Transylvanian Ethnic Groups - Contemporary Relations

Under the last decade of the rule of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (1965-1989), relations between Hungarians and Romanians worsened but rarely broke out into open conflict owing to the high level of police repression. Following Ceausescu's overthrow in December 1989, a brief period of interethnic harmony gave way to overt tensions as Hungarians promptly demanded the educational, political, and linguistic freedoms suppressed under Ceauşescu and Romanians reacted with anger, at least partly fomented by the remnants of Ceauşescu's security apparatus. The voices of those who continued to call for mutual cooperation tended to be lost in the outbreak of nationalism on both sides. As for Transylvania's Germans, the proportions of their emigration from Romania suggest that they will cease to be a significant minority presence in Transylvania within a generation. Relations between them and other ethnic groups had in any case been more peaceable than those between Romanians and Hungarians.

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