1848–49 massacres in Transylvania

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The 1848–1849 massacres in Transylvania were the massacres committed in Transylvania during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.

Massacres against the Hungarians

In 1848 and 1849, the Hungarians in Transylvania became exposed to the opposition and repressions of Wallachians and Transylvanian Saxons.[1][better source needed]

On 18 October 1848, Wallachians attacked and murdered the inhabitants of the village of Sângătin (Kisenyed), located near to Hermannstadt (Sibiu).[1][2] Another important event of the 1848–1849 conflict was massacre at Nagyenyed (today Aiud) (8–9 January 1849). During the event, Wallachians massacred around 600 people in the town.[3] Additionally, the troops of Transylvanian Romanians organized by Avram Iancu, who were supporting the Austrian Emperor, fought the organized Hungarian forces from Zalatna (today Zlatna) and Körösbánya (Baia de Criş).[4]

During the fight of Zlatna (Zalatna), in October 1848 about 640 citizens[5] of the town were killed including the teachers, priests, doctors and merchants of the town. Thirteen thousand gold and twenty thousand silver coins were robbed from the town's treasury. The massacre was incited and led by a local Romanian lawyer called Dobra Petru.[6] Thirty Hungarians were killed in Boklya.[7] About 200 Hungarians were killed in Gerendkeresztúr (Grindeni)[7] and some 90 beaten to death near Marosújvár (Ocna Mureş).[8]

Massacres with Hungarian victims occurred in the following places:

Date Location Hungarian victims
October 12, 1848 Kisenyed (Sângătin) 140[9]
8–9 January 1849 Nagyenyed (Aiud) 600[3]
October 1848 Magyarigen (Ighiu) 200[10]
October 24, 1848 Ompolygyepüi (Presaca Ampoiului) railway station 700[10]
January 1849 Marosújvár (Ocna Mureş) 90[9]
1848 Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia) unknown[11]
October 1848 Naszód (Năsăud) unknown[11]
October 1848 Zalatna (Zlatna) 640[12]
October 1848 Borbánd (Bărăbanţ) unknown[11]

Massacres against the Romanians

The massacre of Mihalț on the 29th of June 1848 ended up with shooting of 50 Romanians by the Hungarian troops and injuring of another 70. The event got more attention after being published in the newspaper Der Siebenbürger Bote.[13]

In the autumn of 1848, dozens of Romanians from a village in Northern Transylvania who opposed the forced conscription into the Hungarian army where killed after the attack of a 200-man force.[14] On 10 September 1848 Hungarian military units from Arad killed several Romanians at Nadab, after a conflict with several thousand locals armed with scythes, who refused being recruited into the Hungarian Army. [15] On 12 September 1848, in the village Luna de Arieș (Aranyoslóna, Lone), the count of Turda (Torda), Miklós Thorotzkai, gave the order to fire on the crowd that opposed recruitment into the Hungarian army, killing 30 people [16] and wounding several tens.[15] On 18 October 1848 the Romanian peasant Ristea Tolcea (22 years old) was executed at Almas, for opposing joining the Hungarian army. For the same reason, three Romanians from Nădab were executed, while other were imprisoned at Oradea, Arad and Szeged.[17] The Romanian priests from Pleşcuţa, Poenari, Şteia and Vaţa de Sus were executed for opposing the policy of the Hungarian government.[17] The priests Sinesie Grozav (38 years old) from Aciuţa, Pavel Farcaş from Pleşcuţa, Eftimie Popovici (35 years old) from Hălmăgel, Iovan Jude-junior (26 years old) and Ioan Jude-senior from Poienari were hanged for reading to the people the Emperor's commands brought to them by Avram Iancu. [17]

After entering Blaj on 18 January 1849, Hungarian troops looted the town[15] and reportedly committed crimes against the Romanian population.[13]

Todor Bojan (30 years old), Igna Horga (34 years old), Jelina Pervez (41 years old), a widow, and her son George (16 years old), Thomas Arjan (60 years old), all from Buteni, together with Ioan Faur (35 years old, from Chisindia) and Zaharia Ţiurca (62 years old, from Bârsa) were killed for opposing robberies committed by Hungarians.[17][clarification needed]

According to the official lists (that were published in the newspaper Wiener Zeitung) 4425 men, 340 women and 69 children have been killed without trial by the Magyar military tribunals in Transylvania, exclusive of the ones who died in open fight. 4425 of the victims appear to have been Roumanians, 165 Magyars, 252 Saxons and 72 Jews, Gypsies[18]


  1. ^ a b Wenkstern (1859), pp. 156-159
  2. ^ The British Quarterly review, February and May, 1851 VOL.XIII, p. 27
  3. ^ a b Gerő, Patterson (1995), p. 102
  4. ^ Berend (2003), p. 112
  5. ^ Fejőszék Százhatvan éve irtották ki Nagyenyedet a román felkelők
  6. ^ Róbert Hermann, Gábor Bona: 1848-1849 a szabadságharc és forradalom története Videopont, 1996 p. 188 [1]
  7. ^ a b Gracza, "Az 1848-49-iki magyar szabadságharcz története" volume II p.424
  8. ^ Gracza, "Az 1848-49-iki magyar szabadságharcz története" volume II p.422
  9. ^ a b Domokos Pál Péter: Rendületlenül, Eötvös Kiadó-Szent Gellért Egyházi Kiadó, 1989, 33.-34. old.
  10. ^ a b Mátyás Vilmos: Utazások Erdélyben, Panoráma, 1977, 56. old.
  11. ^ a b c Gracza György: Az 1848/49-es magyar szabadságharc története, Budapest, Wodianer F. és Fiai kiadása, 337. és 339. old.
  12. ^ Magyar Nemzet: Fejőszék Százhatvan éve irtották ki Nagyenyedet a román felkelők
  13. ^ a b (Romanian) Istoria României. Transilvania , coord. Anton Drăgoescu, Fundaţia "George Bariţiu", Cluj-Napoca, 1997 - Chapter VIII
  14. ^ Alice Freifeld. Nationalism and the Crowd in Liberal Hungary, 1848-1914 (p.73)
  15. ^ a b c Ela Cosma. Cronologia anilor 1848/1849 History Institute „George Bariţiu”, Cluj-Napoca. "10 septembrie 1848, Nădab – conflictul dintre câteva mii de români, înarmaţi cu coase, refuzând recrutarea în armata ungară, şi unităţile militare din Arad, ce omoară şi ucid mai mulţi răsculaţi."
  16. ^ "În toamna anului 1848 prima ciocnire violentă în care au căzut împreună ţărani români şi maghiari a avut loc în comitatul Turda, la Luna Arieşului, când comitele Thorotzkai Miklós a dat ordin să se tragă în mulţimea care se opunea recrutărilor. La 12 septembrie 1848 cad 30 de oameni" Gelu Neamţu. Maghiari Alături De Revoluţia Română De La 1848-1849 Din Transilvania. "George Bariţ” History Institute Cluj-Napoca
  17. ^ a b c d (Romanian) Dumitru Suciu, Soldaţi fără uniformă ai Landsturmului românesc şi starea protopopiatelor ortodoxe din Transilvania după Războiul Naţional din 1848 - 1849 p. 11-12. Accessed 2013-06-28. Archived 2013-06-30.
  18. ^ Robert William Seton-Watson. A History of the Roumanians: From Roman Times to the Completion of Unity


  • GRACZA György: Az 1848–1849-iki magyar szabadságharc története. vol 1-5 Bp. [1895.] Lampel.
  • Pál Péter Domokos: Rendületlenül. Eötvös Kiadó, 1989 (Hungarian)
  • Wenkstern, Otto (1859). History of the war in Hungary in 1848 and 1849. London: J. W. Parker and son. 
  • Gerő, András; Patterson, James (1995). Modern Hungarian society in the making: the unfinished experience. Central European University Press. 
  • Berend, Tibor Iván (2003). History derailed: Central and Eastern Europe in the long nineteenth century. University of California Press. 

See also