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Reader Feedback: Re: Beneš debate 'dangerous', By Tom Nicholson, Vol. 8 No. 11, March 25-31

I would like to focus on the issue of human rights. In the last 2-3 weeks I have been a frequent reader of the Uj Szó [Hungarian-language Slovak daily paper] online. I learned a lot about the fate, suffering end even mass killing of Hungarians in Slovakia after the second world war (one of them took place near a railway station) by 'peaceful' Slovaks.

The article that saddened me the most was entitled 'Speaking Hungarian on a bus'. It was about a granny and her seven-year-old grandson boarding a bus in the Slovak capital and speaking Hungarian. The granny looked around very frightened, even though the bus was half empty. She spoke in a low voice, fearful that a Slovak might bark at her for speaking Hungarian. She was greatly relieved when she realised that she did not have to fear the man close to her because he was also a Hungarian.

This simple story took place in 2002 in central Europe, and speaks volumes about Hungarians as second class citizens in Slovakia. I see similarities between the fate of Hungarians in Slovakia and the fate of Albanians in Macedonia. They are both second class citizens in their own countries. The Albanians, however, got tired of promises last year and took up arms. Solana, Prodi and Verheugen stopped laughing and realised that something was rotten in Macedonia.

What is needed in Slovakia is to show those same bureaucrats that something is rotten in this country as well.

Toni

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