Rights Group Introduces
the United Nations
The Minority Rights Group with
headquarters in London, England, introduced a resolution to the
United Nations on behalf of ethnic and national minorities. The
stand of the Minority Rights Group on this subject is in complete
accord with the aims and principles of the Transylvanian World
Since we do not have the space
to reprint the entire resolution, prepared by Dr. Felix Ermacora
with contributions by Professors Francis, Simma, Utz, Veiter,
Kloss and Mrs. Mary Wuschek, we are printing excerpts of this
remarkable draft, which one day, we feel sure, will serve as a
guideline to an internationally supported worldwide action on
behalf of oppressed ethnic and national minorities.
APPENDIX C. Draft International
Convention on the Protection of National or Ethnic Groups of Minorities.
The States Parties to the present
Convention, realizing that the General Assembly of the United
Nations in its Resolution 17 C III. has declared itself not to
be indifferent to the fate of Minorities
Regarding Art. 27 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which provides for the
protection of certain characteristics of persons belonging to
ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities.
...have decided to adopt a system
of measures aiming at the protection of national or ethnic groups
of minorities...for the benefit of internal and international
peace and security in conformity with the principles of the UN
Agree upon the following provisions
which constitute elements of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms:
Section 1: General Principles.
Art. 1. Every national or ethnic
group or minority, has on an international as well as national
level, the inalienable right to be recognized as a national, ethnic
and cultural entity and must be granted the right to be recognized
as such in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention.
Art. 2: National or ethnic groups
or minorities having the character of entities possess the inalienable
right to their own ethnic and cultural identity and to selfdetermination
within the framework of the present Convention.
Art. 3: Every member of a national
or ethnic group or minority has the right to use his own language
or dialect in private, in all social, economic and similar relations,
and in public, notwithstanding the legal position of his
group or minority.
Art. 4: National or ethnic groups
or minorities are free to pursue their economic, social and cultural
development and may not be discriminated against for reasons connected
either directly or indirectly with these activities.
Art. 5: National and ethnic groups
and minorities have a right to a legal and social environment
favorable to their legitimate aspirations.
Art. 6: THE PHYSICAL CHARACTER
AS WELL AS THE DEMOGRAPHIC COMPOSITION OF A TERRITORY IN WHICH
NATIONAL OR ETHNIC GROUPS OR MINORITIES ARE LIVING MUST NOT BE
CHANGED WITHOUT LEGITIMATE CAUSE
AND THE CONSENT OF THOSE CONCERNED.
Art. 7: THE STATE MUST NOT UNDERTAKE,
SUPPORT OR FAVOR A POLICY OF ARTIFICIAL OR ENFORCED ASSIMILATION
Art. 8: Genocide against national
or ethnic groups or minorities is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY
Art. 9: Massexpulsions of
members of national or ethnic groups or minorities have to be
considered as GENOCIDE. Involuntary transfers of members of national
or ethnic groups or minorities within or outside the borders of
a State...are not permitted for any reason whatsoever,...
Art. 13, para. 1: The protection
of a national or ethnic minority or group may be organized on
a national or international level or on both levels. The kind,
range and scope of the protection depends on the freely expressed
will of the members of the minority group, on its demographic
distribution as well as on international obligations of the given
Para. 2: The main kinds of protection
on a national level are the following:
a) the right to self<1etermination
as expressed in the UN Declaration of Principles of International
Law on Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance
with the Charter of the UN
(GA Res. 2625 XXV),
b) cultural autonomy,
c) linguistic autonomy,
d) participation in legislative,
administrative, and/or judicial processes and decisions,
e) distribution of public funds
for the promotion of the economic, cultural, and social development
of the minority or group,...
f ) the right to economic, social,
and cultural development based on the guarantees laid down in
the UN Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights...
Section IV: Other Forms of
Art. 17: Every national or ethnic
minority or group has the right to preserve its own cultural identity,
whatever its manifestation (archives, museums, libraries, monuments,
theatres, orchestras, cultural institutions of any other kind,
etc.) may be, and to administer them independently. Every
minority or group has the right to establish its own information
and Press service...
Art. 19: Cultural autonomy consists
further in an educational system providing instruction on all
educational levels in the language of the group... Diplomas and
certificates issued by the educational institutions of the group
shall have public recognition. The provisions of the UNESCO Convention
against Discrimination in Education of 1960 shall be applied respectively.
Art. 20: Linguistic autonomy consists
in facilitating the use of the mother tongue before administrative
and judicial authorities. If more than a certain percentage of
the inhabitants of a judicial or administrative district (the
percentage to be fixed by agreement between the competent State
authorities and the representatives of the relevant minority)
belong to one or more national or ethnic minority or group, their
languages have to be recognized as official languages. Districts
may not be delimited in a way as to prevent the realization of
on Behalf of
the Oppressed Hungarians
97th CONGRESS, 2nd Session,
H Res. 397
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 16, 1982
The Honorable Congressman GUS
YARTON of Pennsylvania submitted the following resolution, which
was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Concerning observance by the
Government of Rumania of the human rights of the Hungarians in
Transyluania, especially the right of selfdetermination.
WHEREAS the Government of Rumania
has entered into treaties and accords, including the 1947 Paris
Treaty of Peace, the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, the International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights, and the 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security
and Cooperation in Europe, which guarantee the human rights of
its citizens without any discrimination as to religion and national
WHEREAS the Constitution of the
Socialist Republic of Rumania also ensures farreaching rights
to the "coinhabiting nationalities" in Rumania;
which has two million five hundred
thousand Hungarians and which constituted part of Hungary for
a millennium, was originally ceded to Rumania by the 1920 Trianon
WHEREAS the fate of the Hungarians
in Transylvania has been systematic denationalization under the
various Rumanian governments, whether Royalist, Fascist, or Communist;
WHEREAS the Government of the
Socialist Republic of Rumania and its regional and local authorities
pursue a policy of denationalization toward the Hungarians and
people of other nationalities in Transylvania by measures approximating
1st: the destruction of Hungarian
language schools and the Hungarian Bolyai University still
in existence in 1958 and the replacement of these schools
by a steadily declining number of Hungarian sections in Rumanian
schools; 2nd: the destruction of the documents of the Hungarian
past of Transylvania; and 3rd: the conscious dispersion of the
Hungarian intelligentsia into Rumanian areas and the settlement
of a large number of Rumanian colonists into the Hungarian areas
WHEREAS the Socialist Republic
of Rumania actively interferes with the internal affairs of all
its religious communities, severely limiting or banning all their
social and teaching activities and discriminates against their
members in employment, education, and promotion, particularly
with regard to the members of the Catholic and Protestant Churches
which are composed of Hungarians and Germans, and
WHEREAS the two million five hundred
thousand Hungarians in Transylvania are entitled to selfdetermination,
a right protected under the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference
on Security and Cooperation in Europe: now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the House of Representatives
1. deplores the activities of
the Government of the Socialist Republic ofRumania denying the
rights of the Hungarians and people of other nationalities in
2. requests the President and
the Secretary of State to discuss the issues of human rights of
the Hungarians in Transylvania,, INCLUDING THE RIGHT OF NATIONAL
SELFDETERMINATION, with the Government of the Socialist
Republic ofRumania and with other appropriate governments.
Legal Protection of Minorities
"In those states in which
ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging
to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community
with other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture,
to profess and practice their own religion, and to use their own
(Covenant of Civil and Political
Rights, Art. 27, adapted by the U.N. General Assembly, Dec. 16,
"The States Parties to this
Convention agree that , . , C. It is essential to recognize the
right of members of national minorities to carry on their own
educational activities, including the maintenace of schools and,
depending on the educational policy of each State, the use or
the teaching of their own language."
(Art. 5, part 1, Unesco Convention
Against Discrimination in Education, Dec.14, 1960.)
Thank You Mister
The Transylvanian Quarterly
For refusing to grant another
65 Million Dollar "LOAN" to Rumania's Dictator Ceausescu!
ANY AID to the Rumanian Government
today, no matter in what form, would only sustain and uphold the
most ruthless National Socialist (Nazi) regime over the peoples
of a multinational country, prolonging the sufferings of
millions of deprived and downtrodden human beings.
The very fact that Rumania, the
richest country in natural resources and fertile lands in Europe,
cannot feed its own people today, but amassed a debt of 11 billion
dollars to the U.S.A. on which no interest has been paid for two
years, clearly proves that the government of that country is embarked
on a course of wanton exploitation and ideological warfare against
its own people. and instead of representing the workers it is
forcing them into shackles, thereby hindering the productivity
of the country it is supposed to lead.
No aid of any kind given to Rumania
today could help the plight of the people. It would only prolong
the suffering by perpetuating the rule of the CEAUSESCU DYNASTY.
Seventeen years ago members of
the United States Congress spoke against the evil which raised
its Hydra heads within the new borders of an overinflated
Rumanian socialist state ready to devour all its citizens who
spoke another tongue and were of nonRumanian ancestry.
On June 1, 1965 (see Congressional
Record House) Congressman DERWINSKI spoke up in behalf of
the Hungarians in Transylvania:
"Mr. Speaker, I am pleased
to join my colleagues in commemorating the 408th anniversary of
the first religious tolerance act in Transylvania. It was the
first legislation in Europe of its kind and formed a vanguard
of such legislation in Europe, which, however, was implemented
in most countries only after long and bloody religious wars.
"By pioneering in this important
field of human rights of freedom of conscience and free choice
of religion, the peoples of Transylvania proved their political
maturity, ethical judgment, and political devotion to the cause
of individual freedoms as early as 1557.
"It is ironic, that the peoples
of Transylvania who produced an early example of religious and
political toleration now find their rights denied by the Communist
regime of Rumania. These freedomloving peoples are deprived
of their religious freedom.
"Remembering the rich cultural
contribution of the Transylvanian Hungarians and Germans and their
devotion to individual and religious freedom afready at a very
early date today, I conclude with the ardent hope that some day
in the not too distant future these peoples may regain their political
and religious freedom."
On June 10, 1965 Congressman PHILBIN
spoke up on the same subject:
"Mr. Speaker, on March24
and 25 nine of my colleagues, led by my distinguished friends,
Congressmen Michael Feighan and Seymour Halpern, introduced resolutions
calling for the condemnation by this House of the discriminatory
practices of the Rumanian Government against its Hungarian minority
in Transylvania... I must say that this Nation cannot move too
speedily or too vigorously to repudiate and act to check the outrages
and abuses against the basic rights, freedoms, and privileges
of an ancient and honored people like the Transylvanians.
"I am dismayed to think that
this great Nation of ours, by silently acquiescing throughout
the years to the many instances of persecution like those to which
Transylvanians today are being subjected. by inertia and inaction
is appearing to condone and tolerate the perpetration of these
unspeakable outrages that shock the conscience of just men the
world over and cry to heaven itself for redemption.
"For our own sake, as well
as for the sake of these oppressed gallant peoples, in the name
of our own heritage, yes in the name of the living God who binds
us together in human brotherhood, let us move to come to
the defense, the relief, and the liberation of those worthy human
beings, whose only offense is that they worship God and love freedom
so much that they are willing to suffer, sacrifice, and die for
Seventeen years later: on March
16, 1982, Congressman GUS YARTON of Pennsylvania summed up the
Transylvanian situation in the House of Representatives:
"Today I am introducing a
resolution requesting the President and the Secretary of State
to discuss the issues of the human and national selfdetermination
rights of the Hungarians in Transylvania with the Government of
the Socialist Republic of Rumania and with other appropriate governments.
"The resolution has a long
and eventful background in the House. As early as March 1965 nine
members introduced a similar bill and dozens of speeches were
held on the floor between 19658 and 197582 on this
issue. In 1966,52 Members wrote then Secretary of State Dean Rusk
outlining the human rights grievances of the Hungarians in Rumania,
and in March 1976, 68 of my colleagues, including myself wrote
to the then President Ford asking for American diplomatic intervention
in favor of the persecuted Hungarian minority.
"Among outside organizations,
the American Hungarian Federation bore the burden of the fight.
Between 1965 and 1973 it presented countless wellbalanced
and documented memorandums on specific cases of human rights violations
and continuous discrimination against the 2.5 million Hungarians
of Transylvania. The Committee for Human Rights in Rumania and
The Transylvanian World Federation joined the fight after 1976
and carried it on by providing valuable data information on the
ongoing discrimination and persecution against those insisting
on human, educational and cultural rights of this ethnic group
which has ruled Transylvania from the 10th century to 1920.
"Recent events in Rumania,
including the temporary default of CCC loan repayment by the Government
of the Socialist Republic of Rumania and the President's decision
not to grant an additional 65 million of CCC credit to Rumania,
as well as the improved text on the "Country Reports on Human
Rights Practices for 1981" on the Hungarians in Rumania give
us hope that the administration is becoming increasingly aware
of that government's human rights violations against its citizens
in general and the Hungarians in Transylvania in particular.
I believe that our economic leverage
toward Rumania has considerably increased in the last 6 months
and will play an even more important role in the weeks and months
to come. I believe that this is the time to raise the issue of
an abatement of discrimination and persecution of the Hungarians
in Transylvania as well as economic reforms already demanded by
the IMF as a quid pro quo for our understanding, patience, and
possible financial assistance.
"We members of the U.S. House
of Representatives must send an appropriate signal to our administration
and to the Government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania on
"The Hungarian minority in
Transylvania comprises 2.5 million people. If it were independent
it would constitute the 49th most populous state in the world.
We are talking here about the second largest national minority
in Europe outside of the U.S.S.R., people who have greatly contributed
to Western culture and civilization. To countenance their slow
but steady ethnocide would do injustice to our ideals, our commitment
to freedom, justice and the human rights of people everywhere.
This resolution establishes how
the House of Representatives feels about the human and national
selfdetermination rights of the Transylvanian Hungarians
and strengthens the hand of the administration in its dealings
wisely and prudently by your AdministratLon
In order to gain at least the following concessions for the benefit
of the Hungarians in Transyluania:
1. The reestablishment of
the Autonomous Hungarian Region which was granted in 1950, but
dissolved in 1960.
2. The Recognition of the Hungarian
Language as the second official language in Transylvania.
3. The Return of the Confiscated
Hungarian Schools, Libraries and Archives.
4. The Termination of all Harassments,
Intimidations and Discriminations. Equal opportunity in every
field of human existence to all minorities.
5. The Reestablishment of the
Freedom of the Churches and Churchrelated Organizations.
These demands represent nothing
more than the rights outlined in the Human Rights Proclamation
of the United Nations, the Helsinki Accords and the Peace Treaty
of 1947, all signed and accepted by Rumania but never implemented.
Again, we thank you Mr. President
for a good beginning. We hope that Congressman Yarton's suggestion
concerning the use of the available economic leverage toward Rumania
will be used.
of Congress Raise Their Voices
on Behalf of
the Hungarians in Transylvania
The Trans ylvanian Quarterly
Initiated by Congressman Robert
J. Lagomarsino (Rep. California) the following letter was sent
to Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig bearing the signatures
of 121 Congressmen, representing 81 states:
"Dear Secretary Haig,
"We, the undersigned, members
of the United States House of Representatives, would like to call
your attention to the continued deprivation of human rights of
the national minorities in Transylvania, particularly those Hungarians
assigned to Rumania in the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty.
"These 2.5 million Hungarians
of Transylvania, a province that had constituted part of the Hungarian
Kingdom for a millennium was assigned originally to Rumania in
the 1920 Trianon Peace Treaty which the United States has
"The fate of the Transylvanian
Hungarians was systematic denationalization and discrimination
under the royal Rumanian regime as well as under Antonescu's Fascists
and the Communist rule of GeorghiuDej and Ceausescu.
"In the 1947 Peace Treaty,
where the United States had yielded to extreme Soviet pressure
to allow the reattachment of Northern Transylvania to Rumania,
the four great powers compelled Rumania to guarantee the human
rights of its citizens, a promise repeatedly broken since 1947.
"For more than two decades,
Rumanian pressure against the Hungarians of Transylvania assumed
characteristics of ethnocide, including complete supression of
the social and youth activities and the internal independence
of the Hungarian churches; destruction of the Hungarianlanguage
schools still in existence in 1958 and their replacement with
a steadily declining number of Hungarianlangauge "sections"
in the Rumanian schools; the systematic destruction of the documents
of the Hungarian past of the province and finally conscious dispersal
of the Hungarian intellegentsia and the settlement of large numbers
of Rumanians amidst the Hungarian regions of the province.
"Under these circumstances
may we ask you to discuss the above grave violations of human
rights and national selfdetermination, guaranteed in the
Declaration of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
of August 1,1975 and in the International Covenant government
of the Socialist Republic of Rumania and in talks with the other
guarantors of the 1947 Peace Treaty the United Kingdom,
France and the U.S.S.R. The issue concerns both human rights and
selfletermination rights of the Hungarians in Rumania, living
mostly in Transylvania.
"To do so would be in harmony
with our 205year old ideals of liberty, selfdetermination
and human rights so eloquently expressed in the Declaration of
Independence and steadily pursued by many Administrations."
On January 7, 1982, Congressman
Lagomarsino received the following answer from Walter S. Stoessel,
Jr., Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs:
"Dear Mr. Lagomarsino:
"I have been asked to reply
to the letter you and 120 of your colleagues sent to the Secretary
on December 8 concerning the treatment of the Hungarian minority
in Transylvania by the Rumanian Government.
"The Department has kept
itself informed of the status of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania
for many years, and has examined with care numerous reports to
the effect that the Rumanian Government systematically has pursued
a policy of depriving Hungarians in Rumania of their rights.
"The Department has concluded,
as indicated in our Human Rights reports over several years, that
although the Rumanian Government permits some expression of the
Hungarian minority's cultural traditions, that expression is limited.
"The Rumanians maintain that
the treatment of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania involves
questions of internal Rumanian policy. Nonetheless, the United
States has repeatedly raised with the Rumanian Government our
concerns for the wellbeing of the Hungarian minority in
Rumania. Where specificallydocumented cases of human rights
violations have been brought to our attention we have not hesitated
to protest to the Rumanian Government. On other occasions we have
called to the Rumanian Government's attention the negative impact
which its perceived poor treatment accorded the Hungarian minority
in Rumania has had on our bilateral relations. We intend through
these periodic U.S. approaches to the Rumanian Government to help
preserve the cultural traditions of the Hungarian ethnic minority.
You may be sure we shall continue to follow the issue closely
and will continue to raise it with the Rumanian Government in
On March the 3rd, 1982, Senator
Moynihan of New York spoke of the situation concerning Rumania:
"This morning's Washington
Post reports that Rumania has decided to halt altogether its payments
to Western creditors and to ask for an extended rescheduling of
its already overdue debt.
"There will soon be a great
deal of pressure put on the administration to cushion the Government
of Rumania from the otherwise inevitable consequences of its disastrous
economic policies. 'Provide still more credits, lend them additional
money, subsidize their purchases of American products' will go
the refrain, 'help them to rebuild their economy so they can pay
"It seems to me not unlikely
that the United States will agree to reschedule the Rumanian debt.
The only question is: Will the United States insist, as a condition
of rescheduling, on realprogress in the area of human rights?
"It bears repeating that
Nicolae Ceausescu's much publicized 'independence' from the Soviet
Union in matters of foreign policy has no domestic parallel. Indeed,
the daily violations of basic human rights and civil liberties
in the Soviet Union may be exceeded only by the arbitrary and
brutal treatment Rumanians receive from their own government.
"Even when the Rumanian Government
has entered into formal international commitments to improve the
state's observations of human rights, Rumania's record has not
improved. Because the Senate will soon be called upon to review
Rumania's record... I think it is important to keep in mind what
life is like in Rumania.
"John Lukacs, a prominent
and distinguished historian of Europe, recently published in the
NEW REPUBLIC an excellent article about life in the province of
Transylvania, where Rumania's Hungarian minority suffers regular
and systematic harassment and abuse Professor Lukacs provides
rare and valuable insights into the Rumanian Government's persecution
of 2.6 million Hungarians, and should be read by every Senator
"I ask that the article be
printed at this point in the Record."
The Transylvanian World Federation,
represented in 39 states of the union, greatly appreciates Senator
Moynihan's concern of the fate of the Transylvanian Hungarians
with the hope that our administration and our Congress will be
able and willing this year to bring to a halt this wanton genocide
perpetrated by the government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania
against the native inhabitants of that land.
We quote from the article of Professor
Lukacs referred to by Senator Moynihan:
"As in the case of modern
Finnland, the civilization of Magyar Transylvania was remarkable:
there was religious toleration, decreed in 1560 and for most of
the time Catholics and Protestants lived peaceably together. William
Penn knew this: impressed by the extant example of religious toleration,
his original idea was to name his American Quaker colony Transylvania."
SUCH PAST, INDEED, DESERVES
Opposes Most Favored
Nation Status for Rumania
(Congressional Records, April
22, 1982, El 747)
The Honorable Larry McDonald of
Georgia in the House of Representatives, Thursday, April 22,1982:
"Mr. Speaker, I have risen
on numerous occasions in this body to speak out against religious
persecution in Rumania. Year after year, some of us have testified
against renewal of Rumania's Most Favored Nation status. The Georgia
House of Representatives views this an important matter and passed
Resolution No.978 on March 26, 1982, calling on the United States
not to renew MFN status. I agree, and urge my coileagues
to carefully consider the cases of religious persecution mentioned
in this resolution. If we are so concerned about human rights,
a good place to start would be to strip Rumania of her MFN status.
The resolution follows.