B bábi, Tibor

Bukovina, Hungarians of –

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Bukovina, Hungarians of – From time to time small groups of Hungarian settlers left the Carpathian Basin and moved back to Bukovina, on the eastern slopes of the Eastern Carpathian Mountain range. The rampaging Mongol-Tartars caused great devastations among the Hungarian settlers during the 13th century. Later the Wlach (now Romanian) voivodes, by overtaxing the original Hungarian population, caused a large-scale emigration. The “Mádéfalva Peril” (Mádéfalvi veszedelem or Seculicidium) in Transylvania (Erdély, now in Romania) took place on 7 February 1764. The triggering event was the village’s resistance to forced conscription of its men into the Imperial Army. On that day Imperial Governor, General Siskowicz ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Carato to storm Mádéfalva with his troops. After a deadly barrage of canons, some 200 innocent villagers were massacred and many others seriously wounded. This cruel punitive action caused a mass exodus, when tens of thousands of Szeklers fled to Bukovina from the spreading terror in Transylvania. Empress Maria Theresa laid hands on the Bukovina region in 1775. To remedy the vast population loss following the Turkish occupation, the Imperial Throne sought settlers to repopulate Bukovina. Count András (Andrew) Hadik, governor of Transylvania successfully petitioned the Viennese court and obtained pardon for the Szeklers and Hungarians, who previously fled, in order to encourage their resettlement in the sparsely populated areas, a process which took place between 1784 and 1786. In Bukovina they established 11 villages, Istensegíts and Fogadjisten among them. In 1785 the villages of Hadikfalva and Józseffalva were created. There were Ukranians, Germans, Romanians and Jews in their neighbourhood. In 1883 a movement began in Hungary to resettle in Hungary those Hungarians who lived in Bukovina. At this time most of the population from around Fogadjisten village, totalling around 4,000 people, was repatriated and settled along the lower Danube region, where they became the “lower Danube Szeklers”. By 1903 the number of Hungarians left behind in Bukovina totaled approximately 12,000. Between 1900 and 1910 further groups, numbering between 2,000 and 3,000, were settled in different parts of Transylvania. A new, significant emigration took place between 1904 and 1914, this time to Canada and the United States, where they settled as farmers. In Canada’s Saskatchewan Province such villages as Esterházy, Máriavölgy and Seklerland, among others, were founded. The emigration following World War I resulted in the founding of Boldogasszonyfalva in Brazil, South America, whose settlers were Szeklers originally from Bukovina. In 1940, according to local Church sources, the number of Hungarians remaining in Bukovina was over 17,000. During June 1941, another repatriation movement resulted in bringing back 13,500 Hungarians and settling them in the Bácska region, south of the city of Szabadka, Hungary (now Subotica, Serbia), in 10 abandoned Serbian villages. While Bukovina was under Austrian jurisdiction, Hungarian students received education in their native language. After the end of World War I, the Hungarian teachers were replaced by Romanians. After World War II, Hungarians from Bukovina were resettled in villages of Hungary, such as Hidas, Bonyhád, Kakasd, Újlengyel, etc. Folk traditions and ways of life in these Hungarian villages remained somewhat archaic due to their long isolation. Today, they form a substantial and solid ethnic block together with the Moldavian Hungarians, in their fight against assimilation efforts by the Romanians, who falsely consider the Csángós as ”Hungarianized Romanians”. Recently, an international team found that the Csángós are indeed from airchaic Hungarian stock. After the political change in the 1990s, Hungarian elementary schools are beginning again to operate in the Csángó setlements of Bukovina. – B:1042, 1230, 1134, 1270, T: 7103.→Csángó; Mádéfalva Peril (Seculicidium); Maria Terézu. Empress and Queen; Canada, Hungarians in; America, Hungarians in the USA.

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