Skirmish at Diosig

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Skirmish of Diosig
Part of World War II
Skirmish at Diosig is located in Romania
Diosig
Diosig
Skirmish at Diosig (Romania)
Date4 September 1940
Location
Result Romanian victory
Belligerents
 Kingdom of Romania Kingdom of Hungary (1920–1946) Kingdom of Hungary
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Romania Lt. Dumitru Lazea  Kingdom of Hungary (1920–1946) Corporal Juhász
Casualties and losses
6 killed 9 killed

The Skirmish at Diosig was a border incident between Romanian and Hungarian troops in September 1940.

The engagement[edit]

The Second Vienna Award was signed on 30 August 1940, allowing Hungary to occupy and annex Northern Transylvania; the Hungarian Army was scheduled to take over the region between the 5th and 13th of September.[1]

On the 4 September 1940, in violation of the Vienna Award, some Hungarian troops entered the border village of Diosig a day before the movement of Hungarian troops into Transylvania was scheduled to begin. Approximately ten men from the Hungarian Army participated in the funeral of Lajos Szűcs, who was killed a few days earlier, in a crowd of local Hungarian people celebrating the result of the Vienna Award, despite the right of the assembly being prohibited. After the funeral, they did not return to Hungary but entered the village, at the invitation of local Hungarians. Romanian troops, lead by Lieutenant Dumitru Lazea, became aware the Hungarians had entered the village before the date permitted by the Award and challenged István Asók, the commander of the local militia. Meanwhile, someone informed the retreating Hungarian troops to return.

The Romanian troops took a defensive position at the gates and trenches, approximately 600 meters from the Hungarians, who still pushed forward; when the Romanians fired a warning shot, the Hungarian troops opened fire on them.[2] The Romanians returned fire and stormed the Hungarian troops; the Romanian Lieutenant was wounded, and some of his soldiers died; the rest of his troops broke away. The Hungarian troops then secured the area and went to Lazea's aid. Dezső Lengyel, the local doctor of the village, was trusted to take care of the wounded; because Lazea could not be treated properly in Diosig, it was decided he would be taken to Nagyléta, Hungary, near the border.

It was considered impossible for Hungarian troops who had entered Romanian territory illegally to take Lazea to Oradea, the nearest town in Romania. Lazea was put in a cart, and the local butcher of Jewish origin, Izidor Rosenfeld, took him to Nagyléta (the rumors of the villagers told he had volunteered for this out of revenge because he had been robbed earlier by Lazea's men who as per the laws could take belongings of the local people). Rosenfeld deliberately drove over potholes; Lazea was profoundly shaken, hitting his head continuously, he arrived in a worse condition and was immediately redirected to the military hospital of Debrecen, where he died on 5 September. The exact cause of death and the medical report are not known; he was buried the same day following a military funeral.[3]

Nine Hungarians and six Romanians were killed in the incident (including Lazea).[4]

Aftermath[edit]

Local Romanians informed a colonel of the nearby retreating Romanian troops at Săcueni, who was the uncle of Lazea, he was enraged by the events and ordered the village to immediately provide the remains, otherwise the people of Diosig would perish. He also captured ten local people and threatened to kill them if his demands were not fulfilled. Many of the local people fled to Nagyléta; as initially scheduled, the Hungarian takeover of the region commenced on September 5 and ended on the 13th.[5] On the 6 September, Sándor Bodnár secured the village and sent deputies to the superior of Lazea where they discussed the events.

The Colonel's information were that a full company attacked the Romanian troops and massacred Romanian inhabitants of the village. After he was told what really happened, he released the captured Hungarians; the case was discussed between Hungarian and Romanian diplomatic committees as well. On September 15, the remains of Lazea were delivered and turned in to the Romanian Military, his reburial was held in the village where he was born on October 5. The Hungarian authorities promised a rigorous investigation into the case, but it is still unknown if Corporal Juhász was punished.[3]

Legacy[edit]

In honor of Lieutenant Lazea Dumitru, there is a street bearing his name in the city of Câmpulung, Argeș County.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Royal Institute of International Affairs, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990, Chronology and Index of the Second World War, 1938-1945, p. 33
  2. ^ Holly Case, Stanford University Press, 2009, Between States: The Transylvanian Question and the European Idea during World War II, Chapter title: The battle begins at home
  3. ^ a b Megyeri, Tamás Róbert (6 September 2010). "Mi történt hetven éve Bihardiószegen?". tortenelemportal.hu. Történelem portál.
  4. ^ Florica Dobre, Vasilica Manea, Lenuța Nicolescu, Editura Europa nova, 2000, Anul 1940: armata română de la ultimatum la dictat : documente, Volume 2, pp. 420-421
  5. ^ R.L. Braham, Springer Science & Business Media, 2012, Genocide and Retribution: The Holocaust in Hungarian-Ruled Northern Transylvania, p. 8