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GRIEVANCES AND LEGITIMATE DEMANDS
Today, at the end of the 20th century, civilized societies under majority rule firmly believe that such rule should not infringe upon the rights of minority groups.
On the authority of the Human Rights Proclamation of the United Nations these rights include:
Each individual's right to equal education, equal job opportunity for equal pay, equal housing, welfare and protection under the law.
Each individual's right to free worship in the church of his choice. Each individual's right to speak his own language, to keep and develop his ethnic cultural heritage, to keep and develop his ethnic identity without interference from the ruling majority.
Each individual's right to live within his own ethnic group, and the right of this group to self-administration.
As was proven in the previous chapters, the Socialist Republic of Rumania is found in flagrant violation of each of these basic human rights in regard to the Hungarian minority.
1. Hungarian districts, Hungarian cities, townships and villages are denied self-administration.
2. Hungarian schools are eliminated step by step.
3. The public use of the Hungarian language is forbidden.
4. The publication of Hungarian literary and professional books' journals, periodicals are severely restricted.
5. The Hungarian Churches are under constant harassment. Archives, libraries and museums are confiscated.
6. Hungarian children are forbidden to speak their own language on the school-grounds.
7. Hungarian cemeteries are desecrated.
8. Welfare packages, including Bibles, sent into needy relatives from other countries are confiscated. Welfare donations sent from overseas to Hungarian churches Transylvania, whether they serve the purpose of renovations or to relieve the need caused by flood, earthquake and other catastrophies, are constantly redirected by the Rumanian authorities into other parts of the country, and distributed among Rumanians only.
9. Hungarians are discriminated against in the fields of education, job, housing, welfare and every other aspect of human existence.
10. Hungarians in Transylvania live under constant harassment and gross intimidation from teachers, officials, administrators, police and
military personnel with the purpose of forcing them to change their names, and declare themselves Rumanians.
11 . Hungarians are constantly moved out of their homes under various pretexts, and resettled into new and foreign environments, while their homes are given to Rumanians, brought over from Rumania proper in order to "de-Hungarize" the Hungarian-inhabited regions of Transylvania.
12. Whenever the Rumanian government establishes a new industry in a Hungarian region, the jobs in that industry are not offered to the local population but Rumanians are imported for this purpose, and settled in homes confiscated from Hungarians, who are deported into Rumania proper in order to make place for the new settlers.
13. Relatives and friends of Hungarians visiting from the West are under daily harassment by Rumanian authorities, and after their departure those whom they visited are taken to the police station for lengthy interrogations, where they are often abused and beaten.
14. Hungarians are allowed to participate in sports only if they change their names, and declare themselves Rumanians.
15. Those students who graduate from one of the few schools left where the language of instruction is still Hungarian are denied entrance into Universities.
Since each and everyone of these grievances not only conflicts with the Human Rights Proclamation of the United Nations, and with articles VII and VIII of the Helsinki Agreement, but are in flagrant violation of the Peace Treaties signed by Rumania as well as the very constitution of the Socialist Republic of Rumania, it has become necessary that the rightful demands of the Transylvanian people be brought to the attention of the civilized World, as follows:
1. The recognition of the Hungarian language in Transylvania as the second official language.
2. The establishment of two or more Hungarian Autonomous Regions under strictly Hungarian administration. Cities and townships with a Hungarian majority must also have their own Hungarian administration' including the police force.
3. The re-establishment of all Hungarian educational institutions, including the Hungarian universities of Kolozsvar and Marosvasarhely.
4. The return of all confiscated archives, libraries and museums.
5. The re-establishment of Hungarian cultural organizations, literary societies, literary and professional publications, publishing houses.
6. The re-establishments of the freedom of the chutches and churchrelated organizations.
7. The return of old Hungarian cemeteries under the care and authority of the Hungarian churches and cultural organizations.
8. All signs and markers in Hungarian-populated cities, towns and villages must be bi-lingual.
9. Those Hungarians who were deported from their native environment or have moved from their homes under duress, sha1l be allowed to return home and be employed there. Rumanians, who were moved into Hungarian towns and villages with the purpose of diluting the Hungarian character of the area or filling the better paying jobs at the expense of the native Hungarian population must be returned into their own provinces.
10. Equal opportunity in every field of human existence, including the termination of job-discrmination.
11 . The termination of all harassments and intimidations in re1ation to nationality. This includes census, postal service, transportation and welfare, as well as the treatment of visitors from foreign countries, and the treatment of those persons who receive these visitors.
12. Aid or relief sent to individuals, churches or church-related organizations by individuals, churches or church-related organizations in foreign countries must be allowed to reach its destination, and serve the purpose it was donated for.
These demands represent nothing more than normal expectancies due a native population of a country, which, during the course of history, finds itself taken over by another nation, and plunged into the unfortunate status of a minority.
A quick glance at the documented history of Transylvania will suffice to draw the following conclusions:
1. During the five centuries of Rumanian (Vlach) presence within the framework of the Hungarian Kingdom, it was possib1e for an unorganized migrating herdspeople to turn into an established, settled, organized, economically secure and nationally conscious resident population, peacefully developing its culture, increasing in numbers without any restrictions, until locally, in some regions, it reached majority status. Thus, influenced by political powers from the outside, they were able to successfully turn against the host nation.
2. Since the opening of the secret files of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it must be c1ear to everyone that in 1919 Rumania occupied the Eastern part of Hungary under false pretenses. As a result of dishonest international manipulations and intriques, and with complete disregard of the "Wilsonian Doctrine" (people's right to selfdetermination in the spirit of which the re-organization of the Central and East-Central Europe was supposed to be carried out) Rumania took possessions of all the lands known today as Transylvania. Thus the Rumanian occupation of Transylvania must be regarded as morally and legally wrong, an international injustice of unprecedented proportions in the 20th century.
3.) During the fifty-six years of Rumanian rule in Transylania, the native Hungarian population suffered extremely cruel abuse and discrimination as an ethnic minority, became economically and culturally deprived, and is increasingly becoming a victim of a carefully planned cultural and biological genocide, carried out ruthlessly by the Rumanian government.
In view of the above, it seems obvious that there are only two possibilities to remedy this situation, which is tody the shame of the entire civilized world.
Solution No.l.: That the Government of the Socia1ist Repub1ic of Rumania recognize not only on paper but in deeds the national rights of the largest national minority in Europe, the 2.8 million Hungarians in Transylvania, and fulfills all its obligations toward this minority as outlined in the peace treaties and its own constitution by satisfying the demands listed in the previous chapter.
Solution No.2.: If the Socialist Republic of Rumania refuses to fulfil1 its obligations toward the 2.8 million Hungarian minority, as in the past, it will only furnish new proof of Rumanian incompetency and inability to rule with justice and fairness over a land with diverse population. Therefore it will be the responsibility of the civilized nations of this world to politically
re-structure the Carpathian Basin in such a manner that the geographica1, economical and cultural unity of this region be restored, and the co-existing ethnic groups may again have the chance to live and develop in peace.
The "HelsinkiAgreement" of 1975 contains the following provisions in clause VIl:
"The participating States on whose territory national minorities exist will respect the right of persons belonging to such minorities to equality before the law, will afford them the full opportunity for the actual enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and will, in this manner, protect their legitimate interests in this sphere."
"The participating States will respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion."
"They will promote and encourage the effective exercise of civil, political, economic, social, cultural and other rights and freedoms all of which derive from the inherent dignity of the human person and are essential for his free and full development."
In case of non-compliance with international laws and agreements the same document provides in Clause I, paragraph 2:
"They (the participating States( consider that their frontiers can be changed, in accordance with international law ..."
Clause V provides the means for such changes:
"For this purpose they will use such means as negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement or other peaceful means ..."
from the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Rumania
Art. 17. "The citizens of the Socialist Republic of Rumania, irrespective of their nationality, race, sex or religion shall have equal rights in all fields of economic, political, juridicial, social and cultural life.
The State shall guarantee the equal rights of the citizens. No restriction of these rights and no difference in their exercise on the grounds of nationality, race, sex or religion shall be permitted."
Art. 22. "ln the Socialist Republic of Rumania, the co-inhabiting nationalities shall be assured the free use of their mother tongue as well as books, newspapers, periodicals, theatres and education at all levels in their own languages.
In territorial-administrative units also inhabited by population of non-Rumanian nationality, all bodies and institutions shall use in speech and in writing the language of the nationality concerned and shall appoint officials from its ranks."
Copies from: "The Hungarian Nationality in Romania", distributed the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Rumania, Washington, D.C. 1976.
All testimonies listed on the following pages were given under oath, in front of proper authorities, and certified by these authorities as true and correct. The original documents are held in deposit by the Transylvanian World Federation, and can be examined there by authorized persons.
In some cases the names are omitted in this pub1ication in order to protect relatives still living in Rumania.
Testimony No. 1.
On March 19, 1975, Mr. Ferenc Balla gave the following testimony: "I was born and raised in the village of Feketelak, Transylvania, population about one thousand, of which three-fourth were Hungarians and one-fourth Rumanians. We had two schools in the village. One for the Rumanians, and one for us, Hungarians. From 1919 to 1944 our school was maintained by the Hungarian Reformed (Calvinist) Church, whi1e the Romanian school was maintained by the State.
Early on the morning of October 16, 1944, Rumanian so1diers surrounded our village. Those who tried to escape into the woods were shot. Then Rumanian soldiers went from house to house, led by the Rumanian civilians from our village. They entered on1y the houses of the Hungarians. First they beat up every male member of the family, from the age of ten to ninety. Then they raped a11 the women, from the age of ten to ninety. They herded all the men together, and kept on beating and torturing them until many of them died. They took the young girls with them. Some of these gir1s were never seen again.
I was fifteen, and they beat me, too, with gun-butts and leather whips. My father was killed, and so was my mother.They raped my two sisters and took them away. I was 1ocked, together with other boys and men into the church, while they feasted all night in the village. Next morning they drove us away, on foot. Some of the men were so badly beaten, that they were unable to walk. These were kicked to death or shot on the road side.
Near the town of Sarmas we joined a huge herd of men, driven together from all the nearby towns and villages. They were all Hungarians. There must have been thousands of us. Many barefoot. Then they drove us for
six weeks, across the mountains, into old-Rumania. It was getting very cold, and we were fed only once a day some soup and dry bread. Many died along the road.
Then the Russians came and looked us over. They took only the young and the healthy. They took me, too. They put us on a train, and took us into Russia, where we worked building roads and bridges. I don't know what happened to the others who were left behind in the hands of the Rumanians. I have never met any one of them again.
When the Russians let me go in 1951, I went home, to Feketelak. The Rumanians called it Lacu. I found only one of my sisters there. From the Hungarians who lived there before only about one-third was left. Many of them died in the labor camps, I was told, and many of them stayed in old-Rumania, mostly in Bucharest, for they did not dare to return home.
Rumanians were ru1ing the village. They were brought mostly from Besarabia, and put into the houses of the Hungarians. They gave me a job on the state farm, but we were not allowed to speak Hungarian on the job. There was no more Hungarian school. I had an uncle who stayed in Bucharest as a carpenter, and I went to see him. Life was much better there for Hungarians, and so I decided to stay with him.
In October 1956 we heard the news of the uprising in Hungary. Rumors were circulating that something may happen soon in Transylvania, too. I wanted to be there, so I went back to Feketelak, on the bus. The very day I arrived to my sister's house, I was arrested, together with more than a dozen of other Hungarians. We were interrogated all night at the police station. They wanted us to confess that we were paid by the Americans to start a revolution against the Rumanian people. When they started working on our fingernails, we all confessed, and signed anything they wanted us to sign. We were taken to Kolozsvar, which is called Cluj by the Rumanians, and put into prison. In February we were sentenced by a court. I got fifteen years of hard labor, and was taken with many other Hungarians to the swamps of the Danube delta. We worked there like animals, waste-deep in the mud, digging canals. Many got sick and died.
In 1971 they let me go. They even gave me a job in Bucharest, collecting garbage. I was told that I could work there in peace as long as I lived, but if I dare to go back home they will put me in jail again, for they don't like Hungarians, they told me, who insist on staying in Transylvania.
In 1973 I was able to escape into Yugoslavia, and from there to Italy."
Testimony No. 2.
The following testimony was given by Mr. Peter Puskas, on Dec. 12, 1976:
"I was born in Marosvasarhely (Tirgu Mures) in 1940. My father was a locksmith, and member of the Communist Party. When in 1946 they sent me first to school, I was beaten by the teacher, named Onosifanu, for talking Hungarian with other children. There were hardly any Rumanian children in the school. The population of our city was more than 90% Hungarian. But the teacher, who was brought over from old-Rumania, did not speak our language, and we were beaten every time one of us spoke Hungarian, even during recess, on the playground. The teacher also changed my name from Puskas to Puscas, because, as he said, we were in Rumania, and that was the Rumanian way to spell my name. My father protested, and almost lost his job because of the protest. If he hadn't been in the Party, he told us at home, they would have deported him for protesting.
In 1955 I became the junior swimming champion of our district, and later that year I was selected member of the Rumanian Junior Swim Team. Without asking me or my parents, they changed my name on the rolls from Puscas to Puscasiu, because they did not want a Hungarian sounding name on the team. In 1957 our team took part in an interanational tournament in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, where I defected. Hiding on an Italian freighter I was able to reach Italy, and two years later Canada.
As soon as I was able to earn good wages I began to send home packages to my widowed mother. Sometimes CARE packages, sometimes IKA packages, and sometimes just used winter clothing and such. But each time a package arrived, my mother was summoned to the custom's office, and ordered to pay large sums of money which she did not have. Not being able to pay, the packages were confiscated. When CARE or IKA packages arrived, she was taken to the police station, and kept there sometimes an entire day for "questioning" concerning her connections with Capitalist and Imperialist Countries. I quit sending packages for a while. Then in 1974 I heard that packages were going through, and I started sending again. But most of those packages were confiscated, too. "
Testimony No. 3.
On March 22, 1975, Miss Sarolta ... gave the following testimony:
"I resided in Nagyvarad (Oradea) until 1974. I was sent by my parents into Rumanian grade school, because otherwise I would not have been able to learn any trade or enter highschool, since no entrance examinations can be taken anywhere in the Hungarian language.
In the Rumanian language school where I was sent we were 28 in my
class. Twenty-five of us were Hungarians. It was forbidden to talk in Hungarian, even among ourselvess on the school grounds. As a first grader twice I forgot the rule and spoke in Hungarian to my cousin while playing outside during recess, and both times I was severely beaten.
After eight years of schooling I entered tradeschool, where again the compulsory language was Rumanian, though more than 70% of the students were Hungarians.
After finishing tradeschool, I was hired as a common laborer into a tactory where 85% of the laborers were Hungarians. Our wages were lower than those of the Rumanian laborers. In the offices of our factory 90% of the personnel was Rumanian, while higher positions in the management were filled exclusively with Rumanians.
The use of the Hungarian language was strictly forbidden in the offices.
I became a member of the UTC (Communist Youth Organization). The leadership of this organization was also completely in the hands of Rumanians, and again the use of the Hungarian language was forbidden.
Those Rumanian workers who achieved good production-records were rewarded by the Party, but us Hungarians, no matter how hard we worked, we never received an award.
Any Hungarian who dared to utter a word of protest, either concerning the discrimination or the use of our language, was ordered to report at the police station, and was severely reprimanded, sometimes even beaten.
Rumanians could move from one factory to another if they so desired, but we Hungarians were not allowed to change place of employment."
Testimony No. 4.
Given on March 7, 1975, by Mr. Mihaly ... who lived until 1974 in the city of Kolozsvar (Cluj-Napoca):
"ln Transylvania Hungarians have no possibilities to better paid jobs. Hungarians are excluded from government jobs, public offices or any employment with military or the police force. In order to apply for any such positions one has to produce documented proof of his ethnic origin. Those who have just one Hungarian grand-parent are not even allowed to take the qualifying examinations.
In the factories the common laborers are 90% Hungarians, but in spite of this the use of the Hungarian language is forbidden.
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