Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate –  Commemorations in Transcarpathia

On May 21, the beginning of the Rákóczi War of Independence was commemorated in Mezővári and Beregszász.

321 years ago, in addition to Tarpa and Mezővári, Esze Tamás’s kuruc soldiers unfurled the flags of the Rákóczi War of Independence in Beregszász as well. With his proclamation, Prince Ferenc Rákóczi II called Esze Tamás to arms, urging those living under oppression to fight „with God for the homeland and freedom.”

This event was honored by the Cultural Alliance of Hungarians in Sub-Carpathia in Mezővári and the NGO Pro Cultura Subcarpathica in Beregszász.

We know that the war of independence failed, but its flame was kept alive for eight years. Ferenc Rákóczi II did not submit, did not accept the general amnesty, thus preserving for the Hungarian people the spark of independence, the taste of freedom. And all of these will needed in later times for Hungary to finally achieve its independence – emphasized József Sin, vice president of Cultural Alliance of Hungarians in Sub-Carpathia, in his speech in front of the memorial plaque on the wall of the Reformed Church in Mezővári.

At the wreath-laying ceremony, Sándor Zán Fábián, bishop of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Reformed Church, said a prayer.

The commemoration continued in Beregszász, at the bust of Tamás Esze. Attendees gathered at both locations to the call of the “tárogató” (a woodwind instrument commonly used in Hungarian folk music)  provided by Imre Holozsai, instructor at the Tulipán Tanoda Hungarian Folk Art School and the Zoltán Kodály Art School in Beregszász. On the occasion of the flag unfurling, kuruc soldiers dressed in period attire read the proclamation and waved Rákóczi’s flag.

One of the deepest roots of Transcarpathia is the Rákóczi era, which had the greatest impact on this region and is still well remembered because it was the time that could unite the various peoples living here. Besides the Hungarians, the Rusyns, Rákóczi’s most loyal people, stood behind the unfurled flags, as well as Romanians and Slovakians. They all valued independence and wanted to stand on their own feet against foreign powers. This message, which connects the people living here, should be passed on by everyone – emphasized Ildikó Orosz, president of Pro Cultura Subcarpathica and the Ferenc Rakoczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education.

At the end of the event, the attendees laid wreaths of remembrance at the commemorative plaque and at the bust of Tamás Esze.