One big problem facing Europe as it considers an unsettled future is the question of its various national minorities. Nearly every news item we read or hear today seem to confirm this.

In the last century, one could say that social questions occupied the centre-stage in the political debate. In the last century, one could say that social questions occupied centre-stage in politics. The 19th Century’s social challenge was duly addressed – via the dead-end of Marxist Communism, but also through the policies pursued more or less successfully down to this day by the Western democracies.

Now, since the death of Communist dictatorship, Europe’s artificially dormant nationality problem has been again thrust forward, and it demands our urgent attention.

The Transylvania region in Romania – with its Hungarian, German and other minorities – is probably the part of Europe where the minorities’ dilemma is experienced at its worst. Yet it is a region whose dire problems are little understood by West Europeans. And the reports that do reach the Western mass-media are often falsified in the service of partisan interests.

It is quite clear that the Transylvania crisis has to be readdressed if the full extension of freedom into Central and Eastern Europe is to be completed.

Under these conditions, a factual report on the days between the Romanian revolution of December 1989 and the ethnic massacre in Transylvania three months later is welcome. This is especially so if it honestly describes the precedents we need to be aware of if we are to analyse and respond to the unfolding nationalities dilemma besetting this entire region of Europe.

In this sense, the testimony contained in the book Black Spring, by Előd Kincses, will add much to our objective knowledge of the situation in this troubled, area. One hopes this book will be read by many and that it will help to form their opinion on the political destiny awaiting Europe.

Otto von Habsburg