Protecting Minorities in the Former Yugoslavia: Kosovo and Vojvodina
7/25/2007 - AHF Calls for protection on minorities in Kosovo and Vojvodina. With independence of Kosovo inevitable, and the potential for violence, the Federation who calls international attention to the other large minority in the former Yugoslavia: The Hungarians of Vojvodina who lost autonomy by Serbian totalitarian regime of Milosevic.
John Podesta [“Standing With Kosovo Again,” July 23] makes a strong case in favor of independence for Kosovo. Two caveats warrant attention.
If Kosovo becomes independent, the international community, including the United
States, must ensure that the rights of the non-Albanian population are respected. Because
intolerance toward minorities characterizes the region, minority rights guarantees – a
Podesta acknowledges the need to protect the rights of all citizens of Kosovo. His statement of a country “not of Kosovar Albanians or Kosovar Serbs, but a nation for all Kosovars,” confuses citizenship and nationality as understood in the region, however. That statement thereby unwittingly undermines minority rights." [download the letter]
Why so many Hungarians across the border?
Vojvodina was part of Hungary since 896 AD and was awarded to the newly formed Yugoslavia by the French in the "Treaty" of Trianon in 1920 when Hungary lost 2/3 of her territory and 1/3 of her Hungarian population. Large scale evictions, fear of self-reporting, and other Serb progroms, have left only about 300-350,000 ethnic Hungarians in the province. Some, however, estimate this number to be double that since many fear self-reporting as Hungarian exposes them to risk
The American-Hungarian community is increasingly concerned by the recent outbreak of violence in Vojvodina.
"Ethnic Cleansing" in action
How did this region become part of Yugoslavia? Read "The Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia and Autonomous Region of Vojvodina, and the Need for a More Coherent U.S. Foreign Policy" on The Hungary Page and refer to the following demographic maps comparing Vojvodina in 1910 and 1991. Note the decline seen here in Hungarian population does NOT take into consideration the Balkan conflicts and the significant escalation of atrocities against Hungarians over the last decade:
Click images for larger version
AHF Related Links
Seles (pronounced sell-esh and spelled Szeles Monika) won the European junior championship at the age of ten. Born to a Hungarian family in the former Hungarian province of Vojvodina, she moved to the United States in 1986, and in 1989 turned professional. In 1990 she won her first French Open, and in each of the following two years she won the Australian, United States, and French opens. Seles won the Australian Open in early 1993, but later that year, while resting between sets during a tournament in Hamburg, Germany, she was stabbed by a spectator. The incident caused Seles to withdraw from competition in 1993 and 1994. Seles returned to competition in 1995 and won the initial tournament of her comeback, the Canadian Open. In 1996 she again won the Australian Open.
Monica is a fierce competitor and is still going strong into the new millennium including winning the Bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics!