Commemorations were held in Bonyhád, southwest Hungary, to mark the 254th anniversary of the Massacre at Mádéfalva (in Latin: Siculicidium “murder of Szeklers”), in which more than 200 Szekler men, women and children were killed by the Habsburg army in 1764, under the reign of Maria Theresa, because of a revolt.
The imperial troops tried to recruit the independent-minded Szeklers to serve as border patrol guards under Habsburg command. The community, however, resisted, organizing a revolt against the forced military draft. 2500-strong group of Szeklers gathered in Madéfalva and adopted a petition of protest addressed to Maria Theresa. In response, the mercenaries stole into Madéfalva on 7 January 1764 and massacred 200 unsuspected Szeklers and forced thousands to flee across the Carpathian Mountains to Bukovina, retaining their traditions.
The Bukovina Szeklers, as they came to be known, migrated to Backa (Bácska) in Vojvodina in 1941, but were forced to flee again to the south of Hungary in 1944 and 1945, settling in places such as Bonyhad. “The Szeklers make up an important and inalienable part of all that is Hungarian,” stated Árpád János Potápi, Minister of State for Hungarian Communities Abroad. Pótápi himself is a descendant of the Bukovina Szeklers, he said at the commemoration.
In 2015, marking the 251th anniversary of the massacre, the Hungarian government financed the reconstruction of the memorial of Szekler martyrs in Mádéfalva/Siculeni.
via Hungary Matters, bgazrt.hu