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Letter from the World Federation of Free Hungarian Jurists

The Honorable Frank Church
United States Senator
Chairman of the
Committee of the Foreign Relations
4229 Dirksen Senate Office Building

May 14, 1980

Dear Senator Church:

In accordance with Sections 116/d and 502H/b of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 as Amended, the Department of State submitted to your Committee a Report on Human Rights practices in Romania for 1979.
The report, generally, is rather an acquittal of the government of Romania than an indictment, which is what it should be.
The biased attitude of the Department of State ­ especially ­ is clear when it deals with the treatment of the Romanian Government towards the Hungarian minority, which partly is far from the truth, misleading, even a cover­up, since it conceals the brutal violation of the Human Rights by the government of Romania.
The first surprising factor is that the said Report does not mention the number of Hungarians who live in Romania, to wit: 2.5 million. The Report mentions only a "group" or "large numbers," which cannot be incidental since the Report emphasizes that it was done with "great care." 2.5 million Hungarians is not a "group," not even "large numbers," but a significant part of the population of Romania, who are living there for more than a thousand years.
Forty­six country members of the United Nations do not have a 2.5 million population.
The said Report quotes from the Constitution of the government of Romania, which "forbids any discrimination," as a serious statement. Anybody who deals with the dictatorship of the communist government of Romania knows that the Constitution is nothing else but an empty­paper, because the citizens of Romania cannot exercise the rights that the Constitution supposedly guarantees. The value of the Constitution is not the text but the rights of the citizens to go to Court when the government violates their guaranteed rights. I do not know any case in Romania when the citizens dare request legal help from the Court to exercise their rights. The Constitution of the government of Romania is nothing else but an effective propaganda means to mislead the West. As we can see, not without results.
The said Report also says that the minorities problems are discussed by the Department of State "as a part of its human rights dialogue with the government of Romania."
This dialogue, in my opinion, is necessary, but to know the truth is not enough. It is imperative to listen to the other side and after all the facts are examined, then judge.
It would be naive from a prosecutor to base his indictment solely on the statement of the defendant, which would lead to the acquittal.
This is the case in the said Report of the Department of State, which ­ accordingly ­ accepted the statement of the interested party, the government of Romania because it says:
"Amnesty International and the International Human Rights Law Group believe that the Romanian Government discriminates actively against minorities in Romania, particularly the Hungarian minority. The Department has not conclusive evidence of such policy."
It is a surprising summary, partly because it doesn't concentrate in the year 1979 that the report ­ seemingly ­ covers, but defends ­generally ­ the minorities "policy" of the government of Romania, and mainly because the truth is just the opposite to what the Report says.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to understand the concept of the Department of State, when without presenting any evidence, seemingly accepts the argument of the government of Romania, the interested party, and rejects the facts, presented by two ­ disinterested ­ well­known and world reputed ­ international organizations.
Besides that, the said Report does not mention that the brutal minority policy of the government of Romania, especially against the Hungarians, was evidenced by well­known persons who still live behind the Iron Curtain and sacrifice their freedom, life and career for the truth.
Mr. Karoly Kiraly, a former high­ranking official, of Hungarian origin, in the Romanian Communist Party, sent in 1977 letters to two Politburo members complaining strongly of Romanian's oppressive minorities policy. One of these letters was published by the New York Times.
Mr. Kiraly, of course, was ousted from the communist party, lost his job and lives ­ now ­ in fear. The "guaranteed right" of the Constitution did not work.
Lajos Takacs is a professor of International law in Kolozsvar (Cluj) in Romania, documented in his famous memorandum the methods of the Romanian Government to destroy the cultural life of the 2.5 million Hungarians in Romania. This memorandum was published in April 1978 in London in THE TIMES, THE GUARDIAN and in the FINANCIAL TIMES.
Zoltan Zsuffa is a High School teacher in Kovaszna, Romania, a Hungarian, who in July 1977 submitted his brave memorandum to the Communist Party Secretary of Sepsiszentgyorgy, in which he described his suffering and tortures by the members of the State Internal Security Office, without any formal charge. The real cause of this torturing and suffering was that he is a Hungarian intellectual who wants to keep his nationality.
In May 1978, 62 Hungarian Intellectuals in Romania appealed to the Romanian intellectuals requesting understanding and asking help against the cultural genocide practiced by the government against the Hungarians.
Mr. Ferenc Kunszabo, a Hungarian writer, member of the Communist Party, who lives in Hungary, wrote a study about the cultural life of the Hungarians in Romania. Since he was unable to publish it in Hungary, he courageously sent it out of Hungary and it was published in West Germany, in various parts of the United States, in Hungarian language. This article is based on the writer's experience in Transylvania and in this long essay he describes the suicide of a Hungarian professor in Romania, Jeno Szikszay. who was tortured by the Romanian Secret Police because of his "ultra Hungarian nationalism," and, of course, he was accused of being against the socialist system. He refused to sign the minutes and he ­ unfortunately ­ did not see any other solution but take his own life.
Ferenc Kunszabo dramatically described the fact: the government of Romania systematically tries to destroy the cultural life of the Hungarians in Romania.
I think it is a generally accepted fact that Behind the Iron Curtain or in the USSR anybody who speaks for the Human Rights, tells not only the truth but courageously risks his own life. This was the case with Solzhenitsyn or presently with Sakharov and with many other brave apostles of the Human Rights as with the signatories of the "Charter 77" in Czechoslovakia.
If the above statement is true, the question is: why the Department of State does not apply this rule to the statements of Mr. Kiraly, Mr. Takacs, Mr. Zsuffa, Mr. Kunszabo?
I am inclined to think that the Department of State in the said report knowingly omitted the truth in favor of the Ceausescu Government in the hope that the leader of the government of Romania will play some independent role behind the Iron Curtain which could be favorable to Washington and would irritate the Kremlin.
I don't deny that Mr. Ceausescu skillfully plays between Washington and the Kremlin, but I don't think this playing gives Washington a significant advantage nor changes the Kremlin action either.
Mr. Chairman, one of the purposes of the report should be: to warn the government of Romania to follow the provisions of the human Rights and its own Constitution, in short: to discourage the government of Rumania to continue its oppressing minority policy.
Unfortunately the said part of the Report is just the opposite: it encourages the government of Romania to continue its oppressing policy. This damages not only the 2.5 million Hungarians in Romania but the foreign policy of the United States as well.
I respectfully request, Mr. Chairman, to arrange a correction be made of the quoted part of the Report and to investigate the reason why the Department of State misled your Committee and omitted the reality from the Report.

Sincerely yours,


László Varga, J.D.
Attorney at Law

The Plea of the American Hungarian Federation to the Government United States of America

May, 1980


The discrimination against the Hungarian and other minorities in Transylvania is continumg and worsening.
The Rumanian Government is waging a carefully planned war against the Hungarians, by suppressing their language, churches, breaking up the national entities, falsifying the historical and statistical datas, confiscating cultural archives and making it more and more difficult for them to have satisfactory education.
If the tide of Rumanian chauvinism is not turned soon by the intervention of the United States, based on its HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY, this tide will develop into complete CULTURAL GENOCIDE.
That the Polish­Hungarian Federation, as our contribution to the cause of human freedom and dignity, is strongly protesting on behalf of the suppressed Hungarians in Transylvania.
That proper action be undertaken in defense of the Hungarians in Transylvania for the purpose of reinstating their legal status, concerning the use of the national language and cultur~1 and civil rights.
That we appeal to the American Administration and Congress to take the necessary steps ­even rescinding the Most Favored Status of Rumania ­ to effect fundamental changes of Rumanian policies toward the Hungarians to eradicate discrimination and create an acceptable legal and constitutional status in Transylvania, whereby all the people there can work out their destinies without the cultural annihilation of the Hungarian minorities.

October; 1980



On behalf of all Hungarians who are living today as a national minority in Rumania we hereby

to all nations and their governments, but first of all to all the peoples of the socialist countries and their governments, that we have formed and established an organization for all Hungarians living within the borders of the Socialist Republic of Rumania called:



This step was necessary because:
1 The Rumanian government and the National Councils directed by it do not represent the interest of the Hungarian workers, and serve only the anti­socialist purposes of forced Rumanization.
2 The Socialist Republic of Rumania excludes all nationality groups, among them three million Hungarians from all rights of equality set forth in the Rumanian Constitution as well as in the constitutions of all socialist countries.
3. Rumanian State authorities increasingly discriminate against the non­Rumanian nationalities, depriving them of their leaders and their socialist­minded intellectuals, and terrorizing them on every field of their existence.
4. Making use of the discontent caused by oppression, the Rumanian state infiltrates the ranks of the minorities with police agents who are inciting minority workers against the Soviet Union and socialist statehood in order to make the same minority groups responsible for all the Rumanian nationalistic movements and for all the disturbances caused by labor dispute. Those who speak up for the rights of minority workers are punished as counter­revolutionaries.
5. Under the pretext of industrialization the Government settles Rumanians midst the solidly Hungarian or German territories. According to demographic data more than one and a half million Rumanians were settled this way since 1945 into towns and villages inhabited for centuries by Hungarians or Germans only.
6. Hungarians living in those areas are forcibly removed into districts with Rumanian majority.
7. Thus the Rumanian government uses force to Rumanize the ethnic composition of cities and administrative districts with a strong Hungarian or German majority.
Based on the above facts we conclude that:
8. Though the Socialist Republic of Rumania is a multi­national state it refuses to grant equality to the Hungarian, German, Jewish, Bulgarian, Russian, Turk, Serbian and Tartar nationalities living within its borders. Though socialist in name, the government of the Rumanian Republic follows the same practices in dealing with minorities as the pre­World War II fascist governments did.
9. The experiences of six decades convinced the coexisting nationalities that their national existence and human rights are neither protected nor ensured within the framework of the Rumanian State. In order that the nationalities existing today inRumania may safegard their ethnic heritage and be enabled to live peacefully side by side, we hereby implore the member states of the United Nations, the signatory states of the European Security Accords and most of all the countries of the Socialist Camp:

TO ESTABLISH THE INDEPENDENT SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF TRANSYLVANIA under the protective mandate of the United Nations, including the Banat, Marmaros, and Transylvania proper, within the framework of the Socialist Block.

Divide up the above mentioned territories between the Hungarian People's Republic and the Socialist Republic of Rumania with a carefully planned and properly implemented population exchange.
10. Rumanians settled on the above territories since 1945 be returned into their native land.
11. Within the Socialist Republic of Transylvania the Rumanian, Hungarian and German languges shall be compulsory in schools as well as in public offices.
12. In the interest of safeguarding the survival of the Socialist Republic of Transylvania the establishment of a "customs union" seems necessary between the Socialist Republic of Rumania, the German Democratic Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics.
13. The SIGNATORY STATES of the EUROPEAN SECURITY ACCORDS shall guarantee the frontiers of the Socialist Republic of Transylvania.
14. We do believe that the above proposals will remedy the grievances of all the minority groups living under grave oppression in the Socialist Republic of Rumania, and will promote a peaceful coexistence between Western capitalist democracies and the Socialist Nations without endangering the rightful interests of the Rumanian and the Hungarian people.

October1980 Cluj­Kolozsvar




We Appeal to our New Government

January, 1981

In October 1976, then President­elect Carter vowed uncompromising support of Human Rights. Previously, before elections, in a telegram sent to all Hungarian organizations in the United States, he stated: "When elected President I plan to make it understood that we want to see basic human rights respected, and this includes the rights of Hungarians wherever they may be... If any nation, whatever its political system, deprives its people of human rights, that fact will shape our attitude toward that nation's government. A few months later President Carter embraced in front of the White House the most cruel and determined offender of these very rights: dictator Ceausescu of Rumania.
During the four years of the Carter administration Rumania's regime, the most barbaric dictatorship today on the face of the earth, enjoyed "preferred nation" status, which meant financial aid at the expense of the American taxpayers. In spite of the constant protest of one­hundred twenty­six congressmen, a number of senators and several American organizations, our government insisted that "aiding Rumania was in the interest of the United States" and that "the government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania will take into consideration the problems of the minorities."
Let us examine what the Rumanian government did during these four years in order to deserve the special reward granted to them year after year by our government.
1. As a "friend," the Rumanian government aided Iran against the United States by importing oil through the Soviet Union, and used its Washington embassy to promote Soviet espionage.
2. On the field of human rights the Rumanian government waged an increasingly brutal war against the very existence of the native Hungarian population of Transylvania and Moldavia by closing down schools, confiscating churches, libraries, archives, museums, persecuting clergymen, educators, workers, torturing and even murdering innocent people because of their nationality and religious beliefs. Punishing the use of the Hungarian language, forcibly removing Hungarians from their native towns and villages and replacing them with Rumanian settlers from across the mountains while the Hungarians are deported into distant swamplands.
Horrified by this unprecedented genocide, more than one million American citizens of Hungarian descent are looking toward Washington these days with the hope that our new government will not be calloused to the plight of three million Hungarians under Rumanian oppression, but will make Ceausescu understand that no American dollars can sustain them until they learn to respect the rights of the minorities. These rights are clearly outlined in the peace treaties, the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki Act, as well as in the very constitution of the Socialist Republic of Rumania. A constitution never yet implemented, but used only to deceive gullible Western diplomats sitting in their plush embassies in Bucharest under the impression that due to an "enlighted" constitution everything must be well.
It is indeed far from being "well". And as long as people are persecuted, killed, tortured, deprived and imprisoned due to their nationality, religion or ethnic background: no free nation true to the principles of freedom can have any friendly dealings with the perpetrators of such crimes against humanity!

Letter to the President

To the Honorable RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States

June17 1983

Mr. President:

We, American citizens of Hungarian descent, are deeply concerned over your recommendation to renew Favored Nation Status to the government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania.
It is our conviction that you are a man of integrity, courage and compassion. Therefore, it is impossible for us to comprehend your position in this regard. Hungarians in the United States supported you both financially and at the ballot box, and worked diligently for your election.
It is impossible to believe that you are aware of the horrible atrocities perpetrated by the Ceausescu regime on the native Hungarian population of Transylvania. We urge you to investigate the situation carefully and consider the effects of your decision.
We are enclosing with this letter documented material concerning the situation. Since April 1983, the date of our last quarterly report, the conditions in Transylvania have grown even worse. On April 29, 1983, the newspaper KURIER in Vienna, Austria reported that Rumanian government agencies had placed posters and placards in railroad stations and bus terminals as well as inside buses and railroad cars urging "Rumanian patriots" to "exterminate the Hungarians anywhere they can be found."
On May 10, 1983, Dictator Ceausescu declared in his speech, heard by millions of people: "Contrary to the principles of Marxist socialism, the glorious achievements of our Rumanian socialism are solely for the benefit of our own Rumanian brothers and sisters, and in no way can benefit those foreigners who lurk in the dark corners of our beloved country! Tell them, wherever you happen to encounter one of those Hungarian dogs, that they have no place under the Rumanian sky! They can be nothing more in our land but slaves! Unless they change their names and prove themselves good Rumanians, not even their children's children will ever be more in this land of ours than lowly beasts of burden, carrying rocks for our pyramids of the glorious Rumanian future!"
The next issue of the Transylvanian Quarterly will publish a long list of those Hungarians who were beaten to death or tortured and imprisoned by the Rumanian SECURITATE for expressing their opinions or just for talking in Hungarian on the streets of a Hungarian town during these last three months.
Mr. President, we sincerely hope that in view of these facts you will reconsider your recommendation to Congress and make the renewal of the Favored Nation Status to the Rumanian government dependent upon the conditions suggested in our statements and memorandums. According to the last figures published by the Census Bureau, there are 1,556,092 American citizens of Hungarian descent, and they are all deeply interested in the fate of our brethren in Transylvania.

Respectfully yours,

Albert Wass de Czege

President of the U.S. Branches of the Transylvanian World Federation and

Affiliated Organizations Charter Member of the Republican Presidentail Task Force, Member of the U.S. Congressional Advisory Board and the Republican National Committee

Supplement: The Transylvanian Demands

April24, 1981

Since October 1979, when the first issue of this quarterly was released to tell the world of the plight of the native Hungarian population of Transylvania living today under Rumanian communist dictatorship, we have published several memorandums addressed to the Congress of the United States as well as to the United Nations by different groups of American citizens appalled by the series of inhuman acts of terror perpetrated by the ultra­nationalistic government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania against the Hungarian population. These American organizations seeking to remedy the intolerable situation in Transylvania and find a just and workable solution to the problem were: The American Hungarian Federation, The Transylvanian World Federation, The Polish­Hungarian World Federation, Hungarian Americans in Defense of Human Rights, Federated Societies of Danube Swabians in the United States, and World Federation of Hungarian Jurists. Besides these American organizations we have published memorandums by the Socialist Federation of Hungarians in Rumania, the Minority Rights Groups of London, and Amnesty International.
Though the demands listed in these different memorandums varied in some details, they were identical in regard to the important aspects of human existence. Here we shall point out and underline those demands on which all interested organizations seem to agree, therefore we can take these as the UNIFORM CONSENT of all the organizations, representing a wide scale of the American voters, nationwide.
All the organizations raising their voices in protest against the treatment of the Hungarian population of Transylvania by the Rumanian government agree that THE PREFERRED NATION STATUS PREVIOUSLY GRANTED TO THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF RUMANIA MUST NOT BE RENEWED UNTIL AND UNLESS:

1 The Hungarian language is recognized in Transylvania as the second official language.
2. The Autonomous Hungarian Province is re­established under Hungarian administration, including police force.
3. Centuries old Hungarian educational institutions, including the Hungarian Universities of Kolozsvar and Marosvasarhely are re­established.
4. Confiscated Hungarian libraries, museums, archives, churches and cemeteries are returned under the care and authority of the Hungarian churches and the re­established cultural and scientific organizations.
5. Hungarians, who were deported from their native towns and villages or moved under duress, must be allowed to return home and be employed there. Rumanians, who were settled into Hungarian towns and villages from distant parts of the country with the purpose of diluting the Hungarian character of the area, Rumanize the schools and filling better paying jobs at the expense of the native Hungarian population, must be returned into their own provinces.
6. Job discrimination must be terminated.
7. All harassments and intimidations must be terminated in relation to nationality and religion. This must include census, postal service, transportation and welfare as well as the treatment of visitors from foreign countries, and the treatment of those persons who receive these visitors.
8. Proof must be furnished that all these demands are satisfied by allowing a mixed committee, with at least three of the major Hungarian American organizations represented in it, to move freely in Transylvania in order to examine the situation thoroughly
The minority rights and liberties represented by these demands are already included and guaranteed by the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Rumania, but never applied or implicated.
THEREFORE: in case Rumania should refuse to comply with these legitimate demands, no aid of any kind should be granted to that government at the expense of the American taxpayer.
FURTHERMORE, the government of the United States, through our representative to the United Nations, should demand a revision of the 1946 peace treaty with Rumania on the basis of non­compliance with the stipulations concerning the treatment of the minorities.

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