Some new tones in the process of Serbian – Hungarian reconciliation

Centre for Development of Civil Society (CDCS) noticed some, by no means, insignificant changes in this year’s marking of the anniversary of the killing of innocent Hungarian civilians during the liberation of Vojvodina in 1944.
Namely, like in the previous years in Vojvodina, the end of October and the beginning of November 2016, was marked by a public reminder of the civilians of Hungarian nationality, who were killed by Yugoslav partisans, after the liberation of Vojvodina from fascism, in 1944.
At various commemorations, in Čurug, Subotica, Temerin, Senta, Horgoš, Martonoš and elsewhere, speeches were given by the descendants of the slain civilians, Ambassador of Hungary Dr. Atila Pinter, president of the Assembly of Vojvodina Mr. Ištvan Pastor, the presidents of political parties, the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians and the Democratic Party of Vojvodina Hungarians, mayors, Roman Catholic and Calvinist priests, the president of Hungarian National Council, and others.
In organization of the Hungarian National Council the issue of the mass graves of the innocent Hungarian victims from 1944/1945 was released, which includes GPS-coordinates of the mass graves.
In Novi Sad, Mr. Bela Čorba, the president of the Democratic Party of Vojvodina Hungarians among other things said: “The people of Novi Sad during the Second World War and its aftermath could experience the sins of two terrible ideological misconceptions of the 20th century: fascism and communism: thousands of innocent have become victims of ideological fanaticism and national hatred. (…) The war was still in progress and in Eastern Europe winners over Nazism immediately repeated this inhumane practice and principle. Examples of this are the six death camps and many labor camps that were created by Tito’s forces and the calvary of interned Germans and Hungarians (among them citizens of Novi Sad). ”
The media in the Hungarian language conveyed the title from the commemoration from Adorjan: “killed by freshly mobilized Banat partisans.”On the commemoration in Horgoš, Mr. Zoltan Vaš said: “Our ancestors, it is not hidden, were cheerful by entering of the Hungarian army in 1941 and reunification, but by fate, this happy period lasted only three and a half years (…) Palm Sunday of 1941 was unfortunately quickly followed by the Day of the Dead 1944. (…) We know very well what happened. Many fled, many were exiled, while others have become martyrs. And the memory of them was persecuted for 45 years. (…) We, who live today, have a dual task. On the one hand it is necessary to keep the memory of the cold and bloody autumn of 1944, on the other hand we should sincerely believe in the fact that modern man is capable of learning from the mistakes of the past. And we Hungarians and Serbs who live with us (…) We need to forgive one another for the wounds of the past, but we must not forget! ”
In Martonoš Mr. Lajoš Foro, the grandson of the murdered civilian of the Hungarian nationality, among other things, said: “Nobody has the right to speak about reconciliation on behalf of the relatives of the victims, we will reach that decision.” The president of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (SVM) and the Assembly of Vojvodina Mr. Ištvan Pastor said at the commemoration in Subotica that “the process of the Hungarian-Serbian reconciliation is heading in the right direction and is irreversible.” Mr. Pastor, on that occasion, named the area of Vojvodina, whose Assembly he is presiding, the “southern regions”. So did the President of the Hungarian National Council Mr. Jene Hajnal. The president of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina Mr. Pastor met on 1 November 2016 with the President of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Tomislav Nikolić; the conversation, according to news reports, was in the spirit of agreement on Serbian-Hungarian reconciliation.

Analysts of CDCS estimate the following:
The condemnation of the mass crimes committed against civilians of Hungarian nationality has become a part of the memory policy of the Republic of Serbia; this very favorable phenomenon is associated with the excellent bilateral relations between Hungary and Serbia.
Politicians of Hungarian minority in Serbia no longer refer to Vojvodina as the area where the crimes occurred, but in the traditional great-Hungarian manner, the southern regions. This is also done by the President of the Assembly of Vojvodina. Hungarian name for Vojvodina is not Délvidék but Vajdaság.
Some politicians from the Hungarian parties in Vojvodina explicitly equate communism with fascism; they also equate “inhuman Nazi practice” with crimes against the civilian population, which by 1944 were committed by allied forces.
The spirit of inter-ethnic reconciliation is not conveyed by calling Yugoslav partisans “Serbian partisans”; Partisans from Banat, who have committed crimes, are called, in some commemorations, “ragged”.
Statements such as the one that “nobody has the right to speak about reconciliation on behalf of the relatives of the victims, we will reach that decision.” are certainly reasonable.

Analysts of CDCS indicate the following:
On commemorations, participants are not indicative of the role of Hitler and Nazi Germany, as the main culprits for the extermination of Jewish, German, Roma, Serbian and Hungarian civilians in World War II.
On commemorations, participants are not indicative of the role of Horthy and Salasi regime that supported Nazi Germany until the end of the war, causing mass starvation of the civilian population.
Equating Nazi to communist crimes talks about fascist tendencies.
The thesis that no one has the right to speak about reconciliation on behalf of the relatives of the victims is justified; it is necessary to supplement a reminder that the Horthy and Salasi regime disabled relatives of the victims of the Jewish nationality to speak of reconciliation, as the regime partly killed or partly helped the Nazis to kill those relatives.
CDCS concludes that the assumption for genuine reconciliation is a versatile true, primarily, the condemnation of crimes committed by members of their own ethnicity.