Skirmish at Diosig

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Skirmish of Diosig
Part of World War II
Date4 September 1940
LocationDiosig, Bihor County, Romania
Result Romanian victory
Belligerents
 Romania Hungary
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Romania.svg Dumitru Lazea   Kingdom of Hungary (1920–46) 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, granting Hungary to occupy and annex Northern Transylvania. However, the Hungarian Army was scheduled to take over the region between 5 and 13 September.[1]

On 4 September 1940, in violation of the Vienna Award, some Hungarian troops entered into the border village of Diosig one day before the entrance of Hungarian troops in Transylvania was scheduled to begin. Approximately, 10 men from the Hungarian Army participated in the funeral of Lajos Szűcs who was shot dead a few days earlier in the concourse of local Hungarian people celebrating the result of the Vienna Award, although the right of assembly was prohibited. After the funeral, eventually they did not return to Hungary but entered into the village as they were invited to the village by local Hungarians. Soon this was revealed - however by the time the soldiers were leaving - and regarding the clear violation of mutual agreements the Romanian troops lead by Lieutenant Dumitru Lazea challenged István Asók, the commander of the local militia. Meanwhile someone informed the retreating Hungarian troops to return. The Romanian troops took a defence position at the gates and trenches, lining approx. 600 meters from the Hungarians, who still pushed forward. When the Romanians initiated a warning-shot the Hungarians troops opened fire on them[2], after the Romanians as well returned the fire and stormed the Hungarian troops. The Romanian Lieutnenant wounded and some of his soldiers died, the rest of his people broke away. Afterwards the Hungarian troops secured the scene and started to aid Lazea. Dezső Lengyel, the local doctor of the village was trusted to take care of the rest of the wounded. Because locally Lazea could not be treated sufficiently, it was decided he would be taken to Nagyléta, Hungary, nearby the border, as they concluded taking him to Oradea in the name of illegally entered Hungarian troops in the presence of the Romanian military can't be carried out. Lazea was put in a chariot, and the local butcher of Jewish origin, Izidor Rosenfeld took him to Nagyléta (the rumors of the villagers told he had volunteered for this as planning a revenge because he had been robbed earlier by Lazea's men who as per the requiration laws could take belongings of the local people. Rosenfeld deliberately entered in every pothole with the chariot thus Lazea was heavily jigged and shaked, hitting his head continously), but he arrived in a worse condition and immediately he was 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 by a military funeral.[3]

Casualties amounted to 9 Hungarians killed as well as 6 Romanians (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 heavily enraged of the events and messaged the village they should immediately provide the remains, otherwise the people of Diosig will perish. He also captured 10 local people threatening to be killed if his demands would not be fulfilled. Many of the local people fled to Nagyléta. As initially scheduled, the Hungarian takeover of the region commenced on 5 September and ended on the 13th.[5] On 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 committes as well. On 15 September, the remains of Lazea was delivered and handed over to the Romanian Military, his reburial was held in the village he was born, on 5 October. The Hungarian authorities promised a rigorous investigation on the case, but it is not known still today if Corporal Juhász would have been 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