Dispute a word – No connection under this number!


In Romania, a message of the German press Agency (DPA) people’s soul cooking. It comes to the use of the term “connection” in the context of Romanian history. An analysis of Robert Schwartz.

A quick look in the Merriam-Webster dictionary brings a quick clarification: the term “connection” has over 20 meanings. Even if today, in the German language this word with the corresponding quotation marks to Hitler’s invasion of Austria in 1938, applies, it appears again and again in texts to other historical events. And with a different meaning.

On 1. December has been celebrated in Romania the 100-year Existence of the modern Romanian state. After the end of the First world war, the annexation of Transylvania/Transylvania, it was decided in the Romanian Kingdom and completed. This was the occasion for the German press Agency (DPA), to publish a report that began like this:

“With several military parades, Romania on Saturday, 100. Anniversary of the connection of the former Hungarian province of Transylvania celebrated.”

Protest note of Romania in the German media

The Kingdom of Romania in the First world war on the side of the Entente, to the victorious powers. The dream of the Romanian majority population in what was then Hungarian Transylvania, of a Union with Romania was held in the peace treaties. It’s the new greater Romania, including Transylvania, part of Banat and other parts of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In the report of the DPA on the occasion of the 100-year Celebration in Romania, the concept of “connection” several times in the context of the historical circumstances. The report was adopted by several German media, among others, by the public TV-station ZDF. Enough reason to Romanian entice Official to a note of protest. In a letter to the Romanian Ambassador in Berlin to the DPA-in-chief is spoken of a serious error, and decided demanded a correction.

Also, the Romanian Ministry of foreign Affairs, the instant demanded the right position of the “biased” article. Representatives of the national-populist media in Romania presumed in abstruse comparisons, languages of serious diplomatic upset between Bucharest and Berlin, and called on the German-born President Klaus Iohannis to no longer get in front of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to “servants”, but you are accountable.

Paris Peace Conference, Hotel Trianon Palace, 1919

“Connecting” or “joining”

In a statement on Facebook, the German Embassy of the DPA formulation distanced himself. It is to the political Union of several regions, including Transylvania with the Romanian Kingdom reminds. Public reports, which could total contradiction to the understanding of this historical act or lead to erroneous interpretations, does not correspond to the view of the Federal government, the statement said. Therefore, we’ve asked DPA and ZDF, to correct the offending passages.

What is the public ZDF on 4.12. also has done, and “connection” by way of “accession” has to be replaced. A term that is historically and legally in the context of the year of 1918, is simply wrong. Also, the independent German press Agency, a correction has been restocked. The new concept is now called “affiliation”. A hundred-year-old affiliation of Transylvania to Romania? Also, this “awesome improvement” is likely to draw criticism.

Not only in the Romanian proto-chron-ISM, under the Communist dictator Ceausescu is speaking of the thousand-year-old belonging of this land to be the most diverse Romanian administration forms. Therefore, the officially-held view of the “re-Union” of Transylvania with Romania 100 years ago.

A return to the wisdom of the “Old Fritz” (the Prussian king in the 18th century. Century) certainly would not have been wrong: lower! The reactions were premature and exaggerated. But the history one reads with the heart.

The Romanian-Hungarian relationship is – as in the report of the DPA described – even today, tensions and Fears. So Hungary has prohibited the right of national government to its diplomats, the national celebration of Romania, on 1. December participate. Also the top representatives of the Hungarian minority in Romania have joined this statement from Budapest.

Hungarian minority in Romania celebrates the national holiday of Hungary (15. March)

Formulation in the Romanian official Gazette, 1918

On the other hand, many Romanians fear that the Hungarian minority in Transylvania is nothing else in mind, as a spin-off of Romania and Hungary.

Who translated the term “connection” in the historical context of the unification of 1918 and today’s EU-membership of Hungary and Romania with the “annexation” can escape the allegation of “tendentious” interpretation. That one hundred years ago in the Romanian official Gazette published law 3613/1918 to the Association is already in the title of the “alipire”, “affiliation”, from the “connection” of Transylvania to the Romanian Kingdom. The term “alipire” in this context it appears frequently in historical writings and press reports.

A historical culture without regard to the sensibilities of an individual, a group or of society as a whole is always problematic. Certainly, the rejected report on each allegation would be sublime, if we except the notion of “connection” that appears several times, once also “political Association” would have been.

But a rash of political interference in free and fair reporting out of fear of a possible unfriendly, or even malicious interpretation must be strongly rejected. For plated policy responses to media reports, only one message is allowed to apply: No connection under this number!