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



Oslo: Aschehoug & Gyldendal, 1981, ,,TRANSYLVANIA,,

(summary of translation; notes)

Transylvania, Rumanian Ardeal, German Siebenbürgen, Hungarian Erdély, is an area in Rumania. Its surface is approx. 57,000km2, with a population of 4,3 million (in 1975); 60% of it is Rumanian; in the eastern region live the Magyar-speaking Székelys (25%) and the German-speaking Saxons who in spite of deportations following WW II still constitute 5%. The largest towns are Cluj-Napoca, Brasov and Sibiu.

Transylvania is economically and culturally the most advanced part of Rumania, and is rich in minerals, such as iron ore and coal, as well as in natural gas. It has considerable industry. However, since WW II, other parts of Rumania have enjoyed priority in industrial development. In Cluj-Napoca there are a Rumanian and a magyar/Hungarian university. Between 107 and 275 the area of later Transylvania was a part of the Roman province Dacia. After the invasion of the Goths, Huns, Gepids and Avars it was conquered, around 1000, by Hungary, although Transylvania retained self-government under its own voivodes. In the 900's the Magyars were called upon to guard the borders, around 1,100 Germans were called in for an identical role.

- A parliament was called together as early as 1229, but the Wallachians (the later Rumanians), who are supposed to have come into Transylvania from approx. 1200 onward, had no political rights until 1848.

After the defeat of Hungary by the Turks in 1526, Transylvania became a principality under Turkish suzerainty, governed by Hungarian nobles. Under István Báthori (also king of Poland), István Bocskai, Gábor Bethlen etc. Transylvania flourished economically and culturally from the late 1500's into the 1600's as the most important bulwark of Protestantism in Eastern Europe. - During the revolution of 1848-49 the Parliament in Kolozsvár (Cluj) decided to unite Transylvania with Hungary, but the resolution was not effected until the Austro-Hungarian Compromise in 1867. Following this an aggressive Magyar policy led to fierce resistance from the Rumanians and the Germans. According to the Peace Treaty of Trianon (1920), Transylvania was ceded to Rumania. In 1940, due to German pressure, the northern part of Transylvania was returned to Hungary. In 1947 the whole area of Transylvania was restored to Rumania.

N.B. The area called Transylvania since 1920 is approx. 103,000km2. In this regard the writer of the pertinent article was grossly misinformed. he magyar/Hungarian (Bolyai) University in Kolozsvár/Cluj was first merged by the Rumanian government with the Rumanian Babes University (1959), then practically Rumanianized altogether, the same as, somewhat later, the Bolyai Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Marosvásárhely/Tirgu Mures, several academies and over 8000 other Hungarian schools.

Transylvania did not retain self-government after its incorporation in Hungary around 1000, because it had none previously. This idea of retention of self government in the case of Hungarian Erdély sounds like Bucharest propaganda which keeps spreading the notion that prior to its incorporation in Hungary ,,Transylvania,, had been ,,one of the three Rumanian principalities". The Rumanian appellation for the area in question, namely Ardeal and Transylvania are borrowings from Hungarian (Transylvania is the 12th century Latin translation of Old Hungarian Erdel). Stephen I (997-1038) and his successors appointed royal governors (voivodes) over Transylvania to carry out the king's orders and act swiftly in that eastern part of the realm much threatened by Pechenegs, Cumans, Mongols and Turks.

Indeed, the Wallachians/Rumanians migrated into Hungary from approx. 1200 onward. They were classed as tolerati, i.e., 'tolerated people', because they were adherents of the Orthodox Church of Slav Rites rits:, they moved about a lot with their flocks of sheep and goats, paid very little or no taxes in comparison with the Hungarians and Germans, came frequently in conflict with the laws of the realm and, on account of their frequent wanderings, they could not be effectively employed in the defence of the country.

The union of Transylvania with Hungary was effected in 1848-49, although after the defeat of the War of Independence of those years it was temporarily ,,wiped". The meaning of the words ,,aggressive Magyar policy" in connection with the 1867 Compromise must be weighed against the collusion of the Wallachians/Rumanians with the Transylvanian Saxons and the absolutistic Vienna rulers; the latter had aided and abetted the Wallachians/Rumanians in literally butchering thousands upon thousands of defenseless Hungarian civilians, including many women and children. The Habsburgs also called in Tsarist Russia's mighty army which, together with the Austrian Imperial Army finally crushed the Hungarian War of Independence. Hungarian governments or individuals have never meted out any retribution for the atrocities of 1848-49, but certainly cut back the scope of a new collusion against the interest of Hungary and its Hungarian population.

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