|Witnesses to Cultural Genocide|
The mass meeting at the university in Marosvasarhely occurred under far more subdued circumstances. Sandor Mogyoros and Janos Fazekas attended as representatives of the Central Committee. Even though the many Rumanian professors appointed to the new medical school were present at the meeting, the Hungarians still comprised an overwhelming majority. But there was a sentiment - shared by both sides - that any undue excitement over this matter would be a complete waste of time. In effect, the purpose of the mass meetings was to gain the acceptance - by unanimous vote in a spirit of enthusiasm - of those Party resolutions which the Central Committee had already adopted.
With the liquidation of the two universities - or, in other words, the administrative absorption of the Hungarian university system by the Rumanians - the foundation was completed for the fifteen-year program of Rumanianization of the faculty at the medical school in Marosvasarhely. Rumanian cadres were transferred to the new school from the other medical schools in Rumania (located at Kolozsvar, Bucharest and Temesvar). The terms were extremely favorable, including immediate promotions, top salary ranges and first-class apartments. And, indeed, Rumanian physicians flocked to Marosvasarhely in droves.
Briefly, the long-range, fifteen-year (1959-74) Rumanianization campaign consisted of the following concrete stages:
During the period 1959-64, from one year to the next, there were gradual reductions in the number of students allowed admission to the Hungarian sections of the philosophy and Hungarian linguistics and literature divisions of the "Babes - Bolyai" University, the Hungarian section of the division for secondary school teachers at the Conservatory of Music, as well as every other department or division dealing with the instruction of kindergarten elementary school and high school teachers. In 1963-64, the shortage of Hungarian teachers and secondary school professors was alreaciy evident in the educational system. By 1965-66, because of unfilled teachers' positions, Hungarian classes had to be discontinued at numerous locations. The advice from local school-inspectors was simple: send the child to a Rumanian school, where there is plenty of room, there are enough teachers and the child will be welcomed with open arms.
Between 1960 and 1965 the Hungarian boarding schools in Transylvania were systematically Rumanianized. Though they kept their original names, the Ady boarding school in Zilah and the famous "Gabor Bethlen" school in Enyed became Rumanian-Hungarian secondary and teachers' schools, with progressively more Rumanian and less Hungarian professors and students. The long renowned school of the [Hungarian] Reformed Church in Kolozsvar became the "Liceul Teoretic Ady-Sincai". Space belonging to the Marianum secondary school for girls, operated by nuns, was given to the Rumanian philology faculty, and the Hungarian Catholic High School in Temesvar was tansformed into a Rumanian sports school. Beginning in 1960, Hungarian classes in Rumanian-Hungarian secondary schools, as well as Hungarian sections and study centers at universities were progressively dismantled. In all cases, however, these measures were implemented within the strictest confines of the law, and no amount of checking up would have revealed the slightest violation of the law.
For sixteen years, I was a member of a University Council on the Sciences and I therefore had broad insight into the "mechanism" which was utilized to apply the laws. In actualty, there was nothing complicated in this procedure, which can be illustrated with a few simple examples:
(a) The university councils on the sciences governed on the basis of so-called "internal regulations" (dispozitii interne). One of these regulations provided that within each grade, students can be separated into several groups, with a minimum of 15 students enrolled in each group. For example: Biology, first year, has a t:otal of 60 students enrolled in 4 groups with 15 students in each. Of the four groups, three are Rumanian and one is Hungarian. If there are not 15 Hungarians, there is no Hungarian group, but there are four Rumanian groups. Naturally, according to the admissions test results, the Hungarian applicants were "unusually weak" and only 11 were accepted. No problem, the Council on the Sciences declared, we will add to the eleven Hungarians four Rumanians who were unable to enter until now due to the limited number of places, and the 11 plus 4 combined in this way will be slapped onto the remaining 45. A Hungarian group no longer exists, but the 60 students are again divided four ways, and there re now four Rumanian groups.
(b) The department of English language and literature, second year, has 75 students enrolled in 5 groups. Of the five groups, four are Rumanian and one is Hungarian. Eleven Rumanians and four Hungarians fail the final exams. Four incomplete Rumanian groups and one incomplete Hungarian group remain at the beginning of the next academic year. According to the regulations, a Hungarian group can exist only if there are 15 Hungarian students. The Rumanian groups must also have 15 students. The solution is obvious: the Hungarian group is dissolved because there are not enough Hungarian students, the remaining Hungarian students are merged into the Rumanian majority, and new groups are formed. The result: there are four Rumanian groups, but there is no longer a Hungarian group . . .
(c) At the beginning of the new university or secondary school academic year, the professors in the Hungarian section are regretfully informed that since there is no Hungarian section, there is no one left for them to teach and their contracts are therefore terminated. As a result of reapportionments, however, several new Rumanian groups have come into being and more Rumanian professors must therefore be hired. The result: each academic year there are fewer Hungarian professors, while the number of Rumanian professors grows in the same proportion.
The procedures are even more deceitful with respect to graduating students. There are two "internal regulations" which apply here. The first one states that the "Placement Committee" (Comisia de repartizare) must guarantee the graduating student with a job. The second, requires the graduating student to accept, by signing a written declaration, the job which the Committee has assigned him. Aside from this, there are also numerous "supplemental regulations" which provide that preferential treatment in the assignment of jobs will be given to pregnant students, young married couples and those couples who wish to be employed in the same place. All of the laws are framed in the greatest democratic spirit conceivable; they support the interests of the young people and guarantee their future.
How then can these laws be circumvented to serve the purpose of Rumanianization? Here are a few examples:
1. Eszter Borbath is a (Hungarian) girl from the (predominantly Hungarian) Kalotaszeg region. Her family, her fiance's family, her dowry and all that she has is from that region. She receives a degree in geography and wishes to return to her village to teach geography and be married there. There is in fact an opening for the position she seeks, but Eszter Borbath cannot occupy it, because - according to the regulations - this job belongs to Marioara Popescu (a Rumanian) whose husband operates a tractor in the neighboring village of Buteni. For Eszter Borbath, however, there are teaching jobs in Dobruja, Oltenia or the Danube Delta (non-Hungarian regions outside Transylvania).
2. Janos Kovacs (a Hungarian) graduates from medical school in Marosvasarhely. For two years now, his wife has been teaching in the (predominantly Hungarian) village of Mezoband. In that village, they already have a child and a place to live, and there is even an opening for the job of district physician. The regulations clearly provide that the district physician's job belongs to Janos Kovacs. Oh yes, but on the examinations in June, Janos Kovacs, who has passed all of the courses in his major field with grades of "excellent" or "outstanding", receives a failing grade in Marxist-Leninism. In spite of everything, Dumitru Cioara refuses to allow Janos Kovacs to pass, even with a grade of "satisfactory". The result: Janos Kovacs does not receive his medical school diploma now, but only in the fall. In the meantime, Constantin Costica (a Rumanian) takes the job in Mezoband. No harm done, says the "Placement Committee" in September, job openings are available for Janos Kovacs in (such non-Hungarian areas as) Maramaros, Bukovina or, to be more exact, in a village called Cucuteni near Iasi. I could list similar examples by the hundreds. In addition. there are internal regulations which are "strictly confidential". I saw only a single such regulation in Bucharest in 1969, which defined the precise ratio in which Rumanians must be assigned jobs in areas inhabited by Hungarians. At the same time, the unwritten law is that Hungarians must be sent to remote areas where the only spoken word which can reach their ears is Rumanian. The intentions are clear: to Rumanianize the regions inhabited predominantly by Hungarians and to disperse the Hungarians in the Regat: Dobruja, Oltenia and Moldavia.
POLICIES TOWARD CHURCHES
There is widespread knowledge by now of the anti-church policies of the East European regimes, the show-trials of clergymen and the other deeds perpetrated by the People's Democracies during the Stalinist and post-Stalinist periods. With regard to Rumania, however, all these acts were coupled with certain characteristic traits, which are peculiar to Rumanian politics. Before taking a drastic measure, the Rumanian authorities first created and secured the formal acceptance of certain laws which provided the legal bases for implementing those measures which the Party had initiated. From the start, the Rumanian policy toward churches was not to gradually cut off the branches of the tree from the top down and then sever the trunk, but rather to destroy the roots. In terms of Rumanianization this policy was all the more important, because thirty years ago, the Hungarian Catholic Church in Transylvania wass till a considerable and strong force. The same applies to the Reformed Church. Throughout Transylvania there was an excellently organized network of boarding schools, with outstanding faculties at its disposal. The Sisters of the Notre Dame and Ursuline Orders ran high-quality girls' schools at Temesvar, Szeben and Kolozsvar; the secondary schools of the Reformed Church were well-known in Europe; the Bishopric of Gyulafehervar was considered a citadel of church culture. The same applied to the Franciscan Friars of Kolozsvar. There was high quality religious instruction in the Hungarian primary and secondary schools, and the Piarist Iyceum of Temesvar enjoyed an international reputation before the War. It is apparent even from this short, schematic overview that Transylvanian Hungarian religious culture, founded on centuries of tradition, was still in full bloom thirty years ago. It will be of no small interest, therefore, to trace the manner in which the Rumanian communist government succeeded in annihilating this centuries old religious culture in the space of a mere thirty years.
On December 30, 1947, the Monarchy in Rumania was overthrown and the People's Republic was declared. The 1923 Constitution, which had guaranteed freedom of religion, was abolished. The new Constitution contained the well-known provision: "The church is to be separated from the state."
In 1948, the government carried out the first general school reform, whose most striking features have already been described above. As part of this reform, church-sponsored instruction in primary and secondary schools was abolished. With the enactment of the new Constitution and the implementation of the first stage of the school reform during the 1948-49 academic year, the Party now had at its disposal not only the ideological, but also the legal means to carry out a long-term plan regarding the church. As part of this plan - as early as 1948 - the gradual introduction of a policy of Rumanianization played a crucial role. It is characteristic of the government's insidious and underhanded methods that it had not yet openly attacked the "great enemy": the Hungarian Catholic Church. First, an unexpected attack was executed, which no one had anticipated: Rumanian Catholicism in Transylvania was eliminated, with the single stroke of a pen! The Rumanian Catholics in Transylvania were simply merged into the Orthodox Church. To this day, the problem of the Rumanian Catholics in Transylvania remains a subject open to research by experts. I am not qualified to discuss this question, nor does it comprise the sub ject of this paper. I would simply note that in the eyes of Orthodox Rumanians, the Transylvanian Rumanian Catholics were considered a group of "traitors" and "renegades". (Incidentally, during the last one hundred years until this very day, it has been this group of "traitors" and "renegades" which has provided the finest representatives of the Transylvanian intelligentsia.) Thus, before carrying out a policy of Rumanianization in Transylvania in the field of religion, the Rumanians first created order in their own house. Today there are no longer any Rumanian Catholics, and the Rumanians form a unified Orthodox bloc in Transylvania as well.
An integral part of this process was the following action: a centralized assault by Rumanian historians against the Hungarian Catholic Church. The reasoning behind this assault was that since the Hungarians had forcibly Catholicized the Transylvanian Rumanians, the latter must now turn back to the ancestral, orthodox faith, whether they like it or not.
After these Rumanian "fellow travelers" had been liquidated, the time was considered ripe for an open attack. Before all else - within the framework of school reform - all Hungarian church-sponsored schools in Transylvania were abolished. This was followed - until 1950 - by liquidation of the monasteries and convents, dissolution of the religious orders and imprisonment of the friars and nuns. In order to ward off official protests by the Hungarian Catholic Church, the government saw to it in timely fashion that the Transylvanian Hungarian press launch an inflammatory campaign of slander against Bishop Aron Marton, which lasted several months.
The Hungarians defended themselves as best they could, to the exent this was possible in the dark era of Stalinist dictatorship. Since it was no longer possible for children to receive religious instruction in school, their parents sent them to the nearest church for bible lessons. The Party took immediate counter-measures; those youngsters who attended bible lessons were called forth and publicly denounced at youth organization (U.T.M.) meetings, and then expelled from the organization. Their parents were called in and reprimanded for the unsatisfactory, non-Communist upbringing which they imparted to their children at home - in contrast to the instruction given in the schools. If one of the parents happened to be a Party member, he too was dismissed from the Party organization at his place of work.
In 1958 the universities were issued their first so-called "internal regulation", which forbade students from wearing the cross. If reprimands, denunciation, or expulsion from the U.T.M. failed to achieve the desired goal, then expulsion from school or university followed. In 1955 (sic) the Ministry of Education created one other blatant regulation: it eliminated Christmas and Easter vacations. This regulation afflicted all denominations equally. 
Today, especially when viewed from a Western perspective, all those measures which the government took, with the help of the Securitate, for the obvious purpose of discouraging Hungarians from going to church and practicing their religion, seem ludicrous and tragicomic. During the last twenty years, I too grew accustomed to the fact that on Christmas Eve or the night of the Resurrection, under some excuse, a Rumanian colleague would pay me a visit. Clearly the Securitate needed to have in its files a report, if at all possible, on how the given teacher sits around the Christmas tree with his family, or the fact that he participates in Easter parades. Based on such a report, questions can be raised, at an opportune moment, as to whether a teacher of this kind is suited to the education of youth in the proper Communist spirit
Toward public opinion and the West, however - again, in accordance with their evasive methods - spectacular show-case concessions were made. Allow me to illustrate this point with a few characteristic examples.
(A) For a period of many years, only the Rumanian Orthodox Church was permitted to organize street parades. On the Hungarian Easter day, processions were permitted only inside the churches. Prior to Ceausescu's visit to the Vatican, however, there was a street parade on the Hungarian Easter day as well. A crowd numbering in the thousands gathered on the Matyas Square in Kolozsvar. Employees of the Buftea Film Studio were there, diligently rolling their cameras. When Ceausescu arrived in Rome, the resulting newsreel was already being shown there. The filmstrip was also screened at the Rumanian Embassy in Rome in conjunction with a reception for journalists: let the whole world see how groundless are those aspersions which charge that Hungarian Catholics in Transylvania are oppressed.
(B) Gyorgy Argai, the Bishop of Kolozsvar, was commonly known as one of the strongest individuals in the post-war religious life of Transylvania. When he died, the Ministry of Cults, with unprecedented hypocrisy, staged a funeral with full honors, and summoned to Kolozsvar the leaders of all the denominations in Rumania including the Metropolitan from Bucharest and Chief Rabbi Rosen! After the funeral rites, the serpentine procession, with the church leaders at its head, proceeded across the main square of Kolozsvar, past St. Michael's Church and on to the Hazsongard Cemetery by way of university street. Again the cameras rolled. The photographs were displayed in the Rumanian pavillion at the U.N. in New York, at the talks held in Geneva in preparation for the Helsinki Conference, and in all Rumanian publications prepared for foreign consumption.
Thus, toward the outside there was an unceasing effort to prove that freedom of worship exists, while internally that freedom was trampled upon with every available means. The results were not long in coming. The Orthodox Church capitulated and became a loyal servant of the government; the Hungarian Catholic, Reformed and Unitarian Churches tended increasingly to play the role of passive figure-heads; and the Evangelical Church became completely isolated.
ATTACK ON NATIONAL SELF-IDENTITY
It is clear from the above that all those measures which - in whatever form - injured the national consciousness of Hungarians, and which multiplied as the years passed, made it inevitable that a massive inferiority complex would grow in the subconscious being of the Hungarian people. This feature of the psychological shock of minority existence is perhaps best characterized by the mounting insecurity which surrounds national self-identity. In the minds of Transylvanian Hungarians, this painful feeling of insecurity is constantly provoked by a variety of everyday phenomena. A father opens his child's history book and reads that Gheorghe Doja led the great Rumanian peasant uprising against the Hungarian feudal lords (Gyorgy Dozsa was a Hungarian who led a peasant uprising which had no national characteristics); that Ion Huniade was a great Rumanian general (Janos Hunyadi is internationally recognised as a great Hungarian general; he was a loyal subject of the Hungarian crown.); that Ion Caioni was forcibly Catholicized and made into Janos Kajoni (Janos Kajoni was. . . (?)) . . .
During a walk, we accidentally notice the street sign: we learn that this street is no longer Lajos Kossuth Boulevard, but "Boulevardul Independentei" (Independence Boulevard).
The memorial plaque on the house where Janos Fadrusz (19th century Hungarian sculptor was born, disappears undetected. Miklos Barta Street becomes "Strada 1 Mai" (May 1st Streetl, and day by day there are fewer signs in the Hungarian language, until finally - with the exception of the Szekely land - they disappear completely.
I purchase the Literary Encyclopedia published by the Rumanian Writers' Union. I open the book at random to Ferenc Szemler: "Scrutor si poet roman de expresie maghiara". In other words: Rumanian writer and poet who expresses himself in Hungarian. The encyclopaedia says the same of Andras Suto, Meliusz, Bodor, Paskandi, Tibor Balint.
I was invited to attend the fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the "George Dima" Conservatory in Kolozsvar, where the rector proudly states: "There has been a conservatory in Kolozsvar since 1919" (1919 being the year in which Rumania acquired sovereignty over Transylvania). But the monograph by Dr. Istvan Imre Lakatos comes to mind, which describes the 150 year-old conservatory in Kolozsvar, founded in 1819. . .
In Marosvasarhely splendid new hotels and supermarkets are being built, but Hungarian personnel are not hired, and the receptionists speak only in Rumanian or a foreign language, even if they also know Hungarian. Young men complain that in the army Hungarians cannot achieve a rank higher than corporal.
My neighbor's daughter graduates from high school with straight A's; she applies to the Hungarian section of Medical School of Marosvasarhely; on her entrance exam she excells in all subjects, but receives only a grade of satisfactory in Rumanian language and literature; her application is denied and Dumitru Popa is accepted in her place; she goes to work in a factory because if she were to stay at home for a year to prepare for the next entrance exam, she would be summoned by the People's Council for leading a parasitic lifestyle.
My wife goes shopping and addresses the salesperson in Hungarian who reprimands her; de ce nu vrorbiti romaneste. . . " Further examples could be listed ad infinitum, but I fear that ultimately I may awaken in the subconscious being of the Western reader as well, the gnawing and painful complex of the psychological shock of minority existence. In the case of the Transylvanian Hungarians, this complex joins with a sense of helplessness. At first these people seethe and bemoan their fate among themselves, then they fall into despair and go about their business, because they must survive. Finally they become totally indifferent when they see that certain "show-case Hungarians" have sold out to the system, while the honest ones and those who have refused to compromise build a ghetto around themselves.
CENTRAL ORGANS WHICH GOVERN THE COURSE
Beginning in 1965, the authority of the former Cadre Divisions was transfered to the Personnel Offices (Biroul de Personal).
The head of each office is either a Securitate officer in civilian clothes, or an official who reports directly to the state security organs. He takes orders from two individuals: the head of the institution (e.g. the director, the university rector, the collective farm president, etc.), and the Securitate officer assigned to that institution. The head of the Personnel Office must submit a semi-annual "strictly confidential" report to the Central Office of Statistics, which shows in exact proportions the nationality composition of the personnel. This breakdown must reflect exactly the percentage composition of the nationalities in the country as a whole. If some nationality is underrepresented due to personnel turnover, immediate measures are taken to correct the ratios to 87% Rumanian, 7% Hungarian, 4% German, and 3 % other nationalities (even in the many areas where the percentage of national minorities is higher).
In the institutions which are required to submit such data, the director is invariably Rumanian and only the assistant director is Hungarian. The assistant director can only be a person who is known to his superiors as a yes-man. In the overwhelmingly Hungarian inhabited regions, the Party Secretary can be Hungarian, but only if he is allso a yes-man. In such cases, however the trade union leader must be Rumanian. The reverse is often true as well.
Each year, the Hungarian language publishers in Rumania must place a certain number of Rumanian historical, political and literary works on the market, to the detriment of Hungarian authors. The book distributing concerns display a preference for the Rumanian works. Examples: (the Rumanian) Octavian Goga's complete works and his monograph are available in Hungarian in every Transylvanian bookstore, but only 80 copies are delivered of (the popular actress) Kinga Illye's' record (of poetry recitall entitled MISTLETOE), even though at least 5,000 copies would have been sold. In the bookstores of Moldavia and Dobruja, where no one buys them, these records are available in great quantities. (The Hungarian woodcut artist) Bela Gy. Szabo' is unable to obtain enough copies of his own published collections, MONTHS OF THE YEAR and WINTER IN MEXICO, but in Craiova and Ploesti unsold copies are stored in warehouses by the hundreds. The works of (the Rumanian) Dumitru Radu Popescu are available everywhere in Hungarian. The reader from Marosvasarhely finds Tibor Balint's SOBBING MONKEY only in Iasi, if he happens to travel through those parts. In the bookshop on the main square of Marosvasarhely, the reader is offered only the works of Ion Creanga and Mihai Sadoveanu (Rumanians).
In its report at the close of the fiscal year, the Book Distribution Concern reports that the works of Kinga Illyes, Bela Gy. Szabo and Tibor Balint were unprofitable, and the stores are burdened with vast numbers of leftover copies.
FOREWARD is the main Hungarian daily newspaper in Rumania. Its editorials and political news articles are taken word for word from the two Rumanian dailies, SCINTEII and ROMANIA LIBERA. This is the sum total of journalistic and editorial work. Before typesetting, the editor on duty must submit the material to the office of censorship, which checks on the authenticity of the translation. The local Hungarian press organs publish the previous day's material from SCINTEII and ROMANIA LIBERA in tlanslation. (It takes one Day before the provincial processing of the Bucharest papers can pass local censorship.)
The season schedule of the Hungarian theaters breaks down in the following manner: one Rumanian historical drama (for example, Delavrancea's STEFAN CEL MARE, or Ion Mitrea's MIHAI VITEAZUL), a Rumanian author's work which deals with the Party's activities during the time when it operated illegally (for example, Titus Popovici's POWER AND JUSTICE), one contemporary Hungarian work which deals necessarily with a contemporary topic (for example, Csavossy's THE EAR, or Mehes' LION IN THE CASTLE). Only after all of these plays have been shown can the theater present a more demanding work by one of the Transylvanian Hungarian authors, for example, a drama by Andras Suto or Geza Paskandi. Only after this can the theater even think of producing a classical play or the work of a contemporary foreign playwright, in which case the Transylvanian Hungarian theatergoing crowds are introduced - often after decades of delay - to the works of such figures as Durrenmatt, Albee, Beckett, Brecht, etc.
The Hungarian program of the Bucharest radio station broadcasts the following material: a detailed recapitulation of that day's Ceausescu speech, an in-depth review of Ceausescu's work schedule for that day, that day's meeting of the Rumanian Communist Party, news on the fulfillment of production goals in Botosani, Bacau, Targoviste (non-Hungarian towns) and maybe even a Transylvanian factory, Rumanian commercial successes at international fairs, accomplishments by Rumanian artists, new Rumanian books in Hungarian, short segments of foreign news, usually about the French or Italian strike movements or Third World struggles for liberation, and the weather report.
As for the news material broadcast by the Hungarian program of Rumanian television: on-the-spot coverage of Ceausescu's factory visits of the day, including at least ten minutes of the speech he delivered (in Rumanian, of course). Whoever might have missed it can watch the same story repeated on the evening news broadcast. This is followed by Ceausescu's work schedule for that day in pictures and interviews at the industrial development in Balanbanya, where Hungarians labor in fraternal harmony with the Rumanians who were resettled there. (The Rumanians speak twice as long - in Rumanian, of course - as the Hungarians interviewed, all this on the Hungarian language TV program.) Next there is a panorama: a showing of the new play by Dumitru Radu Popescu by the Hungarian section of the theater in Nagyvarad, Ion Mitrea's exhibition in Csikszereda, an interview with academician Istvan Peterffy, President of the Hungarian Nationality Workers Council, who proves, on the basis of Comrade Ceausescu's speeches, that Hungarians possess a vast array of rights which were lacking in the past.
If one of Ceausescu's Transylvanian trips is broadcast, the organizers see to it that Hungarians dressed in folk costume are prominently displayed at the head of the festive crowds. Applause is mandatory, and is filmed from every angle to show how the Hungarians celebrate Ceausescu. In the course of a twenty-minute folk dance program, a Hungarian and a German dance group are always included. You see, the minorities are also represented! If the Rumanian tennis team makes gains in the Davis Cup competition due to the playing of (the Hungarian) Tamas Ovics of Marosvasarhely, "the crowd enthusiastically celebrates Toma Ovici, the outstanding Rumanian athlete". The name Istvan Ruha is changed to Stefan Ruha and it is thus the "Rumanian" violinist's performance which is broadcast from the Enesco festival. Tiberiu Olah, one of the most talented Rumanian composers (alias the Hungarian Tibor Olah) is awarded a scholarship in West Berlin. Prof. Dr. Ion Ianosi (alias the Hungarian Janos Janos), the famous Rumanian aesthete, has been elected a member of the Pen Club. Interviews are made with Janos Szasz and Pal Bodor about Hungarian writers - in Rumanian, of course.
In conclusion, here are a few more dry facts concerning the measures taken to achieve the isolation of Hungarians in Transyivania.
The Hungarian Consulates in Kolozsvar and Marosvasarhely were shut down.
Tourist traffic and family visits have been gradually curtailed. According to laws currently in effect, Hungarians with Rumanian citizenship are allowed to visit their relatives in Hungary only once every two years. Relatives from Hungary can visit each week, if they wish. If a relative arrives from Hungary, he may be accommodated in the family's home only if he is an im mediate relative (i.e. parent, child or spouse). Otherwise he must stay at a hotel. Severe fines are levied against violators.
Newspapers, periodicals and magazines from Hungary cannot be obtained in Transylvania. IZVESTIA, PRAVDA, RUDE PRAVO and NEUES DEUTSCHLAND are all available from larger news vendors, but NEPSZABADSAG (People's Liberty, the official Hungarian newspaper) is not.
The immortal cultural treasures of Hungarian history - the ar chives, the old libraries, the manuscripts and codexes confiscated from monasteries, etc., all that which pertains to the Hungarian past - are inaccessible to historians and researchers. It is possible to enter the State Archives only with permission from the highest authorities, and only in cases which have been thoroughly justified beforehand. The documents of many centuries, reflecting the great cultural, historic and
artistic traditions of Hungarians in Transylvania, are today languishing under lock and key in the cellars of libraries and archives.
I have reached the end of what I have to say.
I realize that what is here written does not nearly reflect all that which the world should know about the fate of the Transylvanian Hungarians. Overshadowed by the great problems in the world today and lost in the treadmill of everyday life, the fate of Hungarians in Transylvania - due to lack of space perhaps? - has been forced into an inconspicuous corner of the stage, behind the scenes. One fact is clear: in the agonizingly consuming day-to-day routine of general indifference, more and more Transylvanian Hungarians want to leave. They follow the example of the Saxons and Swabians: they would rather abandon the ancestral homeland inhabited for hundreds of years by their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, and submit emigration papers. Almost everyone has relatives in Hungary, or a family member who emigrated to the West, or someone who fled Hungary in 1956 and settled somewhere in the world.
In the Summer of 1976, shortly before my final departure from Rumania, there were 60,000 pending emigration requests on the desks of passport offices in Transylvania.
Others have reached the point where they hide their Hungarian nationality. Name changes are becoming more frequent. Papp is changed to Pop, Szilagyi to Silaghi, Kovacs to Covaciu, Komlossy to Comlosan. In cases of mixed marriages, the Hungarian husband assumes the name of his Rumanian wife: perhaps this will make it easier for him to manage. In conclusion, I will attempt to list the tools of Rumanianization:
1. The Rumanian language is required of Hungarians.
2. Hungarians are channeled into the lower branches of economic, cultural and social life. They are very rarely appointed to positions of leadership, and then only on the basis of political reliability.
3. It has become obvious by now that there is an effort to put an end to all education in the minority languages.
4. The complete Rumanianization of higher education is only a question of time.
5. The appointment of Hungarians to university or scientific research positions is becoming more and more infrequent.
6. The resettlement of Rumanians into Transylvanian regions inhabited primarily by Hungarians is proceeding systematically and without interruption.
7. Year after year the number of printed copies of Hungarian newspapers and periodicals is decreasing.
8. As an organic part of the Rumanianization campaign, Transylvanian Hungarian art and culture is constrained to transfer Rumanian characteristics into the Hungarian consciousness, thereby eliminating the possibility that the self-expression of Transylvanian Hungarians reflect their own beliefs and the problem of their existence.
9. Hungarians only have a place within the leading triumvirate of institutions and concerns if they fulfill the Party directives without fail and submit to the decisions of the Rumanian majority.
10. In spite of the fact that the government in Budapest is well aware of this situation, it passively stands aside, and watches the gradual destruction of the Transylvanian Hungarians.
|Witnesses to Cultural Genocide|