Mágocs a Market Town in Baranya County


  The following information finds its source in “Mágocs Markt-Gemeinde in der Branau/Baranya” by Franz Teufel published in Gӧppingen in the winter of 1991/92 and portions of it are my translation of the text.


  During the 13th Century the monastery of Mágocs was established with St. Peter as its patron in 1251.  By 1333 it was part of the diocese of Pécs and during the episcopate of Bishop Klimo (Gyӧrgy) documents were sent to the Vatican with regard to Mágocs along with an interest payment.  In 1355 we learn of a dispute over a small parcel of land between Mark the Abbot of Mágocs and a rival Abbot of Abram that was settled by the Superior Court Judge of Tolna County.  Mágocs lost the case.


  The oldest known feudal nobles in the late Middle Ages who owned land in the area were the Hungarian noble family of Bodó.  Their rise to power began with the settlement of Gyӧrgyi.  In the reign of Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490) Gaspar and Gregor were the head of the family and were known as Bodós after 1455.  The family was awarded land grants by King Ladislaus in 1510 that included Gyӧrgyi, Hajmas, Egyhazakozár, Varjas, Olaszfalu, Hab, Geréngyes, Tӧttós, Konyafalu and Vaszvár.  In 1518, Louis II signed the verification of their title to the lands.


  In 1526 young King Louis II lost his life at the Battle of Mohács with the Turks.  Now began the most tragic period in Hungarian history.  The Hungarian nobles rallied around John Szaplyai, the Prince of Transylvania and elected him king.  He was crowned on November 11. 1536 as John I.  At the Conference of Hainburg (between Pressburg and Vienna) the widowed Queen Maria of Hungary and her brother, the Archduke Ferdinand of Habsburg agreed that he would support her claim to the throne of Hungary on the basis of her marriage agreement of 1515 even if armed force had to be used to assert the Habsburg rights to the throne.  John I had no real claim to the throne.  The Pressburg Landtag (parliament) elected Ferdinand as King of Hungary on December 17, 1526 and was crowned on November 3, 1527 in Hungary almost a year later.


  On January 27, 1528 the Turkish Sultan, Suleiman, recognized John I as the King of Hungary and promised him assistance against the Habsburgs.  Two hundred years of tragedy would now follow.  The current head of the House of Bodós, Francis ensconced at Gyӧrgyi sided with John I.  He suffered personal defeat at the hands of the Habsburgs and he was forced to give up his title and lands to his son Wolfgang (Farkas).  His estates were devastated in the ensuing warfare and his income decreased annually.  In 1544 the last of the Bodós fled from their fortress of Anyavár that was besieged by the Turks.  He found refuge at Gyӧrgyi the ancient seat of the family estate.  Nothing is known of his death.  His oldest sister, Anna, inherited what remained of the family estate.  She was married to Bendedict Bajoni of Bihar.  She arranged for their oldest son, John, to serve in the border region with Somogy County.  He was to benefit from his mother’s new estates inherited from the Bodós.  In 1560 he came to Szigetvár to join and serve under Zrinyi Miklós in his tax revolt.


  As a result of the peace treaty between the Habsburgs and the Turks, Tolna County had to pay taxes to the Turkish Sultan but private taxes still had to be paid to the nobles.  The Hungarian nobles could continue to demand taxes of their serfs even if they had fled their domains and were now under Turkish rule.  Often force and brutality were used to raise these taxes while Turkish and Hungarian brigands roamed the countryside and plundered the peasant  population to an utter state of degradation and poverty.


  The occupiers of Szigetvár also carried out these kinds of raids.  They put Esseg to the torch as well as Pécs and the area all the way to the Danube and devastated and looted the estates of Battai and Székszárd abbeys.  At this point young John Bajoni came into his own.  The many rewards, captured women, the fiery wine of Srem, the freebooter life of soldiery, the hunt, the booty suited him well.  He soon forgot his own interests were at variance with the interests of the revolt and Zrinyi and his ally Allia Matyas.  He was forced to sign an agreement whereby he gave up half of his estates to Allia Matyas and the second half as well after his death.  He later said the agreement was null and void because duress was used and his married sister Szafia was his heir


  On September 8, 1566 the fortress of Szigetvár fell to the Turks and Zrinyi, Allia and Bodós perished in the siege.  The estates of Bodós went to his sister Szafia.  Because the estates were located far away and in Turkish held territory and there was little contact between the owners and the subject tenants their ongoing neglect hastened the estates in becoming a wasteland.


  Bosnyak Tamas, the Vice Governor of Hont County and commander of the fortress at Fülek, married Szafia’s daugher Maria.  On studying the documentation of his wife’s dowry he became aware of the sizeable estates he could claim if the Turks were ever driven out of southern Hungary.  He was determined to regain the estates.  He sought the aid of men of importance who “owed” him.  He sold Gyӧrgyi and its filial communities to Turós Miklós, who was commander of the fortress at Kiskomarom for 100 Thaler.  This was sold with the understanding that the estate could not be sold to anyone else except Bosnyak and for the same price of 100 Thaler.  He also tried to do the same with his Tolna estates approaching Zichy Pal, the captain of the fortress at Veszprem.  In 1623 the captain replied:  “I would like to meet your wishes but what can I do?  The Turks have blocked all of the roads.  You can judge for yourself that there is no real value to be gained by such a “takeover” on my part.”  Bosnyak’s death occurred prior to the liberation of Hungary.  He had no male heir.  His daughter, the wife of the very rich Balassa Imre had no interest in the Bodós lands.  Turós Miklós then sold the Gyӧrgy estate with its filials:  Hajmas, Varjas, Olaszfalu, Hab, Gerényes, Konyaflu and others to Laskay Andras the second in command of the fortress in Pápa.


  The area around Gyӧrgyi was a wasteland.  The small surrounding settlements were destroyed.  Some of the inhabitants had fled.  The greater part of the population had died as a result of the warfare and the plague which followed.  This situation would last until the liberation in 1683 that began with the Turkish defeat at the siege of Vienna and then their headlong flight back into Hungary pursued by the Imperial Army of the Habsburgs.


  On September 2, 1686 Buda was liberated by forces led by Margrave Louis of Baden and on September 23rd his forces captured Simontornya and moved on into the area of the Bodós estates and took Pécs on October 14, 1686.  The army remained there in winter quarters and in the Spring of 1687 the campaigned resumed.  With the siege and battle of Harsany on August 12, 1687 under the command of Charles of Lorraine all of Swabian Turkey (Tolna, Baranya and Somogy Counties) was liberated.  The second Battle of Mohács followed under the command of Maximilian of Bavaria and Prince Eugene of Savoy and in the future all conflict would be to the south and south east.


   Now it was time for peace in the beleaguered land but not yet!  The Imperial War Office was in control but the County administrations would soon be re-established.  The presence of the military slowed down normalization.  Their need for provisions and supplies to continue their campaign against the Turks was expensive.  The wasteland in which they were quartered could not provide for their support.  The surviving population had to bear the burden.  There was simply no opportunity to make a new beginning and redevelop the land.  From the tax records dated 1542 it can be estimated that there were about 110 families in Mágocs and the surrounding villages at that time.  Whether the decimation of this population was a result of death or flight is unknown.  During the Turkish occupation they were replaced with Orthodox Serbian settlers.  Dӧbrӧkӧz became the centre of Orthodoxy in the area.


  The tax lists from 1542, 1559 and 1565 identify the existing communities in the area.


  In 1542 there was Magocz, as it was then called, and the ancient abbey which had two full sessions of land.  The houses were all abandoned by the former residents who had fled out of fear of the Turks.  In Gyӧrgy the 29 houses had also been abandoned for the same reason.  Bekatho was abandoned.  Konyafalva was abandoned and would become the future Csikostӧttӧs.  Hab, Kapas, Naaghag (Nagy Ág), Gherenyes (Gerényes) and Thelkes (future Tékes) were owned by the Bodós and had also been abandoned.


  In 1559 there is only mention made of Macochi (Mágocs) and Hagmas (Nagyhajmas) while in the tax list of 1565 there is only Naghagh (Nagy Ág) and the owner listed is Wolfgang Bodós.


  Following the expulsion of the Turks a registration of villages was undertaken in 1695 and 1696 by the Imperial Government working out of Pécs.  In 1696 the following villages were listed:  Mágocs was owned by the Paulist Fathers of Pápa.  All of its inhabitants were Serbs and belonged to the Orthodox Church.  There were 13 families. Mocsolad’s owners were unknown.  Serbs lived there having come after the Turks had occupied the area.  There were four families.  All of them were Orthodox.  Ráckajmas was owned by the Karachicks from Tihany.    The village was inhabited by Croats who were Roman Catholic.  There were 8 families.  In all likelihood this is an error and they were probably Serbs and were Orthodox.  Bikal was owned by the Bishop of Raab and all of the inhabitants were Serbs who were Orthodox.  There were 6 families.


  Peace was an illusion.  The chief areas of renewed military conflict were along the Danube.  The ancient highway–Via Begia–leading to Buda from Esseg made its way through Mohács-Pécs-Magyarszék-Dombovár and Szekésfehervár.  The population in Swabian Turkey consisted mainly of Magyars and several Slavic groups.  But there were also Germans in eight districts.  In Babarc there were eight families, Szajka had twenty-seven.  Lovaszhétney had seventeen families and in Pécsvár there were nine.  Siklós had one and Szabar had twenty-two.  Varkay had four families and in Pécs there were seventy-nine.  There were a total of 185 German families.


  The losses that resulted because of the war and the economic situation led to hostility between the Hungarians and the Slavs.  The Slavs had played an important role in the Imperial Army that carried out the liberation.  The Habsburgs sought their future military support in the Balkans and they would become their allies against the Rákóczy rebels between 1702-1712 as well as against Thӧkӧly during the uprising he led.


  During the liberation, Hungarian units plundered and damaged Slavic villages at will.  In addition there was also the Roman Catholic-Orthodox issue that fuelled the animosity between them.  The Orthodox Patriarch, Csernovics Arzen, arrived in Hungary with 30,000 Serbs fleeing the Turks.  On August 2, 1690 he received an imperial letter that granted his people freedom to practice their religion and this was a thorn in the flesh to the newly reorganized Roman Catholic bishopric of Pécs.  All of this would lead to the expulsion of the Serbs from Dӧbrӧkӧz in 1699.  Not long afterwards, the Bishop of Pécs, Radonay Matya, ordered the expulsion of all the Serbs in the city in 1700.  It was the same year that the plague broke out in the settlements of southern Hungary.  The People’s War of Liberation broke out against the Habsburgs led by Rákóczy Francis II who left exile in Galicia on June 16, 1703 and returned to Hungary.


  He named Karolyi Sándor, the former Sheriff of Szatmár County, as the commander of the uprising in Swabian Turkey even though he had fought against him previously.  The Kurucz sought freedom from the Habsburgs but their secondary motive was booty.  There was a lack of any real discipline in the rebel army.  Military operations were sporadic with no major planning involved.  It was guerrilla warfare.   They destroyed the village of Nyhilas on the estates of Paul Esterházy.  It had been settled by Germans and Hungarians who they drove out of the area.  On January 11, 1704 the rebel army crossed the frozen Danube at Dunafӧldvár.  They took the road to Dӧbrӧkӧz, past Dombovár to Pécs.


  At the end of January the city was sealed from the outside world under the command of Sándor Laszlo.  The citizens of the city had attempted to remain neutral.  The rebels demanded a ransom to be paid and several hostages.  The city refused.  The rebels stormed the walls of Pécs on February 1, 1704 and began a day long series of slaughter and savage butchery.  The tragedy that took place was pieced together by seventy eye witnesses.  Sixty of the Hungarians in the city were killed.  The forty citizens who made up the City Council were killed in the town hall.  Its members were Germans, Hungarians and Serbs.  In total there were 700 victims in the city.


  At the end of March the Austrian troops in the area were joined by units of Serbs who served on the frontier.  Under the leadership of their officers they attacked Pécs and murdered the citizens and plundered the city.  As a result of the latest massacre the blame for it was attributed to the Orthodox clergy.  The surrounding vicinity suffered the same fate as the city.  In the census of 1712, Pécs reported a total of 119 citizens and 84 cottage owners.  That was only ten per cent of the population that had been previously recorded.


  The Peace of Szatmár signed on April 30, 1711 ended the tragic war.  Rákóczy fled to Poland.  The House of Habsburg was now declared the perpetual heir to the throne of Hungary and Charles VI was crowned Charles III of Hungary.  During the next decades there were disputes between the counties of Tolna and Baranya over their jurisdictions and boundaries and some communities were assessed taxes by both.  Mágocs was eventually declared to be part of Baranya.


  On June 19, 1719 a superior of the Pécs abbey proceeded to Pressburg to lay claim to the estates of the monastery in Gyӧrgyi which at the time was the Puszta Gyӧrgen, the estate of Mágocs and the pusztas of Nagy Hajmas and Hossziszo.  Approval was quickly forthcoming and the Emperor Charles VI signed the decree on September 1, 1719 and the estates were handed over to the Paulist Fathers of Pécs.  The Baranya County assembly validated the decree a year later.  The estate had no real economic value or much in the way of a population.  In 1716 it had still been designated an unpopulated puszta.  In 1718 there were seven Slavic families in Gyӧrgyi.  Hosszinszo was abandoned.  There was a need for settlers to develop the estates.  Special concessions were made to would-be- settlers such as a reduction in the amount of robot (free labour) they would have to provide and four years of exemption from taxation.


  All of the first settlers were Hungarians except for Johannes Albert.  Their former home communities are unknown to us.  But the names are related to the western Tolna and Lutherans in south eastern Somogy County.  Many of the original settlers later moved on in search of “a better deal” being offered somewhere else.  There was no resident priest or church but there was a lay preacher, Stephen Deák, who was probably Lutheran or Reformed.  When monks came they celebrated Mass in homes.  A congregation evolved as a filial of Bikal.  In the canonical visitation of the area in 1721 Mágocs is not even mentioned.  In the visitation of the Vasardombo parish in 1729, Mágocs was visited on March 29, 1729.  There was a local teacher, Gregor Miskloczi.  He was 35 years old, a Slovak and spoke Latin, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak and German.  His handwriting was average.  He was convert from Lutheranism and taught in Mágocs for one year.


  On the basis of the records he kept by 1730 there were additional German families who had settled in Mágocs and included Johannes Heil and his wife Catharina, Johann Adam Trapp, Carl Trapp,  Anna Catharina Trapp, Johannes Melter and his wife Catharina.  Others soon followed.  1734 Michael Hop.  1736 Hilarius Gruler and Catharina Sterz, Valentine Csais and Maria, Ignatius Rotter and Julianna and Nikolaus Martin.  1739 Joseph Martin and Maria Magdalena Zinzendorf, Peter Henner and Barbara, Johannes Henner, Catharina Henner, Friedrich Hamm and Elisabeth and Johannes Wolfgang Hamm.  The following arrived in 1740:  Johannes Higele, Heinrich Resch and Christina, Johannes Huck and Elisabeth Bair, Johannes Adam Sipl and Catharina Maurer, Johannes Klotz and Anna Fronler, Johannes Richtebald and Margaret Schneider, Matthias Trautner and Salome, Joseph Trautner and Catharina, Johannes Heinrich Kollmann and Catharina, Valentine Streit, Maria Magdalena Streit, Caspar Johannes Stegner, Adam Pidner and Elisabeth, Gabriel Paumann and Margaretha Streit.


  Those who arrived in 1741 were Philipp Nusspam and Anna Barbara Till, Georg Thuren and Catharina, Jakob Henn and Catharina, Georg Matthias Niedermaier and Regina, Bartolomeus Turchlholtz and Maria, Matthias Gartner and Anna, Anton Gartner and Agnes, Johann Adam Hohmann and Christina Hartmann, Caspar Michel and Elisabeth, Johannes Stumm, Carl Stumm and Anna Maria. 


  The new arrivals in 1742 included Heinrich Essinger and Christina, Johannes Schneider and Maria Magdalena, Valentine Halker and Magdalena, Adam Corneli and Anna Margaretha, Balthasar Hoff, Andreas Paur and Franzsika, Adam Hartung and Margaretha and Johannes Totenbir.


  Another group arrived in 1743 and included the following:  Dominik Czimmermann and Magdalena, Hans Georg Czimmermann and Catharina Matris, Nikolaus Pan or Pon and Maria Catharina, Johannes Heinrich and Anna Maria Kollmann, Georg Heinrich and Margareth Trapp, Johannes Adam Schlegl and Anna Maria, Johannes Schmitt, Sebastian Schmitt, Joachim Schmitt, Anna Maria Hoffmann, Johann Matthias Hoffmann, Nikolaus Hoffmann, Balthasar Inhof and Elisabeth.


  There were the following who settled here in 1744:  Martin Pronner and Agatha Sauter, Johann Michael Pronner and Margareth Stengl, Michael Eisenach and Anna Reder, Johannes Aicher and Catharina Carl, Laurentius Kirsch and Catharina Friedmacher, Johannes Kolber, Matthias Kolber and Anna, Sebastian Edelsesser and Elisabeth, Joseph Eczel and Maria Jacobi, Johann Georg Eczel and Anna Maria, Jacob Sauter, Joseph Sauter and Margareth, Hans Georg Sauter and Clara, Laurentius Schumann and Margareth Dietrich.


  There were an additional seven families who arrived in 1745 and included:  Johannes Hartung and Apollonia Stock, Johann Heinrich Michl and Maria Higeli, Georg Genczler and Elisabeth Wittinger, Johannes Foregger and Helena Sauter, Hans Maier and Elisabeth, Leopold Saitel and Catharina, Antonius Gartner and Agnes.


  The vast majority of these settlers had their origins in the Schwarwald (Black Forest) region of south western-Germany in proximity to Oberndorf, Schӧmberg, Fridingen, Tuttlingen, Villingen and Schramberg in the vicinity of the town of Rottweil which was the major population centre.  They came from  33 communities spread across this region. 


  Masses were irregular.  The function of baptism was carried out by the teacher because of the distance to the nearest priest.  He could also marry, as long as half of the fee went to the priest in Bikal.  He also did funerals.  The congregation consisted of Germans, Croats and Polish-speaking people in addition to the Hungarians.  They were registered in the parish records in Bikal  beginning in 1729.  By and large it appears that the different nationalities lived separately.  The Hungarians lived in Mágocs, the Croats were in Bikal, the Serbs in Hajmas and mainly Hungarians in Mocsolád.  After 1730 there was intermarriage between the Slavs in Bikal and Hajmas.  According to the visitation of 1733 the two towered church in Mágocs is fully described and it is reported that there were thirty-three married couples living in the village.


  1735 was an important year for Mágocs and its development.  The new Urbarial contract with their landlord, the Paulist Fathers, was signed.  It had thirteen points to it.  They dealt with robot, hunting, rents, cutting the landowner’s grass, providing horses for his use, providing one ninth of crops and produce from gardens, free access to acorns in the forest for forage for swine, the operation of a butcher shop and pub and division of their profits and fines for various infringements on the rights of noble are listed.


  In October of 1740 Emperor Charles VI died and was succeeded by his daughter Maria Theresia who was crowned in June of 1742.  The settlement of the estates of the Paulists now proceeded much more rapidly.  This included Hungarians and large groups of German colonists who settled in Mágocs.  A resident priest was assigned in 1742 by Bishop Sigismund Berenyi of Pécs.  There were confrontations with him followed by a  quick succession of other priests due to the demands of the landlords (the Paulist Order) to which the settlers refused to comply.  There was one priest sided with the people and was quickly despatched to Paks by the head of the Order.


  In 1756 a canonical visitation was carried out on September 13th by the diocesan ordinary, Bishop Georg Klimó.  The population had increased to 1,500 but the church was a mess.  It looked like a sheep stall according to the Bishop.


  On December 29, 1766 the Empress Maria Theresia decreed that official Urbarial contracts be developed in the counties of Vas, Zala, Sopron, Somogy, Tolna and Baranya.  The nobles and Landtag (Hungarian parliament) were opposed and tried to stall the Empress.  Complaints from the peasants flooded the offices of the Empress and the peasants became restless and threatened the nobles.  The Empress proceeded with her plans in 1767.  The Urabarial contract in Mágocs involved over 100 German and 66 Hungarian families.  By 1785 there were 363 houses in the village with 2,394 inhabitants.


  At the turn of the century there was a mobilization ordered by the County to defend the frontiers of Hungary against the French.  Many of the villagers answered the call to arms.  They returned home in the Spring of 1801 following the signing of the peace treaty with Napoleon and no major military conflict had occurred.  In 1807 inflation was on the increase across the Empire.  Drought that summer resulted in a poor harvest and then cholera raged from December to March of the next year.  All of this had very serious consequences for the families in Mágocs.


  In 1809 another French threat loomed on the horizon and another mobilization was ordered which the people resented because of the loss of young workers in the fields.  Napoleon occupied Vienna in the Spring and set up his headquarters in the Emperor’s palace at Schӧnbrunn.  His troops invaded Hungary and took Pressburg and the subsequent Battle of Raab resulted in another Habsburg defeat.  Napoleon occupied Gyӧr on September 1st.  In the subsequent Fall a peace conference in Vienna ended the conflict and the soldiers from Mágocs came home once more.


  In 1848 as revolution broke out across western Europe, Hungary was not immune but with it there was also an outbreak of anti-Semitism in Baranya County.  Revolutionary mobs in the streets forced the City Council of Pécs to expel its Jewish population on March 27, 1848.  They were given three days to leave.  There were forty families involved.  They closed their stores and shops and withdraw from public view.  The Vice- Governor of the County rescinded the order on the basis of the Law of 1840 which had guaranteed government protection to the Jewish population.  He hoped to stabilize the situation and threatened to punish anyone who disobeyed the law.


  The dissatisfaction and hostility of the mob now turned on the nobles and estate owners.  In April local elections were held and 3,000 gathered at Mágocs to do so.  The electoral district of Mágocs included 58 communities with a population of 31,430:  Mágocs 3,525, Bikal 1,042, Gerényes 569, Csikostӧttós 937, Hajmas 1,077.  They elected Valentine Perczl as their representative.  He ran unopposed.


  In July the National Guard (Honvéd) was recruited by the revolutionaries now in control of the government in Budapest.  The County administration called for 900 men from the  Mágocs district.  On July 4, 1848 the recruits marched through the streets of Pécs to the accompaniment of music and much fanfare.  There would be no major military actions in the area in the ill-fated revolution against the Habsburgs which led to the repressions that followed while the Hungarians smarted under the loss of their attempt to secure their independence from Austrian and Habsburg rule.


  In the official government census of 1857 there was a total population of 3,570 in Mágocs of whom 3,278 were Roman Catholic, 83 were Lutheran and 209 were Jewish.  Later in the census of 1884/1885 Magocs had a population of 3,620, Nagy Hajmas 1,092, Bikal 1,145, Gerényes 696, Csikostӧttós 1,319, Nagy Ág 527, Tékes 573.  Another census taken in 1870/1873 in Baranya County reported that there were 191 communities whose population was entirely Hungarian; 72 communities were entirely German; 15 communities were entirely Croat and 73 communities had a mixed population.  The census of 1898 indicates that of Mekényes’ population of 1,244 inhabitants, 1,180 were German.  In Nagy Hajmas of its 1,161 inhabitants, 887 were German.  Racozar reported a population of 1,447 of whom 1,400 were German while in Nagy Ág there were 570 inhabitants and 454 were German.


  When the First World War ended in 1918 there were a total of 124 men from Mágocs who had fallen in battle, were missing or died as prisoners of war in Russia.  The Treaty of Trianon would dismember the ancient Kingdom of Hungary and it would remain a “rump” of its former glory.  The internal conflicts this caused gave birth to the Red Republic under Béla Kun in 1919.  At the end of March the first “Red Regiment” of the new regime was mustered in Kaposvár in nearby Somogy County.  This 1,200 men force was also known as Klumpa’s Ezred (wooden shoe regiment) by the populace because the soldiers wore their own private footwear.  And the German population was known for their Klumpen that had been adopted by the Hungarians over the years. Many of the men from Mágocs just recently home from the war had to serve in the regiment.


  On June 10, 1919 in the city of Szeged the “White Guard” was formed led by Admiral Horthy.  He and his troops soon overran the area all the way to Siófok by August 9th.  There were no battles in Baranya and the men returned home but shortly afterwards the “White Terror” began throughout Hungary.  Mágocs was spared much of that except for its Jewish population who were the special targets of Horthy’s death squads.


  In 1920 the Town Council in Mágocs responded to the intensified efforts of the Horthy government to assimilate its remaining minorities who were primarily those who were German-speaking.  Special language laws were passed and others were forthcoming when the Council claimed the right to call its own parish clergy and in effect actually elected one, Joseph Leh who was German-speaking.  The Bishop of Pécs refused to comply and sent them another priest who was Hungarian-speaking.  On his arrival he was met by a mob of over five hundred and he soon left town.  He was followed by seven others in quick succession until the arrival of Stephan Braun.  But there was a negative reaction to him as well because they had not been involved in the process.


  The issue of the “minorities” or “nationalities” as others put it, effected all aspects of political life and national development after 1920 with the accession of Horthy to the position of Regent of Hungary.  The chasm simply widened and give birth to a German “nationalist” movement which was identified by the notary in Bikal who recognized that it was apparent throughout the whole district.  This was the reaction of the Hungarian nationalist’s to the Treaty of Trianon and their identification of the minorities as traitors and undesirables in Hungary.  Hungarian would now become the language of instruction in all schools regardless of the wishes of the pupils’ parents.  But this stood in the face of Hungary’s acceptance of the minority rights guaranteed in the Treaty of Versailles.  Jakob Bleyer who served in Horthy’s administration as the Minister of Nationalities raised the issue in parliament and he was dismissed from his position.  A wave of hatred erupted.  The message was clear and simple.  If the Germans were not prepared to become Hungarian they were free to go back to Germany.  Hungary for the Hungarian-speaking.


  This in effect was the ideology of Horthy’s followers, a rampant racist nationalism undergirded with a deep religiosity and anti-Semitism.  So that the perpetrators of what followed was the joint effort of the state organization and the churches, the spiritual and political swords in public life.  On February 26, 1921 the Ministry for Minorities’ Issues that had been led by Jakob Bleyer was made a department of the Ministry of the Interior.  The only voice of the minorities in the government had been silenced.  In the years ahead the issue was now experienced as the “the school question.”


  A new school regulation, Law 4800, was passed by the Bethlen government in 1923.  In the future there were three types of schools that were possible for the minorities.  The parents of the children were to be consulted by the decision makers as to which type would apply in their case.  If there were 40 pupils belonging to a single minority in a community the parents could choose one of the following:  Type A:  the mother tongue was the language of instruction and Hungarian was a compulsory subject.  Type B:  in which both languages were used in instruction and Type C:  in which Hungarian was the language of instruction and the mother tongue of the pupils was a subject.  In all three types of schools religion would be taught in the mother tongue of the pupils.


  The local decision had to be made by September 9th of the school year 1923/1924.  The implementation of the regulation was often hindered and sabotaged by the authorities as well as by the teachers and clergy.  It was common practice that whenever the parents opted for the Type B school the Type C school went into effect.  In many communities the officials made the decision without the involvement of the parents.  The government quietly accepted the situation.  The Type A school was the choice of the parents in Mágocs but the priest overrode them and they ended up with the Type C school.


  On June 15, 1923 Jacob Bleyer founded the Ungarländischen Deutschen Volksbildungsvereins (UDV) as a cultural and educational society to preserve and maintain the language, heritage, customs and traditions of the German-speaking population of Hungary.  Local chapters were formed to carry out the objectives of the organization and the first local groups were formed in southern Baranya and gradually moved northwards.  One of their crowning achievements was the development of local German libraries and singing groups and  brass bands which led to a mass music festival held in Mágocs on June 20, 1934 with well over 15,000 participants.  It had taken a year to get permission to hold it from the suspicious national government and wary county officials.  Apparently singing was subversive if done in another language.  Each local group that was represented wore its traditional village costume and carried a banner with the name of their village such as some of the following that took part:  Nagy Hajmas, Hidas, Ráckozar, Mekényes, Izmény, Nagy Ág, Kéty, Majós, Kalaznó, Bikal, Zsibrik, Kismányok, Gerényes, Mucsfa, Keszӧhidegkút, Kaposszechcsӧ, Varsád, Tófü, Batáapáti, Csikostӧttós and Felsӧnána as well as countless others.  The speech made at the event by Dr. Gustav Gratz emphasized the need to work for harmony between the Hungarian and German populations.  He did not deny there were problems and much misunderstanding but at least some progress was being made.


  This so-called “nationalist movement” among the Germans of Swabian Turkey was closely watched by the authorities and regular reports were sent to Budapest.  After the death of Jacob Blayer in 1934, Franz Basch appeared in the County as the General Secretary of the UDV and held various events in the district.  At the end of 1934 the Chief Justice of the Mágocs District reported that the UDV members in his area were distancing themselves from the new General Secretary and his leadership.


  There was a movement to support Basch to become the head of the organization.  There were inner tensions among the leaders and they all emerged at a conference held in Mágocs on January 20, 1937.  The central leadership of the UDV sent representatives to the conference.  Several years previously these men had left the association because of the political role Basch sought for the organization but with the ouster of Basch and his cronies from the UDV they had returned and were in leadership positions.  There were 200 participants at the conference who responded to their presentations with cold silence.  Their arguments went unheard and the honorary chairman of the event, Stephan Schuster,  thanked them for their presentation and informed them that the local organizations sided with Franz Basch and his followers.


  In 1938 the First Vienna Accords were awarded and Hungarian troops marched into Slovakia with Hitler’s support and blessings and some men from Mágocs were involved.  Prime Minister Imredy then gave his  permission for the founding of the Volksbund der Deutschen in Ungarn (VDU) under the Führer Franz Basch and became the official representative of the Germans of Hungary in their dealings with the Horthy government.  It was officially founded in Budapest on November 26, 1938.  Stephan Schuster of Mágocs was elected to the governing board and the VDU of Jacob Bleyer was relegated to the backwater and seen as a tool of the Hungarian state and went out of existence less than a month later on December 23, 1938.  The dye had been cast.


  On January 1, 1939 the Chief Justice of Baranya reported to the County administration that the Pan-German movement as he called it was very much alive.  Agitators were at work because they were unafraid of the Hungarian government because Hitler would speak on their behalf and they assumed that Hitler would soon incorporate Swabian Turkey into the German Reich.  Another Anschluss just like Austria.  Stephan Schuster received an anonymous death threat calling him to desist from his Pan-German activities.  The letter was published in the Volksbund newspaper.   On March 26, 1939 he received a second threatening letter and that same night his front window was smashed.  The guilty were never apprehended.


  Once the Articles of Incorporation of the Volksbund were ratified by the Hungarian parliament local branches of the organization were then organized.  With regard to Mágocs the Chief Justice of Baranya County reported the following on September 2, 1939:  “It appears that a division has occurred among the youth over the extremes being advocated by the “German Movement”.  As a result the youth loyal to Hungary and the youth members of the Volksbund hold separate dances.  It was said that a map had arrived from Germany that showed the new proposed borders of the German Reich.  The new frontier would be at Dӧbrӧkӧz.  Stephan Schuster, Michael Hirth and Joseph Schreck are organizing a local chapter of the Volksbund.  They do so secretly.  About 80 have signed up.  The population as a whole is standing back from doing so.”


  Word had also come to Mágocs about the founding of the Treu zur Heimat Movement (Loyal to the Homeland) in opposition to the Volksbund on April 13, 1939.  A local branch was organized in Mágocs in July of 1940.


  During 1941 the battle for the loyalty of the Germans of Hungary was underway.  The local priest opposed the Volksbund, especially because the young men in it avoided Mass and the young women attended dances, festivals and other events instead of church.  The official Board of the VDU in Budapest appointed Hans Christ of Mekényes as the District Führer and he moved to their headquarters in Mágocs.


  On March 15, 1939 the Carpatho-Ukraine was annexed by Hungary and northern Transylvania was occupied by Hungarian troops on September 5, 1940 and on April 11,  1941 the Batschka and Lower Baranya were also annexed.  With this expansion of the territory of Hungary there was also a sizeable increase in the number of Germans now part of “Greater” Hungary.  Each of these German groups experienced different developments since their separation from Hungary after the First World War and all of them had to be integrated and were placed under the jurisdiction of the Volksbund.


  The notorious Census of 1941 which would have tragic consequences for most of the respondents was carried out by the Hungarian government in Mágocs with the following results:  There were 2,837 inhabitants who claimed German as their mother tongue out of a total of 3,703 persons.  105 others claimed to be Jewish.


  The Hungarian government in conjunction with the German Reich agreed upon the first voluntary recruitment drive for Germans in Hungary to serve in the SS in February 1942.  An intensive campaign was carried out in Mágocs and the district.  In the Spring the men from Mágocs who were recruited were called up to serve in the Waffen-SS.  What was also noticeable was that anti-Semitism was on the rise.


  In 1943 on May 22nd the second “voluntary” SS recruitment was agreed upon by the two governments.  The rumour that families of volunteers would be deported to Germany had an adverse effect on recruitment.  Despite that there were another twelve volunteers from Mágocs who joined the Waffen-SS.  While the recruitment took place the windows of Jewish homes were smashed and 81 grave markers were overturned in their cemetery.


  On March 19, 1944 the German Army occupied Hungary and a new puppet government was set up under Stojay and his Arrow Cross Party (Nazi).  Then on March 29, 1944 the order for all Jews to wear the yellow star of David was decreed; Jewish homes were taken over and the Jews were sent to Ghettos in the major towns at the end of April.  This was carried out by local authorities and the police.  The local anti-Semites looted the vacated Jewish properties.  The Jews of Mágocs were driven from their homes and taken to Mohács where they were robbed and then driven into the Ghetto.  They were hidden from the outside world and under heavy guard.  The deportations from Mohács occurred from June 30th to July 9th, 1944.  Destination:  Auschwitz.


  On April 14th the final and third SS recruitment began.  This was a compulsory draft and membership in the Volksbund played no role in it all, except that all men in positions of leadership locally, in the district and central office were excluded.  They were the only exemptions.  During the last week of June the first 40 conscripts were sent to East Prussia for training.  The much larger group of men left in July and the older men left in August.


  As autumn began there was great unrest.  With the advance of the oncoming Red Army  columns of refugee treks passed through Baranya and Mágocs in the face of constant rain and cold temperatures.  At the beginning of November the Klein Richter  (a local official who announced important news to be conveyed to the population) beat his drum at the various intersections of the village and informed the villagers of how close the Russians were.  Most of the population and the authorities preferred to remain and take their chances with a Russian occupation than to risk flight.  Only fifteen families decided to evacuate.  They left on November 11, 1944.


  The II Honvéd Army Corps were quartered in Mágocs.  They left in mid-November.  The last German troops left at night on November 30, 1944.  Shortly after midnight on December 1st the Russian troops marched into Mágocs without meeting any opposition.  They remained about a week until troops from Sásd joined them to occupy Dombovár.  The defence of Dombovár by Hungarian and German units lasted for some time and men and women were taken from Mágocs to dig trenches and repair roads.


  On Christmas Eve after midnight Mass, the priest was forced to announce:  “Everyone go home to your houses and pack all of your necessities and wait for orders.”  Everyone thought that an evacuation was imminent because they had heard of a new German counter offensive having begun that day.  Later in the night accompanied by the beating of drums a list of names was read and those who were included were to prepare food for fourteen days and dress in warm clothing and assemble at the market place at 9:00 a.m.  All of those on the list were members of the Volksbund.  In the morning the market place was empty.  After repeated drumming and the threat made that entire families would be taken most of those on the list began to assemble.  They were loaded on horse drawn wagons and headed in the direction of Sásd but half way there they turned around and returned home.  For many it would be their last night with family and friends.


  On the morning of December 27, 1944 the wagon column left again for Sásd.  Some of the people were released.  After a short pause the rest set out on foot to Magyarszék, Manfa, Pécs and the Lakics barracks.  Their marching column had been guarded by Russian soldiers and they had walked for four hours.  They were quartered in the horse stables of the Hussar barracks which they first had to clean out.  Most of them thought they were being taken to the Batschka to bring in the corn harvest.  After two weeks they were loaded on cattle cars with the doors nailed shut behind them and the train travelled across Hungary into Romania and on to Russia.  They passed the network of labour camps at Stalino and went on to Odessa.  They finally arrived in Grosny in the Caucuses.  Later some were sent deep into the Ural Mountains.


  Early in January 2-06, 1945 a second convoy was assembled in Mágocs.  They were brought to Dombovár where everyone spent the day in a school.  They were taken by horse and wagon to Tófü and spent the night in Mӧcseny.  The next day they reached Baja.  On January 12th they were loaded onboard trains and a three week journey locked in cattle cars began.  On February 3, 1945 they reached Schachty/Dombas in Ukraine by Stalingrad.  There were 900 persons both men and women in the convoy.  They had to build their own barracks.  Women were given injections to prevent menstruation.  One young girl died as a result.  They worked in the coal mines.  Many died of typhus and dysentery.  Half of the survivors returned to Hungary in 1948.  The others left late in 1949 and would end up in Debrécen for six months and on May 5, 1950 they were sent to the Russian Zone of occupation in Germany.  Others who returned to Mágocs discovered that their families had been deported to Germany.


  The third convoy from Mágocs who were sent to Russia left on January 22, 1945.  There were about thirty persons involved.  This group arrived in Voroschilovgrad and the camp at Verchy-Krivogra.  There they worked in gravel pits and coal mines.  Some of them returned to Hungary as early as 1947 and when they arrived in Debrécen several were sent to Budapest as “politicals” and sent to the Tolonchaz prison.


                               The first convoy                103 persons.

                               The second                          22 persons

                               The third                              26 persons


  There were a total of 151 persons.  82 women and 69 men.  There were 43 of them that died in the labour camps.  8 women and 35 men.


  After war’s end in May of 1945 German families were dispossessed in order to make room for “new” colonists.  Most of them were Hungarians expelled from Slovakia.  The German population were forced to find a place to live and many left for Somogy and Tolna County.  In the end 1,800 German inhabitants of Mágocs were expelled from Hungary on the basis of the Potsdam Declaration on May 4, 1948 and were sent to the Russian occupied Zone of Germany passing through Pirna on their way to Saxony.


  It is not known if any of the former 105 Jewish residents of Mágocs survived the war.  There were 217 German men who lost their lives on the frontlines.  From among those who were prisoners of war in the Soviet Union there were ten men who were sent to forced labour at Tiszalok after arriving in Debrécen on their way home.  They were all released in late December 1953 and were sent to Camp Piding in Bavaria.

2 Responses to “ Mágocs a Market Town in Baranya County ”

  1. Sandra Hoffman Tubbs says:

    Thanks so much for the great translation of this part of Franz Teufel’s book. Our families go back to the settling of Baranya Magocs back when it was re-inhabited in the 1730s and 1740s. Can’t say exactly when, since handmade paper, charcoal ink, and goose quill “pens” don’t make for easy reading of very old documents. Translating Hungary and German into English is not an easy task. I truly appeciate it.

  2. facebook says:

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