Difference between victims and victims - acceptable European practice? Nyomtatás E-mail
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2010. februr 20.

Difference between victims and victims – acceptable European practice?

  In 1944/45 genocide was proceeding in Vojvodina. Serbian partisans slaughtered more than ten thousands innocent Hungarians. In Szenttamás (Srbobran), where the citizens commemorate the executed ones every year, some 750 men were murdered and approximately 450 men have been pursued away. (In Szenttamás 6000-6500 Hungarians lived at that time.)

After this year's commemoration I had a talk with Csaba Andróczky, the colleague of the Human Rights Center from Vojvodina about the Hungarian massacres and the European reaction of the bygones.

Do we deal enough with the issue of the 1944/45 Hungarian massacres?

From a certain point of view, we could say that an improvement has happened compared to the past decades, but even to the 1990’s. In the very beginning, it was necessary to start with factually revealing, supporting with evidences if possible that these events have certainly occurred, since the Serbian state has contested the gravity of these cases through several decades.  The historical VMDK (Democratic Community of Vojvodinan Hungarians) has laid down the first milestone with the commemorations organized to the memory of the victims. Due to this, the “public consciousness” may have found out about the committed horrors. Parallel with the organization of the commemorations, the fact revealing literature has also came to light that tried to give a true description of the murdering or expelling of more than ten thousand innocent Hungarians in Vojvodina.

As the result of the almost two decennial works, today all over Vojvodina commemorations are organized, but the documentations are more accurate, contain more complex data, statements of fact, moreover more documentaries has been made that are available on the web as well. However, there are still things to be done on the area of fact-finding, but fortunately newer publications come out as well, newer initiations come to light, as for example the initiation of the Magyar Szó, the sole Hungarian newspaper in Vojvodina, which studies intensively a particular case or series of events on each week that can be subjected to a given settlement, possibly challenging local researchers or persons who were the eyewitnesses of the events. 

What does it hinder that the mentioned genocide partisan actions, or atrocities of the communism rise into the public consciousness?

Henceforward it is not arguable that the public opinion would be fully aware of what happened 65 years ago, since in the schools it is still not possible to receive an objective picture about the events that has happened after the war. The information gets to the newer generations only in key words, disregarding the terrifying factual data, or in the worst case forged, and this empty space will be very hard to fill in. The Hungarian media and government only strengthen further and expand this space, since they are dealing with these questions of the hour observing merely the protocol etiquette, while more ten thousand people’s brutal torturing and murdering or their expulsion is under discussion.

Can we talk about a successful Hungarian lobby activity in connection with the 1944/45 events?

Apparently there exists a lobby of this nature; inter alia our organization takes measures towards it, but this is insufficient. The successful lobby requires several years’, even several decennials’ work that not a single government may save for itself. I think that the actual Hungarian government makes almost nothing in the interest of this, it merely tolerates the happenings, and it lags behind the events.

What does the current political actions around the Benes decrees message to us?

It is not really related to the Hungarian nationality in Vojvodina, but basically it belongs to the same scope of problems that happens in the case of the Benes decrees. The Hungarian government retreated in this question as well by giving up the Hungarians’ professional representations, since as it is well-known, the Czech Republic has received immunity in connection with the Benes decrees, namely Klaus Václav with the EU’s contribution has arranged that the Czech Republic to be taken from the human right charter complementing the Treaty of Lisbon fearing that the discriminative provisions, the ones that contain collective guilt, and are in force to this date, would come into collision with the European law and order. This story is of definite importance, because all those, who wanted to believe that the European Union after all gets organized along such fundamental human values for which it worth making sacrifice, it is apparently recognised now that they are mistaken, since the dissonance is more and more apparent.

Today it is possible to clearly declare that a double scale prevails within the EU. There are made distinction between victim and victim, respectively between knavery and knavery that is simply unacceptable. Innocent people have been murdered in case of the Hungarians in Vojvodina as well: women, children, very old men. Despite this – as opposed to others – less dignity and compassion is appertained not only in Serbia or in the European Union, but in many instances unfortunately even in Hungary.

 I think that I understand a lot in connection with the world’s “things”, but I am always shocked when I have to confront that a nation’s government runs counter to its own community’s interests in such a glaring manner, much as for example Germany and Hungary did it in connection with the Benes decrees. Both states has removed this question from the agenda, which means that the grievances committed against the more than a million Germans and the more than one hundred thousand Hungarians “are not of importance”, while when a historian asks questions in connection with the genocide committed against the Jews, perhaps he sees certain things in another way, as it is taught by the history books, he will be treated with contempt, expulsion, and what is more, in retorsion. So long as on one side there are the millions of disgraced lives, the cancelled amends, the more than thousands of executioners who have never been hold responsible, namely the multitude of the cancelled administrations of justice, until then on the other side there is the “inappealable compassion”. The representatives of the Jewish victims, respectively their organizations can find and hold responsible 90 year old very old men, but the question of the more than a million Germans and other victims may not even be subject of conversation within the European Union. We consider this humiliating and unfair.

Numerous human rights organisations operate all over Europe. Why do not protest these organizations?

It is hard to give a short answer to this question, but in any case it is necessary to clearly see that this attitude also endangers the efficiency of our struggle within Serbia, it can aggravate for instance the release of the five boys (who are known as ‘the boys from Temerin’), who - due to a fight - has been judged to 61 years of imprisonment altogether. I mean that this sets a bad example as it may encourage Serbia, Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia. (In connection with the five boys from Temerin I would point out that the war criminal, Biljana Plavšić, with reference to good behaviour, was set free after 6 years!)

The Human Rights Center from Szenttamás (Srbobran) is a European Citizen Prize rewarded organization, as such, we consider it our duty to raise our word contrary to all what has happened within the European Union in connection with the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon. We dismiss all such efforts that tell apart a victim and a victim, because unfortunately the reality of our time is that a certain kind of canon predominates, which canon defines, respectively ranks the different people, and this is unmaintainable.   

Orhan Pamuk, the contemporary Nobel laureate author of the Turkish literature admitted in an interview the Turkish genocide committed against the Armenians, after what the Turkish court would have held him responsible. (It is necessary to know that the Turkish government is not disposed to confess the mentioned genocide to this date; moreover there is a paragraph in the Turkish code that declares that everyone who discredits in public the Turkish nation must be punished, the offence of the Turkish’s honour is felonious.)  Perhaps the Serbian, Slovak and Romanian peak intellectuals, writers would be afraid of the similar sanctions. We have already asked for forgiveness on several occasions, in addition Tibor Cseres has written his work entitled ‘Cold days’ and András Kovács has made a film about the raid in Újvidék (Novi Sad) in 1942.  Now it’s other people’s turn. Under all circumstances it is remarkable that we henceforward imitate the “dupe Hungarian attitude” because, unfortunately, this is the accepted contemporary Hungarian pattern of behaviour. At least we could speak up for our slaughtered and tortured predecessor more vigorously, if we cannot protect the living persons from the daily atrocities and shaming.

Ferenc Kormos

Utolsó frissítés ( 2010. mrcius 03. )
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