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Newest Victims of Rumanian Terror

The Reverend GEZA PALFY of Szekelyudvarhely (Odorhei) spoke in his church on the observance of religious holidays, mentioning the fact that while in Hungary the regime tolerates these holy days, the Rumanian government does not. The very same day Rev. Palfy was arrested for "agitating against the government," taken away and delivered one week later to a hospital, where he died shortly. Though an autopsy report was never officially released, it is common knowledge that his liver and his kidneys were completely crushed and shattered due to the beatings he received while in custody.

In Csikszereda (Mercuriu Ciuc) factory worker Lorant Hadadi, 26, was beaten to death on May 26, 1984, because he refused to speak in the Rumanian language with his wife while waiting for the bus.

In Melegfolvar (Fehoara) Ferenc Bako and his wife Anna Bako, both field workers, were arrested, beaten and imprisoned without any trial due to an argument concerning wages.
In Fuzes (Fizes) Antal Zsigmond, laborer, age 66, spoke up angrily about having to stand in line for bread in spite of last years record wheat crop. "If they just wouldn't take everything out of this country to feed their big bellies in Bucharest!" he exclaimed. The official Rumanian bread distributor sent for the police, Antal Zsigmond was pulled out of the line, beaten and taken to Szamosujvar (Gherla). This happened on April 22,1984. As of June the 6th no one in the village had heard of him.

Lajos Szakacs, 22, and Istvan Birtalan, 21, of Kispujon (Puin) were arrested on May 21, 1984, severely beaten and deported into an unknown location for singing Hungarian folk songs while intoxicated.

Pilgrimage on Rusty Nails and Broken Glass

Mrs. Elizabeth Szakats, prominent Transylvanian Hungarian journalist living today in West Germany, visited her homeland during the summer of 1983 with a group of tourists eager to take part in the famous pilgrimage of Csiksomlyo. She writes: "Already on the tour bus we had to endure the offensive attitude of the Rumanian government agent disguised as a tour guide, who was constantly entertaining us with obscene jokes aimed at church and priesthood. As we drove through the once properous Hungarian farming villages ­ which, our "guide" insisted were inhabited by Rumanians only, groups of emaciated children clothed in rags were running along our bus begging for a piece of bread. In Csiksomly6 thousands and thousands of Hungarians were gathered for the occasion. But on the way up to the many centuries old shrine the dirt road was covered with broken glass and rusty nails ­ which is one of the attempts of Rumanian government agencies to discourage religious activities ­ and since most of the pilgrims from the nearby Hungarian villages were without any footwear, on both sides of the road we could see men, women and children trying to bandage each others bleeding feet..."

Worst Police State

"Rumanian, Europe's Worst Police State" writes Tom Kennedy in the Calgary Sun (Jan.26, 1984).
After this statement Kennedy goes on to say: "And let's not fall for the much­touted line of an independent Rumanian foreign policy, because there is no such animal. There never was, except in the uncluttered minds of naive Western diplomats.
"Ceausescu is a brazen and dangerous opportunist. He has stupidly turned his country, blessed with an abundance of beauty and natural riches, into an economic basket case, where people are told by the conspicuously well­fed Great Leader to lose weight in order to cut down further on an already meagre diet.
Rumania has been repeatedly condemned at every free world forum for the way it treats national minorities.

Amnesty International Reports:

May 1984

In the Tsango region of Rumania there used to be 72 Hungarian schools. Today there are none. Ethnologists predict that the Hungarian minority is threatened with cultural and linguistic extinction as the result of the Rumanian government's discriminatory policies."

Swiss Magazine Condemns Rumania for the Persecution of Hungarian Churches

Under the title "The Calvinist Church of Transylvania Fights a Losing Battle Against Rumanian Oppression" the renowned Swiss periodical GLAUBE IN DER WELT published in its newest issue (1984­12, Jahrgang 2) a twelve page report on the deplorable situation of the Hungarian Calvinist Church in Transylvania.
"The Calvinist Church of Transylvania is one of the largest minority churches in Europe" the article states "with more than one million members living within a well defined geographical unit. They are exclusively Hungarians who are proud of belonging to one of the oldest protestant churches of Europe, which was founded in 1529 and gained official recognition in 1559, when freedom of religion was enacted as law of the land by the Hungarian General Assembly in the city of Torda."
After discussing the many encroachments and harrasments the church is exposed to by the Rumanian government, the article concludes:
"Today, the approximately two and a half million Hungarians in this once free country are fighting a losing battle against Rumanian oppression and terrorism, whether they belong to the Calvinist, Unitarian, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist or the Greek Catholic faith."

The Transylvanian World Federation Reports:

"May 22, 1984.
Submitted by Lord Bethel, the Delegate of Great Britain, the full session of the Europe Parliament in Strassburg unanimously passed the resolution to condemn Rumania for barbaric acts committed against members of the Hungarian minority, especially for the torture­death of Reverend Geza Palfi."
The protest of the Europe Parliament was officially presented to the delegate of the United Nations.

The Transylvanian Holocaust

January, 1985
The Transyluanian Quarterly

Attrocities committed by the Rumanian authorities against the native Hungarian population of Transylvania are increasing.

In Des­Dej: Telleres Janos, Demeny Zoltan, Tobias Tibor and Barath Pal, members of the Hungarian Calvinist church were arrested July 18,1984 and charged with "subversive activity against the State". Their crime was to demand that their minister be released from prison or another minister be allowed to take his place. Their whereabouts are unknown.

In Marosfalva: Gabor Andras, his wife and three children, aged 4, 6 and 9, were dragged out of their home during the middle of the night on August 6, 1984, loaded into a van and taken away. Rumor says that one of the new residents of the village, a Rumanian from Moldova, reported to the police that the Gabor children allegedly told his children that Marosfalva was a Hungarian village. Two weeks later the authorities settled a Rumanian family into the Gabor home. Nobody seems to know whether the Gabor family is still alive or not.

In Biharalmas: Dobozi Laszlo and Ferenci Tibor, aged 16 and 17, were arrested and beaten by the police for singing Hungarian songs. Dobozi was released two weeks later with two broken arms, while Ferenci is allegedly still in the prison hospital with bleeding kidneys. This happened sometime during the third week of August, 1984. Correct time not yet available.
In Marosnemeti: Paal Gabor, former high school teacher who served three years in the Salcia slave camp digging the Canal, after which he was transferred as a chicken coop cleaner to the state owned egg farm in this village, was beaten to death by the police for criticizing the management. He was 71.

In Fenes: Former landowner Ferenc Foldvary, who was crippled in 1945 from the tortures he suffered at the hand of the political police and was interned for the last twelve years as a welfare case to this village, died of hunger on August 29, 1984. According to reliable sources the Rumanian welfare administrator of the district refused any kind of aid since July 1983, because Foldvary was registered as "class enemy" and "enemy of the Rumanian people."

In Marosheviz: A group of West German tourists hiking in the Kelemen mountains discovered in July that the chief of police in this town was a perverted child abuser. During the last three years about twenty­six children, boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 12 were abused by this man, under the disguise of "questioning" them in connection with some crime the parents were accused of having committed. The German tourists reported the case to authorities in Bucharest and in the second week of August a Rumanian police commission arrived to Marosheviz. After three days of investigation the commission cleared the chief of police of any accusation and ordered the arrests of Dukas Sandor, Kovago Denes and Botor Pal. all three parents of young children for "malicious slander" against the Rumanian police force. News received from this town on August the 29th claims that the three men were still in custody, but the chief of police was moved from Marosheviz to another town, allegedly to Deva.
Followup: In the July 1984 issue of the Transylvanian Newsletter it states that Lajos Szakacs, 22, and Istvan Birtalan, 21, of Kispujon (Puin) were arrested on May 21, beaten and deported into an unknown location for singing Hungarian folk songs. On August 12, Birtalan was delivered to the Radulescu Hospital in Bucharest with broken ribs, bleeding kidneys and inflamed liver, the usual symptoms of police beatings. On his entrance sheet the cause was listed as "accident at work" ­ Our informant was unable to talk to him. The whereabouts of Szakacs is still unknown.

The Bible as Romanian Toilet Paper

June 14, 1985
The Wall Street Journal

by Peter K. Keresztes

"In all of the diabolical manifestations of Adolf Hitler's hatred for God and all religions ­keeping in mind that he burned Torahs ­ I don't think even he conceived of anything so ugly."
So fumed California Rep. Bob Dornan at a GOP­organized press conference last week on rights abuses in Romania. He was describing samples of toilet paper with Biblical words such as "Esau," "Israel," "Jeremias," "Satan" and "Isten" (Hungarian for God) imbedded in the tissue. The sample panels are "incontrovertible evidence," Rep. Dornan said, that 20,000 bibles donated in the 1970s by the World Reformed Alliance of the Transylvanian Magyar Reformed Church with the permission of Bucharest were diverted to a mill in Braila, as labels on the rolls indicate, for recycling into toilet paper. The high­quality Western paper and ink, however, resisted the smashing, and the Biblical words are clearly legible in the creases.
In lobbying for renewal of their Most Favored Nation trading status with the U.S., the Romanians in the past often cited the agreement to distribute the Bibles as an example of their magnanimity.
This barbaric profanity is but one example cited of charges over the past 20 years from Romania (Bucharest has flatly denied them) over minority­ and religious­rights violations. Laszlo Hamos, chairman of the New York­based Committee for Human Rights in Rumania, which has monitored the situation there over the past nine years, says that "over the past two years physical brutalities, imprisonments, house searches and beatings against minority­rights advocates have markedly increased." Although the 2.5 million (officially 1.8 million) Hungarians ­Europe's largest national minority ­ in that country of 23 million have been hit the hardest, Mr. Hamos says, ethnic Germans and Jews have also complained of abuses. Here are some examples:
The death last year of the Rev. Geza Palfi, who during his 1983 Chistmas homily bemoaned an edict by President Nicolae Ceausescu making Christmas a "day of labor."
The Roman Catholic priest was arrested the following day by Securitate agents, according to the underground Hungarian Press of Transylvania, and died three months later of internal injuries, at the age of 48. This sort of brutality par­Romania.
( Six other known deaths in recent years of Roman Catholic, Pentacostal and Baptist clergymen that occurred during or following interrogation.
( The "correction" of Romanian authorities of a construction error of one meter on a church ­by leveling it with a bulldozer.
So where are the indignant headlines and commentaries in the mainstream press? Nowhere. To the contrary, Flora Lewis, filing to the New York Times op­ed page last week from Bucharest, warned against the "verbal fist" that she saw in the call for a tougher U.S. stand by Ambassador David Funderburk as he resigned last month after 8º frustrating years in Bucharest. "Life is very difficult" in Romania, Ms. Lewis counseled, and "Policy requires nuance." Meanwhile the Capital Hill exposure of the desecration scandal got little ink outside the ethnic press.
Why doesn't the State Department act more resolutely? It quietly protested the death of Father Palfi, but, Mr. Hamos says, the U.S. delegation to the current Ottawa human rights conference in its statment, "Discrimination Against National Minorities," overlooked the plight of Europe's largest national minority. The Romanians, he adds, have been known to agree to bilateral talks at such conferences in exchange for suppression of criticism.
Mr. Funderburk's advocacy while ambassador of a harder U.S. line against Bucharest was easy for the State Department to ignore because of President Ceausescu's image as a "maverick" who dares to stand up to the Soviets and who therefore could be beneficial to U.S. interests.
But in fact, the price for Mr. Ceausescu's "independent line" is exacted from the hides of minorities and the devout in Romania, as part of a transparent deal with the Soviets whereby they tolerate Mr. Ceausescu's unorthodoxy as long as he keeps Romania from drifting in the direction of a Poland.
Last week's news conference, nevertheless, signaled a maturing U.S. attitude toward Romania. Michigan Rep. Mark Siljander has proposed legislation (HR 2596) to change the Jackson­Vanik amendment to the 1975 Trade
Act. The change would like Most Favored Nation trading status to a country's progress in correcting ethnic, religious and cultural persecution, in addition to the current requirement relating purely to emigration. The new law would be a powerful economic weapon in its own right that could be leveled on dictatorships, left and right.
The Republican effort (Democrats are also launching one) seems, at least as far as Romania is concerned, to buck the position of the Reagan administraton, which last week proposed extension of the country's MFN status another year. Curiously, Rep. Sam Gibbons ID., Fla.) has yet to schedule the usual annual hearing to review Romania's trade status.
While the ability to emigrate is a fundamental human right, the prerogative to stay put and still live in dignity is equally one. The Siljander measure would provide leverage should the U.S. decide to exert pressure against what has been aptly described as Romania's cultural genocide of minorities ­ the dispersal or exile of their intelligentsia; official curtailment of their educational, language and religious opportunities, and a campaign of intimidation against their cultural and religious leaders.
Romania has variously ignored, arbitrarily applied, and misused the emigration stipulations of Jackson­Vanik to embarass the U.S. For exampIe, even Ms. Lewis concedes that the recent dumping of a thousand or more would­be emigres in West Berlin constituted a "mini­Mariel."
If the U.S. is to formulate an honest and humane foreign policy toward Romania, it needs to peel away the myths enshrouding the Ceausescu phenomenon and recognize it for what it truly is.
Mr Keresztes is on the staff of the Wall Street Jounial's editorial page.

Excerpts from an article by the
well known journalist of the Netherlands,

Alexander Mtinninghoff: "Evil in Rumania"

January 6, 1985
Haagsche Courant

"Nowhere in Eastern Europe did we meet with so much terror and misery as in Rumania. The state police, called "SECURITATE" is of an ill repute and everywhere present. Its power is unbelievable. They are especially hard on citizens of non­Rumanian nationality who have any kind of connections with foreigners. One Transylvanian Hungarian woman I met was tortured for days for speaking to me. A Protestant clergyman I knew was beaten half to death just for talking to a member of the American Embassy who visited his church. A Hungarian woman who received medicine by mail from a foreign country was interrogated for days.
"We were followed like criminals wherever we went. In the Hungarian city of Marosvasarhely we were the only people on the streets at 10 P.M., except those six or seven grim looking individuals who kept watch over us. The once so happy and exuberant city was dark and silent. It reminded us of the streets of Holland at night during the bombings of World War II. Twice we were reminded during our evening stroll by our friendly guardian angels that just a few weeks before a foreign journalist was beaten up by "unknown hoodlums" because of his curiosity.
"Of course we knew quite well why this special attention was focused on us. Transylvania, populated by 3 million Hungarians was annexed by Rumania after the war. The Rumanian government is trying to annihilate the Hungarians by any possible means in order to turn this ancient bastion of religious freedom and Hungarian culture into a Rumanian province, and witnesses from the outside are not welcome."
In a Second Article: "Land with a Double History", (Haagsche Courant, January 12, 1985) Munninghoff describes the "cultural genocide," comparing the situation of the Hungarians in Transylvania to that of the Kurds in Turkey. He closes his first­hand report with these words:
"What is going on today in Transylvania is the most inhumane assault against the identity of a national minority our world has ever witnessed..."

Hungarian Dissidents in Transylvania Demand Autonomy

November 19, 1982
The Associated Press, Vienna

A group of ethnic Hungarians living in Rumania have published a firmly worded petition demanding autonomy for areas of Transylvania, freedom to travel to and from Hungary, and other privileges.
In an appeal addressed to the Madrid Conference on the Helsinki Agreement, the authors
accuse the Rumanian government of persecution and of trying to stamp out Hungarian culture. Rumania's Hungarian minority has long been a sore point in relations between the two Warsaw Pact allies, even though it is seldom referred to directly in official statements. Transylvania and other parts of the old Hungarian empire were annexed by Rumania at the end of World War I. More than 2.5 million Hungarians still live in Rumania today, most of them in the West and Northwest.
"The State Powers treat us as if we were foreign intruders in our own homeland," the document claims, stating that "Intimidations by the SECURITATE (political police) are of common occurrence. Even our professional career is barred by the fact that we are Hungarians. We demand that we be regarded and treated as bound by unbreakable bonds to the Hungarian people."
The authors also demand freedom to travel to Hungary, to accomodate visiting Hungarians in their homes, and to subscribe to Hungarian newspapers and professional publicatons. They call for amnesty concerning the jailed Hungarian dissidents, for the re­establishment of their Hungarian language, educational institutions, for freedom of religion, and for an international commission to oversee the situation. They also demand the re­establishment of the Autonomius Hungarian Province, and the recognition of the Hungarian language as the second official language of the land.
By Soviet bloc standards, Hungary is a prosperous country, where authorities permit some free enterprise and even tolerate a measure of criticism of the government. In Rumania food shortages are common and the regime is the strictest and most despotic in Europe.
The Vienna newspaper KURIER reported recently that poet Geza Szocs, and others associated with the document, had been arrested. Their whereabouts are unknown.

Editors Threatened

July, 1981
The Transylvanian Quarterly

Threatening messages from Rumania have been received recently by Mr. Istvan Zolcsik, Sao Paulo, Brazil, co­editor of the Transylvanian Quarterly. Transylvanian Hungarians who have applied for passports to visit relatives in Brazil, were called to the office of the SECURITATE, (political police) and ordered to contact Mr. Zolcsal: in Sao Paulo and tell him that; IF HE DOES NOT CEASE HIS ACTIVITIES AGAINST THE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT OF RUMANIA ­ HE WILL BE EXTERMINATED!

In a letter to Mr. Ilie Verdet, prime minister of the Rumanian communist state, Mr. Zolcsak replied to these messages and pointed out the obvious solutions to all the ethnic problems in Rumania: ­ the strict adherence to the provisions laid down in the peace treaties, the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki Final Act and the very constitution of the Socialist Republic of Rumania. Copies of his letter were sent to all the member nations of the U.N., as well as to the office of the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Since the other editor of the Quarterly, author, publisher and retired university professor, Albert Wass de Czege has been exposed to similar threats in the past and is being constantly threatened with trumped up charges by Rumanian agents of being a "war criminal," it seems necessary to comment on this highly unorthodox and unusual attitude of the Ceausescu government toward the Transylvanian World Federation and its efforts on behalf of the native Hungarian population in Transylvania, today a province of the Socialist Republic of Rumania.
We are publishing the truth concerning the situation in Transylvania, the culture and history of the Hungarian nation in Transylvania and point out in detail the present­day practices of the Rumanian communist government falsifying history, using terroristic measures to eradicate the many century­old Hungarian culture of this part of the ancient Hungarian homeland and annihilate the three million Hungarians who constitute the native population of that land.
If the Rumanian government, with all the unlimited financial resources at its disposal, is able to prove, not with terror but with proper and aceptable scholastic documentation, that we are wrong: they are indeed welcome to do so. The very fact, however, that they have chosen the tactics of dictators, intimidation and threats of murder ­ the very same tactics they use on their own subjects ­ proves that they themselves recognize the obvious weaknesses of their alleged "facts" and seek remedy in brute force.
The Transylvanian World Federation is always willing to participate in any open dialogue with the representatives of the Rumanian government, provided that such dialogue takes place in a free country and under the strict rules of academic freedom and scholastic integrity.

Another Hungarian Family Disappeared

October, 1981
The Transylvanian Quarterly

Two Hungarian teenagers were brutally beaten by the Rumanian police in the village of Noszoly. Soon after the publication of our report, three members of an international welfare organization stationed in Bucharest, Rumanian, visited the location where the atrocity took place. They were accompanied by an official of the Rumanian communist state to serve as guide and interpreter.
Arriving into the village of Noszoly by automobile, the guide stopped in front of the mayor's office to ask for directions to the Tokes home. Returning, he stated that "the information received from America" must have been false, since there is nobody by that name residing in the village.
The welfare workers, apparently familiar with the methods practiced by the Rumanian authorities, insisted on seeing the registration books in the office. After some discussion, they were allowed to do so. The big, worn books, containing the names in alphabetic order, were handed to them. However, the third page in the letter "T" seemed to be of a different color, much whiter and cleaner than the other pages, and when one member of the group made an observation of that fact, he was told by the interpreter who shrugged and said, "last year a cat ran over the desk while the book was open and spilled the inkwell over it. The page had to be replaced."
Of course, the name "Tokes" was nowhere to be found and no one in the office ever knew a person by that name. Thus one more Hungarian family disappeared from Transylvania in a mysterious way.

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