Reburial of Hungarian author Nyiro Jozsef stirs political tension between Romania and Hungary

Newsroom 29/05/2012 | 14:39

The re-burial ceremony in Romania of Hungarian writer Jozsef Nyiro has been postponed, while a commemoration in honor of the author was held in his hometown Odorheiu Secuiesc last Sunday, May 26.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta explained the main reason for the rejection of Nyiro reburial in Romania: “we cannot have everybody doing whatever they want on Romania’s territory and bring honors to someone who is officially recognized as a man of anti-Romanian, anti-Semitic and pro-fascist attitudes and actions”.

Also, the Romanian minister of parliamentary relations Mircea Dusa criticized the Hungarian government and parliament for its direct involvement in reburying Nyiro’s ashes on Romanian territory, an act that he said “would violate Romania’s dignity and its stability as a European nation.” The urn carrying the ashes of the Hungarian author was to be transported to Odorheiu Secuiesc by rail, but the Romanian railway CFR, acting on instructions from the Romanian Foreign Ministry, refused to allow the carriage.

To resolve this controversial issue, the PM said he and Hungarian PM Viktor Orban would meet in Bucharestat the end of the week and said that such extremist provocations during an election campaign are against the law, order and good relations between two European countries.

At the same time, Victor Ponta announced that he will ask the Harghita Prefecture to see if the local council’s decision to name a street after Jozsef Nyiro is legal.

Romania has a law prohibiting the recognition or honoring of people involved in fascist or anti-Semitic action. “Following the PM’s request, all the local council’s decisions through which schools and streets in the county had been named after Nyiro Jozsef will be checked,” the Harghita prefect Cristina Augusta Urzica said. In Odorheiu Secuiesc, the writer’s hometown, there is a street with Nyiro Jozsef’s name and in Harghita County there are also three schools named after him.

A reaction to the reburial controversy also came from the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. Radu Ioanid, director with the International Records Division of the museum having said that “the attempted ceremonial inhumation of Jozsef Nyiro is part of a broader and relatively recent series of rehabilitation attempts in Hungary concerning other ‘people of culture’, some of whom have been convicted for war crimes, even Miklos Horthy.” Ioanid also says Nyiro “belonged to the virulently pro-Nazi group of Hungarian fascism with which he also fled Hungary.”

The commemoration in honor of the Hungarian author was held on Sunday and more than 2.000 people attended, together with the Hungarian House Speaker Laszlo Kover and the president of the Hungarian radical nationalist political party Jobikk, Vona Gabor. Kover’s speech was about the spiritual strength Nyiro’s novels gave to ethnic Hungarians in Romania and encouraged participants to give Nyiro’s volumes to their children. “Nyiro is back home, he is with us in our hearts and he will be embraced by the soil of his homeland,” Kover said.

Oana Vasiliu


BR Magazine | Latest Issue

Download PDF: Business Review Magazine June II 2024 Issue

The June II 2024 issue of Business Review Magazine is now available in digital format, featuring the main cover story titled “Mihaela Bitu, ING Bank Romania: Banking makes dreams come true”. To
Newsroom | 28/06/2024 | 12:25
Advertisement Advertisement
Close ×

We use cookies for keeping our website reliable and secure, personalising content and ads, providing social media features and to analyse how our website is used.

Accept & continue