Military Wiki
Treznea massacre
Location Treznea
Date 9 September 1940
Attack type
genocide (targeted killing of the local ethnic Romanians), ethnic cleansing
Weapons machine guns, rifles, grenades, bayonets[citation needed]
Deaths 93
Perpetrator Hungarian Army, locals

The Treznea massacre occurred in the village of Treznea, Sălaj in north-western Transylvania on 9 September 1940, during the handing over of Northern Transylvania from Romania to Hungary after the Second Vienna Award. The circumstances of the massacre are controversial.[1]

Hungarian troops marching in nearby Zalău, the day before

On that day, some Hungarian troops made a 4 km detour from the ZalăuCluj-Napoca route of the Hungarian Army and they were fired at. They returned fire at will on locals, killing many of them and partially destroying the Orthodox church. The official Hungarian sources of the time recorded that 87 Romanians and 6 Jews were killed, including the local Orthodox priest and the Romanian local teacher with his wife, while some Romanian sources give as many as 263 locals that were killed. Some Hungarian historians claim that the killings came in retaliation after the Hungarian troops were fired upon by inhabitants, allegedly incited by the local Romanian Orthodox priest.[citation needed] These claims are not supported by the accounts of several witnesses. The motivation of the 4 km detour of the Hungarian troops from the rest of the Hungarian Army is still a point of contention, as it could not have been as a routine occupation maneuver. Most evidence points towards the local noble Ferenc Bay who lost a large part of his estates to peasants in the 1920s, as most of the violence was directed towards the peasants living on his former estate[citation needed].

By the accounts of some witnesses, not all soldiers were wearing full uniform and some of them were drunk[citation needed]. Also, some villagers claim to have recognised some of the young men as locals from Zalău. This might suggest that not everyone in these Hungarian troops were operating under the jurisdiction of the Hungarian Army.

According to some historians, several Hungarian inhabitants of the village tried to stop the massacre, but they were themselves chased and beaten. About 200 locals were rounded up and pushed towards a cliff, where they were to be machine-gunned[citation needed]. However, they were let go after the retreating Romanian Army, stationed nearby at Poarta Sălajului, threatened to intervene[citation needed].

See also


  1. Ablonczy 2011, p.61


  • Maria Bucur. Treznea. Trauma, nationalism and the memory of World War II in Romania, Rethinking History, Volume 6, Number 1, April 1, 2002, pp. 35–55. doi:10.1080/13642520110112100
  • Ablonczy (2011): Ablonczy Balázs. A visszatért Erdély 1940–1944 (magyar nyelven). Budapest: Jaffa Kiadó. ISBN 978 963 9971 60 8 (2011)
  • (Romanian) Ip și Trăznea, Atrocități maghiare și acțiune diplomatică, Dr. Petre Ţurlea, ed. Enciclopedică, Bucureşti, 1996
  • (Romanian) Ardealul pământ românesc. Problema Ardealului văzută de un american, Milton G. Lehrer, ed. Vatra Românească, 1991, ISBN 973-29-0010-5
  • (Romanian) Urmaşii lui Atilla, Radu Theodoru, Editura Miracol, Bucureşti, 1999, ISBN 973-9315-38-0
  • (Romanian) Teroarea horthysto-fascistă în nord-vestul României (septembrie 1940 - octombrie 1944), Mihai Fătu, Mircea Muşat (coord.), Ed. Politică, Bucureşti, 1985.

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