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Hungarians in Vojvodina according to the 2002 census (municipality data)
Hungarians in Vojvodina according to the 2002 census (settlement data)

Hungarians are the second largest ethnic group in the Vojvodina province, Serbia. According to the 2002 census, there are 290.000 ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina who compose 14.3% of the provincial population. The number of ethnic Hungarians in the whole of Serbia is 293.000, and their participation for the overall population of Serbia is 3.9%. Like all other Hungarians, they speak the Hungarian language, and the majority are Roman Catholics by faith; smaller numbers of those in Serbia are Calvinist. Hungarian is one of the six official languages of Vojvodina.

Contents

Geography

Most of the Hungarians (59.71% of the total) live in the northern part of Vojvodina, in the eight municipalities where they form the absolute or relative majority. The municipalities with an absolute Hungarian majority are: Kanjiža (86.5%), Senta (80.5%), Ada (76.5%), Bačka Topola (59%), Mali Iđoš (56%) and Čoka (51.5%). The ethnically mixed municipalities with relative Hungarian majority are Bečej (49%) and Subotica (38.5%). The city of Subotica is a cultural and political centre for the Hungarians in Vojvodina.

Settlements with Hungarian majority

This is a list of the settlements in Vojvodina with absolute or relative Hungarian majority based on the 2002 census data.

Subotica municipality:

Hungarians in Vojvodina (2002 census)
Ethnic map of the Subotica municipality showing the location of settlements with Hungarian majority
Ethnic map of the Bačka Topola municipality showing the location of settlements with Hungarian majority
Ethnic map of the Mali Iđoš municipality showing the location of settlements with Hungarian majority
Hungarian National costume from Skorenovac

Bačka Topola municipality:

Mali Iđoš municipality:

Kanjiža municipality:

Senta municipality:

Ada municipality:

  • Ada (Hungarian: Ada)
  • Mol (Hungarian: Mohol)
  • Utrine (Hungarian: Törökfalu)
  • Obornjača (Hungarian: Völgypart-Nagyvölgy)
  • Sterijino (Hungarian: Valkaisor/Sterijino)

Bečej municipality:

Čoka municipality:

Novi Kneževac municipality:

  • Majdan (Hungarian: Magyarmajdány)
  • Rabe (Hungarian: Rábé)

Kikinda municipality:

  • Sajan (Hungarian: Szaján)

Nova Crnja municipality:

Žitište municipality:

Zrenjanin municipality:

Sečanj municipality:

  • Busenje (Hungarian: Káptalanfalva)

Kovačica municipality:

Plandište municipality:

Vršac municipality:

Bela Crkva municipality:

Kovin municipality:

Pančevo municipality:

  • Ivanovo (Hungarian: Sándoregyháza)

Irig municipality:

Odžaci municipality:

Sombor municipality:

Apatin municipality:

History

Parts of the Vojvodina region were included into the Hungarian Kingdom in the 10th century, and Hungarians then began to settle in the region. Following the Ottoman conquest in the 16th century, most of the Hungarian population fled from the region. New Hungarian settlers started to come to the region with the establishment of the Habsburg rule at the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century.

Csárdás folk dance in Doroslovo

Count Imre Csáky settled Hungarians in his possessions in Bačka in 1712. In 1745, Hungarian colonists settled in Senta, in 1750 in Topola, in 1752 in Doroslovo, in 1772 in Bogojevo, in 1760 in Stara Kanjiža, in 1762 in Davod, in 1764 in Iđoš, in 1767 in Petrovo Selo, in 1776 in Martonoš, in 1786 in Pačir and Turski Sentmikloš, in 1787 in Piroš, in 1789 in Feketić. Between 1782 and 1786, Hungarians settled in Crvenka and Stara Moravica, and in 1794 in Kula.

Hungarians of Roman Catholic faith originated mostly from Dunántúl, while Hungarians of Protestant faith originated mostly from Alföld. Between 1751 and 1753, Hungarians settled in Mol and Ada (Those originated mostly from Szeged and Jászság). In 1764–1767, Hungarians settled in Subotica, Bajmok and Čantavir, and in 1770 again in Kanjiža, Mol, Ada and Petrovo Selo, as well as in Feldvarac, Sentomaš and Turija.

In Banat, the settling of Hungarians started later. In 1784 Hungarians settled in Padej and Nakovo, in 1776 in Torda, in 1786 in Donji Itebej, in 1796 in Beodra and Čoka, in 1782 in Monoštor, in 1798 in Mađarska Crnja, in 1773 in Krstur and Majdan, in 1774 in Debeljača, in 1755–1760 in Bečkerek, in 1766 in Vršac. In 1790, 14 Hungarian families from Transylvania settled in Banat.

In the 19th century, the Hungarian colonization increased. From the beginning of the century, the Hungarian individuals and small groups of settlers from Alföld constantly immigrating to Bačka. In the first half of the 19th century larger and smaller groups of the colonists settled in Mol (in 1805), in Feldvarac, Temerin and Novi Sad (in 1806). In 1884, Hungarian colonists settled in Šajkaška and in Mali Stapar near Sombor. In 1889, Hungarians were settled in Svilojevo near Apatin, in 1892 in Gomboš, while another group settled in Gomboš in 1898. Many Hungarian settlers from Gomboš moved to Bačka Palanka. After the abolishment of the Military Frontier, Hungarian colonists were settled in Potisje, Čurug, Žabalj, Šajkaški Sveti Ivan, Titel and Mošorin. In 1883 around 1,000 Székely Hungarians settled in Kula, Stara Kanjiža, Stari Bečej and Titel.

Catholic Church in Čoka

In 1800, smaller groups of Hungarian colonists from Dunántúl settled in Čoka, while in the same time colonists from Csanád and Csongrád counties settled in area around Itebej and Crnja, where they at first lived in scattered small settlements, and later they moved to one single settlement - Mađarska Crnja. In 1824, one group of colonists from Čestereg also settled in Mađarska Crnja. In 1829 Hungarians settled in Mokrin, and in 1880 an even larger number of Hungarians settled in this municipality. In 1804, Hungarian colonists from Csongrád county settled in Firiđhaza (which was then joined with Turska Kanjiža), as well as in Sajan and Torda. Even a larger group of Hungarians from Csongrád settled in 1804 in Debeljača. In 1817–1818 Hungarians settled in Veliki Bikač, and in 1820–1840 smaller groups of Hungarians settled in Vranjevo. In 1826, colonists from Jászság and Kunság settled in Arač near Beodra. In 1830, Hungarians from Alföld settled in Veliki Lec, in 1831 in Ostojićevo, in 1832 in Malenčino Selo near Veliki Gaj, in 1839 and 1870 in Padej, in 1840 in Jermenovci and Mađarski Sentmihalj, in 1840–1841 in Dušanovac, in 1841 in Hetin, in 1859 in Sanad, in 1869 in Đurđevo (later moved to Skorenovac), and in 1890 in Gornja Mužlja. In 1883-1886, Székely Hungarians from Bukovina were settled in Vojlovica, Skorenovac, Ivanovo and Đurđevo. Total number of Székely colonists was 3,520.

The first Hungarian settlers in Srem moved there during 1860s from neighbouring counties, especially from Bačka.

According to the 1880 census, the Hungarians were third largest ethnic group in the Vojvodina region and made up 22.6% in the population (the largest group were Serbs with 35.5%, and the second largest were Germans with 24.4%). In the next census, in 1890, the Hungarians were the second largest group, having increased to 24.4% (The Serb participation was 34.4%, and German were 24.2%). By the 1910 census, the percent of ethnic Hungarians had increased to 28.1% (with the percent of Serbs at 33.8%, and the percent of Germans at 21.4%).

The new temporary borders established in 1918 and permanent ones defined by the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 put an end to Hungarian immigration. After World War I, present-day Vojvodina was included into the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), and settling of Hungarians declined. On the contrary, many Hungarians of Vojvodina wanted to live in the post-Trianon Hungarian state, and immigrated to Hungary, which was to be one of several emigration waves from Vojvodina. The inter war years was generally marked by a standstill of the Hungarian population. During these times, their numbers were at around 370,000 - 413,000 and they constituted 24-26% of the entire population of Vojvodina. The outbreak of the Second World War caused some disruptions in population numbers, but more importantly it created brutal tensions between the Hungarian and Serb communities.

With the onset of World War II, the Hungarian and Serb relations were at an all time low. Nazi Germany, in accordance to their "Operation Punishment" plan, invaded Yugoslavia, and subsequently, Axis Hungarian forces occupied Bačka. This region was annexed by Hungary, and it was colonized by new Hungarian settlers, at which time their numbers grew considerably, while in the same time many Serbs were expelled from the region. The brutal conduct of the Axis Hungarian occupying forces, and more notably the Royal Hungarian Gendarmes, has extremely polarized both Hungarian and Serb communities. Under the Axis Hungarian authority, 19,573 people were killed in Bačka, of which the majority of victims were of Serb, Jewish and Roma origin.

Although, part of the local Hungarian population supported Hungarian Axis authorities, many other local Hungarians opposed Axis rule and fought against it together with Serbs and other peoples of Vojvodina in the partisan resistance movement organized by the communist party. In some places of Vojvodina (Bačka Topola, Senta), most of the members of the communist party were ethnic Hungarians. In Subotica, the party secretary and most of the leadership were either ethnic Hungarians either Hungarian-speaking Jews. In the Bačka Topola municipality, 95% of communists were ethnic Hungarians. One of the leaders of the partisan resistance movement in Vojvodina was Erne Kiš, ethnic Hungarian, who was captured by the Axis authorities, sentenced to death by the court in Szeged and executed.

The first corn stacks were burned near Futog by five communists, among whom two were ethnic Hungarians - Antal Nemet and Đerđ Nemet. Antal Nemet was killed there, together with his Serb comrade, in the fighting against gendarmes, while his brother was captured and killed in Novi Sad because he did not reveal any information about resistance movement. The corn stacks were soon also burned near Subotica. The communists that burned these corn stacks were arrested, tortured and sent to court. The court sentenced two of them to death (Ferenc Hegediš and Jožef Liht), while five other were sentenced to prison (those five members of the group could not be sentenced to death because they were not adult).

The Axis authorities also arrested many Hungarian communists in Bačka Topola, Čantavir, Senta, Subotica and Novi Sad. Many of them were sent to investigation centre in Bačka Topola, where part of them was killed, while other part committed suicide. Among those Hungarian communists who were sent to the centre were Otmar Majer, Đula Varga, Pal Karas, Janoš Koči, and others. Because of the size of the communist movement among Hungarians, new investigation centres were opened in Čantavir, Senta, Ada and Subotica. In the investigation centre in Subotica, almost 1,000 people were tortured, and part of them killed, among whom were Maćaš Vuković and Daniel Sabo. Among those communists sentenced to death were Otmar Majer, Rokuš Šimoković and Ištvan Lukač from Subotica, Peter Molnar from Senta, Đula Varga, Rudi Klaus, Pal Karas and Janoš Koči from Novi Sad. In Petrovo Selo, Mihalj Šamu was killed during his attempt to escape. These actions of the Axis authorities were a hard struck on the resistance movement in Bačka, especially on its Hungarian component. The Hungarian component of the resistance movement was impinged so hard that it could not recuperate until the end of the war.

In 1944, the Soviet Red Army and the Yugoslav partisans took control of Vojvodina, which in turn initiated a number of killings against a part of the Hungarian population that either collaborated with the Axis authorities or was viewed as a threat to the new regime (see: 1944-1945 killings in Bačka). Estimates of the number of Hungarians killed range from thousands to tens of thousands. The other part of the Hungarian population that supported new authorities was not only treated well by the new regime, but also participated in administration and army. For example, the 15th Vojvodinian partisan brigade that was founded in 1944 was composed entirely of Vojvodinian Hungarians.

Hungarian language in Vojvodina according to the 2002 census (municipality data)

Ever since the end of the Second World War, the Hungarian population has been steadily declining, mainly due to low birthrates and emigration. In 1974, the Yugoslav constitution was modified giving Vojvodina a very high level of autonomy. With this major reform, Hungarians were given the opportunity to keep their culture and language alive; they had their own schools and cultural institutions. During the Tito years, life in Vojvodina was peaceful for Hungarians as well as for others. The socialist regime heavily cracked down upon nationalist flareups.

As the Yugoslav wars were raging, more Hungarians left Vojvodina. One of the reasons for this emigration was the ruined economy of the country and inability for employment, which was the reason why many Serbs as well as others also emigrated from Vojvodina. Although the province was peaceful and calm compared to other areas of Yugoslavia, some Hungarians felt threatened, especially that Vojvodina was near the front lines, during the War in Croatia. With an emigration of Hungarians from Vojvodina, part of their houses was used to resettle refugees from other parts of Yugoslavia. This created a change of the ethnic structure in some parts of the region. The Hungarian population has fallen from 340,946 (16.9%) in 1991, to 290,207 (14.28%) in 2002. In recent years (mostly in 2004 and 2005), some members of the ethnic Hungarian community have sometimes been the targets of anti-Hungarian sentiments.

Many Hungarians in Vojvodina want their political rights to be extended. Some Hungarian politicians proposing the creation of new autonomous region in northern part of Vojvodina inhabited mainly by Hungarians (see: Hungarian Regional Autonomy). They also want to attain Hungarian citizenship, without being Hungarian residents, as this would automatically make them EU citizens, giving many benefits. However, a referendum on this issue in Hungary failed. The future of Vojvodinian Hungarians is uncertain, as their community is characterized by low birthrates and a dwindling population.

Culture

Famous Hungarians from Vojvodina

Politics

Three largest ethnic Hungarian political parties in Vojvodina are:

All three parties advocating the establishment of the territorial autonomy for Hungarians in the northern part of Vojvodina, which would include the municipalities with Hungarian majority (See Hungarian Regional Autonomy for details).

See also

Further reading

References

  • Karolj Brindza, Učešće jugoslovenskih Mađara u narodnooslobodilačkoj borbi, Vojvodina u borbi, Matica Srpska, Novi Sad, 1951.
  • Borislav Jankulov, Pregled kolonizacije Vojvodine u XVIII i XIX veku, Novi Sad - Pančevo, 2003.
  • Peter Rokai - Zoltan Đere - Tibor Pal - Aleksandar Kasaš, Istorija Mađara, Beograd, 2002.

External links

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