VERITAS Research Institute for History and Archives

17 May 2016

“Once the Romanians switched sides on August 23rd, 1944, the Red Army steamrolled westward from the Eastern Front’s southern section. The outnumbered German and Hungarian troops had no chance of stopping them, only of impeding their progress. Thus the one-month-long battle at Torda managed only to delay the capture of Kolozsvár, which lay only thirty kilometers away. The Soviets, led by Marshal Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky, broke through on October 8th, after which the Soviet 27th Army and the 18th Rifle Division, under the command of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, marched unopposed into the city on the morning of October 11th, 1944. One of the immediate consequences of the occupation was that, between October 12th and 15th, five thousand civilian Hungarian men and boys, between the ages of 17 and 55, were rounded up, taken prisoner and then expelled from the city. They were taken right off the streets or from their workplaces.” – an excerpt from János Kristóf Murádin’s Malenkij Robot – The People of Kolozsvár in Soviet Captivity: 1944-1948

Throughout the country, similar incidents were occurring, and references to malenkaya rabota filled the people with fear and dread. The origin of the word was Russian, malenkije raboti (маленькие работы), meaning “little work”. Repeating these words over and over, the occupying Soviet forces and the men of the NKVD deported the civilians.

It is the intention of the VERITAS Research Institute for History to commemorate these events from seventy years ago with an exhibition titled Hungarians in the Camps of the Soviet Union: 1944-1956 and a DVD that compiles several episodes from Sándor Sára’s GULAG-themed documentaries.