Szabadka, Serbia (MTI) – Hungarians living south of the border have come a long way over the past quarter of a century, since some 30 towns and villages in Vojvodina, Serbia’s northernmost province, are now allowed to hold commemorations for Hungarians killed during and after the second world war, the head of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians told MTI.
Confronting the past does not always happen in a “spectacular manner”, Istvan Pasztor said at a commemoration for the victims of the massacre of 1944-1945, adding that the steps taken in the reconciliation process between Hungarians and Serbians have been “less spectacular” this year.
Pushing into the region in the winter of 1944-1945, Yugoslav partisans massacred an estimated 20,000 Hungarians and buried them in unmarked mass graves.
Pasztor said the most important event is scheduled to take place in December when the Hungarian-Serbian mixed committee of historians will present its findings from its research of the massacre.
“What we have achieved so far seemed distant and unattainable just five years ago,” Pasztor said, adding that “just a few years ago there would not have been a single Serbian politician who this event could have been discussed with … we have come a long way.”
Pasztor added, however, that the reconciliation process would “never truly be complete”. He said that although Hungarians may want it to go faster, future steps will ultimately depend on “the limits of majority rule”.