|Báthory Award for American Hungarian Federation President Frank Koszorus|
11/7/2010 - Báthory Award for American Hungarian Federation President Frank Koszorus, Jr. On the recommendation of the Bolyai Committee (BKB), the Hungarian National Council of Transylvania (EMNT) bestowed the Bathory Award upon 15 awardees, including Frank Koszorus, Jr., President of the American Hungarian Federation. Previous awardees include US Congressman Tom Lantos and Gov. George Pataki [Visit the Bolyai University for a full list].
The Bathory Award is given to those outstanding individuals who contributed to cause of Hungarian-language higher education in Rumania. EMNT president Tőkés László, who was instrumental in the 1989 Rumanian revolution that ousted Ceaucescu, presented the awards. In his opening comments, Mr. Tokes commented on how, even after 20 years of post-communism, the Rumanian government political and cultural elite fears calls for human and minority rights for ethnic Hungarians and how they try to convince the public about the Babes-Bolyai University's fake multiculturalism. Despite constitutional guarantees relating to the right to an education in the mother tongue, Rumania has failed to restore the independent Hungarian state university.
In a 2006 statement, the American Hungarian Federation called attention to an egregious violation of human rights when two Hungarian professors – Peter Hantz and Lehel Kovacs – were expelled from Babes-Bolyai University for placing parallel Hungarian inscriptions below Romanian language signs at the so-called multicultural institution.
Professor Hantz can be seen here in the video placing a Hungarian no-smoking sign. Mr. Koszorus was instrumental in drafting the statement. Peter Hantz, BKB Vice President, attended the ceremony. He said, "we cannot accept that one of Europe's largest national minorities suffer such a violation of rightsespecially when it comes to higher education." (Nem szabad elfogadnunk, hogy Európa egyik legnagyobb nemzeti kisebbsége ekkora jogsértéseknek legyen az áldozata, ami felsőoktatását illeti.)
”It’s both a humbling experience and a great honor to have been considered for the Bolyai Award,” said Koszorus. ”While I am most grateful to BKB and EMNT for bestowing this honor upon me, it is the Hungarian people of Erdely who truly deserve our special recognition and focused attention,” he added.
The Koszorus family originally hails from Nagyvarad and moved to Debrecen 300 years ago, while his mother’s family has a Szekely background. Koszorus is an attorney, government relations advisor and consultant in Washington, D.C. In addition to pursuing his professional career as an attorney, government relations advisor and business consultant, Koszorus has championed the rights of minorities, including the Hungarian minority in Romania, for over thirty years on a pro bono basis. Below is a brief summary of selected activities undertaken by Koszorus in this regard.
He currently serves as President of the more than one hundred year old American Hungarian Federation where he continues to raise minority rights issues, such as autonomy, the restoration of the Babes/Bolyai University as a Hungarian institution, and the present-day impacts of the Treaty of Trianon. In November 2010 he represented the Federation at the MAERT conference in Budapest. Several of his writings can be found on the Federation’s website. Honors received by Koszorus for his work on behalf of Romania’s Hungarian minority also includes the International Human Rights Law Group’s pro bono Service Award (also honoring his law firm).
"A Báthory Díjat a Bolyai Kezdeményező Bizottság (BKB) javaslatára az Erdélyi Magyar Nemzeti Tanács (EMNT) oktatási szakbizottsága adományozza évente legfennebb tizenöt személyiségnek vagy szervezetnek, akik az adott évben, vagy a megelőző időszakban a legtöbbet tették a romániai, állami finanszírozású magyar felsőoktatás megteremtése érdekében."
2010 Bathory Award Recipients:
· Antal András, nyugalmazott agronómus professzor
Why so many Hungarians Across the Border?
Count Apponyi pleading to the Supreme Council of the Paris Peace Conference:
"In the name of the great principle so happily phrased by President Wilson, namely that no group of people, no population, may be transferred from one State to another without being consulted,- as though they were a herd of cattle with no will of their own,- in the name of this great principle, an axiom of good sense and public morals, we request, we demand a plebiscite on those parts of Hungary that are now on the point of being severed from us. I declare we are willing to bow to the decision of a plebiscite whatever it should be. Of course, we demand it should be held in conditions ensuring the freedom of the vote." [more on Count Apponyi]
At the time President Wilson said: “The proposal to dismember Hungary is absurd” and later Sir Winston Churchill said: “Ancient poets and theologians could not imagine such suffering, which Trianon brought to the innocent.” We are sad to report that they were right.
Shortcuts to Trianon Resources Below:
Hungarian populations declined significantly after forced removals such as the Benes Decrees and other pograms, the effects of WWI, and Trianon in 1920. With continued pressure and discriminative policies such as the 2009 Slovak Language Law, this trend continued over the past 90 years.
One thousand years of nation building successfully delineated groups based on culture, religion, geography, and other attributes to create the countries with which we are so familiar. While some Western European nations would continue power struggles and princely battles and civil wars, Hungary, founded in 896, was a peaceful multi-ethnic state for a 1000 years and her borders were unchanged. Until 1920...
The Treaty of Trianon in 1920... in the aftermath of WWI, was extremely harsh on Hungary and unjustifiably one-sided. The resulting "treaty" lost Hungary an unprecedented 2/3 of her territory, and 1/2 of her total population or 1/3 of her Hungarian-speaking population. Add to this the loss of up to 90% of vast natural resources, industry, railways, and other infrastructure. This was done to a nation whose borders were established over a thousand years earlier (896 A.D.) and one who, as the "Saviors of Christianity," lost millions of lives defending the rest of Europe from numerous invasions from the likes of the Mongolian Tatars and the Ottoman Turks.
Hungary, along with Germany and Austria, experienced rapid economic expansion during the latter part of the 19th century and into the 20th. This challenge alarmed France and Russia. Each needed a way to stave off German-Hungarian economic competition. With the advent of WWI, France had her chance and began fostering anti-Hungarian sentiment among non-Magyar speaking Hungarian nationals. It is important to note that for over a thousand years, Hungary never experienced ethnic civil war. France, eager to weaken Hungary, offered to reward those nations and groups that assisted them in the war with large pieces of territory. The "Little Entente" of Rumania (who switched sides in the last minute), Czechoslovakia, and Serbia took that opportunity and got very lucky.
The United States has never ratified this treaty. At the time President Wilson said: “The proposal to dismember Hungary is absurd” and later Sir Winston Churchill said: “Ancient poets and theologians could not imagine such suffering, which Trianon bought to the innocent.” We are sad to report that he was right.
The French, despite American protests and calls for plebiscites, sent their troops to Northern Hungary in violation of the cease fire, and then pushed through the Treaty of Versailles (Trianon). Although Rumania, herself created only in 1862, switched to the French side almost at the very end of the war, she gained all of Transylvania and majority of the Banat, but claimed the river Tisza. The Czechs were awarded all of Northern Hungary (now Slovakia), despite equal numbers of Hungarians and Slovaks in the region, to create Czechoslovakia. The Serbs got Southern Hungary (Vojvodina), Slavonia, and Croatia (confederated with Hungary for 700 years) to create the unlikely "Yugoslavia," which, like Czechoslovakia, effectively, no longer exists. Perhaps most amazingly, the Austrians who were responsible for getting Hungary into the war in the first place, got Western Hungary (Burgenland).
The dictators in these successor states began to foster nationalism and teach a less-than-accurate history to help bring legitimacy to their regimes. These claims are based on some seriously unfortunate state propaganda-cum-history about an ancient Roman province called Dacia. In Rumania, this revised history, accelerated by Ceaucescu, has become the accepted state historical doctrine even today, making the process of reconciliation much more difficult. In the newly formed Czechslovakia, Eduard Benes and his infamous "Benes Decrees" forcibly expelled tens of thousands of Hungarians and confiscated personal and church properties. See the additional steps the Slovak Government has taken against the Hungarian minority. AHF's efforts to guarantee anew the rights of the Hungarian "minorities" continue.
Though the United States recommended a slightly more liberal approach in regards to Hungary, it did not prevail. The "self-determination of the nationalities" posited by President Woodrow Wilson resulted in only one plebiscite in Sopron, in Western Hungary. The vote was overwhelmingly pro-Hungarian and Sopron remained within the new borders. Oddly enough, although Austria was also a loser in the war, she also received a part of Hungary, and Sopron became a border city.
The maps here not only show graphically the extent to which the Treaty of Trianon dismembered Hungary, it shows how much Hungarian-majority areas were arbitrarily "reassigned." Hungarians today are the one of the largest minorities in Europe and face oppression and violence. Numbering in the millions, Hungarian minorities are second only to the Russians who became "minorities" with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Hungarians live under harsh persecution in the new states created by the treaty. The Helsinki Watch Committee called Romanian efforts to "purify" Transylvania as "Cultural Genocide." Read the Treaty in full text
External Links on Trianon