|Transylvania - The Roots of Ethnic Conflict|
When Americans read or hear about Transylvania, they immediately think of vampires, cemeteries, a mysterious, gloomy, and fog-covered countryside, lonely and terrorized people overawed and overshadowed by the castle and eery personality of Count Dracula. Bram Stoker and Hollywood have succeeded in relegating a real place, with real people and real problems, into a storybook creation, a never-never land for movies and television audiences. Once Transylvania became a fiction in the popular mind, it received the faddish attention of certain writers who capitalized on the interest by becoming scholars of the fiction. Thus, even the scholarly world has contributed to the perpetuation of the fog that engulfs Transylvania. For a while, even the Rumanian government promoted the confusion, to encourage its tourist trade. It ran advertisements --- picturing a mysterious-looking castle --- in the New York Times (and elsewhere) headlined "Yes there is a Transylvania."
The prevalence of these stereotypes compounds the problem of those who wish to deal with the real Transylvania, because although much more fascinating than the fictional one, the real land is not a refuge from the world's problems, but rather a microcosm of them.
The present volume seeks to provide students of ethnic affairs and of Eastern European history, politics, society, and culture with a scholarly, interesting, and up-to-date insight into the fascinating life and development of this multiethnic area. Transylvania is indeed a microcosm of our world; it is a seething, restless, exciting place, one with numerous problems waiting for solution.
The problem that stands out above all others is the quest for peace, unity, and order in a setting characterized by diversity, discontent, and a legacy of conflict. In Europe, Transylvania is the potential setting for one of the most troublesome ethnic minority crises of the current age. Although the question of the Hungarian and German minorities has not been as prominent since World War II as have the problems in Northern Ireland, the Basque-inhabited corner of Spain, or on Cyprus, it involves the destiny of many more people and ultimately the "structure of peace" that was created after World War I, reasserted after World War II, and reiterated at Helsinki as recently as August, 1975.
In Transylvania, the very foundations of this world order are challenged
by the confrontation that has prevailed there at least since 1918 between the Rumanian, Hungarian, and German inhabitants. In the last fifteen years, or since the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, the developments in the relations of these peoples have again created cause for concern. The revelations of abuses in the treatment of minorities through the Károly Király letters in the summer and fall of 1977 have broadened awareness of the Transylvanian question and documented the broken promises of the new Communist order in this area.
The collection of studies in this volume provides an analysis of the roots of the conflict, the description of its evolution to the present, and some reflections on possible future solutions.
Ethnic diversity and its close concomitant, minority problems, are now a global concern. Actually they have always been that, but in our time they have been brought to the forefront of our awareness by the attempt to make nation-states the guardians of the principle of "self-determination of peoples." The end of World War I saw the creation of new states in Eastern Europe that claimed to be based on self-determination. Similarly, after World War II the disintegration of vast colonial empires was achieved with reference to this principle. In actual fact, the creation of real nation-states based on the self-determination of a specific people was the exception rather than the rule. Both in Eastern Europe after World War I and throughout the world following World War II the pattern has been to impose the nation-state system on multinational settings. Instead of realizing the ideal of self-determination of peoples this has simply led to multinational states masquerading as nation-states. At the same time it has brought extreme pressure to be exerted on minorities to conform to the language, culture, and institutional order of the dominant majority or plurality peoples. At any rate, the process has generally led to more rather than less trauma and persecution regarding cultural matters as compared to the more haphazard practices of past colonial administrations and imperial bureaucracies.
As Walker Conner (World Politics, April, 1972) has pointed out, of the roughly 132 states in the world in 1972, only 12 percent were monoethnic "nation-states." All others had at least one significant ethnic or national minority, but most had two, three, or more. In 1982 when there are over 155 states in the world this percentage is almost certainly higher. This means that worldwide, mankind must come to grips with the problems of diversity and majority-minority relations. The Transylvanian experience provides a rich storehouse of information in this area about the past and present, the positive and negative
approaches to coping with this global fact. Sometimes the failures of others may be as instructive as their successes; they can provide guide-posts regarding what should be avoided as well as what should be attempted.
Transylvania is also an ideal laboratory for examining interethnic and internationality relations because the Hungarian (c. 2.4 million) and German (c. 350,000) minorities are large, self-conscious groups. They are not mere ethnic minorities, but significant linguistic and cultural blocks that differ from the majority population in historical and religious traditions as well. Furthermore, Rumania's reaction to the presence of minorities is intimately related to its conduct of foreign affairs. In the interwar years, this applied to all significant minorities in Rumania. Since World War II, it has been a factor primarily regarding the Hungarians and to a lesser extent the Germans. In terms of majority-minority relations, then, the Transylvanian setting provides lessons regarding almost every conceivable combination of problems and solutions. Finally, the ideological context also provides exceptionally interesting opportunities for comparative analysis, because Transylvania has experienced both the "bourgeois nationalist" and "Leninist-Stalinist" solution of the minority problem.
This volume approaches the problem of majority-minority relations in a four-step analysis. Step one includes studies that trace the history of emerging national consciousness in Transylvania. The Domonkos, Elteto, and Király essays focus primarily on the prenationalist phase of interethnic relations, outlining the factors that set the stage for this development among the various inhabitants of Transylvania. The second step relates to the emergence of modern nationalist orientations. The Held, Deak, Bõdy, Stroup, and Vardy studies focus on the period during which Rumanians, Hungarians, and Germans became polarized politically. Step three examines the impact of international relations in the twentieth century on the Transylvanian setting. The studies by Pastor, Fisher-Galati, and Kertesz trace developments from World War I to the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947. Step four includes studies that outline the major features of contemporary Rumanian nationality policies in Transylvania. The Ludanyi, Illyés, and Veress analyses describe the cultural, educational, legal, and political context of majority-minority relations in Rumania.
Finally, the editors have provided four brief introductions and a conclusion to the studies. The volume also includes a chronology of Transylvanian history and appendices. The chronology enables the readers to get an overview and it also provides a grid on which each
study may be placed. The Appendix includes a listing of Transylvanian place names in all relevant languages. (Although a concerted effort has been made to include place names in the three languages in the text, the listing at the end provides a convenient reference.) A table on the population of Transylvania provides an additional appendix that the reader can consult. There are also appended to the volume a series of memos issued during the diplomatic give-and-take at Paris in 1946, and the text of Paul Auer's speech at the Paris Peace Conference. Furthermore, the book includes the relevant maps to which the individual contributors make reference.
Many of the papers included in this volume were presented at the Symposium on Transylvania held May 18-20, 1979, at Kent State University. However, the editors have, where possible, solicited additional studies to make the collection as well-rounded as possible. They have also encouraged the writers of the original studies to revise or expand their contributions. Some have done so, others have not. This explains, in part, the differences in length and documentation of the various essays.
The studies have retained their individualism in other ways as well. The editors have left to individual author preference the designation of Rumania (Romania) and reference to the Székelys (Szeklers or Seklers). Regarding the latter, "Szekler" has been popularized in the West by German scholarship. It is a distortion of the Hungarian designation, "Székely." But since both spellings have been accepted in English-language sources, the editors have left its spelling to the discretion of the individual authors.
The designation of Rumania (Roumania, Romania) is a more sensitive issue. It is related to the whole question of historical claims concerning the origin and destiny of Rumania in Eastern Europe. As such it is also directly tied to the emergence of the Rumanian people as a self-conscious, state-building community. It is controversial, because historical claims to Transylvania are based on prior settlement, which in turn depends on whether or not present-day Rumanians are recognized as descendants of Trajan's Romans who conquered the Dacians in A.D. 106. Those who do not accept the Daco-Roman theory of Rumanian continuity are more likely to spell the national designation with a "u."
The preference for the "u" is based on the popular ethnic self-definition of the Rumanians as "Rumîni" (plural) or "Rumîn" (singular). This self-definition predates the actual creation in 1859 of a Rumanian state, which came into being as a consequence of the unification of the provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia. Until then, all the other
peoples of Eastern Europe referred to the Rumanians as Wlach, Vlah, or Oláh, for which the English rendition is "Vlach." The latter term originally referred to the nomadic shepherd peoples of the Balkans. Consequently, those who think the Balkan Vlachs the precursors of the present-day Rumanians prefer to write the name with a "u." They assume that the popular "Rumîn" or "Rumîni" self-definition is based on the prevalent Ottoman Turkish designation for the Balkans (or the Byzantine empire covering that area) as the land of the "Rum", (i.e., Rome or Eastern Roman Empire).
Of course, not everyone who prefers "Rumanian" rather than "Romanian" is against the Daco-Roman theory, or vice-versa. At any rate, since the end of World War II, the official Rumanian spelling has been "Romania", and this has also been the spelling used for publications sent to English-speaking countries. However, in the West most English-language scholarly publications have spelled the name "Rumania" from World War II to the 1960s. Since about the middle of the 1960s, English-language publications in the West have used either Rumania or Romania. In German, the official designation has been Rumänien, while in French it has been Roumanie. Of all Rumania's neighbors, ironically, only Hungary writes "Románia" with an "o." Whatever the case may be, whatever the reason for the preference of each individual author, the editors have felt that the issue is sensitive enough that the acceptance of diversity is preferable to a uniformity that might be resented by some of the contributors. However, Roumania (still acceptable but now somewhat archaic) has been changed to Rumania or Romania, again based on author preference.
Still another designation that causes unease for advocates of standardization and uniformity is reference to the territories of pre-World War I Rumania. Some authors have called it the "old" kingdom (including Wallachia --- today Muntenia and Oltenia --- and Moldavia), while others have called it royal Rumania and still others the "Regat." Again, the editors have allowed for diversity as long as consistency has been maintained in the individual essays.
In relation to the use of the designation Magyar as opposed to Hungarian, some degree of standardization has been necessary to avoid confusion. Where possible the editors have used the more general term Hungarian. However, in some cases where not only national affiliation was discussed but the cultural and ethnic affiliation as well, Magyar has been preferred. Other, more controversial designations, which have been left to individual preference, have been references to the Treaty of Trianon and the Second Vienna Award. Some of the contributors have referred to one or both as "Diktats."
For the sake of consistency and clarity the editors have tried to standardize the use of place names and personal names. In the case of personal names, the standard has been to write the name of the individual according to national background (e.g., Closca, Dózsa). An exception has been made for first names. English equivalents for Hungarian, Rumanian, and German first names have been used interchangeably, again on the basis of the individual preferences of the authors. Furthermore, following the English practice, first names are given before last names even though in the case of Hungarian names the reverse would be accepted practice.
In relation to place names, the rule that the editors have followed is to present the name of the location in the language of the people that had control over it at the time of reference. Thus, if reference is made to a Transylvanian city prior to 1918, it will be in Hungarian. Cities mentioned in the period since 1918-20 will be in Rumanian, unless the mention refers to cities in northern Transylvania in the period of Hungarian jurisdiction between 1940-44. In either case, however, after a place is mentioned for the first time, the names of the place in the other languages are included in parentheses, e.g., Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár, Klausenburg). With respect to that city (the most important cultural center in Transylvania), there are some special problems concerning its Rumanian name. Recently, since the re-Dacianization craze overwhelmed the Rumanian party leaders, they have renamed some of the cities in the country. Thus the city of Kolozsvár (Hungarian) or Klausenburg (German), which was renamed Cluj by the Rumanians after 1918, has again been renamed and since the middle of the 1970s is officially called Cluj-Napoca. Within the present volume, the latter designation will only be used when reference is made to the city in terms of the past half-dozen years.
One other standardization has been attempted; to put the essays into third person, active voice. Again there have been some exceptions to this, where the personal testimony of the writer has been an important consideration. In the case of the Kertesz study, the first person has been retained because the author is not merely a scholar of those events, but was an active participant in them. In fact, it is through his assistance that the editors obtained copies of the Paris Peace Treaty memos and the Paul Auer speech that are included as appendices to the present volume.
Finally, the editors would like to express their appreciation to all those who made this volume possible. First and foremost, they would like to thank Mrs. Renee Harris, Mrs. Barbara Roberts, Miss Judith Szabo, and Mrs. Julianna Ludanyi for the typing and retyping that goes
with any undertaking of this nature. The editors would also like to thank all those who contributed by providing moral or material support at important stages in the book's early evolution. Mr. Marton Sass, Dr. Enikõ Molnár Basa, Dr. August Molnar, Mr. Tibor Cseh, Mr. William Koteles, Mr. Béla Lipták, Mr. László Böjtös, Dr. Louis Szathmáry, Dr. John Palasics, Mr. John Venczel, Mrs. Narcissza Layton, and Ms. Agnes Bodnar deserve special mention. The editors also received constructive criticism and scholarly advice from their colleagues and friends in numerous academic disciplines. They are particularly grateful to Dr. Anne Lippert of Ohio Northern University for reading the French original of the Auer speech and its English translation to make sure that the latter was an effective and accurate rendition of the former. Along these lines, the editors also wish to say special thanks to Dr. Enikõ Molnár Basa and Mary and András Boros-Kazai for checking Rumanian census data at the Library of Congress and the Indiana University Library, respectively. For the maps included in this volume the editors want to express their gratitude to Mr. Tamas Frecska, whose language skills and historical awareness guaranteed maps that are accurate as well as attractive. They also want to say thanks for the suggestions and assistance or intellectual stimulation of Dr. Peter J. Fliess of the University of Massachusetts, Dr. David C. Saffell and Professor Mary Hammond of Ohio Northern University. Finally, for the attractive pen drawing on the jacket they would like to thank Vígh, István. Of course, for the opinions expressed in each one of the essays the responsibility belongs to the individual contributors. On the other hand, for any shortcomings that this joint effort may contain, the editors accept full responsibility.
The editors are confident that Transylvania: The Roots of Ethnic Conflict will fill a gap in the English-language scholarly world on the affairs of Rumanians, Hungarians, and Saxon-Germans in an important corner of Eastern Europe, and by providing a clearer perception of the area's past and present, they hope they have also contributed to a better future for all the inhabitants of Transylvania.
PAUL BõDY is a specialist in nineteenth-century Central European revolutionary and social movements. His published works include Joseph Eötvös and the Modernization of Hungary, 1840-1870.
JOHN F. CADZOW is the director of the Ethnic Heritage Program at Kent State University and organizer of the conference from which the present volume emerged. He is the author of The Lithuanian Americans and Their Communities in Cleveland.
ISTVAN DEAK is professor of history at Columbia University, former director of Columbia's Institute on East Central Europe, and past chairman of the American Association for the Study of Hungarian History. Among his books on East European topics is The Lawful Revolution: Louis Kossuth and the Hungarians, 1848-1849.
LESLIE S. DOMONKOS is professor of history at Youngstown State University. His specialty is medieval and renaissance history, and he has served several terms as visiting senior scholar at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
LOUIS J. ELTETO is chairman of the Department of Foreign Languages at Portland State University. His research in religious movements and church history have particular emphasis on the Unitarians in Transylvania. He is editor of Itt-Ott [Here-There], a bilingual periodical of social and literary criticism.
STEPHEN FISCHER-GALAtI is professor of history and director of the Center for Slavic and East European Studies at the University of Colorado. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Eastern European history and international affairs and is editor of East European Quarterly and East European Monographs.
JOSEPH HELD is former chairman of the History Department of University College, Rutgers University and, at present, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Camden. His latest book is The Modernization of Agriculture: Rural Transformation in Hungary, 1848-1949.
ELEMÉR ILLYÉS, now living in West Germany, is a frequent contributor to Hungarian language periodicals in Europe, largely on topics of minority problems
in East Central Europe. His major work is Erdély változása (Metamorphosis Transylvaniae), a study of nationality policies in present-day Rumania.
STEPHEN D. KERTESZ is professor emeritus of Government and International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Before emigrating to the United States in 1947, he served in the Foreign Ministry of the Hungarian government and was for a time first secretary of the Hungarian legation in Bucharest with responsibility for the Hungarian minority in southern Transylvania. He has published extensively on Eastern European political questions.
BÉLA K. KIRÁLY took a leading role in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Now professor of history at Brooklyn College, he is also chairman of the East European Section, Center for European Studies of the Graduate School at CUNY. He has written and published widely on Hungarian history and Eastern European politics.
ANDREW LUDANYI is professor of political science at Ohio Northern University and associate editor of Itt-Ott. His research and writings have dealt with ethnic relations in the American and Eastern European settings.
PETER PASTOR, professor of history at Montclair State College, is the author of Hungary Between Wilson and Lenin: The Hungarian Revolution of 1918-1919 and other works in modern Eastern European history.
EDSEL WALTER STROUP, author of Hungary in Early 1848: The Constitutional Struggle Against Absolutism in Contemporary Eyes, is currently working on his dissertation on the government of Count Lajos Batthyány at the University of Akron.
STEVEN BELA VARDY, current president of the American Association for the Study of Hungarian History, is professor of history at Duquesne University. He is the author of a political biography of Joseph Eötvös and several works on Hungarian historiography.
BULCSU VERESS holds a law degree from Eötvös University of Budapest and a degree in international relations from Columbia University. He is presently staff assistant to Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and has written numerous position papers on Eastern European ethnic relations.
|Transylvania - The Roots of Ethnic Conflict|