B bábi, Tibor

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Benepuszta Find – A 10th century find in the hamlet of Benepuszta near the town of Lajosmizse in Bács-Kiskun County on the southern part of the Great Plain. This discovery from the Hungarian settlement era in the Carpathian Basin was the first in Hungary to be scientifically analyzed. Miklós Jankovich (1773-1846) published the description of this find in 1834. – B: 1138, T: 7617.

Beneš Decrees – The collective name of the 143 decrees authored by Czechoslovak President Edvard Beneš during and after World War II. Out of the 143 decrees 15 severely punished the German and Hungarian minorities and led to their persecution and expulsion. Beneš’ London Government in Exile already received the support of Stalin for the implementation of this program, when Beneš offered to cede Carpatho-Ukraine (Sub-Carpathia, or Ruthenia, Kárpátalja, a part of Historic Hungary) voluntarily to the Soviet Union, an act that was actually carried out in the middle of 1945. The Košice (Kassa) Government Program on 5 April 1945 aimed at eliminating all the non-Slavic minorities in order to establish a “national state” of Czechs and Slovaks – in effect, it amounted to “ethnic cleansing”. The three million Sudeten Germans and the 720,000 Hungarians of Slovakia were not to be part of the re-established Czechoslovakia. Beneš held these nationalities “collectively guilty” for the collapse of Czechoslovakia in 1938. On his way back to Prague from Košice in 1945, he visited Bratislava (Pozsony) and declared that “After this war there will be no minority rights... After punishing all the delinquents who committed crimes against the State, the overwhelming majority of the Germans and Hungarians must leave Czechoslovakia. This is our resolute standpoint... Our people cannot live with Germans and Hungarians….” The Beneš government lobbied to have the Allies approve the ethnic cleansing of Germans and Hungarians. At the Potsdam Conference Stalin aggressively supported the mass deportation of the 3 million Germans; and it was agreed to – after a five-minute long negotiation – on 25 July 1945. Although the Western Allies did not approve the expulsion of the Hungarians, the Košice program set the stage for the expulsion of the Hungarians as well. As a first step it deprived the Hungarians of Czechoslovak citizenship. This meant that “non-Slavic elements” were eliminated from public administration. All Hungarian landholdings were confiscated and all Hungarian schools were closed. Hungarians were not allowed to participate in local self-governing institutions, not even in the overwhelmingly Hungarian inhabited areas along the state border. In the meantime, a press hate-campaign was unleashed against both the German and Hungarian minorities, in which 240,000 Germans perished. Besides the hate campaign, the Hungarians were targeted by intense persecution. After the expulsion of those who were assumed “guilty of war crimes” (some 4800 persons), the Beneš decrees provided for the expulsion of all Hungarian schoolteachers. When the mass firing of Hungarian civil servants took place pursuant to directive 44/1945 of the Slovak National Council, the overwhelming majority of the Hungarians were left without earnings overnight. In addition, all retirement payments to Hungarians were halted. Directive 69/1945 of the Slovak National Council went further and ordered all “unreliable” Hungarians to be fired from private employment as well. Finally, about 50,000 Hungarians were railroaded from their place of birth in the winter cold in unheated cattle wagons to lands left vacant by the expelled Sudeten Germans, to provide slave labor for the abandoned farms. Altogether, some 120,000 ethnic Hungarians were expelled or deported to Hungary. There was a voluntary population exchange program signed at the Pőstyén (Pieštany) Agreement on 13 July 1947. The discriminative Beneš Decrees have never been repealed. The Czech and Slovak governments even refuse to renounce these notorious Beneš decrees despite the fact that these are mirror images of the Third Reich’s racist Nurenberg Laws. In 2007, the Parliament of Slovakia confirmed the Beneš Decrees, which sparked protest in Hungary and Gerrmany. – B: 0930, T: 7103.→Atrocities against Hungarians; Beneš, Eduard; Hungarian-Czechoslovakian Population Exchange; Deportations.

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