The Peasant Peace of Glăjărie
In the surrounding villages fear prevailed that the „enemy” would attack again. The Hungarians thought the Romanians would attack them and the Romanians were afraid of a Hungarian attack. The Gurghiu Valley – from where most of the attackers were brought to Târgu Mureş 60 km away – has only one Hungarian village, Glăjărie.On March 20, the bus going from Reghin to Glăjărie was stopped by the inhabitants of Caşva. The frightened Hungarian passengers were told to get off and they were lined up along the roadside ditch. Among them was Dr. Jolán Ballok, the respected doctor of Glăjărie. The Romanians of Caşva, made drunk and enraged, got on the bus, turned it round and set off to fight in Târgu Mureş armed with their traditional “work-tools” (axe, pitchfork, club etc.).
In the meantime, many of the men of Glăjărie were working as usual in far-away parts of the country. When they heard about the horrors of Târgu Mureş, they returned home and believed the rumours about an imminent attack from Hodac. Given the crowding of Hodac people into Târgu Mureş, it seemed quite feasible that they might also attack the Hungarians of the neighboring village. To avoid a surprise attack, the men of Glăjărie organised patrols and stood guard all night on the hill separating the two villages.
The Hodac people on their part were also afraid of a revenge attack by the Hungarians, and to avoid a surprise attack, they also organised patrols.
After about three sleepless nights, the two patrols met on the hilltop and clarified that neither village wanted to attack the other, though unfortunately they had all believed the silly rumours. After this, they shook hands and finally went to bed.
This is how they restored peace, leaving aside politicians, police and other troublemakers, or more exactly without these people knowing about it.
In an interview given to the Hungarian Demokrata magazine (March 17, 2005 issue), Colonel Judea reveals a unique view of the events of March 1990:
Can you tell us what happened in March 1990?
There was a military invasion planned for March 20, 1990, which should have happened originally in December 1989, but Gorbachev called it off. According to the plan, the [Transylvanian] counties of Covasna, Harghita and Mureş were to be occupied by the Hungarian army. But the-then President Iliescu managed to get the Hungarian government to distance itself from the plan and it did not interfere in these three counties. On the evening of March 19, 1990, we got the exact information.
How could the Hungarian army have marched into those three counties without going through the counties of Bihor and Cluj?
One does not have to necessarily think of a military action. The Hungarian civilians from here were prepared with the help of the Hungarian Interior Ministry. In December, 1470 weapons and four to five thousand rounds disappeared, which were never found. They probably ended up with these trained civilians. Luckily we immediately received the information. As the President of the Town Council, I found on my desk every morning at seven the written report of the Securitate.
But nothing came of the invasion of March 20 you mentioned...
It did not happen because Gyula Horn, the-then Hungarian Foreign Minister, declared in the Press that there should be peace and the preparations should not continue. But there were some who could not be stopped and they acted. They wanted to start a civil war in Transylvania by sacrificing 70 members of the RMDSZ.
Does this mean that the Romanian peasants armed with clubs and axes were also called by the Hungarians to Târgu Mureş?
Absolutely right! It is very good that you are asking about this. They were called in by Előd Kincses and his friends to cause trouble.
Did Előd Kincses tell the people of Hodac: come and beat up the Hungarians?
He contacted the Orthodox church and the leaders of Hodac by telephone; this is how he mobilised the villagers. He did not introduce himself, just made a phone call and said that Romanians were being attacked here and Romanian children were being thrown out of school.
So the Hodac people trusted an unknown voice, while you could not stop them on March 19...
Irrespective of whether it was a Romanian or Hungarian institution, I sent soldiers everywhere except to the parties’ house [sic]. This group from Hodac wanted to go to the radio studios and the headquarters [sic] were on the way. Within a few hours, I was at the scene...
...which is a ten-minute walk from the town centre...
I tried to pacify them. We could bring down everybody from the loft, although there was some fighting. We called a military truck but the crowd was furious and tore off its canvas. I handed over András Sütő to Colonel Gambra, the head of the county police, so that he would look after him. Gambra somehow let him climb onto the truck but the people of Hodac climbed after him. Even so he got away almost unscathed. He got that punch on his bad eye; he couldn’t see with that eye before, either.
Do you know that the vehicles which transported the Romanian peasants to Târgu Mureş were booked by Vatra?
This is not true; Vatra was then a newly-founded organisation; it did not have any powers or influence, it had no role in the events. We went with our soldiers to protect them.
Mr. Judea, are you a member of Vatra Românească?
I was and am a member, because it is a cultural society. I am not ashamed of it. The moment the chauvinistic, extremist poison started to work, there was no other way to react but this.
What do you mean by “this”?
We answered cursing with cursing, power-demonstration with power-demonstration. Although Christian religion teaches that if you are smitten on one cheek turn the other cheek, at the time we were smitten on both cheeks.
Finally, let me print here open letters which I sent to Ion Mânzatu, the-then Vice-President of the Temporary Council of National Unity, and to the-then leaders of Romania, Ion Iliescu and Petre Roman. Mânzatu took over from Voican Voiculescu as leader of the committee investigating the Târgu Mureş events. Needless to say, this was not done at the request of the RMDSZ.
The report of the investigating committee did not condemn me, though in general it strayed far from the truth.
Later, however, Mânzatu began to speak differently and far more harshly about my role, and this is why I wrote this open letter, in Romanian, of course. The two Romanian newspapers in which he had accused me (Viitorul Românesc – Bucharest, and Cuvîntul Liber – Târgu Mureş) have not yet published my answer, although I mailed it a long time ago.
(Note that on the night of the violence, we knew of three dead. In subsequent days, that rose to six dead, then eight. One problem to do with this counting was those who were in a coma and considered unlikely to survive. The figure from the night of March 20 later settled down at five dead. Though when I wrote these letters, the fashion was still for six. I have retained the references to that incorrect figure as they appeared in this correspondence. Five is not so different from six; the moral remains the same. EK)
September 18, 1990
Dear Mr. Mânzatu!
I was taken aback by the grave accusations which you levelled against me in the triple September 5-11 issue of the weekly, Viitorul Românesc. I was all the more surprised because (to quote from the words of the editors introducing this item) “...the opinions published, needless to emphasise, are authorised by the high office that the person forming the opinions filled in the course of the investigation of the events of Târgu Mureş.”
To the question of whether you would be able to name the instigators (of the violence), you casually answered with the following:
“Instigators existed among the local population, as for instance a certain Kincses. And instigators existed in Budapest too. These sent messages through the Hungarian radio transmitter in Târgu Mureş, etc. “
I have studied the report which you put together, and my full name – Előd Kincses – is mentioned on three occasions. But here is it now claimed that I was an instigator.
You explain your new statements by “documents which I obtained subsequently” which were handed over by “official people, some wearing military uniform, others being policemen, others again representing the judiciary or the office of the attorney, and others being workers belonging to institutions in the surroundings.”
First of all, I declare that there does not exist a single document which would testify to my alleged instigatory activity. And consequently you are quite simply not telling the truth!
I cannot omit to mention the first instance when you publicly reappraised your originally formulated opinion (as it appeared in the official report).
What I am thinking of is that when you returned home from your visit to the USA, on March 21, 1990, at the meeting of the Provisional Council of National Unity, you praised the activities of Bishop László Tőkés in America. You said that when he was received by President Bush, László Tőkés presented a correct view, not the one which was published by the international press, but rather one where he supported the measures promised by the Provisional Council of National Unity.
When Bishop Tőkés, the Honorary President of the RMDSZ, returned to Bucharest from his American trip, you offered the RMDSZ an electoral alliance with the Republican Party (of which you are the President).
You told the Bishop that you were fully sensitised to the Transylvanian question, and that in this you differed from those who come from the Regat [the pre-1918 Romania], because your mother, Margit Sipos [Hungarian name], came from Bobâlna [a village in Transylvania].
After this electoral alliance failed to be established – indeed, after only a very few days – you initiated a very sharp attack in an election campaign television programme against Bishop Tőkés. In addition you entered into an electoral alliance with the political party which stood “nearest” in your estimations to the RMDSZ: the “Partidul de Uniune Națională a Românilor din Transilvania” (PUNRT, the National Unity Party of Romanians of Transylvania) – the political wing of the “cultural” organisation called Vatra Românească!
I always insisted after the announcement of this electoral alliance that, on the grounds of incompatibility, you could not occupy the chairmanship of the committee investigating the events of Târgu Mureş . But in vain.
Of course, the truth about the events of Târgu Mureş is not what you, the ally of Vatra Românească, “discovered” in your report. But in that report, at least, you did not accuse me of actual instigation.
This is an extremely serious accusation, because on March 20 six persons died owing to the situation in Târgu Mureş – four Hungarians and two Romanians. That’s the same number that died [in that town] in the revolution of December 21, that were also four Hungarians and two Romanians.
Do you not consider this tragic coincidence alarming? The common struggle for the removal of the Ceauşescus and the democratisation of our country demanded exactly the same number of victims as the fratricide provoked by the forces that subsequently wanted to prevent democratisation!
My ideas about which I wrote to President Iliescu as early as May 26, 1990, are still very topical, and therefore I am publishing them here. I wrote:
“I trust that you, as the chosen president of every Romanian citizen, will not tolerate the continuation of violations of the law in Târgu Mureş, where the victims of the pogroms are mistreated by the detectives, and are sentenced – although they are innocent – while the real perpetrators are glorified.”
The “documents” (illustrating my instigator role) to which you (Mânzatu) refer, according to your own claim, come exactly from those whose official duty it would have been to prevent the repetition of the pogrom of March 19 on the following night. They came from those who are engaged in the perversion of the truth.
I assume that you have no knowledge of the order which General Chiţac, the former Interior Minister, issued on March 20 to Colonel Gheorghe Gambra, the Mureş County Police Commander. This order required adequate steps to be taken to separate the demonstrating groups, and adequate steps to prevent armed Romanian peasants from Reghin from invading again Târgu Mureş and attacking its peaceful population.
Do you know what Colonel Gambra told me, even after the clashes in Târgu Mureş had actually begun? “What shall I do? I don’t have enough men available.”
It is characteristic of the times that the colonel, after fulfilling his duty so “excellently” on March 19 and 20 (just as he did at the time of the revolution, when we had six dead), has remained in his office and has even been appointed to the bureau of the Mureş County Prefect.
In contrast, I, who was not even present in Târgu Mureş between 19:00 of March 19 and 16:00 of March 20, have been named as an instigator by you.
Do you know what instigatory activity I conducted on the morning of March 20?
I calmed down the [Hungarian] population of the town of Odorheiul Secuiesc, who wanted to go to Târgu Mureş to defend the Hungarians against the attacks of the Romanian peasants who were armed and transported to the town for this purpose. Can you imagine what catastrophe would have occurred if I really were the type of instigator that you present me?
Without going into details, I can declare that the Hungarian-language transmission of Târgu Mureş Radio did not incite at all, but on the contrary, desperately asked (in Romanian) that the army and police should intervene to free the writer András Sütő and those others trapped with him inside the Hungarian party headquarters building.
In conclusion, I declare that I am ready at any time for an open debate, with the presentation of documents and video-recordings of all that happened in Târgu Mureş. I have nothing to hide, and would like the viewers of Romanian Television to also finally learn the truth.
As long as the truth has not been told, I cannot live in safety in my own town, Târgu Mureş.
Előd Kincses, solicitor,
former Vice-President of the Mureş County National Salvation Front
and Provisional Council of National Unity
Budapest, June 8, 1991
Dear Mr. President!
Dear Mr. Prime Minister!
I, the undersigned, Előd Kincses of Ghiocelului-Hóvirág street nr. 10, Târgu Mureş, presently residing at Dániel street nr. 52, c/o István Szerdahelyi, Budapest 1125, Hungary.
Mr. President! One year has passed since I submitted my first memorandum to you, to which I have unfortunately received no reply. In addition, I now find that I have been charged with “incitement to commit genocide”.
I am convinced that such violations of justice happen in Târgu Mureş because members of the Vatra are allowed to be prosecutors, judges and policemen. As a result, members of this so-called cultural organisation are the ones who investigate those very criminal acts in which Vatra Românească evidently played a role.
As a result, many innocent Hungarians and Gypsies have been convicted who did none other than resort to the right of self-defence on March 20.
On the other hand, the known murderers of our Hungarians on March 20 have not been tried.
Similarly, those who are responsible for permanently blinding András Sütő in the left eye and injuring 150 other ethnic Hungarians on March 19, have not been tried.
Similarly, those responsible for the December 21, 1989, murder of six freedom fighters in Târgu Mureş (Sándor Bodoni, Lajos Hegyi, Adrian Hidos, Ilie Muntean, Károly Pajkó, Ernő Tamás) have not been tried.
The fact that those who organised the March 19-20 terrorist attacks in Târgu Mureş and who committed numerous criminal acts, and that those who, despite former Interior Minister Chiţac’s order, did not stop the further flow of people into the city, the fact that these people have not been charged or brought to trial, is obviously illegal and is causing severe tensions.
Perhaps you remember my own desperate attempts on March 19-20 to prevent violent ethnic clashes from occurring in the first place and then to try to stop them reoccurring.
I even appealed to you, Mr. President, to travel personally to Târgu Mureş, but you replied that given such a strained situation, you had no such intention.
As “payment” for the position I took, I have been chased out of my hometown and, along with Smaranda Enache, prevented from running for office in a totally illegal way.
Moreover, the Vatra anger is far from subsiding; rather, before the second congress of the Hungarian Democratic Alliance of Romania, the criminal investigation organs again subpoenaed me. They sent an oral message that I am being charged with incitement to commit genocide.
This measure is quite surprising in light of the fact that you, Mr. Prime Minister, unequivocally stated during a press conference on January 29, 1991 in Strasbourg that no charges would be brought against any of those who had been cited by reserve General Ioan Scrieciu. Those people being András Sütő, myself and others.
Even the official report of the committee that investigated the Târgu Mureş events has not found me guilty of anything, so why then am I being persecuted?
I would like to contribute to identifying the real criminals and therefore I have enclosed a copy of (transportation) Order No. 1008 which Vatra Românească filled out on March 15 so that they would be able to transport their followers to Târgu Mureş in time to carry out the attacks of March 19-20.
In closing, I repeat my request of one year ago: take the necessary steps to cease these illegal investigations concerning me and ensure that I not to be brought to trial and that I not be murdered by “unknown” persons.
As a lawyer, I know very well that, under the Ceauşescu regime, citizens’ requests and observations did not receive the response within the 30-day time limit required by law. I trust that your regime will adhere to these regulations and that I will receive a response as specified by law.