Restoration—Northern Transylvania: 1940
On 30 August 2010 the exhibition “Restoration on the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Second Vienna Award” was opened at the Open Society Archives, CEU. The purpose of the exhibition is to present the contemporary reception to the restoration of Northern Transylvania from Romania to Hungary: the reactions to the act in both countries, as well as its longer term consequences.
Using contemporary archival documents, press clippings, Hungarian and Romanian propaganda material, personal memoirs and diaries, radio broadcasts and hitherto unseen amateur photographs and footage, the exhibition focuses on how these historical changes influenced people’s lives. The exhibition tries to highlight the events behind the official propaganda and illusions; the zeal and despair, and the tragic moments on both sides, by objectively reconstructing history, free from the distortions caused by the grievances entertained on either side. The goal of the project is to help confront the past, to resolve traumas that have burdened Hungarian and Romanian relations ever since. In this spirit, the exhibition was a cooperative effort by Hungarian and Romanian historians.
“Restoration on the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Second Vienna Award” was opened by writer, Pal Zavada. The curators of the exhibition, Beni Balogh, Trasca Ottmar and Andras Mink also shared their views, and gave further insights to the audience.
The exhibition is open until the 10 October 2010.
The Second Vienna Award fundamentally influenced the two countries’ roles in World War II, and has been a source of tensions and unresolved traumas in the memories of both nations ever since. In 1940, by the decision of the Axis powers, primarily Hitler-led Germany, Northern Transylvania—including Szekelyfold—was restored to Hungary. This was an area of the approximately 43 thousand square kilometers: about two fifths of the one-time Hungarian territories awarded to Romania by the Treaty of Trianon. The approximately 60 thousand square kilometers of South Transylvania, however, remained Romanian.
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