Juraj Marusiak: The Hungárián Minority in Connection with the Slovak Policy of Normalisation Period


The Czechoslovak Hungárián Right Protection Committee made efforts to step out of illegality and establish contact with the rest part of the Hungárián intelligentsia. The first activity of such character was the preparation of The Memorandum of Hungarians Living in Czechoslovakia in 1988 forthe occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic. Those who signed it believed in the democratic traditions of the first Czechoslovak Republic. In the document it was the first time that instead of the reform of political system its change, that is the formation of a system on democratic basis on the territory of Slovakia was mentioned. They said the gap of executing acts relating constitutional act on collective rights and on nationalities is because of the insufficiency of the Czechoslovak nationality policy. The memorandum alsó judged the cancelling of the minority ministry in 1971, cancelling of the Nationality Committee of the Slovak National Council, and the government’s efforts oriented on cancelling Nationality Committee and Nationality Secretary of the Governmental Office. Besides the nationality demands the document comprised concrete universal democratic demands, for example accepting the Act on Referendum, approving of the Act on Democratic Assembly, and applying the principle of „administrative autonomy” on the whole territory of the republic, that would enable decision making of villages and administrative units in their own issues. The memorandum that was totally signed by 266 people, invited the development of European integrating process, declaring that Czechoslovakia has tojóin this process.

The younger generation of members and activists of the Czechoslovak Hungárián Right Protection Committee established intensive connection with the Czechoslovak Democratic Initiation in Czechoslovakia (mainly with Bohumil Dolezal). It was the attitűdé of the representatives of this liberal, Masaryk oriented group that did not consider the activity of Charta 77 in the given situation suitable, inspired them to consider the setting up of an independent political organisation.

The organisation was set up on 18th November 1989 at the fiat of Károly Tóth. Lajos Grendel, László Öllös, Károly Ballá, Zoltán Hizsnyai, Eleonóra Sándor, László Nagy, László Gyurovszky were among the establishers. After a long discussion they accepted the name Independent Hungárián Initiation (Független Magyar Kezdeményezés – FMK). The agreement was defined as liberally oriented, although part of establishers (e.g. László Öllös) considered eventsocial democratic orientation.