Letter from the World Federation of Free Hungarian
The Honorable Frank
United States Senator
Chairman of the
Committee of the Foreign Relations
4229 Dirksen Senate Office Building
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20510
May 14, 1980
Dear Senator Church:
In accordance with Sections 116/d
and 502H/b of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 as Amended, the
Department of State submitted to your Committee a Report on Human
Rights practices in Romania for 1979.
The report, generally, is rather
an acquittal of the government of Romania than an indictment,
which is what it should be.
The biased attitude of the Department
of State especially is clear when it deals with
the treatment of the Romanian Government towards the Hungarian
minority, which partly is far from the truth, misleading, even
a coverup, since it conceals the brutal violation of the
Human Rights by the government of Romania.
The first surprising factor is
that the said Report does not mention the number of Hungarians
who live in Romania, to wit: 2.5 million. The Report mentions
only a "group" or "large numbers," which cannot
be incidental since the Report emphasizes that it was done with
"great care." 2.5 million Hungarians is not a "group,"
not even "large numbers," but a significant part of
the population of Romania, who are living there for more than
a thousand years.
Fortysix country members
of the United Nations do not have a 2.5 million population.
The said Report quotes from the
Constitution of the government of Romania, which "forbids
any discrimination," as a serious statement. Anybody who
deals with the dictatorship of the communist government of Romania
knows that the Constitution is nothing else but an emptypaper,
because the citizens of Romania cannot exercise the rights that
the Constitution supposedly guarantees. The value of the Constitution
is not the text but the rights of the citizens to go to Court
when the government violates their guaranteed rights. I do not
know any case in Romania when the citizens dare request legal
help from the Court to exercise their rights. The Constitution
of the government of Romania is nothing else but an effective
propaganda means to mislead the West. As we can see, not without
The said Report also says that
the minorities problems are discussed by the Department of State
"as a part of its human rights dialogue with the government
This dialogue, in my opinion,
is necessary, but to know the truth is not enough. It is imperative
to listen to the other side and after all the facts are examined,
It would be naive from a prosecutor
to base his indictment solely on the statement of the defendant,
which would lead to the acquittal.
This is the case in the said Report
of the Department of State, which accordingly accepted
the statement of the interested party, the government of Romania
because it says:
"Amnesty International and
the International Human Rights Law Group believe that the Romanian
Government discriminates actively against minorities in Romania,
particularly the Hungarian minority. The Department has not conclusive
evidence of such policy."
It is a surprising summary, partly
because it doesn't concentrate in the year 1979 that the report
seemingly covers, but defends generally
the minorities "policy" of the government of Romania,
and mainly because the truth is just the opposite to what the
It is difficult, if not impossible,
to understand the concept of the Department of State, when without
presenting any evidence, seemingly accepts the argument of the
government of Romania, the interested party, and rejects the facts,
presented by two disinterested wellknown and
world reputed international organizations.
Besides that, the said Report
does not mention that the brutal minority policy of the government
of Romania, especially against the Hungarians, was evidenced by
wellknown persons who still live behind the Iron Curtain
and sacrifice their freedom, life and career for the truth.
Mr. Karoly Kiraly, a former highranking
official, of Hungarian origin, in the Romanian Communist Party,
sent in 1977 letters to two Politburo members complaining strongly
of Romanian's oppressive minorities policy. One of these letters
was published by the New York Times.
Mr. Kiraly, of course, was ousted
from the communist party, lost his job and lives now
in fear. The "guaranteed right" of the Constitution
did not work.
Lajos Takacs is a professor of
International law in Kolozsvar (Cluj) in Romania, documented in
his famous memorandum the methods of the Romanian Government to
destroy the cultural life of the 2.5 million Hungarians in Romania.
This memorandum was published in April 1978 in London in THE TIMES,
THE GUARDIAN and in the FINANCIAL TIMES.
Zoltan Zsuffa is a High School
teacher in Kovaszna, Romania, a Hungarian, who in July 1977 submitted
his brave memorandum to the Communist Party Secretary of Sepsiszentgyorgy,
in which he described his suffering and tortures by the members
of the State Internal Security Office, without any formal charge.
The real cause of this torturing and suffering was that he is
a Hungarian intellectual who wants to keep his nationality.
In May 1978, 62 Hungarian Intellectuals
in Romania appealed to the Romanian intellectuals requesting understanding
and asking help against the cultural genocide practiced by the
government against the Hungarians.
Mr. Ferenc Kunszabo, a Hungarian
writer, member of the Communist Party, who lives in Hungary, wrote
a study about the cultural life of the Hungarians in Romania.
Since he was unable to publish it in Hungary, he courageously
sent it out of Hungary and it was published in West Germany, in
various parts of the United States, in Hungarian language. This
article is based on the writer's experience in Transylvania and
in this long essay he describes the suicide of a Hungarian professor
in Romania, Jeno Szikszay. who was tortured by the Romanian Secret
Police because of his "ultra Hungarian nationalism,"
and, of course, he was accused of being against the socialist
system. He refused to sign the minutes and he unfortunately
did not see any other solution but take his own life.
Ferenc Kunszabo dramatically described
the fact: the government of Romania systematically tries to destroy
the cultural life of the Hungarians in Romania.
I think it is a generally accepted
fact that Behind the Iron Curtain or in the USSR anybody who speaks
for the Human Rights, tells not only the truth but courageously
risks his own life. This was the case with Solzhenitsyn or presently
with Sakharov and with many other brave apostles of the Human
Rights as with the signatories of the "Charter 77" in
If the above statement is true,
the question is: why the Department of State does not apply this
rule to the statements of Mr. Kiraly, Mr. Takacs, Mr. Zsuffa,
I am inclined to think that the
Department of State in the said report knowingly omitted the truth
in favor of the Ceausescu Government in the hope that the leader
of the government of Romania will play some independent role behind
the Iron Curtain which could be favorable to Washington and would
irritate the Kremlin.
I don't deny that Mr. Ceausescu
skillfully plays between Washington and the Kremlin, but I don't
think this playing gives Washington a significant advantage nor
changes the Kremlin action either.
Mr. Chairman, one of the purposes
of the report should be: to warn the government of Romania to
follow the provisions of the human Rights and its own Constitution,
in short: to discourage the government of Rumania to continue
its oppressing minority policy.
Unfortunately the said part of
the Report is just the opposite: it encourages the government
of Romania to continue its oppressing policy. This damages not
only the 2.5 million Hungarians in Romania but the foreign policy
of the United States as well.
I respectfully request, Mr. Chairman,
to arrange a correction be made of the quoted part of the Report
and to investigate the reason why the Department of State misled
your Committee and omitted the reality from the Report.
OF FREE HUNGARIAN
Attorney at Law
The Plea of the American Hungarian Federation to the
Government United States of America
DEEPLY MOVED BY THE PLIGHT OF
THE OPPRESSED EAST EUROPEAN NATIONAL MINORITIES, AND IN POSSESSION
OF OVERWHELMING DOCUMENTATION TO PLEAD THEIR CASE, THE
AMERICAN HUNGARIAN FEDERATION
CALLS ON THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES TO DO
ALL THAT IS POSSIBLE FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE
RIGHTS OF NATIONAL OR ETHNIC MINORITIES
RUMANIA, YUGOSLAVIA, AS WELL AS
IN THE SOVIET UNION. LET THE UNITED STATES CONTINUE TO BE THE
CHAMPION OF FREEDOM AND HUMAN DIGNITY IN THE WORLD, SO AS TO MAINTAIN
THE HIGH ESTEEM THE COUNTRY AND THE IDEALS ADMIRED BY THE OPPRESSED
ADOPTED BY THE MEETING OF DIRECTORS
AND DELEGATES OF THE POLISHHUNGARIAN WORLD FEDERATION AND
AFFILIATES HELD IN CHICAGO ON MAY 24, 1980, CONCERNING THE PLIGHT
OF THE HUNGARIAN MINORITY IN RUMANIA.
The discrimination against the
Hungarian and other minorities in Transylvania is continumg and
The Rumanian Government is waging
a carefully planned war against the Hungarians, by suppressing
their language, churches, breaking up the national entities, falsifying
the historical and statistical datas, confiscating cultural archives
and making it more and more difficult for them to have satisfactory
If the tide of Rumanian chauvinism
is not turned soon by the intervention of the United States,
based on its HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY, this tide will develop into
complete CULTURAL GENOCIDE.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:
That the PolishHungarian
Federation, as our contribution to the cause of human freedom
and dignity, is strongly protesting on behalf of the suppressed
Hungarians in Transylvania.
BE IT RESOLVED:
That proper action be undertaken
in defense of the Hungarians in Transylvania for the purpose of
reinstating their legal status, concerning the use of the national
language and cultur~1 and civil rights.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:
That we appeal to the American
Administration and Congress to take the necessary steps even
rescinding the Most Favored Status of Rumania to effect
fundamental changes of Rumanian policies toward the Hungarians
to eradicate discrimination and create an acceptable legal and
constitutional status in Transylvania, whereby all the people
there can work out their destinies without the cultural annihilation
of the Hungarian minorities.
TO THE SIGNATORY STATES
OF THE EUROPEAN SECURITY ACCORDS AND TO ALL THE MEMBERSTATES
OF THE UNITED NATIONS!
On behalf of all Hungarians who
are living today as a national minority in Rumania we hereby
to all nations and their governments,
but first of all to all the peoples of the socialist countries
and their governments, that we have formed and established an
organization for all Hungarians living within the borders of the
Socialist Republic of Rumania called:
FEDERATION OF HUNGARIANS
This step was necessary because:
1 The Rumanian government and
the National Councils directed by it do not represent the interest
of the Hungarian workers, and serve only the antisocialist
purposes of forced Rumanization.
2 The Socialist Republic of
Rumania excludes all nationality groups, among them three million
Hungarians from all rights of equality set forth in the Rumanian
Constitution as well as in the constitutions of all socialist
3. Rumanian State authorities
increasingly discriminate against the nonRumanian nationalities,
depriving them of their leaders and their socialistminded
intellectuals, and terrorizing them on every field of their existence.
4. Making use of the discontent
caused by oppression, the Rumanian state infiltrates the ranks
of the minorities with police agents who are inciting minority
workers against the Soviet Union and socialist statehood in order
to make the same minority groups responsible for all the Rumanian
nationalistic movements and for all the disturbances caused by
labor dispute. Those who speak up for the rights of minority workers
are punished as counterrevolutionaries.
5. Under the pretext of industrialization
the Government settles Rumanians midst the solidly Hungarian or
German territories. According to demographic data more than one
and a half million Rumanians were settled this way since 1945
into towns and villages inhabited for centuries by Hungarians
or Germans only.
6. Hungarians living in those
areas are forcibly removed into districts with Rumanian majority.
7. Thus the Rumanian government
uses force to Rumanize the ethnic composition of cities and administrative
districts with a strong Hungarian or German majority.
Based on the above facts we conclude
8. Though the Socialist Republic
of Rumania is a multinational state it refuses to grant
equality to the Hungarian, German, Jewish, Bulgarian, Russian,
Turk, Serbian and Tartar nationalities living within its borders.
Though socialist in name, the government of the Rumanian Republic
follows the same practices in dealing with minorities as the preWorld
War II fascist governments did.
9. The experiences of six decades
convinced the coexisting nationalities that their national existence
and human rights are neither protected nor ensured within the
framework of the Rumanian State. In order that the nationalities
existing today inRumania may safegard their ethnic heritage
and be enabled to live peacefully side by side, we hereby implore
the member states of the United Nations, the signatory states
of the European Security Accords and most of all the countries
of the Socialist Camp:
TO ESTABLISH THE INDEPENDENT SOCIALIST
REPUBLIC OF TRANSYLVANIA under the protective mandate of the
United Nations, including the Banat, Marmaros, and Transylvania
proper, within the framework of the Socialist Block.
Divide up the above mentioned
territories between the Hungarian People's Republic and the Socialist
Republic of Rumania with a carefully planned and properly implemented
10. Rumanians settled on the above
territories since 1945 be returned into their native land.
11. Within the Socialist Republic
of Transylvania the Rumanian, Hungarian and German languges shall
be compulsory in schools as well as in public offices.
12. In the interest of safeguarding
the survival of the Socialist Republic of Transylvania the establishment
of a "customs union" seems necessary between the Socialist
Republic of Rumania, the German Democratic Republic, the Federal
Republic of Germany and the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics.
13. The SIGNATORY STATES of the
EUROPEAN SECURITY ACCORDS shall guarantee the frontiers of the
Socialist Republic of Transylvania.
14. We do believe that the above
proposals will remedy the grievances of all the minority groups
living under grave oppression in the Socialist Republic of Rumania,
and will promote a peaceful coexistence between Western capitalist
democracies and the Socialist Nations without endangering the
rightful interests of the Rumanian and the Hungarian people.
THE SOCIALIST FEDERATION
HUNGARIANS IN RUMANIA
We Appeal to
our New Government
In October 1976, then Presidentelect
Carter vowed uncompromising support of Human Rights. Previously,
before elections, in a telegram sent to all Hungarian organizations
in the United States, he stated: "When elected President
I plan to make it understood that we want to see basic human rights
respected, and this includes the rights of Hungarians wherever
they may be... If any nation, whatever its political system, deprives
its people of human rights, that fact will shape our attitude
toward that nation's government. A few months later President
Carter embraced in front of the White House the most cruel and
determined offender of these very rights: dictator Ceausescu of
During the four years of the Carter
administration Rumania's regime, the most barbaric dictatorship
today on the face of the earth, enjoyed "preferred nation"
status, which meant financial aid at the expense of the American
taxpayers. In spite of the constant protest of onehundred
twentysix congressmen, a number of senators and several
American organizations, our government insisted that "aiding
Rumania was in the interest of the United States" and that
"the government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania will
take into consideration the problems of the minorities."
Let us examine what the Rumanian
government did during these four years in order to deserve the
special reward granted to them year after year by our government.
1. As a "friend," the
Rumanian government aided Iran against the United States by importing
oil through the Soviet Union, and used its Washington embassy
to promote Soviet espionage.
2. On the field of human rights
the Rumanian government waged an increasingly brutal war against
the very existence of the native Hungarian population of Transylvania
and Moldavia by closing down schools, confiscating churches, libraries,
archives, museums, persecuting clergymen, educators, workers,
torturing and even murdering innocent people because of their
nationality and religious beliefs. Punishing the use of the Hungarian
language, forcibly removing Hungarians from their native towns
and villages and replacing them with Rumanian settlers from across
the mountains while the Hungarians are deported into distant swamplands.
Horrified by this unprecedented
genocide, more than one million American citizens of Hungarian
descent are looking toward Washington these days with the hope
that our new government will not be calloused to the plight of
three million Hungarians under Rumanian oppression, but will make
Ceausescu understand that no American dollars can sustain them
until they learn to respect the rights of the minorities. These
rights are clearly outlined in the peace treaties, the Charter
of the United Nations, the Helsinki Act, as well as in the very
constitution of the Socialist Republic of Rumania. A constitution
never yet implemented, but used only to deceive gullible Western
diplomats sitting in their plush embassies in Bucharest under
the impression that due to an "enlighted" constitution
everything must be well.
It is indeed far from being "well".
And as long as people are persecuted, killed, tortured, deprived
and imprisoned due to their nationality, religion or ethnic background:
no free nation true to the principles of freedom can have any
friendly dealings with the perpetrators of such crimes against
Letter to the
To the Honorable RONALD REAGAN,
President of the United States
We, American citizens of Hungarian
descent, are deeply concerned over your recommendation to renew
Favored Nation Status to the government of the Socialist Republic
It is our conviction that you
are a man of integrity, courage and compassion. Therefore, it
is impossible for us to comprehend your position in this regard.
Hungarians in the United States supported you both financially
and at the ballot box, and worked diligently for your election.
It is impossible to believe that
you are aware of the horrible atrocities perpetrated by the Ceausescu
regime on the native Hungarian population of Transylvania. We
urge you to investigate the situation carefully and consider the
effects of your decision.
We are enclosing with this letter
documented material concerning the situation. Since April 1983,
the date of our last quarterly report, the conditions in Transylvania
have grown even worse. On April 29, 1983, the newspaper KURIER
in Vienna, Austria reported that Rumanian government agencies
had placed posters and placards in railroad stations and bus terminals
as well as inside buses and railroad cars urging "Rumanian
patriots" to "exterminate the Hungarians anywhere they
can be found."
On May 10, 1983, Dictator Ceausescu
declared in his speech, heard by millions of people: "Contrary
to the principles of Marxist socialism, the glorious achievements
of our Rumanian socialism are solely for the benefit of our own
Rumanian brothers and sisters, and in no way can benefit those
foreigners who lurk in the dark corners of our beloved country!
Tell them, wherever you happen to encounter one of those Hungarian
dogs, that they have no place under the Rumanian sky! They can
be nothing more in our land but slaves! Unless they change their
names and prove themselves good Rumanians, not even their children's
children will ever be more in this land of ours than lowly beasts
of burden, carrying rocks for our pyramids of the glorious Rumanian
The next issue of the Transylvanian
Quarterly will publish a long list of those Hungarians who were
beaten to death or tortured and imprisoned by the Rumanian SECURITATE
for expressing their opinions or just for talking in Hungarian
on the streets of a Hungarian town during these last three months.
Mr. President, we sincerely hope
that in view of these facts you will reconsider your recommendation
to Congress and make the renewal of the Favored Nation Status
to the Rumanian government dependent upon the conditions suggested
in our statements and memorandums. According to the last figures
published by the Census Bureau, there are 1,556,092 American citizens
of Hungarian descent, and they are all deeply interested in the
fate of our brethren in Transylvania.
Albert Wass de Czege
President of the U.S.
Branches of the Transylvanian World Federation and
Charter Member of the Republican Presidentail Task Force, Member
of the U.S. Congressional Advisory Board and the Republican National
The Transylvanian Demands
Since October 1979, when the first
issue of this quarterly was released to tell the world of the
plight of the native Hungarian population of Transylvania living
today under Rumanian communist dictatorship, we have published
several memorandums addressed to the Congress of the United States
as well as to the United Nations by different groups of American
citizens appalled by the series of inhuman acts of terror perpetrated
by the ultranationalistic government of the Socialist Republic
of Rumania against the Hungarian population. These American organizations
seeking to remedy the intolerable situation in Transylvania and
find a just and workable solution to the problem were: The American
Hungarian Federation, The Transylvanian World Federation, The
PolishHungarian World Federation, Hungarian Americans in
Defense of Human Rights, Federated Societies of Danube Swabians
in the United States, and World Federation of Hungarian Jurists.
Besides these American organizations we have published memorandums
by the Socialist Federation of Hungarians in Rumania, the Minority
Rights Groups of London, and Amnesty International.
Though the demands listed in these
different memorandums varied in some details, they were identical
in regard to the important aspects of human existence. Here we
shall point out and underline those demands on which all interested
organizations seem to agree, therefore we can take these as the
UNIFORM CONSENT of all the organizations, representing a wide
scale of the American voters, nationwide.
All the organizations raising
their voices in protest against the treatment of the Hungarian
population of Transylvania by the Rumanian government agree that
THE PREFERRED NATION STATUS PREVIOUSLY GRANTED TO THE SOCIALIST
REPUBLIC OF RUMANIA MUST NOT BE RENEWED UNTIL AND UNLESS:
1 The Hungarian language is recognized
in Transylvania as the second official language.
2. The Autonomous Hungarian Province
is reestablished under Hungarian administration, including
3. Centuries old Hungarian educational
institutions, including the Hungarian Universities of Kolozsvar
and Marosvasarhely are reestablished.
4. Confiscated Hungarian libraries,
museums, archives, churches and cemeteries are returned under
the care and authority of the Hungarian churches and the reestablished
cultural and scientific organizations.
5. Hungarians, who were deported
from their native towns and villages or moved under duress, must
be allowed to return home and be employed there. Rumanians, who
were settled into Hungarian towns and villages from distant parts
of the country with the purpose of diluting the Hungarian character
of the area, Rumanize the schools and filling better paying jobs
at the expense of the native Hungarian population, must be returned
into their own provinces.
6. Job discrimination must be
7. All harassments and intimidations
must be terminated in relation to nationality and religion. This
must include 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.
8. Proof must be furnished that
all these demands are satisfied by allowing a mixed committee,
with at least three of the major Hungarian American organizations
represented in it, to move freely in Transylvania in order to
examine the situation thoroughly
The minority rights and liberties
represented by these demands are already included and guaranteed
by the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Rumania, but
never applied or implicated.
THEREFORE: in case Rumania should
refuse to comply with these legitimate demands, no aid of any
kind should be granted to that government at the expense of the
FURTHERMORE, the government of
the United States, through our representative to the United Nations,
should demand a revision of the 1946 peace treaty with Rumania
on the basis of noncompliance with the stipulations concerning
the treatment of the minorities.
THE RIGHT TO SELFDETERMINATION
SHOULD BE GRANTED