« AnteriorContinuar »
to state the language which they speak best or like best. In view of the pressure exercised by the ruling Magyars, many non-Magyars profess that they like Magyar best, even if they do not understand the language, and they appear as Magyars in the census. Besides, the ruling Magyars have put pressure upon the non-Magyars to Magyarise their names. Schoolmasters, post-office officials, and railwaymen in Government services are compelled to Magyarise their names. As a further inducement, the cost of Magyarising one's name was reduced in 1881 from 10 crowns to 10 pence. As an aristocratic Magyar name is a great advantage in society and in business, men with common non-Magyar names have provided themselves for tenpence with the most aristocratic Magyar names. Mr. SetonWatson has told us in his excellent book, 'Racial Problems in Hungary,' that Toldy, the author, was originally called Schebel; Hunfalvy, the ethnologist, Hundsdorfer; Munkácsy, the painter, Lieb; Arminius Vámbéry, Bamberger; Petöfi, the poet, Petrovič; Zsedényi, the politician, Pfannschmied ; Irányi, Halbschuh ; Helfy, Heller ; Komlóssy, Kleinkind ; Polónyi, Pollatschek, &c. The Magyars have Magyarised all non-Hungarian place-names. Ancient Pressburg was turned into Pozsony, Hermannstadt into Nagy-Szeben, Kirchdrauf into Szepes-Váralja, &c.
According to official Hungarian statistics, the Magyars are about one-half of the Hungarian population. According to the most reliable non-Magyar authorities, they are only about one-third, numbering from 7,000,000 to 8,000,000. In Hungary, as in Austria, one-third of the population rules over the remaining two-thirds.
On paper Hungary is the most liberal country in the world. It has possessed a Parliament and a Constitution since the dawn of its history. However, under the cloak of liberalism and legality, Hungary exercises the most arbitrary and tyrannous government over the non-Magyars.
Although Magyars and non-Magyars are on paper equal before the law, and are nominally fully represented in the Parliament at Budapest, the representatives in the Hungarian Parliament represent neither the subject nationalities nor the masses of the people, but only the Magyar oligarchy. This is strikingly proved by the following table, which shows the composition of the Hungarian Parliament during the five last electoral periods :
Of the 413 members of the Hungarian Parliament about 400 are Magyars. The preponderant number of non-Magyars and the numerous Socialists send the remaining thirteen members. As representation shapes legislation, the legislation of Hungary is pro-Magyar and hostile to the non-Magyars, to the Socialists, and to the common people. Of the men of voting age only about one-fourth are given the franchise. As a high property qualification is required, only the well-to-do can vote. The non-Magyars of Hungary are poor, partly because the Magyars settled in the rich plains whence they drove the non-Magyars, partly because in districts where Magyars and non-Magyars dwell together, the former have secured for themselves the greater part of the wealth and the best land by violence and by political pressure.
The non-Magyars are disfranchised not only by a high property qualification, but by deliberate violence and trickery. If we look into the electoral statistics we find that the more Roumanian a county is, the fewer voters does it possess. We find further that the larger a constituency is, the farther from its centre is placed the solitary polling booth. At election time bridges are often broken down or declared unsafe for the passage of vehicles, in order to force opposition voters either to walk impossible distances, or lose their vote, and with the same object in visw all the horses in the outlying villages are often placed under veterinary supervision at the last moment. The voting is not secret, but public, and by word of mouth. Non-Magyars are thus publicly terrorised into voting orally for Magyar members. Thousands of voters are disqualified for flimsy reasons by the presiding Magyar when intending to vote for the opposition candidate. Often hundreds and thousands of voters, who have travelled all day to the polling booth, are prevented by large forces of military and gendarmes from voting or from entering the village where the poll takes place. At election times Hungary mobilises her whole army in order to terrorise the opposition voters, and if these insist upon their legal right of voting, they are frequently attacked by armed mobs or shot down by the gendarmes and the military. Every Hungarian election is accompanied by bloodshed. According to Danzer's Armeezeitung of June 6, 1910, Hungary mobilised for the election of that year 202 battalions of infantry, 126 squadrons of cavalry, and in addition had Austrian troops sent from Lower Austria, Styria, and Moravia to Hungary. The cost of 'maintaining order' was estimated by the journal named at from 15,000,000 crowns to 20,000,000 crowns.
The Magyars monopolise not only Parliament but the Civil Service, the law, and the schools as well. Although, according to the Law of Nationalities, the State should erect schools of all kinds for the non-Magyar races, it has never erected a single secondary school where any other language but Magyar is used. Instead of this it has Magyarised the few existing non-Magyar secondary schools and dissolved the rest. Of the thirty-nine intermediate schools in the Slovak counties, not a single one provides instruction in the language of the people, and in the districts inhabited by Ruthenians the same condition prevails. Of the eighty-nine secondary schools directly controlled by the State none are non-Magyar.
The ruling Magyars most effectively prevent the nonMagyar people from improving their condition by excluding them from the intermediate schools and the universities. As the Magyars form nominally one-half, but in reality only one-third, of the population, they should furnish at best one half of the scholars and students at the intermediate schools and universities.
In reality the overwhelming majority of those who attend the higher educational establishments are Magyars. According to the Magyar statistics for the year 1911, 49,482 pupils attending the classical intermediate schools were Magyars, and only 11,131 were non-Magyars. For every non-Magyar there were nearly five Magyars. In the nonclassical intermediate schools there were 2016 non-Magyars and 8372 Magyars. In the intermediate schools for girls there were only 572 non-Magyars and 5746 Magyars. In the training schools for male teachers there were 1021 non-Magyars and 3856 Magyars. In those for female teachers there were 481 non-Magayars and 4386 Magyars. In the maternity schools there were 56 non-Magyars and 448 Magyars. In the music schools there were 2013 nonMagyars and 7471 Magyars. In the post and telegraph school there were 23 non-Magyars and 255 Magyars. As all those who wish to enter into a professional career or into Government service must have passed through the intermediate schools, the vast preponderance of Magyar pupils at these schools effectively prevents large numbers of non-Magyars from becoming doctors, lawyers, teachers, civil servants, judges, military officers, &c. In 1911 there were at all the Hungarian universities 10,653 Magyar students and only 1273 non-Magyar students. For every non-Magyar student there were eight Magyars. We can, therefore, not wonder that Magyars occupy all the best places in Hungary, especially as in making appointments Magyars are favoured and non-Magyars discouraged.
Franz Deák, one of the greatest Hungarian statesmen, said in a speech delivered on January 23, 1872 :
Every nationality has a right to demand ways and means for the education of its children. If we wish to force the children of the nationalities dwelling in Hungary to study in the Magyar language, although they do not know it, or know it only slightly, we should make it impossible for them to make progress. Parents would in vain spend their money upon education, and the children would waste their time. If we desire to win over the nationalities, then we must not endeavour to Magyarise them at any price. We can Magyarise them only if we make them satisfied citizens of Hungary who are fond of the life and conditions prevailing in it.
Notwithstanding the warning of Deák and of other founders of the Hungarian State, the ruling Magyars have endeavoured to force the Magyar language upon the nonMagyars by the most tyrannous means. If we look at the educational statistics, we find that the non-Magyar schools are rapidly decreasing in number and the Magyar schools rapidly increasing. In purely non-Magyar districts Magyar schools are planted, and in order to force the children to learn Magyar from the cradle, compulsory kindergarten schools are opened in the non-Magyar districts, where children from three to six years old have to attend.
Notwithstanding the most far-reaching guarantees that the character and language of the other nationalities would be respected, Magyar is the official language in Hungary. All public proclamations and notices are issued in Magyar, and the proceedings in the law courts take place in that language, even when neither prosecutor nor defendant understands it. Roumanian peasants, ignorant of Magyar, and living in purely Roumanian districts, have to employ Magyar in their intercourse with the authorities, and if they go to law they have to provide themselves with costly