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(pp. 227 - 254)

Chapter 12.

Pascu, p. 239:

The Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy and Romanian Political Autonomy

Pascu, p. 240:

The Hungarian dominant classes wanted a law that would wipe out the economic, social, cultural, and political distinctions between the various provinces that had been incorporated into Hungary.

This serves only to bolster Pascu's assertions about the nationality law of 1868. He wants to convince the reader that it was made in order to suppress the nationalities. But the talk of more or less irresponsible journalists or politicians is not relevant for a judgment about the official policy of a state. The law itself must be analysed, and then it will be seen that it was neither forcible nor inequitable. 225

The law of the nationalities, 1868:XLIV was the first law in Europe which codified the rights of ethnic groups in a country. It was based on democratic and liberal principles; much more so than the rules that defined the relation between the majorities and the minorities in contemporary Europe. It contained juridical guarantees and it departed from the principle of collective rights.

This law prescribed in 29 paragraphs the use of the languages of the nationalities. The official language of the state was Hungarian. The laws were to be translated and published in the languages of the nationalites (paragraph 1). According to paragraph 6, the clerks of the municipal authorities were obliged, as far as possible, in official contacts with the villages, congregations, societies, institutions and private persons, use the language of these. The law secured the use of the nationality languages in court; defined the situation of these languages in education, as well as in the villages and on village meetings. Paragraph 20 stated that the village meetings were free to choose which language to use and paragraph 21 stipulated that "the village administrators must, in their contacts with the inhabitants, use their language." The law also declared that starting of schools in which the languages of the nationalities are used was free, and that such schools had the same rights as similiar state schools. Paragraph 27 stated that when deciding who will be taken as a civil servant, the only condition should be personal abilities. To belong to a nationality should be no obstacle, - on the contrary, the government wanted to strive for employing several persons from the nationalities in posts as high judges and administrators, particularly as Lord Lieutenant. Rumanians attained high positions, becoming even members of the Supreme Court of Cassation.

The deeply democratic and liberal character of this law was also noticed by a number of French, English and German authors. Bíró quotes Eisenmann, who wrote that this law shows "a generous spirit and a sincere desire for truth, and that it is very liberal" (très libérale). 226

A problem is, of course, how this liberal law was complied to in practice. Representatives of the nationalities in Hungary have sometimes affirmed already before the war that it was not kept; after 1918, this opinion became unanimous. One weakness of the law was that it lacked sanctions if violated, which may be explained by the liberal spirit in which it was formulated. The use of "as far as possible" should have been replaced in many cases by a positive prescription.

Thus, the implementation of this liberal law was to some extent dependent on the Hungarian officials being law-abiding; as well as on their good will regarding the nationalities. However, this in its turn was to a very high degree determined by the behaviour of the nationalities. One of the conditions of the implimentation of this liberal law would have been that the nationalities too accepted it as a legal ground. By not doing this, they weakened the law, making transgressions much easier. 227 Thus, if the law was not totally implemented, one cannot blame exclusively the Hungarian administration.

In the year in which the law of nationalites was created, only 2 decades have passed since 1848, when the Hungarian people suffered severe losses because the Rumanians in Transylvania took the part of the Habsburgs, considered by all of Europe a reactionary empire. After the defeat of the Hungarians' fight for freedom, absolutism with Austrian - German - Czech domination followed, a period in which the nationalities, particularly the Rumanians, were considerably strengthened to the detriment of the Hungarians (cf. above, pp. 120 - 123).

In 1867, when the Habsburgs, after 17 years of absolutism, normalized their relations with the Hungarians, the representatives of the Rumanians went to Ferenc Deák and asked him to take into account the Rumanian interests in Transylvania. 228 They referred to the status of Croatia; however, there was only one nation, while in Transylvania, there were three. Therefore, the exclusive domination of the Rumanians, which they demanded, could not be accepted there. (In a declaration at Blaj, 1868, they demanded the restauration of the situation before 1867 - when the Hungarians were maltreated. This was also unacceptable by the Hungarians.) When the nationality law was debated in the Hungarian Parliament, the Rumanians made a counter-proposal, which would have placed all Hungarians, with the exception of those living between the Danube and the river Tisza, under the domination of the nationalities (in Transylvania, the Rumanians). A Rumanian author, Ioan Cavaler de Puscariu, stated about this:

This seemed impossible under the situation which the Hungarians reached by their successes. Because of this, neither the Saxons in Transylvania, nor the Germans of Hungary, but not even the Slovaks joined the proposal; and the Rumanians of Transylvania should have insisted on the language laws of Sibiu instead of the counter- proposal of the nationalities, which did not suit them. 229

The nationality law was practically totally implemented during the first decade of its existence. The Tribuna wrote in 1885, that during the first years of dualism, the Rumanians of the Hungarian crown lived in a situation which was "more or less favourable" for the interests of their national progress. Education of the Rumanian youth was, under the protection of the Church, not influenced by the government; in the villages, Rumanian was the official language, at court, Rumanian was used extensively, etc. This was confirmed by Slavici after the war, in his memoirs. 230

The Rumanians had a de facto autonomy, whose main backing was provided by the Orthodox Church, with a net of schools on all levels except a university. Pascu, p. 249:

...the "citizens" of Romania exposed the policy of denationalizing the Romanians in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a policy backed by school laws, political associations, the Magyarization of names, resettlements, and trials of journalists and newspapers.

These accusations were propagated widely in Europe. Most Western journalists and politicians were not sufficiently familiar with the situation in south-eastern Europe and it is understandable that they believed in the vigorous Rumanian propaganda. The Hungarian government did not bother to initiate a counter-propaganda or at least relevant information campaigns. 231 These circumstances explain the many statements and protests in favour of the "suppressed Rumanians" quoted by Pascu (p. 246 - 250).

However, the real situation was different. The use of the Rumanian language was guaranteed by paragraphs 20 - 24 of the Nationality law. 232 County and communal autonomy assured that in Rumanian districts, Rumanians were elected as officials; these used of course Rumanian in their contacts with the people. Where the communal meeting decided that Rumanian will be the official language, no one raised any obstacle to this. This was the case in areas with a large Rumanian majority. The use of the mother tongue in written texts became problematic, particularly after 1875, in those villages in which the members of the meeting did not care about or were not aware of their rights, or where the non-Rumanian leaders were ill-disposed. This was the case also in villages in which the other nationalities were opposed to the use of Rumanian. It also happened that the Chief Lieutenant wanted the use of Hungarian because he did not understand Rumanian. It is important to emphasize that during the entire period of Austro-Hungarian dualism (1867 - 1918), the Rumanians used their mother tongue in their contacts with the village administrators, even if these were not Rumanians.

In many places, the documents were written in both Rumanian and Hungarian, in order to make possible the understanding by the Chief Lieutenant (foispán), who usually did not know Rumanian. But many people considered that this had caused too much work and therefore, some of them decided to use only Hungarian. Thus, purely practical considerations sometimes resulted in the use of Hungarian. The description by Slavici throws light upon the situation:

It was in this way that the Rumanian language was taken away from public administration, so that one could say that it was not the Hungarian government which prescribed the Hungarian language but the Rumanians themselves have abandoned their rights to use their own language. 233

In the counties with a Rumanian majority, such as Hunyad (Hunedoara), Szeben (Sibiu), Brassó (Brasov), Fogaras (Fagaras), Beszterce-Naszód (Bistrita-Nasaud), Krassó-Szörény (Caras-Severin), Arad (Arad), and Bihar (Bihor), requests written in Rumanian were accepted during the entire period. In several places, the authorities organized instruction in the Rumanian language; for example in Temes county, the county leaders held a five-month course in 1906, on which 40 county administrators took part. 234

On the county meetings and at the town offices, the situation was as follows (according to a Rumanian magazine): 235 1. In the counties of Beszterce-Naszód, Brassó, Nagyküküllo (Târnava Mare), and Szeben, people used their own mother-tongue; 2. In Hunyad, Krassó-Szörény, Arad and Alsó-Fehér (Alba) counties, "the Rumanians have already partly secured the use of their language". 3. In counties where the Rumanians were in a small minority, the question of what language to use was of no major importance.

In the local administration - from the meetings of the village councils to the highest level of local government - the Rumanian language was used practically in all areas where the Rumanians were in the majority. Hungarian was used only in cases that were in the sphere of activity of the parliament.

The passivity of the Rumanians after 1867 in political life was also a cause for the oblivion of the right to use Rumanian on county meetings. On the meetings in Déva and Dés (in the counties Hunyad and Szolnok-Doboka [Dabâca]), the Rumanians used for many years their mother tongue. However, later, when the Rumanian members did not come to the meetings, Rumanian was not used and the right to speak that language was forgotten. (This passivity in politics may partly be explained also by the preoccupation of the Rumanians with economics, the strengthening of their own economic potential.)When they changed their tactics and started to take part in political life, they also wanted to use their mother tongue, and, in spite of the protests from some Hungarian members, they finally succeeded to secure their right to speak Rumanian. 236 The situation was similar in the town meetings. Moreover, in the towns with a Rumanian majority, - as for example in Balázsfalva (Blaj) or Naszód, - the Hungarian deputees were obliged to speak Rumanian, and the Hungarian inhabitants had to forward their petitions in Rumanian.

In the elementary schools, middle schools and higher education of the Orthodox and the Greek Catholic Church, the teaching language was Rumanian. For one decade after 1867, Hungarian was not even taught as a foreign language in these schools. In 1879, Hungarian was introduced as a foreign language to be taught in the elementary schools, and in 1883 also in the middle schools. 237 In the theological faculties, however, which were receiving significant amounts of state money, Hungarian was never obligatory. The Apponyi-law in 1907 increased the number of hours for teaching Hungarian, but did not change the teaching language, which continued to be Rumanian. Also the school protocols were even thereafter written in Rumanian.

State schools made out about 25 - 30% of all schools. In these, in spite of the law, the teaching language was mostly Hungarian. This was one of the greatest mistakes made by the Hungarian governments in the period in question. However, since the majority of the Rumanian children and youth frequented church schools, this injustice affected only a smaller part of them.

Thus, the Rumanians living in Hungary were to a very high extent able to use their mother tongue also in public life. There were misuses, but people could get help from law and most often from the liberal Hungarian authorities. Compared to the situation of some national minorities today in the most civilized, democratic countries of Europe, - for example that of the Swedes in Finland or the German-speaking population in Tyrol (Italy) - one finds shortcomings. However, such a comparison is not relevant. An adequate basis of comparison must refer to the period in question.

The situation of the national minorities in Serbia, Russia, and Rumania in the decades before the first World War

In Serbia, about a quarter of million of Rumanians lived. They were not allowed to use their mother tongue in public places, and not even in their churches, where the use of Serbian was obligatory. The authorities organized evening courses in which Rumanian youth were taught the Serbian language and Serbian songs. Episcopal decree ordered the Rumanian Orthodox priests to change the Rumanian names to be more like Serbian, and the same was done in the schools and in offices: Sandu became Sandulovic, Iancu - Iancovic, etc. 238

In Russia, (in the province of Bessarabia), about one million Rumanians were living. 239 They were not permitted to use Rumanian in the church services, except some words on the occasion of funerals. According to Ion Nistor,

...in 1867, the Moldavian language [Rumanian] was abolished in all public schools of Bessarabia. From that time on, all schools, driven by the Church, the zemstvo [a kind of peasant community, with local autonomy of the landowners, which also had an administrative function] or the state, were Russian schools, with the Russian language, and with a Russian spirit.

Nistor quotes an official Russian text, in which it is stated:

If we want Bessarabia to melt entirely together with Russia, then we must, by the use of the schools, in a short time make at least half of the Bessarabian peasants Russian. This is the aim of the system of public education recently adopted by the government.

In 1912, 56 middle schools existed in Bessarabia. "In none of these institutions were the Bessarabian students taught Rumanian, not even as a foreign language." Nistor adds that a few Rumanian students continued their studies at Ukrainian and Russian universities, and only very few in Iasi or in Bucharest.

In the same spirit of intolerance and hostility against all what is Rumanian was also the 'Public Library' in Chisinau conducted, created by public subscription in 1832. In 1899, this library had more than 20.000 volumes among which Mister Zamfir Arbore could not find a single Rumanian publication. And it could not have been otherwise, since no publication from Rumania could pass the river Pruth, no magazines, literary books or scientific works, no Rumanian political magazines.

In Rumania, it is difficult to find data about the proportion and number of the non-Rumanian nationalities. The official publication about the 1900 census 240 gives the following data: total population: 5.956.690, of these, 5.489.296 were Rumanian citizens and 278.560 (5%) "had no citizenship", of whom 256.488 (92%) were Jews. However, with the use of other sources, it may be discerned that there were almost one million (about 16%) non-Rumanians: 129.217 inhabitants were living in Dobruja (recently annexed), of whom the publication says: "foreign settlers", who "became Rumanian after the annexation of the area". (Most of these were Turks, others Bulgarians, Russians, and Greeks.) In Moldavia, there were about 50.000 Tchangos (a Hungarian population, the descendants of those Hungarians who remained in that territory east of the Carpathian mountains when the great majority of the Hungarians settled in the Carpathian basin. In the course of time, a number of Szeklers settled in the same area.) The Tchangos were severely suppressed by the Rumanian state. In the schools, including the priest seminaries, the teaching language was exclusively Rumanian and there was no question of teaching Hungarian even as a foreign language. Most of the priests did not know Hungarian, but even those who did, were forbidden by the Rumanian bishop in Iasi to speak that language. They were not even allowed to speak Hungarian privately with their congregation. The bishop permitted after some hesitation that confession could be made in the mother tongue. Religious publications in Hungarian, which some priests rarely had procured, were confiscated by the authorities; and the texts on grave stones were to be written in Rumanian. The placenames were accepted only in the Rumanian version and if somebody wrote also the Hungarian name in brackets, the letter was not forwarded by the Rumanian postal service. Also the family names were Rumanized: Bartók became Bartoc, Baka - Boaca, etc. 241

The Rumanian press in Hungary approved this chauvinistic policy of the Rumanian governments. While they vehemently attacked the Hungarian government and authorities even for minor injustices against Rumanians, they agreed to the total suppression of the non-Rumanian languages - Hungarian, Turkish, etc. - as well as to the persecution of the Jews in Rumania. There were, of course, people who discovered this contradictory behaviour:

It seems that our brethren [the Rumanians in Transylvania] have two different standards: one for the outside world and one for their own use. They condemn chauvinism in their country but accept it here in Rumania. 242

* * *

Pascu, p. 242:

When discussing the reaction of many Rumanians upon the declaration of independence after the war in 1877 - 1878, Pascu quotes sentiments that suggest an attitude not far from racism: "The appeals made by the various committees invoked 'blood ties,'" the Rumanians are bound "'by close ties of blood' which 'will never be broken but by death itself,'" "Impressive national solidarity was seen among all in whose breast beats an impassioned Romanian heart,'" etc.

Pascu p. 239:

[About the Blaj Pronouncement:] The product of a long debate among the Transylvanian Romanian political leaders, it expresses the basic ideas of the struggle of a Romanian bourgeoisie from 1848 to 1867, and is a vehement protest against the forced incorporation of Transylvania into Hungary. It was developed at a meeting in Blaj on 15 May 1868, which was attended by roughly 60.000 peasants from most parts of Transylvania. The Pronouncement was a mass protest, demonstrating that the great majority of the population of Transylvania considered the forced union with Hungary a historic injustice.

The Pronouncement was the work of a Rumanian anti-unionist elite. However, there existed a significant Rumanian group which wanted to preserve the Austro-Hungarian dualism, but with a much wider cultural and linguistic autonomy for the Rumanians in Transylvania and Hungary. This grouping was, numerically, at least as significant as the group against dualism, but lacked the necessary political means to express its opinion. The politicians in this group were of less calibre; some of them sympathized openly with the Hungarians. This shows that the relation between the two peoples in the period in question was by far as hostile as Pascu suggests. Hungarian-friendly sentiments were certainly augmented by the passive resistance showed by the Hungarians in the Bach-Schmerling era (1850 - 1867).

During that time, the Rumanian bourgeois class was very small. In general, its members would approve the union of Transylvania with Hungary.

However, the anti-union group was historically first and had a rich tradition; it was able to gather the best men among the Rumanians. A representative member of this movement was bishop Andrei Saguna, who always was loyal to the Imperial Court; he received for his services the title of baron. (This is the only example that a Rumanian Church person has received such a high lay distinction.) Saguna was active also in the period when the dominating Rumanian attitude was passivism. 243

Pascu, p. 243 - 244:

...[the 100th anniversay of Horeas uprising was] an occasion to recall a century of suffering and to resolve to put an end to it. In the service of this idea, the newspaper Tribuna [Tribune], founded by Ion Slavici, began publication in Sibiu in April 1884. It was to distinguish itself through its steadfast and courageous defense of the Romanian national cause, of national culture, economic development, and national unity.

This newspaper played an important role in the spiritual preparation of the Memorandum because it planned,beginning in September 1884, the formulation of a purely political document, which would be a comprehensive synthesis of the allegedly anti-Rumanian policy of the Hungarian government.

Pascu 244:

The press devoted considerable attention to the Memorandum in France, Belgium, and England. Student organizations in Paris, Brussels, and other French and Belgian cities discussed it eagerly and guaranteed it a wide audience, while the English politicians William Gladstone and Edmond Fitzmaurice, a former foreign secretary, responded favorably.

Pascu exaggerates the sympathy shown by those two English politicians. In public opinion in England in that time, the sympathy for the Hungarians, aroused by the speeches of Lajos Kossuth about the fight of a small nation for freedom and independence, were still alive. On the other hand, the English - French alliance existed already and considered the small Rumanian kingdom as an enemy, since this, in 1883, concluded a secret treaty with the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, a potential ally of Germany.

It should be added that Kossuth, according to the principle of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", a continuation of the politics of prince Ferenc Rákóczy II, strived to find friends among the enemies of the Habsburgs. In the same way as Rákóczy was the ally of the French king Louis XIV, Kossuth wanted to make friends in England and in the entire Anglo-Saxon world. This was the beginning of the Anglo-Saxon orientation of Hungarian politics.

Pascu, p. 244:

The League for the Cultural Unity of All Romanians, founded in Bucharest in December 1890, played an important role in preparing both Romanian and foreign public opinion.

In spite of its euphemistic name, this league was a political organisation; its members were predominantly emigrants from Transylvania. They continued an irresponsible anti-Hungarian propaganda, which later became a part of the "nation-unifying" policy driven by all Rumanian governments before the first World War. An important aspect of the activity of this league was the propaganda in the Western press, securing a wide publicity for the Rumanian cause.

The presentation of the Memorandeum to the Viennese court was very well timed; it acted as a counter-balance to the millennium of Hungary.

Pascu, p. 245:

The press law, stricter in Transylvania than in Hungary, sought to throttle free written expression...

If this would have been the case, the text of the Memorandum could not have been published in Transylvania.

Pascu, p. 245:

The unequal treatment of the nationalities was also evident in economic life. Hungarian landowners and bourgeoisie attempted by every means to eliminate or limit as much as possible the participation of non-Magyar peoples in the economy of the country...

As shown above, it was exactly this period of time when a large number of Rumanian peasants received land and increased significantly their living standards.

Pascu does not mention that those who sympathized with the Memorandum were only Rumanians. The Hungarian public opinion was aware, at that time, of the real aim of the Memorandum-movement: the annexation of Transylvania by Rumania.

Pascu, p. 246:

The Romanian socialists declared their solidarity with the Romanians in Transylvania, "brothers with the same origin and the same language."

It may be concluded that the Memorandum-movement proved that even for the Rumanian socialists, the national ties were decisive, far above social aims and demands. 244

A similarly nationalistic spirit characterized Contemporanul, the weekly of a leading socialist, Dobrogeanu-Gherea. This trend prevailed also in the policy of the Rumanian Communist Party after the second World War, when this party was in power, and is extant even today. In the question of national aims, the different social and political trends showed most of the time the same attitude.

The Memorandum-movement indicated that the nationalistic Rumanian circles knew about the inner weaknesses and contradictions of the Monarchy. At the same time, this movement signalled the birth of the Rumanian nation. A significant part of this process took place in a foreign country and in a surcharged atmosphere.

Pascu, p. 251:

When, late in 1897, the diet in Budapest passed a law Magyarizing place names, public protest meetings were organized in many Transylvanian cities...

There was no question of a general change ("Magyarization") of the place- names. For about 30 years, each nation used its own names privately as well as in public or in the contacts with the authorities. 245There were, however, certain placenames, such as Rumanian Sacel or Saliste, Hungarian Szentmiklós or Szentkirály, which appeared in several places. This caused practical problems, among other things, for the post offices. The law sought to amend the situation, by requesting that each village may have only one official name. This was to be determined by the Ministry of Interior, "after listening to the village meetings" - "taking into consideration, as far as possible, the wish of the villages in question". This name was then obligatory in official documents, signboards, etc. However, in paragraph 5, it was stipulated that "the name different from this may be written in brackets".

There were also cases of Magyarization of Rumanian placenames. Thus, in 1912, in Sibiu county, the Ministry of Interior decided that the Rumanian and German names, written in their Hungarian forms, should be official: Rebrisoara became Kisrebra, Ampoita - Kisampoly, etc. However, it must be emphasized, that this procedure was not general, the Rumanian names became official in many areas.

As regards the use of placenames in newspapers or books, the Hungarian politicians and authorities did not interfere at all.246 The same was the case with the family names. In contrast to practice in Russia and in the Balkan peninsula, the Rumanian family names were freely used in Hungary.

Pascu, p. 252:

[To the 40th anniversary of the kingdom ] Throngs of intellectuals and peasants from Transylvania, the Banat, and Bukovina went to Bucharest to express their support for unity, both by their mere presence and by the many demonstrations that took place in the capital during the jubilee [in 1906].

Pascu, p. 253:

[at the general meeting of the Astra in 1911],

Thirty thousand delegates from the various branches all over Transylvania were present, as well as intellectuals and politicians from Transylvania, Bukovina, and Romania.

This demonstrates a fact of fundamental importance: the tolerance and liberal spirit of the Hungarian authorities; there was no obstacle to the flow of people across the frontiers - even masses could pass without any difficulty in both directions.

Pascu, p. 252:

Gyula Andrássy proposed a bill to introduce Hungarian as the training language in all military units, while Albert Apponyi's school law sought the introduction of Hungarian in the nationalities' religious schools.

After a severe struggle, the Hungarian government succeeded to introduce Hungarian instead of German in the Hungarian units of the army. It is important to emphasize that this referred exclusively to the Hungarian units; the other nationalities were not concerned.

In the church schools, the lex Apponyi from 1907 increased the number of hours in the teaching of Hungarian as a foreign language; but the teaching language remained also after this, Rumanian.

The artificially instigated revolt against this law succeeded to persuade even persons to react who did not even know what it really contained.

225 Bíró, 1989, p. 69 - 72; G. Gratz, A dualizmus kora - 1867-1918 , I, The Period of Dualism - 1867-1918 , Budapest, 1934 , ed. 1992, p. 82. - Gusztáv Gratz, 1875-1946, was an economist, politician, expert on Political Science, historian; a member of the Hungarian Academy of Science. As an active politician, he was in the first decades of the 20th century the eyewitness of events in Central and Eastern Europe. His book on the history of Hungary between 1867 and 1920, in 3 volumes, is thus based, besides a rich bibliography, on personal experience.

226 Louis Eisenmann, Le compromis austro-hongrois de 1867 Paris, 1904, p. 551; quoted by Bíró, 1989, p. 70.

227Gratz, 1934 ed. 1992, I, p. 87. - Imre Mikó, in Nemzetiségi jog és nemzetiségi politika Nationality Law and Nationality Politics , Minerva, Kolozsvár, 1944; 550 pages, devotes several chapters to the presentation of this law. Mikó (1911-1977) was a Doctor of Laws, assistant Professor at Kolozsvár University. We refer to his main work, a scholarly account of the rights of national minorities in Hungary in the 19th century and up to 1918, the situation of the Hungarians in Transylvania between 1920 and 1940, the nationality policy of Hungary up to 1944, etc.

228 Bíró, 1989, p. 71.

229 Ioan Cavaler de Puscariu, Notite despre întâmplarile contemporane Notes about contemporary events , Sibiu, 1913, p. 125; quoted by Bíró, 1989, p. 72.

230 Ion Slavici, Lumea prin care am trecut The world which I have gone through , Bucharest, 1930, p. 64 - 65; quoted by Bíró, 1989, p. 73.

231G. Gratz gives an interesting account of the possible causes of this peculiar policy: "Hungarian public opinion does not seem to have been aware of the perils for Hungary of this action." This may be explained, continues Gratz, by the belief in the strong position of Hungary within the Monarchy, and the widespread reluctance to think of disturbing events and circumstances. Moreover, it was a general belief that the Rumanian agitation would not be taken seriously by the West-European countries, if it is ignored in Hungary. This was, of course, a great mistake; in the opinion of Gratz, Hungarian society - intellectuals, politicians - should have informed their colleagues in Europe about the real situation, thus counteracting the severe distorsions of the Rumanian irredentist propaganda.(Cf. Gratz, A dualizmus kora, I, p. 382.)

232 Bíró, 1989, p. 76.

233 Slavici, Lumea p. 72; quoted by Bíró, 1989, p. 78.

234 Bíró, 1989, p. 83 - 84.

235 Libertatea The Freedom , Orastie, January 12 - 25, 1902: "Lupta în comitate" The fight in the counties ; quoted by Bíró, 1989, p. 87.

236 Bíró, 1989, p. 87.

237The European press wondered, how it was possible that the language of the state was not obligatory in the schools of the nationalities in Hungary - that it was taught only as a foreign language, as if the state had spontaneously given up, in extreme tolerance and liberalism, one of its important roles.

238 Bíró, 1989, p. 100.

239 The following data about the situation of the Rumanian population in Bessarabia (Basarabia) in the epoch between the mid-19th century and the first World War are taken from Ion Nistor, Istoria Basarabiei The history of Bessarabia , ed. 1991, Chisinau (after the third edition published in 1923 in Cernauti), p. 253 - 257.

240 Bíró, 1989, p. 101.

241 Ibid., p. 103.

242 From an essay by Radu Ciomag in Noua Revista Româna New Rumanian Magazine . Bíró, 1989, p. 103, quotes a commentary (a fierce rejection) of this essay in Românul The Rumanian , Arad, October 25, 1911, Nr. 234.

243 Keith Hitchins, Orthodoxy and Nationality. Andrei Saguna and the Rumanians of Transylvania 1846 - 1873, London, 1975.

244 This attitude was so strong within the Socialistic movements in Rumania that as late as in 1945, Lucretiu Patrascanu, the minister of justice in the government of Gheorghiu-Dej, could declare: " Eu sunt în primul rând român, si numai în al doilea rând comunist. I am in the first place a Rumanian and only in the second place a Communist.

245 Bíró, 1989, p. 97.

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