VERITAS Research Institute and Archives

Udvarhely to Warmly Welcome the Returning Troops was the headline of the front page article of the September 11th, 1940, edition of Székely közélet, a newspaper focused on politics, economics and community interests based in Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc). Some passages have been translated below:

The feverish efforts of the residents of Udvarhely to prepare for the reception of the troops are endearing to the heart. Everyone selflessly takes his share of the work. The leadership of the churches, businesses and women's / men's associations provides an impeccable solution in the matter of accommodation and food for the troops. Udvarhely warmly, enthusiastically and proudly awaits her returning brethren to prove how worthy we are of redemption and deliverance.

Also on the first page was a short news summary entitled The Furnishings of the Reáliskola (Secondary School) Have Been Taken Away:

From various locations, in defiance of the Second Vienna Award, the retreating Romanian military has, probably out of individual “national ambition”, taken away the fixtures, equipment and furnishings from institutions, industrial companies and factories that have passed into the possession of the Hungarian state. After dismantling the telephone infrastructure of the Szeklerland, the Romanians have also taken away the equipment, machines and raw materials of the tobacco plant in Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfântu Gheorghe). These uninvited guests have visited our city’s former secondary school, where they have done a very thorough job. They have broken open the cupboards and taken everything within reach, including furniture not bolted down. In other words, the building has been "cleared out". The Hungarian government has warned the Romanian government that Hungary will not turn a blind eye to this type of violation of the law.

In its September 16th edition, the Székely Nép, a newspaper based in Sepsiszentgyörgy, reported over multiple pages on the events in the Szeklerland. In the article entitled The Hungarian Army Marched into Sepsiszentgyörgy Surrounded by an Enthusiastic, Cheering Crowd:

On Friday morning at 7 o'clock, we had the red white and green flags removed from Miklós Tonka's vehicle. Following orders, the people were permitted to start decorating the houses from 8 o'clock only. We had to pay close attention to the hour. The people, unarmed as they were, could only have suffered injury at the hands of the embittered Romanian soldiers. Dr. Gábor Kovásznai, having raised the Hungarian flag before the specified time, was forced at gunpoint by a Romanian officer to lower it.

Despite the strict restriction, there were still several areas of the city where the Hungarian national colors were flown here and there. A wonderful endeavor took hold of our people’s spirits. As soon as they saw the last Romanian soldier depart, the people rushed out to decorate the city with the most beautiful colors in the world.

Within a short fifteen minutes, Hungarian flags flew from the facades of the houses. Flags? Sepsiszentgyörgy became a glorious sea of red, white and green. What had bordered on impossibility half an hour earlier became wonderful reality.

“Even now I can't believe what I see,” said an old woman with tears in her eyes. But others were crying too. Tears of emotion shimmered in the eyes of even the strongest men.

In the September 20th edition of the newspaper Keleti Újság, writer József Nyírő welcomed the upcoming visit of the Hungarian prime minister to the Szeklerland. He expressed confidence in the Hungarian government’s desire to implement a steadfast and forward-looking plan that would, under all circumstances, safeguard the fate of the Hungarian people, the nation and the beloved homeland.


Péter Margit Mutyus Udvarhely szépe ráköti a nemezti szalagot a csapatzászlóra forrás Péter Pataky család

Photograph 1: Margit Péter, the beauty of Székelyudvarhely, ties a tricolor ribbon on a Hungarian Army flag.


Péter Margit Mutyus és testvére Áron Székelyudvarhely főterén 1940 Kép forrása Péter Pataky család

Photograph 2: Margit Péter and her brother Áron on September 13th, 1940.


Source of photography: The Péter and Pataky families