic attire.
So, it was but natural and explicable in that socio-political framework that the relatively numerous Romanian population in Hungary has gradually come to lose its identity, losing its numbers at a quite incredible pace.
It is therefore not by mere chance that the national minorities in Hungary are already considered as de facto assimilated, even though the authorities claim to be preoccupied to maintain their specific own life. This is confirmed by more than convincing proofs. Among them, we could mention even the behaviour of a Hungarian researcher, Molnár Gusztav, who takes the liberty of declaring in our days that the Romanian minority in Hungary would feel offended if it were not considered as part of the majority Hungarian nation.
When Pope Paul II visited Hungary in the summer of 1991, almost all press organs there carried extensive coverages on the visit and on the situation of the cults in Hungary. Among other things, the existence was mentioned of 40,000 Orthodox faithful and about 300,000 Greek-Catholics. As shown in another chapter of this book,2 Orthodox in Hungary are only the Romanians and Serbians, while Greek-Catholic are almost exclusively the Romanians and Ruthenians in that country. Considering that the Romanian and Serbian minorities in Hungary are roughly on a par, one may conclude that at least 20,000 of the Orthodox faithful in Hungary are Romanians.
As for the ethnic component of the Hungarian citizens of Greek-Catholic faith in Hungary, it is Romanian in absolute majority, at least as far as the origin is concerned, even if those faithfuls have lost in time, because of the vicisitudes they lived through, the awareness of their ethnic identity, being now almost completely Magyarized.
However, in spite of all vicisitudes, pressures and oppression the Romanian ethnic element had to cope with in the last seventy years, it has managed to still last in Hungary. So, Romanians still exist in that country. It might be said that today they are fighting more courageously to maintain their ethnic identity, although the Romanian cause is deeply hurt by the manoeuvres of some tools in their own ranks, that have no national conscience and have acceded to the leadership of the representative organizations of the Romanians in that country.
An article in "Calendarul nostru",3 entitled Whal Do We Know of One Another? reads among other things: How many Romanian nationals are we in Hungary? 20,000 or only 10,000? Who knows? Does anyone know for sure? Will we ever know it for sure? And then, of all that declare ourselves Romanians, how many speak our mother-tongue properly? Or, do we know one another? What do we know of one another? Whats our future ?
Indeed, what is the future of the Romanians in that country, considering that the Program of Union of the Romanians in Hungary barely sets such shy targets as the cultivation of the mother-tongue, the development of the national awareness and the consolidation of the Romanian community in Hungary ?,4 meaning the last remains of identity and specific of the Romanian ethnics there.
It is obvious that the loss of the ethnic conscience with the loss of the mother-tongue were the immediate causes of denationalization of the Romanians in Hungary and of their assimilation into the Hungarian mass. But those losses did not just happen, they were the result of a concerted, coherent and permanent action conducted as part of a scenario that covered a long period of time and in which the strength and repression put by the bodies of state administration in Hungary were key factors.
How shy seem the objectives set forth by the Romanian minority in Hungary, baffled by fear and psychically traumatized by the drastic measures taken by the Hungarian authorities that are not willing to seriously guarantee any real right for it, as compared with the absurd claims raised in Romania by the Hungarian Democratic Union before the authorities and which the Hungarian government is insistently inspiring; such claims are addressed to the Romanian authorities on various circumstances as imperative and ultimative demands.
In order to even better understand the difference of treatment of the Romanian minority by the authorities in Hungary and of the Hungarian minority by the authorities in Romania, one should know what the Romanians in Hungary can afford (our underscoring) to pursue as prime targets in their Program. Here are some of those targets: a) An increased number of hours and forms of activities in the Romanian language, in kindergartens, the necessary organizational and material conditions provided for an essential improvement of tuition in Romanian; encouragement and subsidising of activities for the articulation of a new body of knowledge, fit for the most direct tuition of the language and for the development of the awareness of being Romanian. 5
How can one compare the large rights the Hungarians in Romania enjoyed and enjoy, rights that made some of their representatives (obviously controlled from Budapest) be as insolent as to chase Romanian ethnics away from the counties of Harghita and Covasna, where the Hungarians make the majority, and lay almost absurd claims regarding the development, at the Romanian states expenses, of education of all grades, higher schools included, only for Hungarians, with the so modest requests of the Romanians in Hungary, who only dare dream of increasing the number of hours taught in Romanian in kindergartens and general schools?
After the dramatic events and structural, political, economic and social changes triggered in 1989 all over Eastern Europe, the national minorities issue has gradually taken on matchless proportions. It has gained ground also in the international debates. Numerous conferences, seminars, round table conferences and other meetings approached directly or indirectly this issue within the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The majority of the participants in such meetings tried to find common lines of action to ensure the consensus of the European states in establishing a regime and legal status that should fit best the requirements of the fundamental principles of human rights.
On such occasions, Hungary proved again to be in fact the only European state that, behind proposals allegedly meant to improve the fate of the national and ethnic minorities in the European states, promotes in fact its own purposes and targets regarding the revision of the current territorial status in Central and South-Eastern Europe. Hungarys proposals for a so-called self-governing of the national minorities in Europe only pursue the provision for the Hungarian minorities living in states neighbor to Hungary of conditions (territorial autonomy, self- administration, self-governing) that should turn them into genuine sovereign and independent enclaves inside those states, enclaves that, when the international conditions are ripe, should separate from those states and unite with Hungary in various forms, including the creation of a federation that should compulsorily include Hungary.
In this context, the theoretical diversion is the more necessary for the promoters of such plans. So, it is not by mere chance that scientific quarters in Hungary have launched what they use to call the theory of the small nations, claimed to be different from the national minorities, that should be given far wider rights than the minorities, including the right to self-determination, up to separation from the state to which they currently belong.
The profound reactionary character of such theories needs no demonstration, as it is obvious from the onset, if one thinks that they sustain a reversal of history, centuries back, a relapse to feudalism, to the statal crumbling characteristic of that time and the creation of statal formations the structure of which has been repudiated by the historical development precisely because they were basically not viable.
But it is more than telling that the promoters of such theories have just as reactionary answers for , the ethnic minorities in Hungary. They purposefully shun well-known facts of their own history, first of all the fact that those minorities accounted for 25 per cent of Hungarys population only a few decades ago. Today, like yesterday, the theoreticians of Magyaromania, who have changed only the scientific methods, preach assimilation for those minorities, zealously praise the super-democratic political system in Hungary, claiming that it ensures for the ethnic minority bigger rights even than they need. Is it so? Here is a quite telling quotation from a document - the Resolution of the 7th Congress of the Romanian Democratic Union of Hungary: 3. The current rate of assimilation endangers the preservation in a long run of the nationality identity. For this reason, our policy should focus on the preservation of the language and culture, and to this end, better conditions than so far have to be provided.
4. Our policy should not be assessed on the basis of the declared rights but on the basis of their accomplishment (our underscoring).
5. A structural reform is needed of all organizations and institutions that deal with nationality problems.
Is this not a clear expression of the fierce realities the Romanians have to cope with in Hungary, the country that wants to be regarded as a genuine show-window of European democracy and the standard bearer of the fight for human rights all over the Continent?
Realities are really fierce in Hungary for ethnic minorities. Romanians are completely deprived of the possibility to use their mother-tongue, to say nothing of the actual absence in that country of really Romanian tuition. A telling example is the report of a Romanian newsman who, in an interview with a graduate of the only Romanian-language lycee in Hungary - the Nicolae Balcescu Lycee in Gyula -only at great pain managed to get from him the answer that Mihai Eminescu was the Romanians greatest poet and just as painstakingly made the graduate remember only one title of Eminescus poetry.
The Romanians with Hungarian citizenship have always been afraid of speaking Romanian in the street or in public rallies. The fear is deep set in their minds and it was cultivated and maintained by the oppression and vicissitudes of all kind the Hungarian authorities have always subjected them to.
One cannot omit the role of tools from among their own ranks in the process of forced Magyarization and assimilation of the Romanians in Hungary. The case is already notorious of the former leaders of the Romanian Democratic Union in Hungary who, instead of serving those whom they represented were serving the Hungarian authorities and their policy in exchange for ample advantages - well paid jobs, trips abroad, scholarships for their sons and daughters abroad, etc. What could be more telling of their lack of interest in the real problems of the Romanians in Hungary than the endless procrastination of the making final of the bill of national minorities in Hungary that has not been passed to this day, although it is being prepared since years.
Formalism and dishonesty were the fundamental elements of the activity of the former RDUH leadership, who played permanently to the tunes generously provided by the Hungarian government, thanking and praising the so-called democratic character of the Hungarian policy with the minorities. Is there anything to add when all debates in one of the RDUH conferences, in 1989, proceeded in Hungarian only, and all documents of the conference were written in Hungarian? And that while one the vital issues of the Romanians in Hungary is that they are practically deprived of the possibility to use their mother-tongue and the school in Romanian is just fiction.
Can one speak under the circumstances of political rights for the Romanian minority? These rights are completely excluded for the ethnic minorities in todays Hungary. Whereas under the former regime the local organizations of the nationalities unions were dismantled and no specific representation of the minorities could be formed, and the less so, political, economic and religious autonomy, and the leaders of the nationalities unions represented in fact the will of the power instead of the will of their own nationality - as shown in "Magyar Demokrata Forum Programja" (October 1989), at least formally, the representatives of the national minorities were on the supreme bodies of state power. Well, how has the situation improved now that the new Hungarian Parliament, elected by free vote in 1990, has no representative of the Romanian population? The Collegiuin of Nationalities, set up under the Hungarian government in the first part of 1990, is far from ensuring the representation of the national minorities at a central level. The Romanian minority in Hungary is currently represented by a Hungarian born in Transylvania. He probably speaks Romanian but he is not Romanian! This is how the Hungarian authorities continue the same policy of deceiving the international public opinion about the granting of rights to the national minorities in Hungary.
For all the fear that dominates the Romanians minds, the lies and speculations disseminated by various channels in Hungary and abroad by the Hungarian propaganda referring to the so-called full freedom enjoyed by the Romanians and, more generally, by the ethnic minorities in that country, as well as to the very wide rights allegedly given to them, the due reply has started being heard. The Romanians voice has started resounding beyond the concrete walls of the fear of oppression and repression, demanding the actual observance of the natural rights the national minorities in Hungary too, should enjoy, the way the national and ethnic minorities all over Europe enjoy.
A Romanian teacher, Julia Olteanu, of the Nicolae Balcescu high school in Gyula (Hungary) could no longer stand the humiliation and especially the lies circulated by the Hungarian propaganda regarding the alleged freedom enjoyed by the Romanians in Hungary by Comparison with the claimed lack of rights of the Hungarians in Romania. Referring directly to such allegations circulated in the April 20, 1990 Panorama program of the Television in Budapest, the Romanian teacher showed inter alia that, judging by the respective program, one would say the Romanians life in Hungary is really idyllic - they have schools, even too many, their daily life is free of problems, they fly their tricolor on holidays, etc, etc. Dear readers, teacher Julia Olteanu shows, I think you too, were baffled before the TV is it true that in our schools our children are taught mathematics, geography, history and other disciplines in Rumanian? Do the signs on institutions rel)resent the reality? Are the general school in Romanian or the high school with tuition in Romanian Nicolae Balcescu really Rumanian institutions only ? And she winds up This feature report did not even mention a part of the difficulties and shortages of the Rumanian minority in Hungary, on the contrary, it is in this way that the hatred between the two peoples is increased. I protest and express my indignation in connection with the broadcasts that try to use us as an instrument in order to attain their purposes. . . I doubt the objectiveness of the Panorama programs. 6
In actual fact, the problems of the Romanian minority in Hungary are far to grave for an ill-intended propaganda that circulates extreme lies to be able to conceal long the extremely grave situation of this minority. A mere meeting with Rumanians in the zones inhabited by them in Hungary is telling for any honest man that may see for himself the results of the draconic process of forced denationalization they have been subject to. Telling, we believe, are also some views expressed by the Romanians in Hungary in two of the publications they edit in Gyula: Foaia noasträ 7 and Calendarul nostru 8, which we give below:
The Hungarian policy forgets about the ensuring of the minorities equal rights, although more and more emphasis is laid on the word democracy, (actually) working for the denationalization of the minorities. It is not for our benefit, for the benefit of the minorities, that was dismantled the system of education in our mother-tongues some 30 years ago. 9
What have we, the minorities in Hungary, got in the last decades? One thing is sure: we have never been deprived of promises, statements and superficial, forged official statistics; consequentlv, the system of assimilation has come at an irreversible stage.10
What is disastrous is that the number of Romanian speakers is smaller with every passing day. But for a few exceptions, we must sincerely confess: in most cases the family does not speak Rumanian, so, not even children speak the language which they learned from us when they were little and which we learned from our mothers. 11
Only one thing was not molten in Apateu: today too, there is one separate Romanian cemetery and one Hungarian - it is as if people do not want to be burned in the same land, although deep in their conscience they know that the souls of the leach meet again. 12
Giving some views of Romanians in Hungary about their own future, expressed publicly in fact, we only give the persons concerned the opportunity to understand the truth, the fierce realities they have to cope with and, especially to understand an overwhelming fact: the Romanian minority, just like the other national minorities in Hungary, will have no future, unless the sad truths of the Hungarian policy of denationalization are revealed for the international public opinion, unless steps arc taken to ensure to these minorities first of all the fundamental human rights of which they are deprived.
As a matter of fact, the policy steadily pursued for the denationalization of the minorities in Hungary and their assimilation into the Hungarian mass has started being mentioned in most critical observations even by political personalities in that country. An article entitled The Depressing Truth of the National Minorities Situation in Hungary, published by Hungarian parliamentarian Tamas Gaspar Miklos, a member of the Liberal Democrats Union, shows that the Hungarian state may expect the shock of justified criticism from the outside, pursuant to the policy with the minorities, a policy, we say, which is far from meeting the requirements of the commitments assumed even by Hungary under the document of Copenhagen, signed in June 1990.
International public opinion already is taking an interest in these facts and notes with worry that the lies and calumny projected outside were associated, arid they unfortunately still are, with the terror in most varied forms directed against the national spirit and traditions of minorities in Hungary.
The data, figures and facts presented here reveal face of the Hungarian propaganda in these domains, a propaganda that has permanently tried to cover the deplorable realities of the situation of the national minorities in Hungary that, now, are already at a moment of extreme gravity as far as their very existence and future are concerned, by a subtle, wide and program-like action of diversion against the neighbor states.
Apud 0. Ghibu, op. cit., p. 6. Here is what S. Manciulea writes on this matter: Jusquau commencement de ceXIX-em siecle, les centres urbains de la Hongrie avaient un caractere ethnique étranger. La majorité de lear population était formee dAllemands, de Slovaques, dltaliens, de Grecs, de Roumains-Macédoniens, de Juifs, etc. Lélément hongrois navait formé, dans aucun de ces centres urbains, la majorité absolue la population Les villes de Hongries so sont magyarisées pendant la seconde moitié du XIXe siecle par le grand nombre des fonctionnaires quon y fit venir, par le développment que lon donna a la grande industrie, par le development toujours plus ample du commerce; on réussit ainsi a exercer une forte pression, une intense action de magyarization sur la population dautre langue dans les villes et daus les villages voisins. (S. Manciulea, cp. cit., pp 74-75. See also S.. Fenyes, Ungaria revizionistã 1938-1978, translation front Hungarian by I. T. Muresan, Roma, Edizioni Europa, 1978, ed. II, pp. 96-99.
14 Apud Aurel Gociman, România si revizionismul maghiar, Bucuresti, ,,Universul, 1934, p. 196.
16 Magyarországi Románok. Bizalmas Használatra. Munkatársak közremuködésévél, irta Huszár Antal, M. Kir Belugyrniniszteri forditó. (Jelen Munek bármilyen formában való nyilváloszägra hozatalat illetóleg a szerzói jog fentartalik), Budapest, 1907, Imprimatott a Magyar Kiralyi államj nyomdában (1063), 1000 p. (Romanians in Hungary. For confidential use. Written with the assistance of more associates by Huszár Antal, translator with the Ministry of the Interior. The authors right to publish this work, in any form, is reserved, Budapest, 1907. Hungarian Royal State Printing House (order) No 1063, 953 + XXIV p. It bears the authors hand written dedication: To his excellency, count Iuliu Andrassy of Csik.-Szent-Király and Hrasznahorza, Hungarian Royal Minister of the- Interior and private adviser, etc.
17 See the presentation of this book: Onisifor Ghibu, Un plan secret al guvernului unguresc din 18907 privitor la maghiarizarea românilor din Transilvania, Cluj, ,,Ardealul Fine Arts Institute, 1940 (in Romanian and French), 48 p., see also România ºi Conferinþa de pace de la Paris (19 18- 1920), pp. 31- 37, where the document is analyzed.
18 Onisifor Ghibu, Catolicismul unguresc în Transilvania si politica religioasã a statululi românesc, Ed. II, Cluj, Ardealul Grafic Arts Institute, 1932, p. 5.
19 Onisifor Ghibu, Trecutul si prezentul Status-ului romano-catolic ardelean, Cluj, Tipografia ,,Concordia, 1923.
20 See Jacques Bariety, LAccord révisioniste franco-hongrois de 1920. Histoire dun, mithe Viorica Moisuc, Le projet de la Confédération danubienne et les intérets des Etats successoraux, in , Les concéquences des traités de paix de 1919- 1920 en Europe centrale et sud-orientale, Strassbourg, 1987, pp. 75-83, 64-74. See also Viorica Moisuc, Premizele izolãrii polltice a României 1919-1920. Editura ,,Humanitas, pp. 76- 118.
22 Vladimir dOrmesson, De vous a moi, Paris, 1973, p. 36. See also Louis Barthou, în Diplomati Ilustri, vol. V, Editura Politicã, Bucureºti, 1986, pp. 308-366.
23 ,,România Liberã of September 17, 1944.
24 Scânteia of Janyary 23, 1945.
25 Treaty of Peace between Romania and the Allied and Associated Powers, signed in Paris, on February 10, 1947 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bucharest, 1947.