From migrant to refugee: the history of the Székelys of Bukovina during and after the Second World War
The topic of the article is the history of a Hungarian ethnic group, the Szekelys of Bukovina during and after the Second World War from the perspective of legal history. The Szekelys, who fled from Transylvania after the massacre of Madéfalva (1764), had lived for almost two centuries in five villages in Bukovina, a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918. Bukovina became part of the Kingdom of Romania after the First World War, and the Szekely villages became overpopulated and suffered from the increasing Romanian nationalism. Plans to resettle the Szekelys of Bukovina date back to the 19th century when a special act was made, but only a few thousand Szekelys left Bukovina. Hungary and Romania signed an international treaty in 1941 on the resettlement of the Szekelys from Bukovina to Hungary. The settlement was an element of the forced rehungarization of the Vojvodina region occupied by Hungary in early 1941. The migrants of the state enforced settlement action received an evacuation order in October 1944 and came as refugees to the todays Hungary. They were settled in Baranya und Tolna counties in 1945 in the houses and land properties of Danube Svabians.
Keywords: Szekelys of Bukovina; resettlement; forced migration; refugees; 2nd Word War.