[Table of Contents] [Previous] [Next] [Bibliography] [HMK Home] Genocide in Transylvania

The Minority Rights Group Introduces

Resolution to the United Nations

January, 1980

The Minority Rights Group with headquarters in London, England, introduced a resolution to the United Nations on behalf of ethnic and national minorities. The stand of the Minority Rights Group on this subject is in complete accord with the aims and principles of the Transylvanian World Federation.
Since we do not have the space to reprint the entire resolution, prepared by Dr. Felix Ermacora with contributions by Professors Francis, Simma, Utz, Veiter, Kloss and Mrs. Mary Wuschek, we are printing excerpts of this remarkable draft, which one day, we feel sure, will serve as a guideline to an internationally supported worldwide action on behalf of oppressed ethnic and national minorities.
APPENDIX C. Draft International Convention on the Protection of National or Ethnic Groups of Minorities.
The States Parties to the present Convention, realizing that the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution 17 C III. has declared itself not to be indifferent to the fate of Minorities
Regarding Art. 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which provides for the protection of certain characteristics of persons belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities.
...have decided to adopt a system of measures aiming at the protection of national or ethnic groups of minorities...for the benefit of internal and international peace and security in conformity with the principles of the UN Charter...
Agree upon the following provisions which constitute elements of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms:

Section 1: General Principles.
Art. 1. Every national or ethnic group or minority, has on an international as well as national level, the inalienable right to be recognized as a national, ethnic and cultural entity and must be granted the right to be recognized as such in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention.
Art. 2: National or ethnic groups or minorities having the character of entities possess the inalienable right to their own ethnic and cultural identity and to self­determination within the framework of the present Convention.
Art. 3: Every member of a national or ethnic group or minority has the right to use his own language or dialect in private, in all social, economic and similar relations, and in public, not­withstanding the legal position of his group or minority.
Art. 4: National or ethnic groups or minorities are free to pursue their economic, social and cultural development and may not be discriminated against for reasons connected either directly or indirectly with these activities.
Art. 5: National and ethnic groups and minorities have a right to a legal and social environment favorable to their legitimate aspirations.
Art. 8: Genocide against national or ethnic groups or minorities is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY
Art. 9: Mass­expulsions of members of national or ethnic groups or minorities have to be considered as GENOCIDE. Involuntary transfers of members of national or ethnic groups or minorities within or outside the borders of a State...are not permitted for any reason whatsoever,...
Art. 13, para. 1: The protection of a national or ethnic minority or group may be organized on a national or international level or on both levels. The kind, range and scope of the protection depends on the freely expressed will of the members of the minority group, on its demographic distribution as well as on international obligations of the given State.
Para. 2: The main kinds of protection on a national level are the following:
a) the right to self<1etermination as expressed in the UN Declaration of Principles of International Law on Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the UN (GA Res. 2625 XXV),
b) cultural autonomy,
c) linguistic autonomy,
d) participation in legislative, administrative, and/or judicial processes and decisions,
e) distribution of public funds for the promotion of the economic, cultural, and social development of the minority or group,...
f ) the right to economic, social, and cultural development based on the guarantees laid down in the UN Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights...

Section IV: Other Forms of Autonomy.

Art. 17: Every national or ethnic minority or group has the right to preserve its own cultural identity, whatever its manifestation (archives, museums, libraries, monuments, theatres, orchestras, cultural institutions of any other kind, etc.) may be, and to administer them in­dependently. Every minority or group has the right to establish its own information and Press service...
Art. 19: Cultural autonomy consists further in an educational system providing instruction on all educational levels in the language of the group... Diplomas and certificates issued by the educational institutions of the group shall have public recognition. The provisions of the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education of 1960 shall be applied respectively.
Art. 20: Linguistic autonomy consists in facilitating the use of the mother tongue before administrative and judicial authorities. If more than a certain percentage of the inhabitants of a judicial or administrative district (the percentage to be fixed by agreement between the competent State authorities and the representatives of the relevant minority) belong to one or more national or ethnic minority or group, their languages have to be recognized as official languages. Districts may not be delimited in a way as to prevent the realization of this right.

Congressman Gus Yarton

on Behalf of the Oppressed Hungarians

97th CONGRESS, 2nd Session, H Res. 397


March 16, 1982

The Honorable Congressman GUS YARTON of Pennsylvania submitted the following resolution, which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.


Concerning observance by the Government of Rumania of the human rights of the Hungarians in Transyluania, especially the right of self­determination.
WHEREAS the Government of Rumania has entered into treaties and accords, including the 1947 Paris Treaty of Peace, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which guarantee the human rights of its citizens without any discrimination as to religion and national origin;
WHEREAS the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Rumania also ensures far­reaching rights to the "co­inhabiting nationalities" in Rumania;
which has two million five hundred thousand Hungarians and which constituted part of Hungary for a millennium, was originally ceded to Rumania by the 1920 Trianon Treaty;
WHEREAS the fate of the Hungarians in Transylvania has been systematic denationalization under the various Rumanian governments, whether Royalist, Fascist, or Communist;
WHEREAS the Government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania and its regional and local authorities pursue a policy of denationalization toward the Hungarians and people of other nationalities in Transylvania by measures approximating ETHNOCIDE, including
1st: the destruction of Hungarian language schools and the Hungarian Bolyai University ­ still in existence in 1958 ­ and the replacement of these schools by a steadily declining number of Hungarian sections in Rumanian schools; 2nd: the destruction of the documents of the Hungarian past of Transylvania; and 3rd: the conscious dispersion of the Hungarian intelligentsia into Rumanian areas and the settlement of a large number of Rumanian colonists into the Hungarian areas of Transylvania;
WHEREAS the Socialist Republic of Rumania actively interferes with the internal affairs of all its religious communities, severely limiting or banning all their social and teaching activities and discriminates against their members in employment, education, and promotion, particularly with regard to the members of the Catholic and Protestant Churches which are composed of Hungarians and Germans, and
WHEREAS the two million five hundred thousand Hungarians in Transylvania are entitled to self­determination, a right protected under the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe: now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the House of Representatives ­
1. deplores the activities of the Government of the Socialist Republic ofRumania denying the rights of the Hungarians and people of other nationalities in Transylvania,­ and
2. requests the President and the Secretary of State to discuss the issues of human rights of the Hungarians in Transylvania,, INCLUDING THE RIGHT OF NATIONAL SELF­DETERMINATION, with the Government of the Socialist Republic ofRumania and with other appropriate governments.

U.N. Provisions for the
Legal Protection of Minorities

"In those states in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, and to use their own language."
(Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, Art. 27, adapted by the U.N. General Assembly, Dec. 16, 1966).
"The States Parties to this Convention agree that , . , C. It is essential to recognize the right of members of national minorities to carry on their own educational activities, including the maintenace of schools and, depending on the educational policy of each State, the use or the teaching of their own language."
(Art. 5, part 1, Unesco Convention Against Discrimination in Education, Dec.14, 1960.)

Thank You Mister President!

Apri4 1982
The Transylvanian Quarterly

For refusing to grant another 65 Million Dollar "LOAN" to Rumania's Dictator Ceausescu!
ANY AID to the Rumanian Government today, no matter in what form, would only sustain and uphold the most ruthless National Socialist (Nazi) regime over the peoples of a multi­national country, prolonging the sufferings of millions of deprived and downtrodden human beings.
The very fact that Rumania, the richest country in natural resources and fertile lands in Europe, cannot feed its own people today, but amassed a debt of 11 billion dollars to the U.S.A. on which no interest has been paid for two years, clearly proves that the government of that country is embarked on a course of wanton exploitation and ideological warfare against its own people. and instead of representing the workers it is forcing them into shackles, thereby hindering the productivity of the country it is supposed to lead.
No aid of any kind given to Rumania today could help the plight of the people. It would only prolong the suffering by perpetuating the rule of the CEAUSESCU DYNASTY.
Seventeen years ago members of the United States Congress spoke against the evil which raised its Hydra heads within the new borders of an over­inflated Rumanian socialist state ready to devour all its citizens who spoke another tongue and were of non­Rumanian ancestry.
On June 1, 1965 (see Congressional Record ­House) Congressman DERWINSKI spoke up in behalf of the Hungarians in Transylvania:
"Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join my colleagues in commemorating the 408th anniversary of the first religious tolerance act in Transylvania. It was the first legislation in Europe of its kind and formed a vanguard of such legislation in Europe, which, however, was implemented in most countries only after long and bloody religious wars.
"By pioneering in this important field of human rights of freedom of conscience and free choice of religion, the peoples of Transylvania proved their political maturity, ethical judgment, and political devotion to the cause of individual freedoms as early as 1557.
"It is ironic, that the peoples of Transylvania who produced an early example of religious and political toleration now find their rights denied by the Communist regime of Rumania. These freedom­loving peoples are deprived of their religious freedom.
"Remembering the rich cultural contribution of the Transylvanian Hungarians and Germans and their devotion to individual and religious freedom afready at a very early date today, I conclude with the ardent hope that some day in the not too distant future these peoples may regain their political and religious freedom."
On June 10, 1965 Congressman PHILBIN spoke up on the same subject:
"Mr. Speaker, on March24 and 25 nine of my colleagues, led by my distinguished friends, Congressmen Michael Feighan and Seymour Halpern, introduced resolutions calling for the condemnation by this House of the discriminatory practices of the Rumanian Government against its Hungarian minority in Transylvania... I must say that this Nation cannot move too speedily or too vigorously to repudiate and act to check the outrages and abuses against the basic rights, freedoms, and privileges of an ancient and honored people like the Transylvanians.
"I am dismayed to think that this great Nation of ours, by silently acquiescing throughout the years to the many instances of persecution like those to which Transylvanians today are being subjected. by inertia and inaction is appearing to condone and tolerate the perpetration of these unspeakable outrages that shock the conscience of just men the world over and cry to heaven itself for redemption.
"For our own sake, as well as for the sake of these oppressed gallant peoples, in the name of our own heritage, yes in the name of the living God who binds us together in human brother­hood, let us move to come to the defense, the relief, and the liberation of those worthy human beings, whose only offense is that they worship God and love freedom so much that they are willing to suffer, sacrifice, and die for it."
Seventeen years later: on March 16, 1982, Congressman GUS YARTON of Pennsylvania summed up the Transylvanian situation in the House of Representatives:
"Today I am introducing a resolution requesting the President and the Secretary of State to discuss the issues of the human and national self­determination rights of the Hungarians in Transylvania with the Government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania and with other appropriate governments.
"The resolution has a long and eventful background in the House. As early as March 1965 nine members introduced a similar bill and dozens of speeches were held on the floor between 1965­8 and 1975­82 on this issue. In 1966,52 Members wrote then Secretary of State Dean Rusk outlining the human rights grievances of the Hungarians in Rumania, and in March 1976, 68 of my colleagues, including myself wrote to the then President Ford asking for American diplomatic intervention in favor of the persecuted Hungarian minority.
"Among outside organizations, the American Hungarian Federation bore the burden of the fight. Between 1965 and 1973 it presented countless well­balanced and documented memorandums on specific cases of human rights violations and continuous discrimination against the 2.5 million Hungarians of Transylvania. The Committee for Human Rights in Rumania and The Transylvanian World Federation joined the fight after 1976 and carried it on by providing valuable data information on the ongoing discrimination and persecution against those insisting on human, educational and cultural rights of this ethnic group which has ruled Transylvania from the 10th century to 1920.
"Recent events in Rumania, including the temporary default of CCC loan repayment by the Government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania and the President's decision not to grant an additional 65 million of CCC credit to Rumania, as well as the improved text on the "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1981" on the Hungarians in Rumania give us hope that the administration is becoming increasingly aware of that government's human rights violations against its citizens in general and the Hungarians in Transylvania in particular.
I believe that our economic leverage toward Rumania has considerably increased in the last 6 months and will play an even more important role in the weeks and months to come. I believe that this is the time to raise the issue of an abatement of discrimination and persecution of the Hungarians in Transylvania as well as economic reforms already demanded by the IMF as a quid pro quo for our understanding, patience, and possible financial assistance.
"We members of the U.S. House of Representatives must send an appropriate signal to our administration and to the Government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania on this issue.
"The Hungarian minority in Transylvania comprises 2.5 million people. If it were independent it would constitute the 49th most populous state in the world. We are talking here about the second largest national minority in Europe outside of the U.S.S.R., people who have greatly contributed to Western culture and civilization. To countenance their slow but steady ethnocide would do injustice to our ideals, our commitment to freedom, justice and the human rights of people everywhere.
This resolution establishes how the House of Representatives feels about the human and national self­determination rights of the Transylvanian Hungarians and strengthens the hand of the administration in its dealings with Rumania."
wisely and prudently by your AdministratLon In order to gain at least the following concessions for the benefit of the Hungarians in Transyluania:
1. The re­establishment of the Autonomous Hungarian Region which was granted in 1950, but dissolved in 1960.
2. The Recognition of the Hungarian Language as the second official language in Transylvania.
3. The Return of the Confiscated Hungarian Schools, Libraries and Archives.
4. The Termination of all Harassments, Intimidations and Discriminations. Equal opportunity in every field of human existence to all minorities.
5. The Reestablishment of the Freedom of the Churches and Church­related Organizations.
These demands represent nothing more than the rights outlined in the Human Rights Proclamation of the United Nations, the Helsinki Accords and the Peace Treaty of 1947, all signed and accepted by Rumania but never implemented.
Again, we thank you Mr. President for a good beginning. We hope that Congressman Yarton's suggestion concerning the use of the available economic leverage toward Rumania will be used.

121 Members of Congress Raise Their Voices

on Behalf of the Hungarians in Transylvania

April 1982
The Trans ylvanian Quarterly

Initiated by Congressman Robert J. Lagomarsino (Rep. California) the following letter was sent to Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig bearing the signatures of 121 Congressmen, representing 81 states:

"Dear Secretary Haig,
"We, the undersigned, members of the United States House of Representatives, would like to call your attention to the continued deprivation of human rights of the national minorities in Transylvania, particularly those Hungarians assigned to Rumania in the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty.
"These 2.5 million Hungarians of Transylvania, a province that had constituted part of the Hungarian Kingdom for a millennium was assigned originally to Rumania in the 1920 Trianon Peace Treaty ­ which the United States has never ratified.
"The fate of the Transylvanian Hungarians was systematic denationalization and discrimination under the royal Rumanian regime as well as under Antonescu's Fascists and the Communist rule of Georghiu­Dej and Ceausescu.
"In the 1947 Peace Treaty, where the United States had yielded to extreme Soviet pressure to allow the reattachment of Northern Transylvania to Rumania, the four great powers compelled Rumania to guarantee the human rights of its citizens, a promise repeatedly broken since 1947.
"For more than two decades, Rumanian pressure against the Hungarians of Transylvania assumed characteristics of ethnocide, including complete supression of the social and youth activities and the internal independence of the Hungarian churches; destruction of the Hungarian­language schools still in existence in 1958 and their replacement with a steadily declining number of Hungarian­langauge "sections" in the Rumanian schools; the systematic destruction of the documents of the Hungarian past of the province and finally conscious dispersal of the Hungarian intellegentsia and the settlement of large numbers of Rumanians amidst the Hungarian regions of the province.
"Under these circumstances may we ask you to discuss the above grave violations of human rights and national self­determination, guaranteed in the Declaration of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe of August 1,1975 and in the International Covenant government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania and in talks with the other guarantors of the 1947 Peace Treaty ­ the United Kingdom, France and the U.S.S.R. The issue concerns both human rights and self­letermination rights of the Hungarians in Rumania, living mostly in Transylvania.
"To do so would be in harmony with our 205­year old ideals of liberty, self­determination and human rights so eloquently expressed in the Declaration of Independence and steadily pursued by many Administrations."

On January 7, 1982, Congressman Lagomarsino received the following answer from Walter S. Stoessel, Jr., Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs:
"Dear Mr. Lagomarsino:
"I have been asked to reply to the letter you and 120 of your colleagues sent to the Secretary on December 8 concerning the treatment of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania by the Rumanian Government.
"The Department has kept itself informed of the status of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania for many years, and has examined with care numerous reports to the effect that the Rumanian Government systematically has pursued a policy of depriving Hungarians in Rumania of their rights.
"The Department has concluded, as indicated in our Human Rights reports over several years, that although the Rumanian Government permits some expression of the Hungarian minority's cultural traditions, that expression is limited.
"The Rumanians maintain that the treatment of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania involves questions of internal Rumanian policy. Nonetheless, the United States has repeatedly raised with the Rumanian Government our concerns for the well­being of the Hungarian minority in Rumania. Where specifically­documented cases of human rights violations have been brought to our attention we have not hesitated to protest to the Rumanian Government. On other occasions we have called to the Rumanian Government's attention the negative impact which its perceived poor treatment accorded the Hungarian minority in Rumania has had on our bilateral relations. We intend through these periodic U.S. approaches to the Rumanian Government to help preserve the cultural traditions of the Hungarian ethnic minority. You may be sure we shall continue to follow the issue closely and will continue to raise it with the Rumanian Government in the future."

Senator Moynihan on the
Transylvanian Problem

(Congressional Record ­ Senate)

On March the 3rd, 1982, Senator Moynihan of New York spoke of the situation concerning Rumania:
"This morning's Washington Post reports that Rumania has decided to halt altogether its payments to Western creditors and to ask for an extended rescheduling of its already overdue debt.
"There will soon be a great deal of pressure put on the administration to cushion the Government of Rumania from the otherwise inevitable consequences of its disastrous economic policies. 'Provide still more credits, lend them additional money, subsidize their purchases of American products' will go the refrain, 'help them to rebuild their economy so they can pay the debt.'
"It seems to me not unlikely that the United States will agree to reschedule the Rumanian debt. The only question is: Will the United States insist, as a condition of rescheduling, on realprogress in the area of human rights?
"It bears repeating that Nicolae Ceausescu's much publicized 'independence' from the Soviet Union in matters of foreign policy has no domestic parallel. Indeed, the daily violations of basic human rights and civil liberties in the Soviet Union may be exceeded only by the arbitrary and brutal treatment Rumanians receive from their own government.
"Even when the Rumanian Government has entered into formal international commitments to improve the state's observations of human rights, Rumania's record has not improved. Because the Senate will soon be called upon to review Rumania's record... I think it is important to keep in mind what life is like in Rumania.

"John Lukacs, a prominent and distinguished historian of Europe, recently published in the NEW REPUBLIC an excellent article about life in the province of Transylvania, where Rumania's Hungarian minority suffers regular and systematic harassment and abuse Professor Lukacs provides rare and valuable insights into the Rumanian Government's persecution of 2.6 million Hungarians, and should be read by every Senator
"I ask that the article be printed at this point in the Record."

The Transylvanian World Federation, represented in 39 states of the union, greatly appreciates Senator Moynihan's concern of the fate of the Transylvanian Hungarians with the hope that our administration and our Congress will be able and willing this year to bring to a halt this wanton genocide perpetrated by the government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania against the native inhabitants of that land.
We quote from the article of Professor Lukacs referred to by Senator Moynihan:
"As in the case of modern Finnland, the civilization of Magyar Transylvania was remarkable: there was religious toleration, decreed in 1560 and for most of the time Catholics and Protestants lived peaceably together. William Penn knew this: impressed by the extant example of religious toleration, his original idea was to name his American Quaker colony Transylvania."

Georgia House of Representatives
Opposes Most Favored

Nation Status for Rumania

(Congressional Records, April 22, 1982, El 747)

The Honorable Larry McDonald of Georgia in the House of Representatives, Thursday, April 22,1982:
"Mr. Speaker, I have risen on numerous occasions in this body to speak out against religious persecution in Rumania. Year after year, some of us have testified against renewal of Rumania's Most Favored Nation status. The Georgia House of Representatives views this an important matter and passed Resolution No.978 on March 26, 1982, calling on the United States not to renew MFN status. ­ I agree, and urge my coileagues to carefully consider the cases of religious persecution mentioned in this resolution. If we are so concerned about human rights, a good place to start would be to strip Rumania of her MFN status. The resolution follows.

 [Table of Contents] [Previous] [Next] [Bibliography] [HMK Home] Genocide in Transylvania