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Chapter I
Preliminary Observations

Increasingly alarming news is reaching the Hungarian and intentational public. The totalitarian regime of Romania, grappling with an ever more serious internal crisis, continues to violate basic human rights and political freedoms. The national and ethnic minorities of that country live in particularly difficult circumstances. Not only are they deprived of basic rights which all citizens ought to enjoy, but they are also hard hit by policies of discrimination. They are the objects of forced assimilation pursued by an extremely nationalistic (and sometimes blatantly racist) state power. The government encourages anti-minority and xenophobic feelings. It follows a policy of "divide and rule" in an effort to hinder the development of understanding between ethnic Romanians and the minority populations. In this way it hopes to prolong its anachronistic rule.
What has been perpetrated in Romania - through increasingly overt methods since l980 - is a kind of cultural genocide.[5] The primary target of this campaign has been the more than two-million strong Hungarian ethnic community, the majority of whom live in Transylvania. They have been deprived of the right to use their own language to preserve their culture, and their historical traditions,Both as a people and as individuals they have been reduced to a status of second-class citizenship.They have been deprived of their fundamental human rights on both the individual and collective level. It stands to reason that sensitivity in Hungary concerning the Hungarian minority living in Romania is intense. After all, those who are living on different sides of the state borders belong to one and the same nation, have common historical traditions and cultural values, and are linked together by the natural ties of family and friendship.
The authors of the present report cannot remain indifferent when Hungarians (or people of other natiomlities) anywhere are discriminated against and when intellectual and material values of Hungarian (or any other) culture are threatened with destruction. This is why it is their duty to disseminate infonation and to raise an) alarm. These tasks are indispensable especially in Central and Eastern Europe, where political borders do not coincide with ehnic boundaries and where the oppression of minorities has so often led to tragic conflicts. It is particularly dangerous within the context of Hungarian-Romanian relations. The tensions which the anti-Hunganan policies of today's Romanian regime is generating inside the country and in bilateral relations can result only in incalculable harm to the interests of both peoples. Coupled with other political and ethnic problems these tensions can become a permanent source of conflict with negative consequences for the entire European continent. Any effort to prevent the further deterioration of the situation is thus not only in the interest of the Hungarian minority, but is a matter of grave international concern. It is not limited merely to the bilateral relations between Hungarians and Romanians.

The present report intends to convey objective information to the interntional public about the situation of the Hungarian minority in Romania. Its compilers have been guided by a commitment to democratic rights, to equality among peoples and cultures, and to the self-detennination of nations and natioml minorities. In this sense, the question of minorities is a question for all of mankind. Any solution of the problem worthy of the late twentieth century would require, above all, the easing of border barriers - in both the plysical and spiritual sense of the term. The elimination of political borders as constraints, must be followed by a full guarantee of fundamental freedoms to the individuals and communities concerned. Particularly unacceptable is the arbitrary power of states to detemine the language, culture, and ethnic identity of citizens living in areas which were acquired through territorial expanlsion, or partial or complete state succession.
The authors feel that the resolution of the nationality conflicts is ultimately dependent on historical processes and major social developments. These processes and developments will provide the momentum for eroding state borders in multi-national regions. This will allow the principles of self-determination, equality and sovereignty of nations to acquire new meaning. The prospects for a satisfactory resolution of this question is closely linked to the strengthening of democracy in a number of Central and East European states. The growth of democratic aspirations also fuels the quest for namtionality emancipation.
The aim of the authors - researchers and publicists of Transylvanian and Hungarian origin representing different disciplines - has been to compile a short study based on recent data describing the present reality. The object of this report is not to present a historical survey or a comprehensive monograph covering the fate of the Hungarians in Romania. Works written along such lines in both Hungarian and other languages have already been published, and others are in the process of preparation. The present study, in addition to presenting the basic facts concerning the Hungarian minority, is primarily a summation of recent developments related to the subject.
The scarcity of reliable sources has made it extremely difficult to prepare an accurate and dependable situation report. There is hardly any official statistical data available on the Hungarian population of Romania. The figures that do exist tend to be either distorted or deliberately lifted out of context, thus severely limiting possibilities for longitudinal and other comparative studies. With very few exceptions, general fact-finding, empirical sociological studies - and not just those concerning minorities - are no longer undertaken in Romania. In the past the press published some data on minority schools, cultural institutions, and publishing activities but in recent years such information has been accorded the status of being "classified information." Under such circumstances, in addition to making use of Hungarian analyses, we must, therefore, rely upon estimates and communiques issued by European scientific reviews and the mass media. Furthermore, we must utilize the communications and works of minority members themselves, who, understandably are reluctant to be exposed as the sources of such information.

For the above reasons, we cannot always provide the kind of precise data which the reader accustomed to intemational usage would otherwise justifiably expect. At other times we must refrain from referring to specific available documents and sources in order to protect the suppliers of the data. Thus, we have prepared a report on an ethnic community which is restricted in the knowledge of its true past, is denied an awareness of its present, and has no prospects in the future. At least the Rornanian myth of "homogenization" would like them to acquiesce to this "status."

The authors completed the final version of this report following an extensive discussion devoted to it by the Hungarian Democratic Forum in Mash 1988 in Budapest. The final draft of the report took into consideration the various comments an suggestions submitted by the participants of these discussions.

Chapter II
Historical Considerations

It is virtually impossible to summarize in a few sentences, or to clarify in a few lines, Hungarian-Romanian relations conceming Transylvania. It is impossible to present such an overview because Hungarian-Rornanian relations constitute a comprehensive, multifaceted, and historica1ly determined system. Within this system one should distinguish, for example, between the relationships of the two states, the political parties, and the relations of two nations, Hungarian and Romanian. This must be done even if we cannot overcome the prejudices of the past. No matter what historical, economic, social, or ideological problems are involved in the coexistence of the two nations, it is certain that over the centuries Transylvania has been at the center of these relations. There can be no doubt that the Transylvanian question is of concenn not only to Hungarians and Romanians but is also part of general European concems, i.e., it influences relationships in a much wider region.
The dispute concerning Transylvania can be better understood if we have a clear view of its history.[6]This explains the lively interest in any statement made on Transylvania by historians of the two countries. For this reason the three-volume work entitled Erdely tortenete[7], published recently in Budapest, became an immediate sensation. However, judging from the debate surrounding these volumes, and their official Romanian reception, it is apparent that historical arguments can never be absolute. They can be perverted, without regard for their accuracy in defining reality, so as to satisfy the demands of political exigencies. Concealment of historical facts or their manipulation for selfish ends by any nation demonstrates an abuse of history. Such practice discloses an inclination to appropriate historical arguments (e.g., ethnogenesis, or the matter of who ruled over a territory and when) to rationalize or justify a political goal of the present. This kind of history can lead only to charges and counter-charges .
With the above considerations in mind, we would like to present, by way of setting the scene, a few historical data pertaining to the subject maner. We do this, fully cognizant that the facts of history should be analyzed by professional historians. However, it is not by recourse to history alone that the case of Transylvania - and of the Hungarians who inhabit it - can be most accurtely understood, particularly at the present time.
In the majority of European states, political borders have not coincided with ethnic boundaries either in the past or at present. The divergences between the two kinds of boundaries give rise to the existence of national, linguistic, ethnic, and other minorities. In the eastern half of Europe, this trend is even more pronounced. Ethnic groups have settements over wide areas living in communities spilling over national boundaries, with different levels of national consciousness. Even the stages of national development often display substantial differences in their socio-economic foundations among different peoples.
In this region the division between "state nation" and "cultural nation" has produced intense antagonism. This leads to tensions within countries and cav even lead to conflicts between nations and states. The number and intensity of these conflicts was increased by the territorial restructuring dictated by great-power interests after the First and Second World Wars. The restructuring failed to take into account the-right of some nations to self-determination. For the Hungarians in particular, the problem of statenation versus cultural-nation gained new significance because the AustroHungarian Monarchy collapsed and the territorial changes which followed World War I caused Hungary to lose not only territory but also one-third of its Hungarian ethnic population. Consequently, for the past seventy years one disturbing and destabilizing political-ethnographic fact of Europe is that one-third of the Hungarian nation lives in minority status beyond the present borders of Hungary. These Hungarian nuillorities are located for the most part in neighboring countries.
Romania acquired the largest territorial gains from historical Hungary in the redrawing of boundaries following the World War I. This included historical Transylvania (Erdely/Ardeal), the Bansag (Banat region), and the Partium (Crisana) region. These regions taken together constitute what we shall henceforth refer to as Transylvania[8] in today's broader and more widely accepted sense of the term. The territory ceded to Romania after 1920 had been part of the Kingdom of Hungary. In the 16th and 17th centuries, following the Turkish conquest which brought about the temporary disintegration of the Hungarian state, Transylvania existed for a time as an independent principality. It was in a loose dependency relationship with the Ottoman Empire, but continued to recognize the unity of the countries of the Hungarian Holy Crown. After liberation from Turkish domination, the principality of Transylvania associated itself with the Kingdom of Hungary. The 1848/49 Hungarian War of Independence, which transformed Hungary into a modern national state, also proclaimed the union of Hungary and Transylvania. However, actual unification came only after 1867 and continued to prevail unlil the end of World War I.
Transylvania has been the common homeland of several peoples Hungarians, Romanians, Saxon-Germans and other nationalities - for nearly a thousand years. Its lot has been closely intertwined with the Hungarian, Romanian and German past, while its specific independent historical route has left deep impressions on the cultures and national consciousness of all of them. The relationships of these peoples have been influenced not only by the experiences of interdependence and interaction but also by conflicts and antagonisms of varying intensity.
From the point of view of reconciliation or the normalization of Hungarian-Romanian relations in Transylvania, in our opinion, it makes no difference whether the Hungarians are descendants of Sumerians or Scythians and whether, on the other side, the first known ancestors of Rornanians were members of the Thracian-Getan-Dacian tribes or the soldiers of the Roman legions of Trajan. It is also futile and unnecessary to dwell upon whose forefathers were the first to set foot on the soil of Transylvania.
Wat is much more important is to examine the conditions of the inhabitants of Transylvania at the time of national awakening, which set in as a result of the Enlightenment, then of Romanticism, and economically speaking, the beginning of capitalist development, when they attained a sense of modern nationhood.
Hungarian historians believe that this period began in the last third of the 18th century, and found the Hungarians in a relatively advantageous position in Transylvania. This was the case in spite of the immense human and cultural losses suffered by ethnic Hungarians during Turkish domimtion and, of course, earlier as well. Even when they were at such a relative disadvantage in comparison to peoples of more fortunate regions of Europe, they played an important role in Transylvania. They managed to preserve vestiges of their statehood and partial elements of their institutional system, as well as their "state-forming" nobility which survived as well.
The elites of the non-Hungarian peoples of Hungary initially identified themselves with the Hungarian elite, spontaneously and without compulsion. Voluntary assimilation proceeded without a hitch as long as it relied on the prestige and authority of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary or was promoted later, in the l9th century, by the spontaneous forces of urbanization and industrialization.
A policy of forced assimilation in Hungary can be said to have been pursued only from the end of the l9th century. We do not wish to detract from the responsibility of earlier narrow-minded Hungarian governments for having nourished prejudice against the minorities at the turn of this century, but, at the same time, we should also emphasize another historical fact: the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was a liberal state characterized by party pluralism, freedom of the press, a developed network of corporate and ecclesiastical, as well as cultural and economic institutions, which were also widely utilized by the minorities. This is why the legal status and effective position of the minorities at that time can in no way be compared to the situation of minorities living under emergent dictatorships and the totalitarian systems of the twentieth century.
The same historical tendencies prevailed in Transylvania as in other parts of the Hungarian kingdom. One significant difference as regards Hungarian and Romanian consciousness was that the institutions of the medieval Hungarian state - its feudal constitution, dating back to as early as 1437, from which the association of the "three nations" and the "four (established) denominations" was derived - remained virtually intact until 1848. The Romanians were not represented in these institutions, although they had grown to be the most numerous people of Transylvania by the middle of the 18th century. This situation was, of course, seriously detrimental to the Romanian intellectual movement which was unfolding in Transylvania at that time. On the other hand, all this also offered the Habsburg Monarchy a convenient opportunity for political manipulation in its effort to loosen the solidly Hungarian and Protestant character of the internal political-ideological and religious order of Transylvania. The Catholicization of some of the Romanians with the establismnent of a religious union through the Greek Catholic (Uniate) Church, and the promised possibilily that converts would enjoy the same privileges as the priests and adherents of the Roman Catholic Church, provided Vienna with an effective political weapon, that it could emp1oy at wil1. Simultaneously, attending Catholic schools provided the Romanians of Transylvania with the golden opportunity for advancement through their own church structure. This enabled their intellegentsia, of clerical and gentry origin, to forge a separate national consciousness. Instead of assimilating into the Hungarian county nobility and, in so doing, losing touch with the Romanian population as had been the case in earlier centuries, they became a self-conscious leaderslup stratum for the Romanians.
The position of the Romanians had been very unfavorable. Their aim, to be admitted into the social-political order of the Transylvanian feudal constitution, could be achieved only by enlarging or breaking through the established feudal framework. Consequently, the set of arguments which they developed (the doctrine of Daco-Romanian autochthonism) to justify their demands, was itself a grievance-generated conception based on a feudal perception of rights. The Romanians accounted for their disadvantaged status solely and exclusively to their conquest and political subjection. In this perception no consideration is given to the complete absence of a nobility of their own, equal in status to the Hungarian nobility. Also neglected is the dynamics of a natural process of assimilation and integration of the Romanian nobility by the Hungarian nobility, driven by considerations of power and prestige.
As soon as this theory emerged it provided Romanians emotional commitments and attitudes that justified their oppositional posture to the status quo. This undermined any chance to objectively examine the extent to which the theory tallied with reality. All this, of course, also meant that this new national self-definition acquired simultaneously a dogmatic ideological character which has prevailed up through the present.
Rather than enumerating historical arguments and counter-arguments, it would be mole beneficial to inquire into a possible way out of the present situation in which Hungarian-Romanian relations have become dangerously mired. Even at the level of personal contacts, relations have been poisoned to the extent that current social, political, and economic relations reflect it in Central and Eastem Europe. The best sons and daughters of both peoples need to be made aware that many more historical circumstances argue for their peaceful coexistence than for their relentless animosity. And last, but not least, their present condition is not preordained and irreversible. Examples of possible reconciliation can be found in the recent past of Western Europe, e.g., the normalization of Franco-German relations. For this to take place, however, every Hungarian and Romanian possessing a sense of responsibility must understand that this is not feasible without mutual and concerted efforts and particularly not without a lot of patience and mutual toleration.
Much, therefore. remains yet to be done. However, the "bridge" of friendly relations linking the peoples of the two countries must be constructed at long last. The pillars of this bridge must be built upon a solid and strong foundation of Romanian and Hungarian identity rooted in universal human values, both in Hungary and in Romania.

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