The local administration of the town of Dărmănești/Dormánfalva has recently taken ownership of a Hungarian military cemetery in neighbouring Harghita county, under dubious circumstances. The cemetery located in Valea Uzului/Úzvölgye (Valley of Uz) was the site of several battles during World War I and II, and many Hungarian and German soldiers are buried there. The cemetery has come to be almost like a place of pilgrimage, not only for Hungarians living in Transylvania, but for all Hungarians.

Officials from Dărmănești/Dormánfalva have already put up numerous crosses made of concrete next to the wooden crosses put up on the graves, and they have also erected a monument in memory of the Romanian soldiers that fought in World War II. András Gergely, mayor of Sânmartin/ Csíkszentmárton (a nearby village) said that the war cemetery figures in the inventory of the village led by him, which was reinforced by a 2010 government decree. He also added that the cemetery was founded in 1917 for the Austro-Hungarian troops that died there, with most of the soldiers buried there belonging to the 10th regiment from Miskolc (Hungary), the majority of whom were Hungarians.

The site in question has been the source of discord for several years between the local administrations of Dărmănești/Dormánfalva in Bacău county and Sânmartin/ Csíkszentmárton in Harghita county, but a 1968 law clearly states that the valley belongs to the latter. Nevertheless, attempts by Harghita county officials to impede the appropriation of the cemetery through legal means have so far failed. The issue also has a diplomatic dimension, given that in a 2008 government decree signed by both the Hungarian and the Romanian government, they mutually agreed to consult one another before modifying each other’s military cemeteries.

The issue sparked huge outrage among the Hungarian community in Romania, for whom the cemetery in Valea Uzului/Úzvölgye is a place of national remembrance. These changes made to the cemetery, which can be qualified as nothing short of a vicious and immoral appropriation, are moving forward under the guise of “refurbishment”, and sadly, thus far, no legal or diplomatic solution has been found.

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