[Table of Contents] [Previous] [Next] [Index] [HMK Home] Lajos Kazar: Facts against fiction



Wien: Alberti, 1794, ,,TRANSYLVANIA,,

(summary of translation; notes)

Transylvania (Siebenbürgen or Siebenbirgen; Hungarian Erdély or Transylvania) is a grand duchy which encompasses that part of ancient Dacia which to the N borders on Hungary, Galicia and Moldavia, to the E on Bukovina and Moldavia, to the S on Wallachia and Banat to the W again on Hungary. This land is completely surrounded by mountains.

Its population consists of various ethnic groups: Hungarians; Székelys, who are the descendants of the Huns of former days; Saxons, who are Germans, who have lived here for several centuries. These three are the main nations (,,Hauptnationen") of the land. The others, who are counted as foreigners (,,Fremdlinge") are: Germans; Wallachians, who think of themselves as descendants of the Roman colonists of old; Armenians, who have their particular language; Serbs; Greeks. Here live also Jews and Gypsies. The total population is 1,250,000.

After the demise of the Dacian and roman realms, the land in question was in possession of the Goths, Huns and Avars. In the 9th century, it was conquered by the Hungarians. Although these were driven out by the Pechenegs in 899, Stephen I, king of Hungary, took it in 1002 and united it with the rest of his kingdom. Since that time the area in question was ruled by the same laws as the rest of Hungary. Locally it was ruled by voivodes.

After the Battle of Mohács (1526), Transylvania was held by voivode János Szapolya, while the rest of Hungary by Ferdinand, brother of Charles V. Transylvania remained a self-governing principality until 1687 when, after the expulsion of the Turks from Buda and the central areas of Hungary, it came under the Habsburgs, kings of Hungary.

N.B. The above source states clearly that the Hungarians took possession of the land in question in the 9th century. The writer of the article erred when he/she placed that event before 889. Around that time the Pechenegs had attacked the Hungarian settlements, not within the Carpathian Basin, but in an area north and west of the Black Sea. The Pechenegs were never masters of Transylvania or any other part of Hungary. The error of the above Austrian source has gone into a number of Western encyclopedias.

It is noteworthy that the Wallachians, whose leaders had by 1794 begun to evolve the idea of the Wallachians' descent from the one-time Roman colonists, were simply classed among the foreign inhabitants of Transylvania. If any authority knew the reason for this, it was the Austrian administration in Transylvania and other parts of SE Hungary, because that administration had to deal with a veritable flood of Wallachian refugees from Wallachia and Moldavia which remained under Turkish rule well into the second half of the 19th century.


Wien: Strauss' sel. Witwe, 1836, ,,TRANSYLVANIA,,

(summary of translation; notes)

In ancient times this land was a part of the Dacian Kingdom which was conquered by Emperor Trajan (106 A.D.). In 274 it came into the possession of the Goths, thereafter of the Huns, Bulgars, Slavs, Longobards, Gepids, Avars, Cumans, Pechenegs. For approx. 800 years this land was the prey of European and Asiatic barbarians. At last the Hungarians overcame the remnants of those who had arrived before them and established themselves here under their king (Saint) Stephen I in 1002. Géza II called in German settlers in 1142. At that time Transylvania was the domain of the Hungarian heirs to the crown; later it was governed by voivodes appointed by the kings of Hungary.

From 1526 onward Transylvania became the possession of János Zápolya, its viovode until the Battle of Mohács. After his death the principality was ruled by his son, later by Hungarian voivodes and princes until 1687 or 1699, when the Habsburg kings of Hungary took over. - In 1835 the population of Transylvania was 1,638,147 in number. Hungarians, Székelys and Saxons formed the main ,,nations" (,,Hauptnationen").

The tolerated ethnic groups were: 1. Wallachians, remnants of Roman colonists who were planted here by Trajan and other roman emperors; for this reason they (the Wallachians) call themselves Romunî; in 1761 there were 547,243 Wallachians in Transylvania, 2. Landler, newly arrived colonists who are in their majority Germans, 3. Armenians who came here in 1672 from Persia and Turkey, 6. Greeks, refugees from the Turks, 7. Russians who came here in the 18th century, 8. Poles who settled here in the 16th century, 9. Jews, 10. Gypsies, 11. Bohemians.

N.B. The writer of the above article erred by stating that the area in question was at one stage in possession of the Cumans and Pechenegs. These peoples were kept outside of the Carpathian Basin by the Hungarians, the Hungarian-speaking Székelys and their allies, although Pecheneg and Cuman prisoners of war and immigrants were settled in various parts of the Hungarian Kingdom. It is noteworthy that the Wallachians - in spite of the remark which would class them as the descendants of the Roman colonists of one-time Dacia - are among the foreigners. This contradiction is explained by the fact that the Austrians, who held many high administrative positions in the government of Transylvania since 1687, knew full well that the Wallachians had poured in from Wallachia and Moldavia, especially since the Turks had been expelled from Hungary at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. Besides, documents of land donations by Hungarian kings showed clearly that the Wallachian ancestors were latecomers in the Hungarian Kingdom; they certainly arrived after the German colonists. So the remark that the Wallachians ,,are remnants of Roman colonists who were planted here by Trajan and other emperors" must have been made in the spirit of a popular idea not yet tested by source-criticism. At any rate, in 1836 there was still no Daco-roman theory by which the Wallachian inhabitants of Transylvania would have been considered as historically rightful inheritors of Transylvania.


Wien, Hamburg, Zürich: Gutenberg-Verlag Christensen & Co, 1930, ,,Transylvania,,

(summary of translation; notes)

Transylvania (Siebenbürgen; Latin Transsilvania; Hungarian Erdély) is a part of Rumania. Its area is 57,788km2, with a population of 2,7 millions (57% Rumanians; 29% Hungarians and Székelys; 10% Germans).

In the antiquity the area in question was a part of Dacia. Between 1004 and 1526 Transylvania, under its own voivodes, came into close relationship with Hungary. In the 13th century Germans immigrated from the Lower Rhine area. After 1526 Transylvania became an independent principality. The princes Gábor Bethlen and Rákóczi fought in alliance with the Turks against Austria. Between 1686 and 1713 Transylvania was in the possession of Austria; in 1713 it reunited with Hungary; after 1571 it was ruled by the Báthory Dynastry; in 1765 it became a grand duchy. In 1849 Transylvania was made Austrian crown-land; in 1867 it was reunited with Hungary. In December 1918 it became a part of Rumania.

N.B. This is a quite superficial, unreliable article, published in Vienna, Hamburg and Zürich, where people should have known the data relating to Transylvania. First the area of the land given to Rumania in the Treaty of Trianon was 102,787km2, not a mere 57,788km2; then the population of the area in question, even when calculated on the basis of the 1910 census, was 5,265,444, and not a mere 2,7 million! What does the writer of the article mean with the words: ,,between 1004 and 1526 Transylvania, under its own voivodes, came into close relationship with Hungary,,? Was he/she trying to reinforce Rumanian propaganda? The area in question was a Hungarian possession from approx. 895. In 1004 it was wrested by Stephen I from his uncle, Gyula, to be organized in the same fashion as the rest of the Kingdom of Hungary. The expression ,,under its own voivodes" suggests, in the context of Rumanian propaganda, that the Hungarians allowed the subjugated ,,Daco-Roman population" to be ruled by its own voivodes. There was no ,,Daco-roman population" in that area, and the voivodes (royal governors) had to be appointed by the kings of Hungary and were accountable to them, mainly for the effective defence of the eastern marches of Hungary. - Between 1703 and 1711 Transylvania was ruled by Prince Ferenc Rákóczi, but by 1713 no longer. Transylvania did not become a Rumanian possession in December 1918, but in June 1920., by the ruling of the Trianon Peace Treaty. What shoddy scholarship!


Wien: Universum Verlagsgesellschaft M.B.H.,1947, ,,Transylvania,,

(summary of translation; notes)

Transylvania (Siebenbürgen; Rumanian Ardeal) is an area in the SE of the Carpathian Mountains. Its size is 61,622km2, with 3 million inhabitants. Since the 11th century this region was part of Hungary; from the 12th century on German (Saxon) colonists were settled there; in 1500 it became a principality ruled by sovereign voivodes, later prince-electors. Transylvania fought for its independence in alliance with the Turks against Austria; in 1690 it became a Habsburg possession definitively; in 1867 it became reunited with Hungary; in 1918 it became a part of Rumania; in 1941, as a result of the Belvedere Arbitration, there was a divisioning of Transylvania - contrary to common sense; in 1945 Transylvania was returned to Rumania, and this fact was confirmed by the Paris Peace Treaty of February 1947.

N.B. The writer of the above article was grossly uninformed on Transylvania. The area given to Rumania as Transylvania in 1920 and again in 1947 was 102,787km2, not a mere 61,622km2. Some difference! The population of the area in question even when calculated on the basis of the 1910 census, was, 5,265,444 back in 1920, but the writer of the article knew of a mere 3 million in 1947! Some difference! - It was not until 1541, and certainly not in 1500, that Transylvania became a self-governing principality, under Turkish suzerainty; it was ruled not simply by ,,sovereign voivodes" but Hungarian noblemen who had to be confirmed in their office by the Turkish (Ottoman) Empire. Transylvania's rulers were never ,,prince-electors" (,,Wahlfürsten"). Transylvania did not become a Rumanian possession in 1918, but in 1920, after the Treaty of Trianon had been signed. The Vienna Arbitration Decision was made on August 30th, 1940, and not in 1941. And why should it have been ,,contrary to common sense" (,,unsinni"G), when it had been requested and accepted by Rumania?

Why begrudge the return of a mere 2/5th of Transylvania to Hungary? Why leave away the Hungarian name Erdély, although its older forms: Erdel and Erdö Elve preceded by centuries their Latin translation, i.e. Transylvania, and the Rumanian borrowing of Old Hungarian Erdel, i.e. Ardeal as well as German Siebenbürgen?

The above article is quite unreliable, a product of shoddy, biased scholarship.


Wien: Danubia Verlag, 1948, ,,Transylvania,,

(summary of translation; notes)

Transylvania (Siebenbürgen; Rumanian Transilvania) is a region in NW Rumania. Its area of 62,000km2 has a population of 3,6 million, according to 1941 census figures. The inhabitants are mostly Rumanians; there are also Hungarians and Germans (,,Siebenbürger Sachsen"). The capital is Cluj (Klausenburg). In the antiquity the area of Transylvania was a part of Dacia. Subsequently it was invaded by Goths, Vandals, Gepids and Avars. From the first half of the 11th century until 1526 it was linked with Hungary, and it had its own voivodes. The settlement of Germans began in the 12th century. From 1526 until 1691 it was an independent principality, in 1691 becoming a part of the Habsburg possessions. From 1867 it belonged to Hungary.

After WW I it became a part of Rumania. Through the Vienna Arbitration Decision (1940), the northern part of Transylvania was restored to Hungary. By order of Hitler, its inhabitants were forcibly resettled, while those who stayed on, kept their Rumanian citizenship. In 1947 Transylvania was again incorporated into Rumania.

N.B. Long before any German colonists or Wallachian/Rumanian immigrants/refugees stepped on the soil of the region in question, it had the Hungarian names Erdö Elve and Erdel 'the land beyond the forest(-line)' (as seen from the Great Hungarian Plain). The commonly used Rumanian name for this region, i.e. Ardeal, is simply a slightly changed borrowing of Erdel. Transylvania and/or Transsilvania are 12th century translations of Erdel..

For the writer of the above article the mentioning of the German and Latin-sounding Rumanian names was enough. Did he/she not know the pertinent facts, or was he/she biased against Hungary? The area of Transylvania given to Rumania in 1920 was not 62,000km2, but 102,787km2, and its population was not 3,6 million in 1941, but 5,265,444 even when calculated on the basis of the 1910 census!

Contrary to the statement of the writer of the article the area in question was not merely ,,linked with Hungary,, from the first half of the 11th century until 1526, but was an integral part of the Hungarian Kingdom, especially organized for effective defence against onslaughts coming from the E and S. In fact, the area in question was a part of the Hungarian state since approx. 895, and until 1920 it never ceased to be an important part of the possessions of the Hungarian Crown.

Some Austrian historians have had a predilection to keep silent about this fact either because they disliked the Hungarians, or simply on account of fawning on the Habsburgs. - The term ,,own voivodes" did not mean at all that Transylvania was just loosely attached to Hungary, as the quoted words suggest, for each voivode (royal governor) had to be appointed/confirmed by the kings of Hungary.

That the inhabitants of Transylvania would have been forcibly resettled by Hitler's order during WW II is unknown to Hungarian historians. And since the statement follows immediately after the sentence which says that the northern part of Transylvania was restored to Hungary, the alleged resettlement can logically only refer to that part. However, it is known that several ten thousand ethnic Germans (and much fewer Hungarians) fled from the whole of Transylvania to escape from the approaching Soviet and Rumanian army units. - The article is not to be recommended as an unbiased, reliable source of information.


Wien: Literaria-Verlag, 1957, ,,TRANSYLVANIA,,

(summary of translation; notes)

Transylvania (Siebenbürgen; Rumanian Ardeal, also Transilvania) is a region in the SE bend of the Carpathian Mountains. Since 1918 it has formed a part of Rumania. Its size is 61,622km2, with approx. 3 million inhabitants, including the so-called Transylvanian Saxons, descendants of peasants and town-builders who had migrated in since the 12th century.

The composition of Transylvania's population is: 30% Hungarians and approx. 60% Rumanians. The capital is Klausenburg, Rumanian Cluj. - In the antiquity the area of Transylvania was a part of Dacia. Between 1004 and 1526 it was attached to Hungary under its own voivodes. Between 1526 and 1686 it was an independent principality; in 1686 it became one of the Austrian possessions; in 1713 it became a part of Hungary; after 1751 it was ruled by the Báthori Dynasty; in 1849 it became Austrian crown-land once more; between 1867 and 1918 it was again a part of Hungary.

N.B. The writer of this article, similarly to some others after 1920, could not be bothered to mention the Hungarian name, Erdel, of the area in question, which had been in use hundreds of years before its Latin translation, Transylvania, came into use and German colonists and/or Wallachian shepherds entered the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary. How odd! Like other encyclopedias/lexica dated after 1920 and treated here, this one also gives the wrong size of the area and the population of Transylvania (see comparison above). Would it have been so difficult to ascertain the correct figures and not to be ridiculously wrong? Again, it is strange that the name of the capital of Transylvania is given in German (Klausenburg) and Rumanian (Cluj), but not in Hungarian (Kolozsvár), when the German version is merely a translation, and the Rumanian version is simply a corruption of the original Hungarian name (Kolos is a Hungarian family name, vár means 'fort'). Again, the area in question did not become the possession of the Hungarians in 1004, but around 895. Some difference! In 1713 Transylvania did not become a part of Hungary, but was so between 1703 and 1711 under Prince Ferenc Rákóczi who lead a war of independence against Habsburg oppression. Again, Transylvania was not ruled by the Báthori Dynasty after 1751, but after 1571. The writer of the article must have been surprisingly ignorant and superficial.

 [Table of Contents] [Previous] [Next] [Index] [HMK Home] Lajos Kazar: Facts against fiction