On the 20th of March, 1990, a bloody street conflict took place in Târgu-Mureş on an interethnic background. The conflict was so violent that there was a need for the army to intervene. Conduct of events has led to suspicions about the involvement of secret services in the conflict. Why did Romanians beat the Hungarians in Târgu-Mureş in 1990, we find out from the Today’s History Page.
On 19 – 20th of March 1990, the public opinion from the country and abroad was shocked by the street conflicts between Hungarians and Romanians from Târgu-Mureş, transmitted by the world’s most important radio and TV stations. The events resulted in five dead (three Romanians and two Hungarians) and 278 injured. An Orthodox church was burned and the seats of some parties were vandalized.
During the conflict, writer Andras Suto lost an eye and a Romanian from Ibanesti, Mihaila Cofariu was beaten with bestiality. The scene has been filmed and the pictures have circulated around the world, but these pictures have also been a misinformation, what we call fake news today. The commentators said that a Hungarian was assaulted, because Mihaila Cofariu was dressed in … green.
The interethnic conflict in Târgu-Mureş in the early 1990s broke out shortly after the Hungarians had celebrated the 142nd anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 for the first time ever since the events of December 1989. The violence of both camps, Romanian and Hungarians, had started sporadically since March 16, so that on March 19th and 20th they would reach the peak.
The Hungarians had begun to display in Târgu-Mureş inscriptions in their mother tongue, such as pharmacies and the Romanians vandalized them. The spirits were warmed up by some Hungarian sellers who refused to serve their clients who were addressing them in Romanian. On March 20, a great Hungarian rally took place in the center of Târgu-Mureş, with an estimated presence in tens of thousands of people. To them were added over 4,000 Romanians coming from neighboring villages and communes. Between the two groups, there was a cordon, not too consistent, of unarmed militias who failed to prevent violent clashes. Both Hungarians and Romanians used incendiary bottles, bats, forks, metal balls, axes, metallic spears, and even swords.
Around 18:00 on March 20th, 1990, the army tanks arrived in the center of Târgu-Mureş, when the most violent part of the interethnic collision was already consumed. The official result of the investigation subsequently made by the authorities is as follows: 30 people have been sued. The tribunal has passed sentences for several people: a Hungarian and seven Roma. Two of the incendiaries hanged themselves, and 4-5 fled to Hungary. The files with particularly serious murder have remained with the unknown author.
Several theories have circulated over the real causes of the conflict. One of these is that the Security, newly transformed into SRI, needed a “March ’90” to justify its usefulness.