Grandmothers’ target shooting range Hungarian Nation

Grandmothers’ target shooting range Hungarian Nation
Grandmothers’ target shooting range Hungarian Nation

Saturday, February 6, 2021, 12:00 p.m.

One of the most active and well-known figures of the Hungarians in Transcarpathia is the historian György Dupka, who lives in Uzhhorod. He is the author and publisher of numerous history books, as well as the journal Together, and the organizer of historical research, exhibitions and memorial exhibitions. An unquestionable Hungarian patriot living in a minority.

– His book, Article link

The Silent Tragedy of the Transcarpathian Hungarians and Germans, 1944–1946, was published recently. What does it mean to be “silent”?
– It basically refers to the Soviet times, when the communist genocide against the Hungarians and the Swabians could have been endangered in Transcarpathia, but in a sense there is still silence. On the one hand, the former Soviet archives in Russia can still be researched for us only to a limited extent, and on the other hand, the historical facts about the Hungarians and the Ruthenians do not necessarily fit into the Ukrainian historical narratives either.
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The recurring motif of his book is the Seven Plagues.
– I divide the plagues of the communist regime in Transcarpathia into Hungarians and Germans into seven episodes. Only for seven weeks, because I do not count the sins of the Czechoslovak state, which he committed against the native Hungarians between 1920 and 1939, because at that time it was only a deprivation of rights, not a direct massacre. When Stalin turned a blind eye to Transcarpathia in 1944, Edvard Beneš – who, incidentally, had been spying on the Soviets during the war in London – was tactical in offering Transcarpathia to Stalin in exchange for the victorious powers to restore Czechoslovakia. At the same time, he called for the collective guilt and expulsion of Hungarians and Germans from Czechoslovakia and the deportation of Hungarian public figures from the Highlands to Siberia.

Photo: István Mirkó / Hungarian Nation

– What is the basis of the historical reference that Stalin was able to annex Transcarpathia to the Ukrainian SSR? Transcarpathia had never belonged to the Grand Duchy of Kiev before.
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The scenario of the violent Sovietization of Transcarpathia, with the support of Kremlin leaders, was conceived by NKVD agent Ivan Transjan, a Communist leader from Transcarpathia who emigrated from Transcarpathia to the Soviet Union, and was implemented in the shadow of Soviet weapons. It was the “tale” of Soviet propaganda that Transcarpathia was an ancient Ukrainian land where Slavs – Ukrainians in his interpretation – lived before the Hungarian conquest. Article link

The ethnic argument was the Ruthenians who settled here in the Middle Ages, who were perceived as Ukrainians.
“What did the Ruthenians say to that?”
– They didn’t ask, they ask. To this day, the Ruthenians – also the right-wing historians and politicians of independent Ukraine – are considered Hungarians, while we Hungarians are not accepted as a native minority.
“This may have come in handy for the Ruthenians in 1944, because at least they didn’t stamp the stamp of collective guilt on them like we did. What were the seven plagues?
– I call the first blow when, during the transition of Béla Miklós Dálnoki in 1944, the units of the 4th Ukrainian Front in Transcarpathia captured 19,854 Hungarian, Ruthenian and German soldiers and Jewish laborers, and instead of recruiting a new one behind the interim government in Debrecen. they were deported to the Hungarian army, to Siberian prisoner-of-war camps. Article link

The second blow was Decree No. 0036, adopted as a collective punishment by the Military Council of the 4th Ukrainian Front on November 12, 1944, which marched here in Transcarpathia as a “three-day job” or “a job of honor” and in Hungary as a “Malenkij robot”. into the public consciousness. Every third of the thirty thousand men aged 18 to 50 who were deported to the Gulag-Gupvi camps from Transcarpathia on November 18, 1944 was there. A month later, this was further developed by State Defense Commission Decree No. 7161 into reparation mobilization, which henceforth also applied to women. Nearly two hundred Swabian-Hungarian girls and mothers performed slave labor in the mining area of ​​the Donetsk Basin. I consider this the third blow. Article link

The camp conditions were no different from those of the Nazi concentration camps, as did the surviving Jews who reclaimed their property when they returned home from the German death camps. They were sentenced to 10 to 25 years of forced labor on the grounds that whoever survived the Nazi concentration camp must have been an agent and consequently a traitor. In addition to 11,723 Hungarian and German victims, the names of 738 Jewish people who died in the Soviet camps along with Christians have been inscribed on the approximately one hundred granite slabs of the Szolyva Memorial Park. As a researcher, I draw an equal sign between the Nazi and Soviet genocides, the National Socialist and the international socialist system.
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The fourth blow?
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The fourth was the establishment of the impromptu military tribunals, the infamous Extraordinary Court in Uzhhorod, in the second half of December 1944, initiated by the NKVD. Article link

The aim was to decimate the intelligentsia regardless of ethnicity. It was then that the historical churches were deprived of their leading priests, who for the most part also went to camp, no longer murdered as the Greek Catholic bishop of Happy Romzsa Tódor. Article link

The largest conceptual lawsuit is named after the Ruthenian Prime Minister András Bródy and his Hungarian MPs. As a result of a court decision, three compatriots were executed, the others were sentenced to gulag captivity, their fate is still unknown. Linked to this is the fifth plague, a wave of arrests of “anti-Soviet elements” aimed at those who had previously engaged in any kind of political or public activity. During January – February 1945, the NKVD arrested a total of 215,540 people in Transcarpathia and the neighboring areas of Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Poland on fabricated political charges.

Among them are three thousand Transcarpathian officials, some of whom have been traced in the Jenakijevo penitentiary in the Donetsk Basin. Article link

The sixth blow was the deportation of stigmatized German and Hungarian families to Siberia and Kazakhstan under two 1946 Interior Ministry decrees. Roughly three thousand Hungarians and Germans were exiled from their families to inhumane conditions. Article link

The survivors were not allowed back to Transcarpathia until 1972. Finally, I call the seventh blow the political repression of the NKVD-KGB, which lasted until 1970. For example, conscript boys born between 1927 and 1932 were not enlisted as soldiers for reasons of mistrust, but were also employed in the mining area of ​​the Donetsk Basin. Anyone on the part of the thought police could be sued for any reason. During these years, thousands of Transcarpathians were sentenced to 5 to 25 years in prison, gulags, whose further fate is unknown.
– While many people envision that the Hungarians of Transcarpathia will sooner or later merge into the Slavic Sea, you are still making a positive statement about the future of the Hungarians in Transcarpathia. What do you base your optimism on?
– On the one hand, our unparalleled ability to regenerate and reproduce, and on the other hand, the fact that we have little tendency to assimilate compared to other ethnicities. Article link

The 1910 census recorded another 262,555 people, but due to Trianon, by the time of the first Czechoslovak census in 1921, the number of Hungarians had dropped to 102,000. Then between 1921 and 1941 – mainly as a result of his return to Hungary – the Hungarianness of our region increased by 143 thousand. After that came the seven plagues, the red hell. Between 1941 and 1959, the number of Hungarians in Transcarpathia decreased by 110,728, including the numbers of emigrations that took place in several waves between 1944 and 1953. I don’t know if it is a law of nature or a divine suggestion, but the fact is that by 1989 we had raised ourselves again to well over 155,000.
– But after the change of regime, the great outflow and relocation to Hungary started again.
– There is no doubt that the 2001 census indicated the number of Hungarians in only 151,500 people, and we are at least 25-30 thousand minus in the balance sheet of the last thirty years. Article link

The decline of Hungarians intensified especially from 2014, the Majdan revolution in Kiev and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict overshadowed the vision of the Hungarians in Transcarpathia, and since then they have left their homeland out of line, out of economic reasons and out of fear. At present, this country cannot support its own people. In 1989, Ukraine had a population of 52 million, today it is 35 million. Article link

The whole country was scattered into the world. Many send home the money they earn, the only way they can support their family left in their homeland.
– Just as Hungarians go out to work.
– Yes, but most of them go to Hungary! This should be further supported. A survey shows that the majority thinks that if they earned 180,000 commuting to Hungary, for example, they would never leave their homeland. Article link

The mainland-funded Ege Ede Transcarpathian economic development program is also very good, but only affects 3-400 entrepreneurial families. If we want to curb economic emigration, it would be a great step forward if as many jobs as possible settled in Szabolcs, close to the border, so that the Hungarians from the Bereg countryside could work not across Germany but across the border. This would also benefit Eastern Hungary.
– However, the current tense Ukrainian-Hungarian relationship is not conducive to border interoperability.
– I know very well what the domestic political climate in Ukraine is like, but give-and-take does not lead to good.
It clicks on our backs. Our lives moved in a good direction until 2014, but since then the Ukrainians have been gradually narrowing our living space, and now the radicals shrouded in anonymity have pushed vegging to the top, forcing us to self-defense. We have to play this match, but the immediate goal must be to reach an inter-state Ukrainian-Hungarian compromise. After that, we should help Ukraine to join the EU. If the borders were airy, there would be no more cramps in us, no one would have to move or move, the school and the church would be full of Hungarian life. It would not be the sad sight in the depopulated Hungarian villages during the farewell that only grandmothers and children are shooting around the target carousel and the carousel, because everyone else is working somewhere far away, abroad.

Business card

György Dupka is a Hungarian writer, journalist, editor, minority and cultural politician, historian and camp researcher from Transcarpathia. President of the Transcarpathian Community of Hungarian Intellectuals, one of the founders and current director of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Institute, secretary of the Szolyva Memorial Park Committee. He was born in 1952 in Tiszabökény. He obtained his first degree at the Hungarian Department of Uzhhorod State University in 1979. Between 2006 and 2008 he studied at the Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology of Eötvös Loránd University, then in 2014 he received his doctorate at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University. In his PhD dissertation he explores the application of the principle of collective guilt to the Hungarians and Germans in Transcarpathia.

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