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Quaint in Romania

March 02, 1986

In her article on Romanian health spas (Feb. 9) Patricia Matthews refers to "Hungarians wearing quaint, old-fashioned dress and carrying bundles of sticks or goods upon their backs." She may consider this quaint, but in fact it reflects the cultural and economic repression to which Hungarians are subjected in Romania. As she mentions, all Romanians lack many basic goods we take for granted, but she may not know that Hungarians are a repressed minority, 10 times worse off than those living in Hungary. Until the end of World War I--indeed, for a thousand years, every since Hungary was founded--Transylvania belonged to Hungary. When Austria-Hungary lost that war the Allies dismembered both countries, including giving Transylvania to the Romanians. Along with this land, the Romanians inherited 3 million Hungarians, whom they have repressed since.

JUDITH J. SZARKA

Beverly Hills

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