[Table of Contents] [Previous] [Next] [HMK Home] THE NATIONALITIES PROBLEM IN TRANSYLVANIA 1867-1940

The Political Rights of the Romanians

From the point of view of self-defense of ethnic groups living under alien rule, the measure and use of political rights is always critical. It is with regard to the curtailment of these rights that we find the largest number of justified complaints by Romanians in Hungary. Once the


Hungarian house of parliament had defeated their request for the autonomy of Transylvania after the Compromise, the majority of Romanians opted to give up the utilization of their political rights. In 1869, at a conference at Szerdahely, most Romanians from Transylvania declared political passivity with regard to elections at the national level. In other words, they decided what they would not field candidates for parliamentary elections nor represent themselves in parliament. They justified their decision on the ground of the existing election laws and of the aggressive government intervention at the polls. They declared they would not participate in the parliamentary elections, because the unjust provisions of the electoral laws and the abuses committed by government made it almost impossible for Romanian candidates to succeed. On the other hand, they intended to continue participation within the autonomous bodies of the communities and of the counties and did in fact remain active at those levels. 79

Against the arguments for passivity, the activists remained in a minority. Their leader was Andrei Saguna, the famous Romanian Orthodox archbishop. Saguna was consoled only by the fact that the Romanians in areas of Hungary outside of Transylvania remained politically active and sent delegates to the Hungarian parliament in Budapest regularly.

In reality, the decision in favor of passive resistance was reached not because of the actual injustices of the electoral system, or the aggressive government intervention at the polls. By passive resistance they strove to achieve Romanian self-government in Transylvania, much as the Hungarians had done during the period of the Austrian autocratic rule. The years passed and it soon became obvious that passive resistance entailed negative consequences for the Romanian population. These consequences were summarized in a classic formulation by the Libertatea in 1902, the weekly of Szaszvaros published by that group of Romanians who advocated political participation. According to their formulation, the most deplorable consequence of passivity was that:

we have deprived ourselves of the most effective tool for the political schooling of our people, a schooling which could have helped mold them into citizens aware of their national and individual rights.... Today the situation is that the overwhelming majority of the masses from which the National Party has to recruit its militants do not have the faintest idea of the mission and demands of the party.


As a consequence of passivity, the people never even found out what rights they had within the state, let alone how to use those rights. As a consequence of passivity the people forgot their leaders and at times became victims of all kinds of candidates who lost campaigns in some other electoral district. They no longer support the former leaders of the National Party and, what is even worse, "their hatred towards their oppressors, against whom they had had to fight so hard during the electoral campaigns at one time, has abated, and even died down almost completely." Indeed, this was the case: these arguments of the group from Szaszvaros were conforming to reality in almost every respect. In many places the people, rather than stay away from voting, had voted for non-Romanians; there was no one to whip up the passions of the crowd during the campaigns, hence the anti-Hungarian fervor had indeed decreased considerably.

Through the weekly the activists launched an aggressive movement in favor of participation. They pointed out that passive resistance the electoral laws, had also become a:

...most solemn declaration of national weakness and contemptibility. Because assuming that our voters are aware of their rights and that they are men, if we have the absolute majority of voters in 30 or 40 electoral districts; there is no power in the world that could prevent the victory of the national candidate, in spite of the strange laws and artfully designed boundary lines of these districts, unless the voters are stopped by force.

The erstwhile defeats suffered by the National Party during elections for parliament can be attributed to a failure to exercise those rights in full. In most cases "it was due to our own weakness or, better said, to our political immaturity and lack of orientation." The Saxons are a shining example of this truth. Why can't the government manipulate elections in a Saxon district without the Saxon's consent? After all, they resort to the same measures towards the Saxons. "But the difference lies in the fact that the Saxon voters are disciplined and aware of their rights, so they cannot be enticed away from their own candidates, whether by pressures or bribery." If the Romanians gave up their passivity then the electoral campaigns would reinforce the national consciousness of the Romanians and make the masses aware of their political rights.

Thus before long, as regards the use of the right to vote, we have complete control over our voters, and it become impossible


for our adversaries to keep us down. I am not underestimating the terror and force that can be used by the executive power; but we can confront their terrorism with a far more powerful terrorism, that of the masses of the people which the nation, fully aware of its power, may resort to. 80

This campaign of the activists soon carried the day. The activists among the former leaders of the Romanian National Party were able to control an increasingly large constituency. Soon the Romanian National Party helped the young leader of the activist group, the lawyer Dr. Aurel Vlad, enter the elections as a candidate at Dobra, in 1903.

The polling was preceding by a great deal of excitement. The laws on franchise in Hungary tied the right to vote to certain property qualifications; in other words, not everyone had the franchise, only those with sufficient income. The rosters of the voters were revised each year, to add new names or delete the names of those who no longer qualified. While the Romanians had remained passive, little care was taken to determine whether the new voters were truly eligible or not. After the turn of the century, however, they became interested in determining the number of Romanian voters in every electoral district. The control of these rosters was the task of local authorities, according to the principle of autonomy. Upon the announcement of activism the Romanian leaders intervened first in the district of Naszod to check the roster of Romanian voters in that area. For instance, in the village of Magyarnemegye [Nimigea de Jos] they determined that of the eighty persons registered to vote, many were no longer entitled to the franchise; hence only 17 names were admitted onto the new roster. At the meeting of the central voters, committee the Hungarians requested that they be reinstated. On the counter-motion of the Romanian doctor, Ciuta, their request was denied. Then the Hungarians carried their complaint, to the effect that the Romanians were persecuting them and depriving them of their franchise, all the way to the Ministry of the Interior. The Minister also denied their request. Before they could request their reinstatement once again, the deadline for appeals had passed; and thus the Hungarian voters in this village lost their franchise on the motion of Dr. Ciuta, who was consciously representing Romanian interests; according to the census mentioned in the law, they were not entitled to vote that year anyway. 81

The Romanians effected similar controls in the area of Szaszvaros. In 1903, after almost one year of publication by Libertatea, Aurel Vlad launched his campaign at Dobra. Thanks to the prodding of Libertatea, all the Romanian priests and civil servants supported his campaign.


There were plenty of interesting scenes during the campaign. Enormous crowds assembled on election day. Anyone about whom it was suspected that he did not intend to vote for Vlad was loudly berated. Soldiers and gendarmes were summoned to maintain law and order. In order to encourage the Romanian voters, they played the Deseapta during the actual voting. The militants of the opposite party attacked the supporters of Vlad, including their leader, the deacon Morariut as we may read from the report; but the gendarmes dispersed them right away. The president of the election committee "behaved honorably and in a perfectly correct way." 82

Thus Vlad was elected at Dobra by a landslide, and this victory considerably strengthened the hand of those advocating activism. Now they set upon to prepare general Romanian activism everywhere. All the Romanians of Hungary became active during the campaign of 1905, and from then on made full use of their political rights everywhere.

This was when the Romanian National Party of Hungary reorganized once again. The party had been originally organized on the basis of a resolution adopted at the voters' conference of 1883 in Nagyszeben. Although passive in parliamentary elections, the party carried out impressive social and especially journalistic activities. Taking advantage of its contacts with the parties and newspapers of Bucharest, it organized an information service to broadcast information towards foreign countries regarding the situation of the Romanians of Hungary. The party soon succeeded in shaping opinion abroad regarding the situation of the Romanians of Hungary, which sharply condemned the Hungarian government's systematic "oppression of the nationalities." The Tribuna, bringing the Romanians of Hungary completely under the influence of Bucharest, endowed the party with a great deal of prestige. The Hungarian authorities took note of the anti-Hungarian and anti-state activities of the Romanian National Party with increasing concern when the mood abroad became even more unfavorable due to the Romanian Cultural League formed in Bucharest in 1891. In 1892 the Romanian leaders took a memorandum to Vienna with the intention of placing it into the hands of the ruler, Francis Joseph. Their dailies had been editorializing on the significance of this move for awhile. Briefly stated, it meant that the Romanians, by-passing the Hungarian government in Budapest since they did not recognize the legitimacy of Hungarian leadership in the country turned with their complaints directly to the rulers of the Monarchy, the Emperor of Austria. This move meant open rejection of the constitution of the Hungarian state and of the Dual system brought about in 1867. At the time the Hungarian authorities could only suspect what we now know for certain


from the recollections of those who prepared the memorandum, namely that the whole movement was initiated and orchestrated by political circles in Romania. The ruler, would not accept the memorandum on constitutional grounds. Then the Romanian National Party, bent on turning the issue of the Romanians of Hungary into a European issue at all cost, took a very significant step. It published the text of the memorandum in the official paper of the party, in order to compel the Hungarian government to become aware, officially, of the dissatisfaction of the Romanians, and perhaps to initiate proceedings against them. The Party succeeded, since the shortsighted Hungarian government did indeed render this service to the Romanians. The government brought the leaders of the Romanian National Party to court and sentenced them in 1894, while resolving to dissolve the party. After the dissolution the Romanians could claim everywhere that the reason for the dissolution was the national character of the Party, which the Hungarian government would not tolerate. But a few years later one of the most prestigious leaders of the Romanians, Ioan Mihu, admitted that the facts had been presented in a false light. The dissolution of the Romanian National Party by order of the Minister occurred not because of the national or Romanian nature of the Party, but because it had overstepped certain boundaries in its activities and its manifestations. 83 Indeed, this was the case. The members of the Party not only openly demanded a change in the constitution of the country, but openly admitted their political contacts with circles in Romania in the columns of their newspapers. So the government considered it could no longer overlook its operations, hence the order issued by Minister of the Interior, Hyeronimi, to dissolve it.

In order to become active once again, the Party had to place itself on a legal footing; it changed the political program of 1881, reconciling it with the constitution of the country. As one member of the activist group had noted already in 1903, the first point of the program of 1881 regarding the autonomy of Transylvania "was a matter of constitutional law aimed at changing and breaking up the political unity of the Hungarian nation." 84 Once this part of the program was modified, the Romanian National Party could operate legally once again; and it soon operated throughout the country. Everywhere the Romanian candidates undertook to check whether the rights of the Romanian voters were respected. Wherever they detected abuses, they immediately intervened and turned to the appropriate authorities for remedies, obtaining rewarding results. In 1904 they elected members of the county assembly at Dobra. During the polling Hits, a notary of Dobra, distributed slips of paper to the voters, promoting the victory of the


Hungarian list of candidates. The Romanians appealed the results. Their appeal was rejected in the lower court, but the Supreme Court sided with them, ,'...not merely for formal reasons, but also because it has been demonstrated that the notary distributed slips of paper to the people, and this indicates that the elections were not free and were not a true expression of the will of the voters. Thus," notes the Romanian reporter, "this decision brings great honor upon the courts of the regime, since it reflects real justice." 85

The activities of the Romanian representatives included control over the registration of voters. Thus when the committee of registration did not want to include the Romanians of Pricaz, in the vicinity of Szaszvaros, on the roster, Vlad appealed the decision and the central committee was compelled to add 66 new Romanian voters. Other interventions soon increased the number of Romanian voters by over one hundred. "Under such circumstances the success of the Romanian candidates will continue to be ensured in the future " commented the official paper of the activist group with satisfaction. 86 In the district of Szaszvaros, Vlad and his companions increased the number of Romanians eligible to vote from 170 to 243. "The Supreme Court effected such improvements that our numbers increased and exceeded those of the foreigners by 260." "How did we get this far?" asked the paper.

By competence and persistence. After the representative of our district, Dr. Vlad, got elected and saw how the opponents were eager to curtail the rights of the people, he hurried to their defense and made justice prevail, so that we may come out of the struggle stronger. 87

In the following issue, returning to the success of the appeals and the measures taken by the authorities, it stressed: "now there is a live example in front of our nation; but fighting for its rights with competence and in a manly fashion the Party will obtain these rights, even if not invariably or completely." 88

The paper once again pointed to the deliberate intervention of the Romanian delegates and their campaign managers when the notaries, disregarding the electoral laws, failed to inform the people in a timely manner regarding the exercise of their right to vote, and were penalized after the elections of 1905. "Let our nation remember throughout Transylvania that unlawful acts will not go unpunished if they are denounced in the right place and thoroughly enough." 89


This attitude of the Hungarian authorities and the activity pursued by Libertatea over the years on behalf of terrorism soon bore interesting fruits. At the time of the elections of 1906 the candidates of the Romanian National Party and of the government often clashed. These clashes sometimes took legal forms, but often led to abuses. The men of the government and those acting on the basis of the principles enunciated by the Libertatea resorted to all kinds of threats. The home of Hits, the notary of Dobra already mentioned, was set on fire one night by "unknown" culprits. Similar or somewhat lesser damage was inflicted on campaign managers acting on behalf of non-Romanian candidates. The candidates of the government party also wanted to ensure their success by various abuses or high-handed acts. At Dobra the gendarmes pushed the voters away from the polls. Then the soldiers of the joint army marched out and prevented further attacks by the gendarmes against the people. At Szilagycseh [Cehul Silvaniei] gangs, probably hired in secret by the candidates, dominated the scene. There, soldiers and the gendarmes operated together against the gangs: their detachments attacked the brawlers and forced them to retreat. 90

In the community of Igen the enthusiasm and consciousness of the Romanian voters carried the day with the election of Alexandru Vaida-Voevod. "We would have won in all those districts," commented the Libertatea, "where we are in the majority if the Romanians were as enthusiastic about the cause as the Romanians of the district of Igen." 91

Other results support this contention. Most of the time when the Romanian voters, aware of their rights, acted self-consciously and persevered through a well organized campaign until its conclusion; they did succeed in getting their candidate elected. This truth became particularly obvious on the occasion of the voting at Boksa [Bocsa Romana]. Here there was a by-election in 1907. An editor from Lugos, Valeriu Braniste, the candidate of the Romanian National Party, was opposed by the official candidate named Weisz. The Romanian press announced the results beforehand. It invited representatives of the press from Romania and other foreign papers to come and observe the elections. It predicted they would witness interesting scenes because the authorities would resort to all kinds of abuses on behalf of the candidate of the government party. Moreover, they invited the foreign press because they wanted to show them the consciousness of the Romanian voters. But the day of the elections brought great disappointment. At Boksa the Romanian voters registered more votes for Weisz than they did for Branista, and without any serious pressure from the authorities. The weekly of Szaszvaros quoted Iorga's rather downcast observations:


"The press from Bucharest, Vienna, and other places in the West witnessed no fights, nor even vehement arguments. There was no bloodshed at Boksa. Only some hearts were bleeding. It was a proper election, even if it wasn't quite clean." 92 The weekly from Szaszvaros added: "The defeat we suffered at Boksa as a result of our sins and weaknesses have given heart to our political opponents."

In final analysis, the elections at Boksa did not favor the Romanian National Party because of lack of organization. At subsequent elections, however, it was often the abuses committed by the candidates of the government that elicited similar defeats. Under Istvan Tisza the government strove with all its power to increase the effectiveness of the government party which supported the Dual system, exerting considerable pressure on behalf of its own candidates. But the various forms of electoral abuses affected Romanians and Hungarians alike. In fact, the Romanians were in a more favorable situation in a way, for they seldom collaborated with the Kossuth Independence Party; hence, they were not so much of a threat to the government as the voters who favored the Kossuth Party in the great majority of purely Hungarian regions. At election time more serious abuses were committed in Hungarian areas than in districts dominated by other ethnic groups. Some agents of the administration, especially the sheriffs, harassed the Hungarian peasantry more actively than they harassed the Romanians. Thus, the Romanians were not affected by any special discrimination against ethnic groups during the election campaigns. Occasionally, the gendarmes even resorted to shooting; the clashes resulting in casualties usually involved Hungarian voters. According to the evidence provided by Romanians papers, Hungarian law and order units did not fire volleys at Romanian voters.

Apart from elections to parliament, the elections in the counties always took place with the full participation of Romanian candidates throughout Hungarian rule. The minutes of the county assemblies are filled with descriptions of the intense struggles waged by Romanian delegates. The Romanian delegates intervened on all issues that touched upon the interests of the Romanian people and defended these interests effectively. Their attitude was well characterized by an episode at the county assembly of Nagyszeben in 1898. Here the deputy governor replied to the Romanian intervention that had taken place during the previous meeting. A Romanian member of the assembly had complained about the behavior of the gendarmes at Szelistye where one of them slapped a Romanian on May 15. At the conclusion of the investigation, the gendarme was punished. The Romanian delegate acknowledged the reply and expressed thanks to the deputy county high


sheriff for the investigation, because it "would surely have the positive result that the gendarmes, once aware that their actions are monitored will act more humanely and will no longer harass the people." 93

After all this, the question arises, what possibilities were open to the political leaders of the Romanians of Hungary? In other words, what power factors characterized the political life of the Romanians?

The political situation of the Romanians who took the path of activism after 1905 was undoubtedly favorable even though the number of Romanian members of parliament remained extremely small in relation to the size of the Romanian minority in the country: the Romanian voters elected five, sometimes fifteen, on the average eight to ten representatives to the Hungarian parliament. We have seen that the outcome of the elections were a function not only of pressure by the authorities, but of the degree of consciousness of the Romanian masses as well. On the other hand, it is clear that the political weight of the Romanians was determined not by the numbers of Romanian representatives, but rather by the economic, social, and cultural situation of the Romanian people, and by the international conjuncture which was even more important in a way. As a result of the combined impact of all these factors, the political situation of the Romanians of Hungary was not merely good; it improved year after year.

It follows that the influence of Romanian leaders was much greater than indicated by the numbers of Romanians representatives in parliament. In final analysis it was their financial independence, the financial and political support they received from Romania, the propaganda abroad, and the conspiracy with the anti-Hungarian Crown- Prince Francis Ferdinand that determined the political power of the Romanians. On a given occasion all these factors were so many weapons against the Hungarian state and its agencies.

The Romanian political leaders became even more financially independent of the state after 1905. Of the fifteen Romanian members of parliament in 1908, thirteen were directors of banks or stood at the helm of some Romanian financial institution as a member of its board of directors; most often they had diplomas as lawyers and were individually well-to-do. 94 Therefore, they could conduct the politics of the Romanian cause from a financially safe position, not having to worry about their livelihood. They enjoyed the complete financial and political support of the Romanian state. As we have seen, the Romanian parties actively supported and guided the political leaders of the Romanians of Hungary already in the 1880's. Teodor Mihali, one of the best known leaders of the Romanian National Party, pointed out the significance of these political contacts with the Kingdom of Romania


after the World War I: the Romanian leaders of Transylvania acted according to instructions received from entitles in the Romanian Kingdom on every important issue. These contacts with Bucharest became an integral part of the political life of the Romanians of Hungary. From the time of the Memorandum all important political issues were decided according to instructions from Bucharest. 95

The power of the political leaders of the Romanians of Hungary was considerably enhanced by other foreign contacts as well. These contacts resulted from the propaganda campaign the Romanian press of Hungary carried on abroad, beginning soon after the Compromise. The basic principle of this propaganda effort was identical with the struggle the Tribuna of Nagyszeben launched at the beginning of 1884 against the Hungarians and against Romanians intent on fraternizing with the Hungarians. This principle was summarized by the Tribuna as follows; "We must bring this regime into ill repute." 96 The term regime referred to the Dual Monarchy and the Hungarian government in general. Every Hungarian mistake or abuse of authority was publicized abroad in an exaggerated, distorted, misinterpreted form. The papers of Bucharest reprinted articles of the Romanian papers in Hungary, whence they reached the foreign press French, Italian, German, English, etc. The Hungarian government could ill defend itself against this campaign. What's more, since it misjudged the problem for a long time, it even contributed to the Romanian propaganda by its ill-advised measures and its numerous mistakes. The opinions in foreign countries, particularly among the Western powers, turned increasingly against the Hungarian state and its policy on nationalities. This became particularly obvious as the time of the Memorandum trial and later, when the foreign contacts of the Romanians proved even more rewarding for the Romanian cause. Celebrities, including prestigious representatives of the literary and scientific worlds, took a stand on behalf of the Romanians of Hungary one after another. Their one-sided interpretations stemmed from the Romanian press. Thus, in 1908, Bjornstjerne Bjornson spoke out against the educational policies of Count Albert Apponyi, his data were provided by the correspondent of the Tribuna of Arad, who suffered no harm for doing that. 97 The Romanian informants, of course, failed to provide comparative date, and the diplomats representing the Hungarian state consisted for the most part of Austrians, or of indifferent individuals from among the gentry or magnate strata who were bored and unable to furnish factual information or serve Hungarian interests.

Occasionally, the Hungarian government and individual Hungarian statesmen tried to make peace with the Romanians, but these efforts


proved futile. According to the Romanians, they were futile because the Hungarians were unwilling to meet the justified demands of the Romanians; but according to authentic Romanian statements from after World War I, there can be no doubt that these efforts failed because of the intervention of circles in Romania. When the conversations between Istvan Tisza and Romanian politicians got under way in 1914, "the Romanian National Party immediately informed the Romanian government, and undertook the negotiations in agreement with the latter." 98 When the negotiations led to no results, the Romanian press hinted at the real reason for the fiasco. The outcome of the negotiations, according to an article in Luceafarul, could not have changed the situation in any case, since the future

...is not subject to agreements between political leaders, for it is determined by the iron rails of the course of historical events. The times are more powerful than any individual will, because the soul of our Romanian masses can no longer be tampered with. Only the national principle rules over them and... agreements, pacts, cease-fires of any kind mean nothing in the cauldron of great events which drive us ineluctably towards the goal

which had guided us but faintly until now.

The Libertatea, reprinting this eloquent statement, added: indeed, it is so." 99

The political clout of the Romanians of Hungary derived in part from areas outside of Hungary, and not much could be done to counteract that. With the shortsightedness peculiar to him, Francis Ferdinand believed that contacts with Romanian leaders could serve to reconstitute a united Austria. As the events were to demonstrate, he was the victim of a serious error in judgment. The Romanians were interested only in realizing a single objective, the unification of Transylvania with Romania.

Equal Rights Before the Law

In substance it is possible to answer the much debated question, whether the nationalities, specifically the Romanians, enjoyed equal rights during the Dual Monarchy, on the basis of the particular cases already cited. The authors of Romanian publications intended for foreign countries generally denied that equal rights existed. Their claims misled more than one well-intentioned foreign researcher. Much as in the matter of whether the law on nationalities was observed or


not, comments on the administration of justice in Hungary also became critical. According to these comments, Hungarian justice was always prejudiced when it came to the affairs of the nationalities; its decisions were imbued by national hatred; and equal rights remained an empty fiction for members of the ethnic groups.

The Romanian sources cited in the preceding chapters lead us to question the one-sided assertions above. The decisions regarding complaints against electoral abuses, the dismissal of cases for lack of evidence, the authorization issued by the courts to allow the singing of the anti Hungarian Romanian anthem, and similar decisions indicate that equality before the law was a demonstrable reality. We have quoted the meaningful statement of the Romanian weekly from Szaszvaros, according to which "it is not the name or the nationality of the lawyer that counts in the courts, but the facts.,'

Most Romanian complaints and criticism from abroad aimed against the Hungarian system of justice, naturally centered on press trials of a political nature. The accusation that the Hungarian juries and courts see the Romanians as political adversaries, hence smite them with unjustly severe sentences, was almost universal. But an analysis of the better known trials involving agitation or some other political factor, does not support this contention. If we examine the events leading to judicial proceedings, the article or act that became the object of accusation; we find that in the overwhelming majority of cases the proceedings were justified. No state has ever remained indifferent towards those who engaged in acts denying its constitution or jeopardizing the internal and external security of the state.

The ideology of the judicial system is best revealed by the sentences passed by the highest judicial forum, the Supreme Court (Kuria), and their justification. Courts at the first and second levels often introduced subjective considerations; but the sentences handed down by the Supreme Court were formed on the basis of a consistent ideology, and they faithfully mirrored Hungarian juridical views regarding equality in front of the law.

A typical example was the sentence pronounced by the highest court in the case of the Romania Uniate priest, Vasile Lucaciu of Lacfalu, in a trial pertaining to agitation. The circumstances were also noteworthy. As mentioned, Lucaciu was of the boldest advocates of Romanian irredentism in the late eighties. While he launched a nationwide collection for a church "dedicated to the unification of all Romanians,,' he also took an active part in Romanian political movements. He belonged to the sharply anti-Hungarian group around the Tribuna and, at the conference of Nagyszeben in 1887, he was one of the principal


advocates of the memorandum to be sent to the Emperor. Upon his return from the conference, he delivered a speech to Romanian voters, over two hours long, in the course of which he passionately incited the audience against the Hungarians, according to the prosecution. In that speech he made assertions such as:

They turned us into beggars. We are oppressed. The ministers unleash whole armies of oppressors upon us. We are excluded from everything, and our language commands no respect. The rights of the Romanians are trampled upon all over the country. We live without rights or justice. Romanians are not appointed to state schools. Those who are appointed must renounce their nationality. We are outlaws all our lives, because we are excluded from everywhere and deprived of our rights.

Lucaciu admitted having used these expressions, but he denied having made the assertions attributed to him by some Romanians who denounced him after the speech. Throughout his trial at the court in the first instance, he used his mother tongue. In his Romanian defense he protested vigorously against using Hungarian, referring to the law on nationalities which guarantees the right to use one's mother tongue in court. Upon cross-examination of the witnesses, the Hungarian jury acquitted him of the charge. The prosecutor, however, well aware of local conditions and of Lucaciu's feelings, appealed the decision. The court in the second instance confirmed the acquittal, even though Lucaciu continued to persist in his irredentist activities. The prosecution once again appealed, and the case came in front of the Supreme Court. This Court reconfirmed the decisions taken by the lower courts and it offered a detailed explanation.

The Supreme Court claimed that the multitude of life experiences and famous court cases predisposed the court to exercise the greatest circumspection in such matters.

It questioned if members of an audience are able to faithfully recollect the contents of a long speech, the expressions, examples, or similes used by the speaker, upon hearing the speech but one time, without mixing these recollections with their own subjective reactions.

The speech that was the subject of the accusation lasted over two hours. It was delivered partly in the everyday language of the people, partly in literary Romanian. The almost two hundred listeners who had assembled in the courtyard of the village restaurant could not have heard the arguments of the speaker without interference. The judges


surmised that this was the case of the individuals who, after the speech, repeated it in front of the Hungarian authorities in "surprising detail."

Among those who made the denunciation, there were farmers who could not read nor write. Undoubtedly, they could not have understood a significant portion of the speech, since it was delivered in Romanian literary style, a style completely unfamiliar to simple people. Moreover, the accusers retracted some of their statements during the trial. According to his own admission, the government official who attended the meeting did not understand Romanian, hence he could not ascertain precisely the contents of the speech in question.

"For all these reasons we must accept as just the statement of the court in the second instance, according to which what is contained in the denunciation and in the testimony of the witnesses cannot be considered as the actual content of the speech of the accused."

The Supreme Court also observed that the speech, or its essential parts, was noted by several persons, even if not verbatim or in shorthand. A memorandum had been prepared on the basis of these notes, and authenticated for the purpose of publication in the Romanian papers. The judges assumed that this memorandum, attached to the records of the trial, reflected faithfully the ideas of the speaker.

They claimed that according to this text, the speech without the least doubt, "contained crude and improper expressions regarding the government and the administration." Nor could it be doubted "that the speech contained untrue, distorted, or exaggerated statements regarding the prevailing political, administrative, or economic conditions." Moreover, it cannot be doubted that some of the administrative shortcomings "and the general confusion which may arise in administration were described by the speaker in a one-sided and disloyal manner, as if it were exclusively the Romanian population which was subjected to those "sufferings." Nor can it be doubted that the speaker used those arguments which were to conform to reality to derive surprising and inappropriate conclusions, for the sake of depicting all these facts as injustices committed against the Romanian population.

"Yet all these devices, which cannot be viewed with approval,

do not exceed the boundaries of normal political discourse which may be directed against the authorities and institutions of the country or against specific government and administrate acts, in a constitutional country; these may not, however, be directed against the Hungarians, or against other nationalities of the country. " [Italics by the author]


Thus, the judges concluded that the criterion mentioned in paragraph two of Article 172 was moot. In other words, it was not a matter of inciting against a nationality.

This most interesting explanation by the Supreme Court was complemented by the following statement of ideology:

Although the accused speaks the official language of the state

well, he nevertheless resorted to Romanian at the main hearing, rejecting the right to answer questions in Hungarian - he thereby resorted to a right guaranteed by law. ...Hence this practice of his legal right cannot constitute the object of special mention among the justifications adduced by the courts. 100

These facts, reported in the Romanian book compiled with the aim of glorifying and praising Lucaciu, eloquently deny the accusations of prejudice often raised against the Hungarian judicial system. It becomes clear from an analysis of the sentence that the highest Hungarian court was impartial. Although Lucaciu was one of the most inveterate enemies of the Hungarian state; the Supreme Court recognized his right to pronounce harsh judgments against the state and its institutions, even though the facts on which these judgments were based were "untrue, unfair, or distorted." Such arguments were also used by Hungarian politicians of the opposition without incurring criminal charges. Therefore, the Court could not condemn an accused of Romanian background; because if it did, it would deprive the accused of a right which Hungarians could resort to freely. Thus, the Court applied equality before the law without bias in the case of Lucaciu.

The former leaders of the Romanians of Transylvania themselves publicly admitted, after the First World War, the objectivity of the Hungarian courts and the application of the principle of equal rights in the Hungarian state. Comparing these procedures to the crude character of the system of justice administered by the new Romanian state and to the sentences passed by Romanian judges who received their instructions from the state or who were intimidated, they recalled with sighs their experiences gained at the courts of the former Hungarian state. In 1918 the Romanians of Transylvania proclaimed union with Romania, at the famous meeting of Alba Iulia [Gyulafehervar], on the basis of the motion of Alexandru Vaida-Voevod. Several times in 1923 and 1924, the same Vaida-Voevod publicly compared conditions in the former Hungarian state to those in the Greater Romania that came about in 1918. "We were not slaves in Hungary. We had the shield of the laws to protect ourselves, and these were laws even for the


Romanians. Today they treat u6 as some alien element outside of the law.'' 101 The following year the same person declared, in front of the Romanian peasants of the community of Cricau [Boroskrakko] in the electoral district of Ighiu: "Is it not true, brothers, that it was better under the Hungarians?" Some peasants answered: ',It may be so, Sir, but it is also possible that things will improve in Greater Romania from now or.." 102

These statements by Vaida-Voevod reflected a widely held opinion in the country. "We are used to legality," a Romanian from Transylvania told the journalist from the daily Timpul. ',We lived that way under the Hungarians, and we won thanks to legality. We do not want to perish for lack of the most basic rights in our own country, which we had imagined quite differently. Grant us legality!'' 103

We may consider the above statements by politicians and peasants who cannot be accused of being pro-Hungarian as decisive in any evaluation of the Hungarian courts of the period of the Dual Monarchy.

Rule of Law and Civil Rights in Other States

While the Romanians of Hungary could make full use of the human and civic rights guaranteed in the constitution, the residents of neighboring or more distant lands enjoyed no such advantages. Romanians who lived outside Hungary occasionally thought of the rights and opportunities enjoyed by their brothers in Hungary with yearning mixed with envy. Unfortunately, the Romanians of Romania, those living under Russian and Austrian rule, as well as those in the Balkan states, all lacked many of the rights enjoyed and sometimes abused by the Romanians of Hungary. The same may be said about the minorities dominated by other nationalities in more distant countries.

a) Let us first take a glance at the legal conditions prevailing in Romania. Even before World War I, part of the Romanian press pointed out that the supposedly democratic relations in the country bore not the least resemblance to conditions in truly democratic states. These papers compared public life in Hungary with that of Romania almost always to the detriment of the latter. Aware of the rights and freedoms prevailing in Hungary, they did not find conditions in Romania the least bit rosy or attractive for the Romanians of Hungary. "As things are," we may read in a newspaper published in Bucharest, "the Romanians of Hungary are not inclined to exchange the odious Hungarian rule with our twice as odious rule over here, where the gendarme and lawlessness dominate the scene." The Romanian leaders


of Hungary, were aware of this. "The oligarchy of King Carol bears no comparison with Hungarian rule." 104 The Romanians of Hungary would not be able to stand the present Romanian administration for even six months. 105

Although the Romanian leaders in Hungary were aware of all this, for reasons of politics and propaganda, they did not bring the issue out in public. Had they openly admitted that the Romanians of Hungary had greater democratic rights than those of Romania, the anti-Hungarian irredentist propaganda would lose a 11 credibility . Therefore, they did not publicize comparisons between the two regimes. After 1918, however, when the lawlessness customary in the old kingdom of Romania was also introduced into the Romanian areas formerly under Hungarian rule, they did voice their opinions. The best known spokesman of these views was Alexandru Vaida-Voevod, a former representative of the Romanians of Hungary. According to him, ,'an oligarchy more cursed than the Hungarian" ruled in old Romania. 106 While the country appeared to have the constitution, the regime was tyrannical in practice. The Liberal Party had stolen the rights of the people. "No party could hold meetings in the country, because the gendarmes and secret agents would bust it. They are trying to introduce their system on our side as well, in order to terrorize us.'' 107

As mentioned, in actuality there was no such thing in Romania as the right to assemble. While in Hungary thousands could participate in meetings protesting government policies, even twenty or thirty peasants would not be allowed to meet in Romania. These conditions hurt first of all those Romanians who were comparing the two countries.

Under the circumstances the non-Romanian residents of Romania the Csangok, Bulgarians, Greeks, and Jews had practically none of the rights enjoyed by the Romanians living under Hungarian rule; they were subjected to complete Romanianization. As regards the Csangok, they were not even allowed to travel to Hungary. They could travel no further than the Romanian border. On one occasion a resident of Sabaoani [Szabofalva], gathering his courage in both hands, overstepped the boundary and visited Hungary. Upon his return the county police and the Ministry summoned, interrogated and harassed him in order to discourage others from following in his path. At the same time the Romanians of Hungary could freely meet with their brothers across the border during the whole period. 108

b) The Romanians of Bessarabia, under Russian administration, would also have been elated to enjoy even one fourth of the rights enjoyed by the Romanians of Hungary. They could not even dream of


it. As Iorga noted m one of his conferences. the border separating the Romanians of Bessarabia from Romania ',was made of merciless steel across which not even ideas could pass." They had no information whatever of how their Romanian brothers worked, struggled, suffered or of what they had achieved. The River Prut which divided the two lands was not of water like the Danube, "but constituted an enormous canyon separating two worlds which could have no contact.'' 109

Indeed, for the Romanians tsarist rule "was the empire of all injustices.'' 110 There was no trace of freedom of the press or freedom of assembly. The nearly two million Romanians under Russian rule had not a single Romanian school. They could not attend church service in Romanian. They could not even dream of meetings or protests against the government. Not a single Romanian was elected to the Duma in 1906. The short-lived Romanian weeklies could appear in print only after the most thorough preventive censorship. The publishers had to make it clear they were not attacking the Russian government and that they "stood for the spirit of brotherly cooperation with the Russians." They glorified the majestic Russian Empire, "the lion's cub." They referred to themselves, the Romanians in Russia, as aliens.

The tsarist government would not allow the Romanians any kind of cultural liberty. On one occasion, by way of exception, it authorized the celebration of a Romanian cultural holiday in Kishinev [Chisinu]. After singing the Russian national anthem, Sergiu Cujba, an ethnologist from Bucharest, delivered a conference on folk-music. He was expelled from Russia immediately thereafter. "The Russians keep Bessarabia in the deepest ideological darkness and primitivity," wrote Iorga in connection with the Russian attempt to transfer the Romanian population of Bessarabia. They were enticing the Romanian peasants, by promises of distribution of land, "to the banks of the cold Siberian rivers," while resettling various ethnic groups in their place.,' 111

No wonder, then, that the Romanians of Bessarabia lived in continual fear. The tsarist regime would not allow them to appear in large numbers at the Bucharest fair of 1906. The pavilion intended for the Romanians of Bessarabia was a narrow space where the only artifacts were folk weavings, mostly with Russian inscriptions. A barefoot Russian woman and another who hardly spoke Romanian were in attendance. "This space, the way it is, is a shame,,' wrote Iorga. 112 He knew well, however, that the Romanians of Bessarabia had been prevented from visiting Bucharest by the Russian authorities, and were not allowed to use the Romanian colors.


c) The rights of the Romanians of Bukovina, under Austrian rule, came closest to those enjoyed by the Romanians of Hungary; they fell far short, however, being more restricted than their brothers in Hungary in many respects. They did not have freedom of the press, for instance. The Austrian government had introduced preventive censorship, the censors checking all articles written for the Romanian press before printing, preventing the publication of inciting, anti-state or irredentist articles. The papers often appeared with columns left in blank, because the censors had erased items displeasing to the state authorities. Iorga compared the preventive censorship of the Romanian press of Bukovina to "a police state kind of primitive censorship" like the one in Russia. 113

Moreover, Iorga, as president of the Cultural League and as the best known representative of irredentism demanding the union of all Romanians, knew from personal experience the difference between the rights of the Romanians of Hungary and in Bukovina. He extended the demands for Romanian rule not only to the eastern provinces of Hungary, but to Bessarabia, and to Bukovina within the Austrian Empire. Having visited the Romanians of Hungary on several occasions and published a book about these visits, he intended to follow the same procedure in Bukovina. When on June 1, 1909, he tried to travel to Suceava, the ancient capital of the principality of Moldavia, at the head of a group of Romanian professors, the Austrian authorities, aware of his intentions after all, according to Vaida-Voevod, he was the only one among the distinguished Romanian statesmen "who did not hide his feelings" issued a police order to stop him at the border of Bukovina and informed him on the spot that he was subject to expulsion. The surprised Iorga had to depart from Bukovina right away, and was never allowed to return. Unlike the Hungarians, the Austrian authorities would not tolerate a writ of accusation in the guise of research on their territory that would result in irredentist publications. Iorga had not counted on this. He thought the Austrians would respond to his preoccupations in as liberal a manner as the Hungarians had. Now he feared that the Hungarians would follow the example of Austria and keep him out of Hungary. 114 These fears, however, proved unfounded; and Iorga could continue to travel to Hungary without hindrance. As we have seen, he participated in the celebrations organized by Astra at Balazsfalva in 1911.

The contacts of the Romanians of Bukovina with the Romanians of the Kingdom were not smooth. The Austrian authorities controlled traffic across the border more strictly, eliminating undesirable contacts. Therefore, the Romanians of Bukovina proved less aggressive against


their state than those of Hungary, as demonstrated at the Bucharest fair of 1906 where they expressed tact towards Austria by the exhibits at the Bukovina pavilion: the use of the Austrian national seal, the flag, the portrait of the Emperor of Austria, the bilingual inscriptions in German and Romanian, and the use of official place-names all indicated that the Romanians of Bukovina were afraid of the Austrian. authorities and hoped to avoid reprisals.

d) The lack of rights of the Romanians of the Balkan states was similar to those of the Romanians living under Russian rule. In some areas their fate was even worse. The complete ban on manifestations of Romanian national culture, the exclusion of Romanians from the churches, schools and, in some places, from every day life, were devices used in the Russian Empire and in the Balkan countries alike. There was nothing like rights comparable to those in Western Europe in either place. But abuses by the authorities, beatings, and torture were more frequent in the Balkans - in Greece or Turkey - than in Tsarist Russia. These measures were applied by way of punishment whenever the Romanians gave evidence of their national sentiment. Bandits were hired to carry out mass killings among the Romanians in the dioceses of Monastir, Katerini, Grevena, Drama, and Kozani because, as Iorga noted, "these Romanians wanted to preserve their nationality by means of the church and of the school.'' 115

e) Even in Western Europe, however, there was no effective protection of minority rights against abuses by the authorities whenever some nationality came under foreign domination. The French of Alsace-Lorraine under Prussian rule, the Poles of Eastern Prussia, the Irish in Northern Ireland felt defenseless on occasion against measures hurting them. Some of these incidents were reported in the Romanian press of Hungary in the years preceding World War I. In the village of Morhange, for instance, in the region of Forbach, Lorraine, a French peasant made some remark about the German Emperor William II. He was arrested by the German military and made to run the gauntlet of an entire German detachment. The mayor of Morhange complained to the colonel in command, but not a single newspaper of Lorraine dared print the news of the atrocity "on account of their fear of the military authorities.'' 116 The French of Lorraine, it seems, could not protect themselves as well as the Romanians of Hungary who had a press that could criticize the gendarmes in charge of law and order without dire consequences. The Romanian church paper which claimed that the gendarmes of Hungary belonged to "a subhuman race" or described


them "as this club of government spies" did not need to fear reprisals. 117 The author of a publication of the Astra did not have to worry about offending the gendarmes by referring to them as "the hated guardians of the regime," etc.

The Romanian paper relating the incident at Morhange mentioned another typical and interesting incident a few days later. Some of the players at a soccer game in Belfast raised the green flag of the Irish. The British spectators were taken aback when they saw the flag. Many started to whistle and shout, and then threw stones at the flag. "Within seconds," wrote the Romanian paper from Budapest, "the public was divided into two parties which fought a regular battle. The outcome: a few fatalities and 60 wounded. Just like over here,'' 118 concluded the Romanian paper, forgetting to mention that the display of Romanian colors in Hungary did not run into obstacles for decades. It was forbidden only later, when the flag was used to demonstrate against the state.

Chapter VI


The multitude of discrete items presented as evidence in the last chapter lead us to but one conclusion: The rights and freedoms of the Romanians under Hungarian rule constituted an effective protection against abuses. Thanks to this protection, they were able to successfully fight against injustice, against administrative excesses and against abuses. Their human and civil rights, therefore, were not empty words; they were respected, rendering their lives more secure, more beautiful, and their future more promising.

a) The press, which were free from preventive censorship, presented opportunities which extended to exaggerated criticism of the Hungarian state and society, to the formation of a national community of Romanians, to the proclamation of ethnic union with Romanians on the other side of the border, to making fun of Hungarian culture, and to the profession of unification of all Romanians in culture, in sentiment, and in ideas. Press trials were initiated only in cases of agitation against the territorial integrity of the state or against the Hungarian nation itself. In spite of all the rumors to the contrary, the sentences handed down by the courts did not have a deterring effect: witness the case of Lucaciu. The prescriptions concerning the treatment of prisoners did not jeopardize their health, their lives, or their human dignity. During his incarceration at Vac, Clavici was treated as if on vacation and was allowed to continue his literary and scholarly work, as was the other great enemy of the Hungarian state, Lucaciu, imprisoned at Szeged. Having sat out their sentences they continued to engage in irredentist, anti-Hungarian activities much as before. They criticized and attacked all official measures they deemed abusive or unjust. They contributed to the realization of irredentist goals throughout their life.

b) The Romanian ruling stratum guided and strengthened the political education of the masses with the help of the right of assembly and of forming associations. Thousands of political and cultural meetings or rallies took place without impediment. Until 1894 the right



to assemble was not restricted at all, and the hundreds of protest meetings held in later years demonstrate that the Hungarian authorities very seldom withheld permission. The Romanian speakers at political meetings almost always resorted to anti-Hungarian and antigovernment slogans, whipping up the passions of the m asses. In spit of this a meeting already in progress would almost never be dissolved, although this was a daily experience for the opposition parties in the Kingdom of Romania. The peasantry, which constituted the majority of the Romanians of Hungary, supported the Romanian National Party, fighting for irredentist objectives, with its nationalist sentiments, even though it could not understand the program of the Party. The yearnings of the program were "so high, so idealistic," noted a Romanian weekly, "that the underprivileged cannot reach them even with a pole. Whereas we consider the necessities of day to day existence, in connection with one of the more compact points, a matter of course." 1

c) Equality before the law and the impartiality of the Hungarian system of justice were particularly evident in the sentences handed down by the Supreme Court and their justification. The episodes of the trial of Lucaciu, permission to sing the Romanian national anthem, the condemnation of electoral abuses, decisions favoring the Romanian side in cases of conflict between Romanian and Hungarian interests, all provide evidence to support such a statement. Vaida-Voevod expressed a historical truth when he declared in 1923: "In Hungary we held the shield of the laws in our hands; the laws were laws also for us." He thus admitted that equality in before the law was actually practiced during the period of the Dual Monarchy.

Thanks to these rights the Romanians grew stronger economically, culturally, and in their national consciousness during this period. Their peasantry and middle class prospered. Their economic, cultural, and social institutions flourished. Effective protection by the laws shielded them from the measures the Hungarian state or the Saxons occasionally undertook against Romanian interests. Thanks to their rights the consciousness of the Romanians kept rising, their interventions became more decisive, their tone often aggressive. This became particularly obvious in the years preceding World War I when the Romanians of Hungary spoke of their plans for Romanian national unification almost completely in the open. This fact was clearly shown by the words of deacon Voina of Brasso: "we shout without fear, long live Romania!" he said in 1906, expressing thereby the basic factor characterizing the situation of the Romanians of Hungary: awareness of life without fear.


The definite fiasco of the initiatives taken by Hungarian statesmen from 1910 on regarding Romanian-Hungarian peaceful coexistence also support this view. At first, Prime Minister Khuen-Hedervary and later Istvan Tisza repeatedly discussed the conditions of such coexistence with the leaders of the Romanian National Party. The Hungarian leaders of Transylvania also manifested extraordinary deference towards the leading cultural organization of the Romanians, the Astra. Part of the Romanian press registered this tendency with pleasure.

Increasingly often we hear from the bosom of the Hungarian people voices that fight against chauvinism. In contrast to the chauvinism of the renegades and of the Jews these voices penetrate slowly but surely into the Hungarian masses, destroying the idols set up by political speculators and smoothing the path towards an honorable understanding between all nations of the country, wrote the collaborator of the oldest Romanian paper of Transylvania. 2

Some of the Hungarian statesmen, and the sensible segments of Hungarian society thus fought against chauvinism and nationalist illusions. They were true advocates of a sincere Hungarian-Romanian rapprochement. Istvan Tisza promised far-reaching concessions, including a revision of the Apponyi Laws. But the demands on the Romanian side were tantamount to the secession of the Eastern parts of the country. As Tisza suspected, and as every historian knows today, the extremist demands presented by the Romanians of Hungary were inspired by the Romanian government in Bucharest. Essentially it amounted to political independence, the gist of the Romanian conditions. ,'All or nothing," commented the Gazeta Transilvaniei with regard to the communiqué issued by the Romanian National Party. 'We can save our lives only by controlling all the conditions on which our national existence depends." 3

This last sentence makes it appear as if the Romanian nation were in mortal danger, and that the only way to escape complete destruction would be to recognize the Romanian nation. Several thousand data presented in the preceding chapters all indicate that this perception of mortal danger was without foundation. Dozens of quotations from Romanians, masses of statements from the moment the Tribuna was launched, all go to prove that the Romanians did not feel themselves threatened by the Hungarians. But these confessions were for internal consumption only. The tone from abroad was quite different: it was the tone of a nation extremely embittered by aggressive Hungarianization.


It becomes clear from the Romanian press that the Romanian leaders made ample use of naive or irresponsible Hungarian statements regarding Hungarianization for propaganda purposes. When such statements were not available they simply considered every measure taken by the state as an attempt at Hungarianization: the introduction of the official language, Hungarian, as a required subject in schools, the equivalency examinations the voting of the congrua for the priests all these measures were described as Hungarianization. They came up with such statements in order to win over public opinion in the West, although they often boasted, for internal consumption, of the fact that the Romanians under Hungarian rule grew stronger.

This growth in power and this economic, cultural, and social development were undeniable facts. They could not have come about without Hungarian liberalism, without the existence of basic rights. Comparison with the situation of Romanians in other countries serves as incontrovertible evidence of all this. Let us consider these facts, comparing Hungary in 1867-1914 to Romania in the same period:

a) The constant improvement in the financial situation of the peasantry which constituted a majority of the Romanian population their purchases of land. On the other hand, in Romania the continuous decrease in the standard of living of the peasants: a peasant war and the slaughter of 11,000 Romanian peasants in 1907.

b) Unlimited or almost unlimited freedom to assemble. Hundreds of meetings of protest throughout the country against the government. In Romania, no opposition party allowed to hold meetings; those who tried were dispersed by the gendarmes or by secret agents.

c) Freedom of the press and no censorship: Romanian newspapers and publications printed without impediment in Hungary. In Bukovina the Austrians resort to preventive censorship against the Romanian press.

d) Unhampered contacts between the Romanians of Hungary and those of the Kingdom of Romania. In Bessarabia the Russians isolated the Romanians completely from their ethnic brethren in Romania: ,"The borders of merciless steel separate two different worlds." (N. Iorga).

e) Free use of the Romanian language in the courts, at county assemblies, in the church, at school and in the villages, whether in public or in private life. In Bessarabia and the Balkans the Romanian



language was excluded from the church, the schools, public life, the press and, in the Balkans, even from private life.

f) The laws were "laws even for the Romanians;', the Supreme Court defended Romanian interests viva-vis Hungarian parties on the basis of equality before the law. The Supreme Court authorized the use of the anti-Hungarian Romanian anthem (photographs of the Romanian king in Transylvania). In Bessarabia and in the Balkans dictatorship prevailed. The Russian government carried out a resettlement program while Greek gangs went unpunished, murdering those Romanians who wished to retain their nationality.

In the final analysis: The Romanians under Hungarian rule became more powerful financially, in their national consciousness, and in the decisive stands they took during the period 1867 to 1914. "We are close to victory"' (Stere).

On the other hand, in Bessarabia and in the Balkans, Romanians lived in a constant state of fear, deprived of all rights. Their fate was insecure, without any prospects for improvement. They did not have a single political representative.

The above items of comparison, taken from Romanian sources, show clearly how little truth lay in the statement: The Romanians in Hungary can only save their lives if their demands for political independence are recognized by the Hungarian state! Without the slightest doubt, it was not a matter of some mortal danger threatening the Romanian population, but rather of demands for control over the Eastern portions of Hungary, overthrowing the territorial integrity of the Hungarian state. This fact must by now be clear to the reader, on the basis of the data contained in this work.

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