In the Name of Truth
...Our wonderful heroes, who sacrificed their lives on December 21-22, 1989, for genuine freedom, democracy and fraternity, would protest violently and condemn those barbaric and destabilising deeds, the hateful things that happened in the hallowed place where they fell...
...I regret that the headline on the article published in the March 27, 1990, issue of the daily Cuvîntul Liber (“Understanding, tolerance and mutual respect have found an abode in the soul of the Hodac people”) is entirely contrary to the shameful deeds committed on the night of March 19 and to which I was an eyewitness. Immediately after the ravaging of the headquarters of the RMDSZ, I was present also when the last hostages were removed from the building after scenes of dramatic tension and horror that had lasted more than six hours.
Have the gentlemen forgotten the incidents they caused, that they set fire to the building and threatened death to those who had taken refuge in the attic?
Have the gentlemen forgotten the request of mine and of Lieutenant-Colonel Moldovan, who was at the scene with approximately 20-25 policemen? Do they no longer remember that they twice broke through the protective cordon and refused our call to quit the building and stop besieging it?
Have they forgotten that their own followers, full of hatred, no longer obeyed their own calls either...?
As far as I am personally concerned, I have talked to no-one. No person in an official or private capacity has called me from Hodac so that I could describe the facts. I consider that the circumstances in which my name has been mentioned in the Press in connection with violent, barbaric, destabilising actions – things to which I always have been and always will be opposed – is a grave attack against all the members of the Provisional Council of National Unity of our municipality. In the course of my actions, I have never taken recourse to nationalistic discrimination, and will never do so. I have dealt with Hungarians, Gypsies and Romanians with equal respect , and I can say with a clear conscience that among those whom I have served faithfully, no one has reason to plan my death through hanging. These unbridled ideas were born in the brains of ill-intentioned and vengeful people, against whom we have to form a common front and prove again that the Transylvanians are good, honest and clean gentlemen. And furthermore, that as long as Transylvania exists, Romanians, Hungarians, Gypsies, Germans and people of other nationalities will live in this part of the country in peace and fraternity. I am convinced that by joining forces and by honest work – such as the Transylvanians are accustomed to – we shall rebuild within a short time all that has been ruined, both in the material and spiritual sense.
On March 20 of this year, I accompanied Mr. András Sütő to the military hospital of Bucharest on a special plane of the Romanian army. Both of us expressed our regrets about what had happened on March 19, 1990, neither of us suspecting at the time what a catastrophic influence the next day (a sad memory) was waiting to exert on Romanian-Hungarian brotherhood.
The same day, I was received by Mr Ion Iliescu, the President of the Provisional Executive Committee of National Unity, to whom I explained that I was deeply troubled and dissatisfied with what had happened in Târgu Mureş between March 15 and 19.
This moment of truth lasted with the engineer-colonel Ioan Judea only for the course of one newspaper article, and since then he has been playing the same old tune. The colonel, who proudly confessed being a founding member of Vatra Românească, gave an interview on the 15th anniversary of the events to the Budapest Demokrata weekly where he said that “Vatra prevented the outbreak of a more serious conflict”. What caught my attention most in the story, the text of which is fully reprinted in the Annex, is that he said it was I who called in the Romanian peasants of the Gurghiu Valley, who, like the rats in the Pied Piper of Hamelin, set off to beat the Hungarians at one word from me.
Ioan Judea’ allegations about Vatra are categorically refuted by the reputable historian, Lajos Demény, who followed Attila Pálfalvi as deputy education minister.
“Officially Vatra Românească was founded on February 6, 1990 at a meeting held into the Târgu Mureş sports hall. I know, and have the list of the almost 600 founding members. About 80% of them were former Securitate employees. They are followed in decreasing numbers by members recruited from the officer corps of the army, the judiciary (mainly the prosecutor’s office), doctors and teachers.
“There is an interesting addendum to which my Romanian colleagues drew my attention and put the relevant documentation at my disposal: The Vatra Românească organisation was actually founded before the royal dictatorship in 1938 by members of the Iron Guard who had fled to the United States lead by an orthodox bishop by the name of Moruşca. They bought land near Detroit; they built the cathedral of the orthodox bishopric and established the Iron Guard-type Vatra Românească organisation which was lead after Moruşca by the orthodox bishop Valerian Trifu until 1980. It was then, after a 30-year court case initiated by the Jewish World Congress, that Valerian Trifu was stripped of his US citizenship for having hidden his fascist past and was exiled to the-then fascist Portugal. There the Vatra Românească organisation even had a magazine called “Solia”. In the Eighties, under the cover of the fight against Horthy revisionism, the Ceauşescu regime contacted the Iron Guard Vatra Românească organisation in the US. It was represented at events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the organisation in 1988. An interesting detail: between 1988 and 1990, when in Târgu Mureş and almost the whole country, the so-called cultural organisation Vatra Românească was founded with the powerful help of the Petre Roman government, several founders and leaders of this organisation were guests of the American Iron Guard-type Vatra Românească and had been given the relevant training in organising diversions. According to my Romanian diplomatic sources, the political parallels and connections became uninteresting from the moment Vatra Românească and later the Romanian Party of National Unity lead by Gheorghe Funar was founded. This connection was, of course, kept secret because of its compromising nature. If it was mentioned somewhere, they of course denied it.”
What Demény describes also explains the timing of the appearance of the falsely-dated map of 1988, of which, more later.
Paying no attention at all to this evidence coming even from their own side, the “official” Romanian media, the propaganda machinery, tried to chalk up the events of March on account of its Hungarian neighbour. They pumped out well-worn accounts of Hungarian “interventions”.
The role of alleged Hungarian “tourists” – a story which has been repeated non-stop in the extremist Romanian Press since the events of these days – was already refuted on March 16 in an Hungarian-language broadcast of Târgu Mureş Radio. The refutation came from the police chief of Satu Mare County, Colonel Gavril Irşic. The April 11 issue of Romániai Magyar Szó published the entire interview with the colonel, from which I quote one question and answer:
Reporter: “Colonel, another question. Have you got any information that large groups of tourists arrived from Hungary and provoked scandalous scenes in the centre of Satu Mare, including the unfurling of banners, the laying of wreaths, and other manifestations testifying against, or hostile to, the Romanian people?”
Colonel Gavril Irşic: “No, I have none.”
As far as the alleged presence of Hungarian “tourists” is concerned, the only truth behind the assertion is that Transylvanian Hungarians who had previously emigrated to escape ethnic and economic oppression used the Hungarian national holiday of March 15 and the following long weekend to visit relations in their old home. These people largely returned to Hungary on Sunday, March 18, Monday being a normal working day. The killings occurred on Tuesday, 20 March.
To this day, the frank words of Colonels Judea and Irşic have not been generally disseminated in the Romanian media. But after this necessary clarification, let us describe what happened the next day, and how the tragedy of Târgu Mureş occurred (without, of course, the participation of any Hungarian “tourists”).