Daniel Marder Transylvania and Hungary

ISBN 13: 9781410763860

Transylvania and Hungary

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9781410763860: Transylvania and Hungary

Two visiting professors in Hungary one young and English the other retired and American tour Transylvania but theirs is no standard journey to this mystical and fabled province of Romania Matt the young Englishman has been there several times In the various towns some Saxon some Hungarian they stay with Szkley friends people descended from the early Magyars who came in 896 They encounter evidence and opinion supporting the Hungarian belief that Romanians abuse their minorities especially Hungarians The abuse is considered retaliation for the centuries under Austrian Hungarian dominion when the local Hungarians barely tolerated them They learn of secret police still in place after Dictator Ceausescu s execution four years before Szkelys are currently upset about police murders and rapes which are officially denied or overlooked on grounds of provocation All Szkelys acknowledge discrimination but some see these outrages as the usual police brutality practiced everywhere Discrimination might disappear if they accepted their roles as Romanians the way Hungarians do in America These attitudes emerge through many conversations with Szkely families with a young zealot priest who is a Hungarian nationalist with a Calvinist minister who is a guru to the Szkelys and with others Romania s surging nationalism is matched we become aware with that in Hungary itself Some Szkelys like the young priest hope that Hungary will invade Romania and liberate them Parallels with the situation in the former Yugoslavia are apparent A climactic moment occurs for the older professor when they visit a Szkely teacher whose liveliness contrasts with the usual desolute mood of the country Strolling along a river rich in mystery and fable their discussions roam all over Romanian history and lead him to see the illusory nature of things which result in horrific consequences The teacher s granny is a unique lOO year old who allows a glimpse into her past two y

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