|In Memoriam: Géza Cseri|
12/10/2015 - Geza Cseri, Father, Grandfather, Husband, Engineer, US Army Veteran, former science and technology advisor to NATO, AHF member, patriot, was born to Joseph and Mary Cseri on June 3, 1936 in Cegled, Hungary.
Geza lived in the town of Abony, along with his older brother, Zoli. They enjoyed a comfortable home with orchards and vineyards until they had to flee in September of 1944 due to advancing Russian forces. His family relocated to the most western part of Hungary, near Pozsony (now Bratislava, Slovakia) and from there to Germany and eventually France where they became refugees. Geza was 9 years old when he left his home in Abony.
The family endured many hardships and horrible conditions such as surviving a refugee train bombing, being shot at by soldiers and near- starvation. After many years, they arrived in America in 1955 where they settled outside of Chicago and later in Highland, Indiana. Geza received his American citizenship in 1958 and shortly after, in May of 1959, received his BS in civil engineering from Purdue University. After graduating from Purdue, Geza joined the 2nd Armored Division of the Army where he served for 6 years before being honorably discharged in 1965.
Geza married in 1961 and settled in the Washington D.C area with his wife and children in the late 1960s. He received his MSE in R&D Management from George Washington University and went on to enjoy a successful 40 year career with the Army Materiel Command for the DODG3 Division as Senior Engineer and Chief of Command Control, which included service as Science and Technology Advisor to the Allied Supreme Commanders of NATO in Stuttgart, Germany from 1998 to 2001. He received several leadership and commendation awards during his career. After retiring in 2005 as a GS15, Geza did consulting with LMI on several large defense contracts.
Geza loved to cook traditional Hungarian meals, his favorite being Porkolt and Chicken Paprikas and he made the most wonderful Dobos Torte. Christmas was his favorite holiday and the tree was decorated following the Hungarian Christmas Eve (Szent-este) tradition. Along with cooking, Geza was a big soccer fan and coached his son’s soccer team for several years. He loved woodworking, building cabinets, tables and doing tinkering in the garage. He was an avid history buff, enjoyed traveling, and was wonderful at taking spontaneous family day trips.
Geza has always fought against communism, especially concerning the plight of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania. In the early 1960s he wrote many letters to the State Department expressing concern for the people behind the Iron Curtain and their fight for freedom. He was very involved in the American Hungarian Federation and was in charge of the American Hungarian Gala Ball in 1975, which helped to raise funds to promote the American Hungarian Cultural Center, a chartered non-profit organization dedicated to the enhancement of American Hungarian culture and heritage.
Geza had a love for life and remained strong and positive throughout his battle with lymphoma. He was kind and friendly to everyone he met. He is survived by his wife, four children and eight grandchildren. He was laid to rest at Quantico National Cemetery on December 10, 2015. He is greatly missed.
Article by Géza Cseri
Previous AHF Statements:
Count Apponyi pleading to the Supreme Council of the Paris Peace Conference:
"In the name of the great principle so happily phrased by President Wilson, namely that no group of people, no population, may be transferred from one State to another without being consulted,- as though they were a herd of cattle with no will of their own,- in the name of this great principle, an axiom of good sense and public morals, we request, we demand a plebiscite on those parts of Hungary that are now on the point of being severed from us. I declare we are willing to bow to the decision of a plebiscite whatever it should be. Of course, we demand it should be held in conditions ensuring the freedom of the vote." [more on Count Apponyi]
At the time President Wilson said: “The proposal to dismember Hungary is absurd” and later Sir Winston Churchill said: “Ancient poets and theologians could not imagine such suffering, which Trianon brought to the innocent.” We are sad to report that they were right.
Shortcuts to Trianon Resources Below:
Hungarian populations declined significantly after forced removals such as the Benes Decrees and other pograms, the effects of WWI, and Trianon in 1920. With continued pressure and discriminative policies such as the 2009 Slovak Language Law, this trend continued over the past 90 years.
One thousand years of nation building successfully delineated groups based on culture, religion, geography, and other attributes to create the countries with which we are so familiar. While some Western European nations would continue power struggles and princely battles and civil wars, Hungary, founded in 896, was a peaceful multi-ethnic state for a 1000 years and her borders were unchanged. Until 1920...
The Treaty of Trianon in 1920... in the aftermath of WWI, was extremely harsh on Hungary and unjustifiably one-sided. The resulting "treaty" lost Hungary an unprecedented 2/3 of her territory, and 1/2 of her total population or 1/3 of her Hungarian-speaking population. Add to this the loss of up to 90% of vast natural resources, industry, railways, and other infrastructure. This was done to a nation whose borders were established over a thousand years earlier (896 A.D.) and one who, as the "Saviors of Christianity," lost millions of lives defending the rest of Europe from numerous invasions from the likes of the Mongolian Tatars and the Ottoman Turks.
Hungary, along with Germany and Austria, experienced rapid economic expansion during the latter part of the 19th century and into the 20th. This challenge alarmed France and Russia. Each needed a way to stave off German-Hungarian economic competition. With the advent of WWI, France had her chance and began fostering anti-Hungarian sentiment among non-Magyar speaking Hungarian nationals. It is important to note that for over a thousand years, Hungary never experienced ethnic civil war. France, eager to weaken Hungary, offered to reward those nations and groups that assisted them in the war with large pieces of territory. The "Little Entente" of Rumania (who switched sides in the last minute), Czechoslovakia, and Serbia took that opportunity and got very lucky.
The United States has never ratified this treaty. At the time President Wilson said: “The proposal to dismember Hungary is absurd” and later Sir Winston Churchill said: “Ancient poets and theologians could not imagine such suffering, which Trianon bought to the innocent.” We are sad to report that he was right.
The French, despite American protests and calls for plebiscites, sent their troops to Northern Hungary in violation of the cease fire, and then pushed through the Treaty of Versailles (Trianon). Although Rumania, herself created only in 1862, switched to the French side almost at the very end of the war, she gained all of Transylvania and majority of the Banat, but claimed the river Tisza. The Czechs were awarded all of Northern Hungary (now Slovakia), despite equal numbers of Hungarians and Slovaks in the region, to create Czechoslovakia. The Serbs got Southern Hungary (Vojvodina), Slavonia, and Croatia (confederated with Hungary for 700 years) to create the unlikely "Yugoslavia," which, like Czechoslovakia, effectively, no longer exists. Perhaps most amazingly, the Austrians who were responsible for getting Hungary into the war in the first place, got Western Hungary (Burgenland).
The dictators in these successor states began to foster nationalism and teach a less-than-accurate history to help bring legitimacy to their regimes. These claims are based on some seriously unfortunate state propaganda-cum-history about an ancient Roman province called Dacia. In Rumania, this revised history, accelerated by Ceaucescu, has become the accepted state historical doctrine even today, making the process of reconciliation much more difficult. In the newly formed Czechslovakia, Eduard Benes and his infamous "Benes Decrees" forcibly expelled tens of thousands of Hungarians and confiscated personal and church properties. See the additional steps the Slovak Government has taken against the Hungarian minority. AHF's efforts to guarantee anew the rights of the Hungarian "minorities" continue.
Though the United States recommended a slightly more liberal approach in regards to Hungary, it did not prevail. The "self-determination of the nationalities" posited by President Woodrow Wilson resulted in only one plebiscite in Sopron, in Western Hungary. The vote was overwhelmingly pro-Hungarian and Sopron remained within the new borders. Oddly enough, although Austria was also a loser in the war, she also received a part of Hungary, and Sopron became a border city.
The maps here not only show graphically the extent to which the Treaty of Trianon dismembered Hungary, it shows how much Hungarian-majority areas were arbitrarily "reassigned." Hungarians today are the one of the largest minorities in Europe and face oppression and violence. Numbering in the millions, Hungarian minorities are second only to the Russians who became "minorities" with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Hungarians live under harsh persecution in the new states created by the treaty. The Helsinki Watch Committee called Romanian efforts to "purify" Transylvania as "Cultural Genocide." Read the Treaty in full text
External Links on Trianon