After much confusion, it was later tentatively established that five people died in the events of the night of the 20th: three Hungarians and two Romanians. Two Hungarians were killed in villages on the approach to Tirgu Mures when they tried to stop Romanian trucks carrying armed peasants. The third was hit by a Romanian truck crashing its way into the town centre. On the Romanian side, one died from injuries received when the truck mentioned above, and in which he was a passenger, crashed into the stone steps of a church in the town centre. A second was found wounded in another part of town with no explanation of how or why he received his wounds. He died later in hospital.
In addition to these five dead, several hundred people were severely wounded. But here the figures were tampered with and are not reliable. The tendency was to only register the Romanian wounded, while many Hungarians were too afraid to go and seek treatment for their wounds anyway.
Doctors belonging to Vatra tried to make documents about the pogrom disappear. Dr. Bratisteanu, for instance, confiscated from a video-cameraman the cassette on which some of the injured were recorded and which also showed the first two dead then still unidentified. These were the two elderly Hungarians, Antal Csipor and István Gémes, struck by the Romanian trucks on the way into town.
Having said that, one further thing must be mentioned: the solicitor Nicolae Juncu, Mures county leader of the National Peasant Party, visited all the Tirgu Mures hospitals on the night of March 20-21, and reported to Gencral Scrieciu and also to me that both the Romanian and Hungarian doctors treated the Hungarian and Romanian injured in an absolutely correct way, loyal to their Hippocratic Oath. In discussions held on March 22, Dr. Silviu Olariu, Honorary President of Vatra Romaneascd, stressed the same. But I can only say the same about these gentlemen as I said about the teacher Matei, (the Romanian deputy headmaster of the Bolyai Lyceum): Why did they not also tell this truth in public? Why did they permit Hungarian doctors to subsequently be libelled by the extremists' claims in the Romanian press that they had mistreated the Romanian wounded?
Similarly, on the night of March 21, 1 asked the police to interrogate the prisoners. They answered that it was late. It seems that the day of justice (and of its admmistration) has still not yet come since March 21 for nobody from the Romanian assault on the Hungarians as yet in jail.
Further, all through the day of the 20th, about 60 young Hungarians belonging to
the MADISZ youth Organisation defended the headquarters of the Vatra Romaneasca in the main square, so that nobody seeking revenge should damage it. Come the Romanian assault, these young people also fled. After the attack had been repulsed, the enraged crowd broke into the Vatra office. I was able to look at the sized documents for a few moments. It was then that I read their handwritten minutes, which showed that this political organisation masquerading as a cultural one was established as early as December 27!
Mr. X. who had the chance to study the documents coming from the Vatra Romaneasca headquarters at greater leisure, told me that in addition to their secret political programme, he also found correspondence between the Vatra and President Iliescu. And he also found the list of police officers who were Vatra members (300!), plus lawyers, etc. And the contract with Cuventul Liber, according to which this "independent democratic daily" undertakes to publish the propaganda of the Vatra.
Vatra also possessed photocopies of all the documents which I had signed as a county National Salvation Front Vice-President. It is with some satisfaciton that I note they found nothing exceptionable in my work.
Perhaps one other discovered document should be noted. According to (Transportation) Order No. 1008., the Vatra Romaneasca requisitioned already on March 15 - well in advance - some of the vehicles which would be needed to transport the armed attackers to the pogrom,
After 6:00 on the 21st, I went home to get a few hours' sleep. It turned out that my flat had been guarded by young Hungarians all night.
Before I returned to the town hall that morning, I told in a 30-minute Romanian language interview what had happened in Tirgu Mures. This interview has not yet been broadcast by Bucharest Television.
After 9:00, together with three young persons accompanying me, I tried to enter the headquarters of the Provisional Council of National Unity, guarded by the military and the police.
A non-commissioned police officer asked one of the persons accompanying me to show his identity, and told me that I had no business in the headquarters, since I had resigned. And incidentally, he added in Vatra fashion: "We have received sufficient beating on account of you."
I went home, but was soon told over the phone that I was expected, because the county leadership of the Provisional Council of National Unity was holding an extraordinary meeting..
I told my caller what had happened on my first attempt to enter the building., whereupon a military command car was sent for me and an adequately-armed escort was provided. My neighbours asked whether this meant I was receiving protection, or was it indeed the opposite?
Over the next two days I commuted between my flat and the headquarters in the same way. Of course, I did not sleep at home, but in a flat the address of which was kept secret.
During these same days, the leaders of the Vatra Romaneasca slept inside the army garrison. Did they get protection there, or did they provide guidance there?
In this context, I was asked by Patrick Claude, the reporter of Le Monde, whether I was sleeping at home. I said that I was not. Why? Because I had fallen out with my wife. To which he impishly asked: "And when will you sleep again at home?" My answer:"When we have made peace, but currently I am not thinking of my wife."
On March 21 the Provisional Council of National Unity called on the people of Tirgu Mures to end their demonstrations at 15:00 and go home. As a result of our long work of persuasion, the Hungarians abided by the deadline. The Romanians continued to demonstrate very aggressively for several more days. In the afternoon the government commission charged with investigating the events of Tirgu Mures finally showed itself and started its sounding-out discussions. In order to assist, the Romanian writer of Cluj, Augustin Buzura, intervened and called on the Vatra Romaneasca to be good enough to sit down at the negotiating table.
On the morning of March 22, when I sat down at my office desk, I noticed that it had been forced open. (The building had been guarded by the military!) I complained about this to Attila Verestóy, the Hungarian member of the governmental commission, and he returned with Romanian Vice-President Gelu Voican Voiculescu, the man who three months earlier - while still incognito - had sentenced Ceausescu to death in that dramatic kangaroo court encounter.
For at least 40 minutes we talked with the owner of the famous beard, and told him of our complaints.
I asked how, despite our protests, Bucharest Television could have presented only the previous evening such a tendentious, false picture of the recent events. What do they want? Another bloodbath?
I stressed that the television had displayed its pictures in such a way that it did not at all show that on the 20th armed Romanians had attacked unarmed Hungarians. It was impossible to know who was beating whom. The truck which arrived carrying armed Romanians ran into the steps of the Greek Catholic church much earlier in the sequence of events than the broadcast claimed. Those pictures which showed armed Romanian peasants lying in the truck and jumping down from it with their supply of iron bars were not broadcast. The report also failed to mention the fact that the driver, before he tried to run over the Hungarian demonstrators, had driven more than 300 metres 'in the red' (for it is not permitted to drive a truck into the main sqaure), etc.
The driver, Marin Preda, crushed "only" the Hungarian Zoltán Kiss to death. And among the armed aggressors lying on their stomachs in the truck, the Romanian
Teodor Rusu suffered such a grave injury in the crash that he died a few days later. Of course, Vatra propaganda has talked about him as a victim of the Hungarians ever since.
I asked why they had not shown a video-recording of the siege of the Hungarian Party headquarters on March 19, so that the Romanian TV viewers would have understood why the unarmed Hungarians had gathered to protest on the morning of the 20th.
I told Voican Voiculescu what had really happened. He partly believed and partly disbelieved what he heard.
Then the teacher Peter Theil, headmaster of the Joseph Haltrich Lyceum of Sighisoara, interjected. Theil said he was a German, an ancient rock who had stayed here in Romania. He had been here right through these days, he said, and could testify that everything had happened as I had just described. (Others present also interjected here and there.)
Theil also asked Voican Voiculescu: "Do you want to turn Tirgu Mures into a Beirut? For if I were a Romanian, I would already be sitting on a train headed for Tirgu Mures to teach the Hungarians a lesson. This would be the only action I could take after having seen yesterday's TV broadcast!"
Peter Theil's words absolutely convinced Voican Voiculescu, who behaved correctly and objectively for the rest of the negotiations. Following Theil's intervention, Voican Voiculescu telephoned Prime Minister Roman and demanded that only material should be broadcast about Tirgu Mures which had been vetted and approved by his visiting government commission. Unfortunately, he was not listened to.
(The following June, having been warned by Vatra not to make a nuisance of himself over restoring the Joseph Haltrich Lyceum as a German school, Peter Theil fled to Germany with his family.)
The evidence disappears
In our frustration over the manipulated images from Tirgu Mures shown on Romanian Television, we let loose at Dorin Suciu, its local correspondent. We told him that this was not the first spiteful thing he had done, that he had not behaved correctly during the February demonstrations either. He said he was not to blame. He said he had shot at least three full cassettes of film on the night of the 20th (material lasting six hours) from his Grand Hotel vantage point, and that he had sent this material to Bucharest by air. It had left him undoctored, he said. His material was not shown, and he did not know where the film that was broadcast had come from. I asked him whether the Romanian attack could be seen on his pictures, and he said it definitely could be seen. This perhaps explains why Razvan Theodorescu, the President of Romanian Television, claimed that the films taken by
his staff had been violently stolen by persons unknown. (On the aeroplane, at least, we must exclude the use of this force, since there is a strong guard on every flight in Romania.)
At the RMDSZ-Vatra Romaneasca negotiations, ten-strong delegations attended. Stenographic minutes were taken.
The two RMDSZ Vice-Presidents (Káli-Király István and Kikeli Pál) who had gone underground, did not join the negotiations,, preferring to remain underground. Before the negotiations started, the Vatra team protested against my presence. But Gelu Voican Voiculescu insisted on my participation, and of course, the other RMDSZ members did too.
While we talked, the anti-Hungarian demonstration of Romanians belonging to the Vatra continued in front of the Grand Hotel.
Dumitru Pop made a revealing slip of the tongue when he said to the joint panel that the Hungarian danger had been indicated to President Iliescu as early as the end of January. I recalled what date it was that our President had mentioned the threat of "separatism" on television - January 25. Other news from the Vatra people appears to be even more interesting in light of the miners' rampage against antigovernment demonstrators in Bucharest the following June. Concerning the Tirgu Mures pogrom, they said: "The miners were already at Razboeni, but they were sent back". See how clear everything becomes!
We urged that the events of Tirgu Mures should be investigated by an international commission, but they would not hear of it. It is understandable that they wanted to prevent the discovery of the truth at any price, this attitude being fully explicable in light of the "solutions" to problems the authorities of Romania have sought to apply subsequently.
We succeeded in drawing up a common communiqué, the most valuable point of which was - in my opinion - the second, which reads:
"The representatives of the RMDSZ declare the loyalty of the Hungarian population to the territorial integrity of Romania, and that the RMDSZ does not intend and never intended to separate Transylvania from the whole of the country.
The Vatra Romaneasca Association takes note of this stand of the RMDSZ, and will inform the Romanian public of it."
I believe this point should be waved in front of the Vatra Romaneasca all the time, so that it should be induced to publicise this declaration in accordance with its given word. Civilised people keep their word, don't they?
The next day, on March 23, the Executive Committee of the Mures County and Tirgu Mures Council of the Provisional Council of National Unity was re-elected. A young Romanian proposed that those five Romanians and five Hungarians who were
most contested by the other side should be omitted from the leadership. I was on this list. Károly Király (who had earlier voluntarily resigned from his Mures County presidency) headed the list. Among the Romanians were Judea and Scrieciu.
They made only one exception, and that was with Dumitru Pop. In vain did the "unpopularity list" contain the representative of the Vatra Romaneasca. He was left in the leadership.
After our removal General Ion Scrieciu came up to me and thanked me for my correct behaviour.
I did not at all regret my lawful removal. For I had sensed earlier (and had said as much in my interview with Cuvintul Liber) that our activity was not of much use, much less so since practical questions were resolved at the level of the mayoral offices.
But I had to admit that when I had accepted the office of County Vice-President, I had trusted that the cart of the country could be moved in the direction of democracy, towards the creation of equal rights.
But the results have been miserable, and we are still seeking the answer to the question. why?
On one occasion during these two days when I had the opportunity of talking with Voican Voiculescu, he asked me why the Vatra people detested me so much. "Why do they consider you an extremist, since with your intellect and mentality, you cannot be an extremist? "
I answered that the reason was definitely because I always aimed to react to their actions and it probably happened that I had on occasion frustrated their calculations.
I also recall the occasion during these days when he reprimanded Major Vasile Tira, reminding him, that he had already been told to put an end to the open icitement that had continued among Romanians. At the time, Voican Voiculcscu added: "Look out, we can apply other methods too." Though unfortunately, we still await evidence of that resolve.
Indeed, this same Tira was the officer who directed the attack against András Sütö, but he has in the meantime even been promoted from major to lieutenant- colonel.
I told Voican Voiculescu of my desire to return to Bucharest with him and to tell the relevant people there the truth about the events in Tirgu Mures. My plan surprised him. He agreed, but rather reluctantly. It was from this reluctant "yes" that I drew the conclusion that he did not really want to hear the truth.
On the evening of March 23 the military refused to escort me home despite the fact that the most aggressive Vaira demonstration was taking place at that time (even Voican Voiculescu had been shouted down). The military's excuse to me was they were parachutists and had no car!
This set me thinking. For it was also characteristic of the times mentality of
the Romanian demonstrators that on the evening of March 23 they also demanded the resignation from the county administration of the Hungarian engineer Zoltán Kolozsváry, who had been elected as my successor that day. The essence was that there should be no Hungarian representative at all. Unfortunately, since then, these Vatra demands have one after another found a warm reception with the supreme Romanian leadership,
Next morning, on the 24th, I travelled into the countryside with my family.
There, I became aware of certain unfavourable developments. The police began inquiring about me at the homes of my young relatives. Bucharest Television also began broadcasing demands for punishment arising from the Tirgu Mures events. From the available evidence, I had to assume this meant the punishment of leading Hungarians.
I considered it important that the truth should be told about Tirgu Mures. And not knowing then the potential scope of the recriminations that might lie ahead, I decided to make use of my valid passport and to go abroad.
On March 30, I crossed the Romanian-Hungarian border in a black Dacia car in immitation of a formal government delegation and began my temporary stay abroad. I understand that three days later, my name appeared on the border guards' watch list.
QUESTIONS, including those I often ask myself:
I. As a lawyer I cannot get around the question of what the penal responsibility of the planners and organisers of the violence of March should be.
The answer is Section 357 of the Penal Code, which defines the crime of genocide as follows.
Genocide: in order to destroy fully or in part a community or national, ethnic, racial or religious group, by committing some of the following actions:
a) Murdering members of the community or group.
b) Grave injury to the corporeal or spiritual state of the members of the community or group, etc...
The law punishes these by death and complete sequestration of property, or 15-20 years jail. (The death sentence was abolished, shortly after the revolution.)
And now comes the essence. The last paragraph of the section reads: An accord made for the sake of committing genocide is punished by 5--15 years' jail, the suspension of some rights, and partial sequestration ofproperty.
II. Many people have asked whether the central Romanian leadership could have prevented the two nights of violence in Tirgu Mures (especially the second) if it had tried. Of course it could have done! First, if it had applied the full rigour of the law against the organisers and participants of the attack on the RMDSZ headquarters in Reghin on January 25 (This demonstration was accompanied by wild anti-Hungarian slogans - drinking Hungarian blood, etc.), then the invasion of Tirgu Mures two months later could not have occurred.
The government similarly did not act after the anti-Gypsy violence in Reghin on February 5.
And then, come the violence in Tirgu Mures, not only did the military and the police fail to intervene on March 19, but by their encouraging presence, their commanders behaved as accomplices!
On March 20 a single tank should have been placed across the road between Tirgu Mures and Reghin, and then the armed peasants could not have been transported to Tirgu Mures. Local police commanders simply did not carry out the order of Interior Minister Chitac to do this.
The Minister of Defence, General Stanculescu, himself acknowledged to the Budapest Television programme Panorama that he had known the Hungarians would demonstrate peacefully to protest the violence of March 19, that there would be many of them, but that he did not think the Romanians would attack. But many people warned him by phone about the danger of a Romanian attack, that it could be anticipated, and that the military should intervene. Why did he not act on the 20th?
It would really not have been such a big deal. On the morning of March 21 the soldiers were indeed able to intervene, and it was of course these order-restoring pictures that were broadcast to the West!
III. Why would the Romanian leadership need the spectre of bloody clashes between ethnic groups?
A) Because it was able to reactivate immediately the Securitate, the unemployed officers of which had not received their full pay for exactly three months, i.e. the period between the revolution and March 21.
(I recall that in early January, I proposed that the police building in Kogalniceanu Street be handed over to the health authorities so that the destroyed Clinic of Dental Surgery could once more be able to function. My idea was that the police could move into the empty Securitate building. To my proposal General Scrieciu, the County First Vice-President, answered that we should maybe wait a bit with the redistribution of buildings...)
B) Because violence made it possible to divert attention from the economic impotence of the government.
C) Because it offered a good occasion for the nationality question to be wielded again as a club in the political struggle.
D) Because they were able to arrest the democratisation process and begin the task of political regression,
After I drew up this list., an economist member of an old Transylvanian Romanian intellectual family suggested adding the following analysis of their motives:
E) The inducement of ethnic conflicts in Transylvania could also have been stimulated by leading sons of the old Romanian kingdom (Moldavia and Vallachia) as it existed prior to Versailles/Trianon. Their fear was that Transylvania would achieve a position of economic hegemony over their own regions. All other things being equal, foreign capital would naturally give priority to the already much more developed Transylvania, and Romania would find itself further cut into two. So they needed the tensions induced by ethnic conflicts to diminish Transylvania's attractiveness to outside investment.
IV. Why was the pogrom programmed for this date, and could it have been avoided if the Hungarians had conducted a cleverer policy?
Hungary was experiencing at that time a political interregnum or power vacuum ahead of elections at the end of March which were to finally replace the post-Communists with a democratically elected Western-oriented government. The resultant weakness there higly justified the choice of date for the pogrom. I believe this situation explains why the Budapest Foreign Ministry, the Hungarian leadership generally, did not react to the Romanian provocations earlier in March, specifically the oft-repeated charge that "the Hungarians want to take Transylvania back." Whatever complaints they did make were certainly not public, anyway.
To foster anti-Hungarian feelings, Romanian propaganda also used the wreaths with the Hungarian colours which were laid at the Hungarian embassy in Bucharest and at other sites on the occasion of the Hungarian National Day of March 15. Though this wreath-laying had the permission of the Romanian government.
But concerning the wisdom of our actions in these months, Hungarians also made a mistake when - in the euphoria of December - they did not immediately begin to bombard the "newly-liberated" Romanian mass media with materials which would have begun to correct the traditional Hungarian enemy-image that existed in the Romanian mind.
It is beyond doubt that Romanian Television, the newly-named Rompress news agency, and most of the press remained in the hands of the old Communist-Fascists who had served the Ceausescu regime. A change in the climate of ethnic distrust would therefore have been very difficult to achieve. But intensive, clever publicity - started immediately would certainly not have been wasted.
Be all this as it may, a singular historic opportunity to make peace between Romanians and Hungarians was lost during these days. This peace is no less
necessary now, though its achievement does not seem likely any time soon.
It is very difficult for an Hungarian to live today in Transylvania, where the victims
are imprisoned and humiliated while the culprits are glorified as national heroes and elevated to the best positions and offices. Let it be stressed, the situation of true Romanian democrats is also very difficult; they are also constantly threatened and terrorised by the agents of the Vatra. President Ion Ilieseu and his government bear great historical responsibility for this situation.
On March 20, at the meeting of the Presidium of the National Council for Unity, Iliescu condemned the events of the 19th in Tirgu Mures and reported that 17 persons and the mayors of three Romanian villages were under arrest.
At a press conference on March 21, Prime Minister Roman declared that 38 persons, including two village mayors, had been arrested, the latter having led the (March 19) attack of armed peasants against the headquarters of the RMDSZ.
We also informed him of the far more serious events of the 20th. But instead of telling the truth about that, he and others like him embarked down the path of consciously misleading domestic and international opinion. Thus they ruined any remaining chance for peaceful coexistence in Romania, of achieving an acceptable Romanian-Hungarian relationship.
Finally, let me print here open letters which I sent to Ion Manzatu, the then Vice-President of the Temporary Council of National Unity, and to the then leaders of Romania, Ion Iliescu and Petre Roman. Manzatu took over from Voican Voiculescu as leader of the committee investigating the Tirgu Mures events. Needless to say, this was not done at the request of the RMDSZ,
The report of the investigating committee did not condemn me, though in general it strayed far from the truth.
Later, however, Manzatu began to speak differently and far more harshly about my role, and this is why I wrote this open letter, in Romanian of course. The two Romanian newpapers in which he had accused me (Viitorul Romanesc - Bucharest, and Cuvintul Liber - Tirgu Mures) have not yet published my answer, although I mailed it a long time ago.
(Note that on the night of the violence, we knew of three dead. In subsequent days. that rose to six dead, then eight. One problem to do with this counting was those who were in a coma and considered unlikely to survive. The figure from the night of March 20 later settled down at five dead. Though when I wrote these letters, the fashion was still for six. I have retained the references to that incorrect figure as they appeared in this correspondence. Five is not so different from six; the moral remains the same. EK)
September 18, 1990
Dear Mr. Manzatu!
I was taken aback by the grave accusations which you levelled against me in the in the triple September 5-11 issue of the weekjy Viitorul Romanesc. I was all the more surprised because (to quote from the contents of the editors introducing this item) "...the opinions published, needless to emphasise, are authorised by the high office that the person forming the opinions filled in the course of the investigation of the events of Tirgu Mures. "
To the question of whether you would be able to name the instigators (of the violence), you casually answered with the following:
"Instigators existed among the local population, as for instance a certain Kincses. And instigators existed in Budapest too. These sent messages through the Hungarian radio transmitter in Tirgu Mures, etc. "
I have studied the report which you have put together, and my full name - Elõd Kincses - is mentioned on three occasions. But now here is it claimed that I have been an instigator.
You explain your new statements by "documents which I obtained subsequently" which were handed over by "official people, some wearing military uniform, others being policemen, others again representing the judiciary or the office of the attorney, and others being workers belonging to institutions in the surroundings."
First of all I declare that there does not exist a single document which would testify to my alleged instigating ativity. And consequently you are quite simply not telling the truth!
I can not omit to mention the first instance when you publicly reappraised your originally formulated opinion(as it had appeared in the official report).
What I am thinking of is that when you returned home from your visit to the USA, on March 21 1990, at the meeting of the Provisional Council of National Unity, you praised the activities of Bishop László Tõkés in America. You said that when he was received by President Bush, László Tõkés presented a correct view, not the one which was published by the international press, but rather one where he supported the measures promised by the Provisional Council of National Unity.
When Bishop Tökés the Honorary President of the RMDSZ, returned to Bucharest from his American trip, you offered the RMDSZ an electoral alliance with the Republican Party (of which you are the President).
You told the Bishop that you were fully sensitised to the Transylvanian question, and that in this you differed from those who come from the Regat [the pre-1918 Romania], because your mother, Margit Sipos [Hungarian name], came from Bobilna [a village in Transylvania].
After this electoral alliance failed to be established indeed after only a very few days, you initiated a very sharp attack in an election campaign television programme against Bishop Tökés. In addition you entered into an electoral alliance with the political party which stood "nearest" in your estimations to the RMDSZ: the "Partidul de Uniune Nationala a Romanilor din Transilvania" (PUNRT, the National Unity Party of Romanians of Transylvania) the political variant of the "cultural"' organisation called Vatra Romaneasca!
I always insisted after the announcement of this electoral alliance that, on the grounds of incompatibility, you could not occupy the chairmanship of the committee investigating the events of Tirgu Mures. But in vain.
Of course, the truth about the events of Tirgu Mures is not what you, the ally of Vatra Romaneasca, "discovered"" in your report. But in that report, at least, you did not accuse me of actual instigation.
This is an extremely serious accusation, because on March 20 six persons died owing to the situation in Tirgu Mures - four Hungarians and two Romanians. That's the same number that died in the revolution of December 21, when it was also four Hungarians and two Romanians.
Do you not consider this tragic coincidence alarming? The common struggle for the removal of the Ceausescuss and the democratisation of our country demanded exactly the same number of victims as the fratricide provoked by the forces that subsequently wanted to prevent the democratisation!
My ideas about which I wrote to President Iliescu as early as May 26, 1990, are still very topical, and therefore I am publishing them here. I wrote:
"I trust that you, as the chosen president of every Romanian citizen, will not tolerate the continuation of violations of the law in Tirgu Mures, where the victims of the pogroms are mistreated by the detectives, and are sentenced - although they are innocent, - while the real perpetrators are glorified.
The "documents" (illustrating my instigatory role) to which you (Manzatu) refer, according to your own claim, come exactly from those whose official duty
it would have been to prevent the repetition of the pogrom of March 19 on the following night. They come from those who are engaged in the perversion of the truth.
I assume that you have no knowledge of the order which General Chitac, the former Interior Minister, issued on March 20 to Colonel Gheorghe Gambrea, the Mures County Police Comander. This order required adequate steps to be taken to separate the demonstrating groups, and adequate steps to prevent armed Romanian peasants from the Reghin district from again invading Tirgu Mures and attacking its peaceful population.
Do you know what Colonel Gambrea told me, even after the clashes in Tirgu Mures had actually begun? "What shall I do, I don't have enough men available?"
It is characteristic of the times that the colonel, after fulfilling his duty so "excellently"
on March 19 and 20 (just as he did at the time of the revolution, when we had six dead), has remained in his office and has even been appointed to the bureau of the Mures County Prefect.
In contrast, I, who was not even present in Tirgu Mures between 19:00 of March 19 and 16:00 of March 20, have been named as an instigator by you.
Do you know what instigating activity I conducted on the morning of March 20?
I calmed down the [Hungarian] population of the town of Odorheiul Secuiesc, who wanted to go to Tirgu Mures to defend the Hungarians against the attacks of the Romanian peasants who were armed and transported to the town for this purpose. Can you imagine what catastrophe would have occurred if I really were the instigator of the type that you present me? Without going into details, I can declare that the Hungarian-language transmission of Tirgu Mures Radio did not incite at all, but on the contrary, desperately asked (in Romanian) that the army and police should intervene to free the writer András Sütö and those others trapped with him inside the Hungarian party headquarters building.
In conclusion I declare that I am ready at any time for an open debate, with the presentation of documents and video-recordings of all that happened in Tirgu Mures. I have nothing to hide, and would like the viewers of Romanian Television to also finally learn the truth.
As long as the truth has not been told, I cannot live in safety in my own town, Tirgu Mures.
Elõd Kincses, solicitor,
former Vice-President of the Mures County National Salvation Front
and Provisional Council of National Unity
Budapest, June 8, 1991
Dear Mr. President!
Dear Mr. Prime Minister!
I, the undersigned, Elõd Kincses of Ghiocelului-Hóvirág utca 10, Tirgu Mures, presently reside at Dániel ut 52, c/o István Szerdahelyi, Budapest 1125, Hungary.
Mr. President! One year has passed since I submitted my first memorandum to you, to which I have unfortunately received no reply. In addition, I now find that I have been charged with "incitement to commit genocide".
I am convinced that such violations of justice happen in Tirgu Mures because members of the Vatra are allowed to be prosecutors, judges and policemen. As a result,
members of this so-called cultural organisation are the ones who investigate those very criminal acts in which Vatra Romaneasca evidently played a role.
As a result, many innocent Hungarians and Gypsies have been convicted who did none other than resort to the right of self-defence on March 20.
On the other hand, the known murderers off our Hungarians on March 20 have not been tried.
Similarly, those who are responsible for permanently blinding András Sütö in the left eye and injuring 150 other ethnic Hungarians on March 19 have not been tried.
Similarly, those responsible for the December 21, 1989, murder of six freedom fighters in Tirgu Mures (Sándor Bodoni, Lajos Hegyi, Adrian Hidos, Ilie Muntean, Károly Pajk6, Ernö Tamás) have not been tried.
The fact that those who organized the March 19-20 terrorist attacks in Tirgu Mures and who committed numerous criminal acts and that those who, despite former Interior Minister Chitac's order, did not stop the further flow of people into the city, the fact that these people have not been charged or brought to trial, is obviously illegal and is causing severe tensions.
Perhaps you remember my own desperate attempts on March 19-20 to prevent violent ethnic clashes from occurring in the first place and then to try to stop them reoccurring.
I even appealed to you, Mr. President, to travel pervonally to Tirgu Mures, but you replied that given such a strained situation, you had no such intention.
As "payment" for the position I took, I have been chased out of my hometown and, along with Smaranda Enache, prevented from running for office in a totally illegal way.
Moreover, the Vatra anger is far from subsiding; rather, before the second congress of the Hungarian Democratic Alliance of Romania, the criminal investigation organs again subpoenead me. They sent an oral message that I am being charged with incitement to commit genocide.
This measure is quite surprising in light of the fact that you, Mr. Prime Minister, unequivocally stated during a press conference on January 29, 1991 in Strasbourg that no charges would be brought against any of those who had been cited by reserve General Ioan Scrieciu. Those people being András Sütö myself and others.
Even the official report of the committee that investigated the Tirgu Mures events has not found me guilty of anything, so why then am I being persecuted?
I would like to contribute to identifying the real criminals and therefore I have enclosed a copy of (transportation) Order No. 1008 which Vatra Romaneasca filled out on March 15 so that they would be able to transport their followers to Tirgu Mures in time to carry out the attacks of march 19-20.
In closing, I repeat my request of one year ago: take the necessary steps to cease
these illegal investigations concerning me and ensure that I not be brought to trial and that I not be murdered by "unknown" persons.
As a lawyer, I know very well that under the Ceausescu regime citizens' requests and observations did not receive the response within the 30-day time limit required by law. I trust that your regime will adhere to these regulations and that I will receive a response as specified by law.