Gusti in Northern Transylvania The Gustist Sociology Pursued by József Venczel in the 1940-1945 Period
Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania
Abstract. In this paper I shall analyse the effects of Bucharest School of Sociology on József Venczel’s work during World War II. Without presenting in detail the events which led Venczel to turn to the Bucharest School of Sociology, led by Dimitrie Gusti, presented in previous studies (Telegdy 2014), I shall focus on those aspects which prove that Venczel remained a disciple of Romanian sociology pursued by the Bucharest School of Sociology. This is all the more important, taking into account that during 1940-1945 József Venczel was living and working in Cluj, which, in the period under review, was being once again part of Hungary.
Keywords: Gustism, Venczel, Romanian sociology, Transylvanian Hungarian sociology, World War II.
The Interwar Institutional Context
First, it is important to note that in 1935, József Venczel became the founder and editor of the Hitel [Credit] journal, which was started as final proof of the split between J. Venczel and the Erdélyi Fiatalok [Transylvanian Youth], as this new journal practically addressed the same public as the Transylvanian Youth. The essential difference is to be found in the orientation of the two journals towards the knowledge of village life: while Erdélyi Fiatalok [Transylvanian Youth] tried and better understand and reveal the village and the villagers’ life through literary means, the founders of Hitel [Credit] were engaged on the side of scientific research.
About the same time, as an expression of his alienation from the path followed by the Erdélyi Fiatalok [Transylvanian Youth], Venczel also began to publish in the Erdélyi Múzeum [Transylvanian Museum], the publication of the Erdélyi Múzeum Egyesület [Transylvanian Museum Society], founded in 1859, and engaged on the side of the upholding Hungarian science in Transylvania by way of museum exhibitions and scientific publications. After World War I, the exhibits of the Society, handled on contractual bases by the Cluj University, were confiscated by the Romanian government, on grounds of being the legal successor to the contract concluded with the Hungarian government. The assets of the Society, invested in state bonds, were also forfeit, and, being denied any financing from the Romanian government, it mainly survived on the proceeds of donations (Szabó 1942).
Venczel’s connections and his scientific orientation towards the Bucharest School of Sociology, also manifested by forming part of Venczel’s belief concerning the role of intellectuals in Hungarian society in Transylvania, started in the course of 1935, when initially Venczel wrote reviews on three book recently published in Bucharest, signed by leading representatives of the School. These three books were:
– Gusti, D., Sociologia monografică, ştiinţă a realităţii social[e]. Studiu introductiv la volumul lui Traian Herseni: Teoria monografiei sociale [Gusti, D.: The monographic sociology, science of the social reality. Introductory study to Traian Herseni’s The theory of monographic sociology]
– Herseni, Traian, Teoria monografiei sociologice. Cu un studiu introductiv: Sociologia monografică, ştiinţă a realităţii sociale, de D. Gusti. [Traian Herseni, The theory of monographic sociology. With an introductory study by Gusti. D: The monographic sociology, science of the social reality]
– Stahl, H. H., Tehnica monografiei sociologice. [Stahl, H.H. The techniques of monographic sociology].
The reviews of these books were published in the journal Erdélyi Múzeum [Transylvanian Museum], proving Venczel’s final break with the Transylvanian Youth Movement. At the same time, in the next issue, 7-9, the same journal – Erdélyi Múzeum [Transylvanian Museum] – there appeared Venczel’s first important field work, A falumunka és a falumunka-mozgalom [Rural labor and the rural labor movement], which later appeared as an independent publication in the series Erdélyi Tudományos Füzetek [Transylvanian Scientific Notebooks], and which basically sums up the Hungarian specialized literature and initiates the readership in the concepts and methods developed by the Bucharest School of Sociology. But this work is much more than a simple review, since it provides a broad description of the history of this movement and of the more or less successful attempts of the Hungarians from Transylvanian in this domain. This work stands out, however, through the fact that the monographic method developed by Professor D. Gusti and his disciples is placed in a broader, international context, within which J. Venczel refers to both the results of authors from Hungary and from the West, especially from Germany and France.
József Venczel also used this study as a means to express a constructive criticism about the Hungarian attempts of rural labour in Transylvania, marking and the way which is supposed to be taken by the Hungarian society involved in rural labor in order to become a professional one, rising to the standards of the Bucharest School of Sociology. After presenting this prominent antecedent in J. Venczel’s scientific life, I would like to give some more details about the Hitel [Credit] (1) journal; the fact that he was its founder and redactor played a major part in Venczel’s scientific and public career, and the journal also grew in importance to becoming an important aspect of the Hungarian scene of social sciences in Transylvania.
The evolution of the Hitel journal can be divided into three periods. The first period was the briefest, beginning with the first issue of 1935 and ending in July the same year. During this time, the magazine was published monthly, its editors being in effect László Makkai and József Venczel, and with István Koós-Kocsis as a nominal editor. In the first period, the journal outspokenly propagated the idea achieving a real national self-knowledge with the help of the younger generation, those born in Transylvania in the 1920s. In this first format, magazine editors proposed that, in addition to putting forward the results of field research, it should become a means to bring literature of high quality to the readers – both Hungarian and Romanian, German, and universal. As a result, outside scientific works, every number contained stories or poems of eminent members of Romanian literature translated into Hungarian.
Despite all efforts, this format lasted for only six months. The reasons are manifold, and I will mention them only briefly. The biggest problem was related to the financing of the journal, which in the absence of a supporter group and due to non-paying subscribers could no longer appear. Apart from the financial problem, the two above-named editors were unable to be there for the journal during the crisis: Venczel was publishing in the Erdélyi Múzeum [Transylvanian Museum] journal as well, even in the mentioned period working on his draft of the A falumunka és a falumunka- mozgalom [Rural labor and the rural labor movement].
The second format of the magazine began in January 1936. After the collapse of the first editorial team, Venczel formed a new one with the participation of Dezső Albrecht (2), Sándor Vita (3), and Béla Keki (4), keeping the name of the journal. In this new format, it succeeded in finding its scope, becoming a journal with quarterly appearance.
Regarding the differences between the two periods of the journal, in this second version literary works were no longer published, the journal being open only for scientific publishing, with possible implications in the Romanian social policies, mainly those affecting the Hungarian minority. The accepted standard was the high level and professionalism of the published studies. Although Hitel [Credit] was not an ideological journal, focusing primarily on “self-revision”, based on editorials, it was, however, rated as a magazine of a politically right orientation, having got different inside groups with more or less of a tinge towards right-wing extremism. Avowedly, the magazine wanted to be the forum of those young professionals who were able and willing to promote national self-awareness objectives, based on a positivist scientific outlook, consistent with the ideas of the Bucharest School of Sociology. In the words of J. Venczel, this self-knowledge had to be characterized by a frank criticism about and towards ourselves. In his own words:
“speaking of the Transylvanian Hungarian social perspective we shouldn’t understand some highbrow theory. It is a simple form of self- knowledge. On the one hand, a kind of statistical report on the demographic proportion of our people, its geographical spread, distribution by occupation, the volume, and economic opportunities of our forces, the situation of public education, sanitation, the role of ecclesiastical and social organizations, our cultural weight, social-economic, and political strength in the Romanian state, and on the other hand, a honest critical reflection: reviewing and assessing our opportunities, our untapped economic forces, institutions, and cultural bodies, legal or medical organizations, absent and necessary, the contradictions in our social development. Including, of course, an evolutionary diagram of the life of the Hungarians in Transylvania, as it was constituted after the geopolitical transformations: what remained, what was lost, what was missing, and what have we created?” (Venczel 1936, 77).
The idea of national self-awareness was a crucial issue in the journals supervised by Dimitrie Gusti as well, who said about Sociologie Românească [Romanian Sociology] that “[t]he journal, which we put out today to the Romanian public, as well as Archiva pentru Ştiinţa şi Reforma Socială [Archive for Science and Social Reform] “will be a forum dedicated to Romanian social Truth” (Gusti 1936, 8). The difference between The Archive for Science and Social Reform and The Romanian Sociology was that
“[i] n the Archive will appear, as until now, studies that are more developed than a magazine article, although not a volume, and contributions that will connect with foreign sociological science; while Romanian Sociology will comment and primarily communicate facts and data collected from the rich archive of the material gathered in our villages by the sociology department of the Institutul Social Român [Romanian Social Institute]” (Gusti 1936, 8).
A clear evidence that J. Venczel considered the work of the Gustist school as an example becomes apparent from the following quote:
“Not only for the pillars of our new public awareness is evident that Transylvanian Hungarian social perspective is not meaningless, but among them there are some supporting, relying on scientific and practical results, that without a full knowledge of the society and a correct vision upon it we cannot speak of social building (ex. Professor Gusti)” (Venczel 1936, 79).
According to these ideas, the journal Hitel [Credit] was somewhere between the two magazines, as it basically followed the format of Sociologie Românească [Romanian Sociology], but it also published larger studies over several numbers. I do not think, however, that the simultaneous appearance of the two journals – Sociologia Românească [Romanian Sociology] and Hitel [Credit] was incidental – both proposing a realistic and objective national knowledge, removing themselves from the ranks of current political trends and daily magazine publishing. What seems a plausible answer – given that the economic, political, and social contexts were similar in both cases – is that both the editorial team led by Dimitrie Gusti and the editorial team where J. Venczel was the embodiment of scientific rigour, gave the same in response to the same need and requirement of the readers.
This point of view appears in the first article by Professor Gusti in Sociologie Românească [Romanian Sociology], according to which “[w]e begin with the hope to meet a real need: the knowledge of country movement, which constitutes the only grounds of a true national sociology. The truth does not exist and cannot be found by anything but a continuous and perpetuated experience: verum index sui. (…) In this way Romanian Sociology will not be a mere collection of facts and precepts, but will maintain a Policy and an Ethics of Social Truth, as demonstrated by the science of the Nation” (Gusti 1936, 8). This quote is comparable to Venczel’s idea, according to which “yet, we need to clarify at the beginning that self-knowledge and honesty compels us to bluntly refuse the illusions of those who expect miracles” (Venczel 1935, 22), revealing the essential similarity: the need for understanding the social reality without illusions and half truths.
Another landmark that can explain the simultaneous launching of the two journals may be that in the shared political context, the tension in the political life by the polarization towards the extremes was steadily growing. As he was this polarization, both Gusti and J. Venczel felt a real need for a platform where the publications of the scientific community can find a place regardless of the political orientation of the writers, which could be manifested in other daily newspapers, the only standard being the high scientific level that unquestionably requested the objectivity of a good researcher. Furthermore, on the political neutrality of the Hitel [Credit], Sándor Balázs claims – quoting Zoltán Szabó – that this endeavour was encouraged by some authors in Hungary. According to this quote, which originally appeared even in the Hitel [Credit] journal, Zoltán Szabó stated: “the sociography or the sociologist can be neither right nor left-oriented, in the common sense of the words” (Szabó 1936, 171). As a result, it can be concluded that the appearance of the Hitel [Credit] was the same answer to the challenges and social issues of the day as was the Sociologia Românească [Romanian Sociology] journal, and that Venczel József spent the second semester of the school year 1935/1936 in Bucharest, in the company of the members of the Bucharest School of Sociology further helped this rapprochement among representatives of different nationalities belonging to the same generation, on the objective platform of social sciences.
After World War I, the University of Cluj was initially re-named the University of “Upper Dacia” and after 3 November 1919, Vasile Parvan inaugurated the “King Ferdinand I” University, which introduced study lines only in Romanian, leading to a significant reduction of Hungarian students in this university. As a suggestive presentation of Hungarian sentiment after the dictate of Trianon, this decrease in the number of Hungarian students who enrolled in Romanian colleges was mainly due to the following two reasons: firstly, an objective cause was the language barrier, as before 1920, Romanian language had not been taught to the Hungarians from Transylvania. A second, much more subjective reason stemmed from the negative attitudes towards the new, Romanian institutions. As a result, state schools in Transylvania were regarded with a certain resentment, leading to the extreme that every Hungarian student enrolled in a State college in Romania would be considered a traitor (Vita 2014, 42). This resentment was significantly fuelled by the sequence of events that led to the dissolution of the Hungarian University of Cluj. Initially, the Romanian government, under the leadership of Nicolae Iorga, was in favour of maintaining the university. Arguments in favour of this decision were multiple: at first, Iorga believed that each nationality has the right to a specific culture, and high-quality education system is part of this culture. Secondly, Iorga knew cultural and spiritual life in Romania well, and he did not want professors that would lead to a provincialisation of the Cluj University.
He proposed setting up a new university in Cluj with Romanian as the teaching language, which initially would have taught science applied sciences such as mining, forestry, and trade. N. Iorga knew that creating a good university takes decades or centuries, and as such, the merger of the two universities appeared only as a distant goal. This strategy was endorsed by the majority of Romanian intellectuals.
But on the stage of Romanian national and educational policy Onisifor Ghibu made his appearance, who, by his nationalist rhetoric, obtained the dissolution of the Hungarian University of Cluj. O. Ghibu states in his subjective argumentation about minority rights to a higher education in Romania that the Saxons of Transylvania, due to their low number cannot have any claim to a German university, and Hungarians are not a nation of a culture that would require a Hungarian university (5). The objective arguments refer to the antecedents of the time, namely that the University of Strasbourg was given over to the French authorities, and the University of Bratislava, to the Czechoslovak authorities. Therefore, by its actions, Ghibu managed to fulfil his aspirations, and the university professors from Cluj were ordered to swear an oath of loyalty that they, referring to university autonomy, they refused to take on May 12, 1919. Most of the faculty chose to go to Szeged, where the Ferenc József University continued to exist. Even the same day, the takeover of the university was enforced, although Ghibu received a mandate to do this as early as 8 May 1919. On 3 November 1919, the courses began at the Romanian state University of Cluj (6).
In this institutional context, those who wanted to go to college usually had to choose between two alternatives: they could go to Hungary to learn the chosen profession in Hungarian (usually to Szeged and Budapest), or they could enrol in the faculty of theology, where Hungarian remained the teaching language. Choosing this alternative – enrolling in theological colleges – explain why a significant group of the Hungarian publicists in Transylvania during the interwar period were priests of various denominations. Therefore, this basic training of these publicists designated a different style to problematize and to describe the issues they perceived in the everyday life of the Hungarians in Transylvania.
By the late 1920s, this attitude towards educational institutions in Romania gradually transformed, due to two major changes: the Hungarian youth schooled in the second decade of the last century learned the Romanian language, since it was introduced as a mandatory official language in all schools in Transylvania; since 1930, the Romanian State did not recognize the diplomas issued by the Hungarian state. As a result, increasingly more Hungarian students enrolled to colleges having Romanian as the teaching language, eventually leading to the establishment of a small community of Hungarian students in Bucharest, rallied around the “Ferenc Koós” circle.
The Gustism Practiced by József Venczel in 1940-1945
In the aftermath of the Second Vienna Award, signed on August 30, 1940, Northern Transylvania became, once again, part of Hungary. This fundamental change in the political context entailed many changes, both at institutional and personal level. In this study I will present only those changes which directly affected the institutional status of Venczel, and had a direct effect on his work. These major changes reached the bottom and scientific life in Northern Transylvania.
By summarizing the institutional context, I have tried and sketch that particular Hungarian intellectual space in Northern Transylvania, in which Venczel has conducted most of his intellectual labor.
Hitel [Credit] Journal
In 1940, the war between the two competing journals – Hitel [Credit] and Erdélyi Fiatalok [Transylvanian Youth] came to an end. In the case of Erdélyi Fiatalok [Transylvanian Youth] journal, the pursuit of its own policy of not getting involved with anything that has to do with the interwar political life in Transylvania practically led to its self-isolation, and as a result, after the issue no. 2 of 1940, it ceased to exist.
This had a significant effect on Hitel magazine, which remained the only scientific journal in Northern Transylvania. Here I must mention that the left-oriented magazine – Korunk – was also dissolved in 1940, and thus Hitel gained a position of monopoly. At the same time, due to the changes, it was renamed Nemzetpolitikai Szemle [National Political Observatory].
In this new context, Venczel remained one of the editors of the journal and its perception formed – among others – and the Romanian Social Institute, had a marked effect on the conceptual orientation of the magazine. An eloquent example is found even in the editorial article of the first number of the restarted journal. Although the article is signed as “publishers”, it is likely that it was Venczel’s knowledge leaving its mark on the following text:
“A group of people left alone, lacking the beneficial help of the state, and impeded in developing its national existence, needs four groups of activities:
1. Protection of the souls, i.e. protection of the morals,
2. Protection of the bodies, i.e. healthcare,
3. Ensuring their well-being, i.e. protection of the economy,
4. Preserving their culture, i.e. protection of the culture.
These four activities are protected and provided by political activity”.
(Hitel 1940-41, 96)
These four areas are very close to the four areas of activity and intervention of the Bucharest School of Sociology, initiated by Dimitrie Gusti. These areas, which initially (in 1920), according to Mircea Vulcănescu, were three, “its objectives [eg. works towards raising the cultural level of the people] were: a) physical education; b) economic culture; c) development of the soul” (Vulcănescu 1936, 1275). These initial objectives have undergone some changes since Henry H. Stahl’s enumeration already shows four cultures: the culture of health, the culture of work, the culture of the mind, and the culture of the soul (Stahl 1981, 284-301).
The university system was toppled as well. The Ferenc József University was moved back from Szeged to Cluj, whereas Regele Ferdinand I was moved to Sibiu and Timişoara. In 1944, the Hungarian Government asked the teachers, in the light of the current military situation of Hungary in that year, to forfeit the academic year, but the teachers did not comply with this request and began the academic year 1944/1945. The opening ceremony was held in the basement, doubled as a bomb shelter. After the end of World War II and the placement of Northern Transylvania back under Romanian authority, the reconstruction of the university system began once again, the universities changing back their places to where they were before the war.
ETI (Erdélyi Tudományos Intézet) [Scientific Institute of Transylvania] Besides the Ferencz József University in Cluj, respectively the Erdélyi Múzeum Intézet [Transylvanian Museum Society], I must present another scientific institute that played a key role in Hungarian scientific life in Northern Transylvania. The Scientific Institute of Transylvania was founded in 1940 in order to address scientific issues specific to Transylvania. As a result, the main areas of interest of the Institute were the humanities, such as history and ethnographic analysis, but its scientific repertoire also included statistical analysis. The units of analysis were both people living in Transylvania and from neighbouring areas. The internal structure of the Institute was organized into 11 departments: “Geography, ethnography, history, archaeology, sociology, linguistics, Hungarian-Romanian relations, Hungarian-Saxon relations, literature, anthropology, and physiology” (Tamás 19, 412). The human basis of the Institute was constituted of prominent representatives of Hungarian scientific life, mainly from Transylvania, being appointed as guest or associate professors. In this institutional framework, Venczel appears as an associate professor of the Institute, which he also led for a short time in 1945.
It was in part this institutional affiliation the chance that offered Venczel a scientific framework to put in practice his knowledge acquired in Bucharest, at the Romanian Social Institute.
Venczel’s main research field within the Institute was the analysis of the actual effects of the Agrarian Reform in Romania, specifically in Transylvania. In this paper I will present only the context of the research and the shared scientific outlook between the members of Sociological School of Bucharest. I have developed this theme in detail in another article (Telegdy 2015), whereas the agrarian policy in Northern Transylvania has been detailed by Tóth-Bartos (Tóth-Bartos 2015).
The first critics of the agrarian reform in Romania coming from members of the Bucharest School of Sociology were made even after the period when József Venczel was in Bucharest. In 1937, in the Romanian Sociology appear the first articles by Mircea Vulcănescu (Vulcănescu 1937), N. Cornăţeanu (Conrăţeanu 1937), and R. Cresin (Cresin 1937). Both the critical spirit and the methods used by the three appear in the works of Venczel, adapted and developed.
Taking advantage of the freedom offered by the new political situation, Venczel based his initial analysis on the 1910 census, the last by that date which was conducted in Transylvania by the Hungarian authorities. It should be noted here that Venczel does not appeal to this particular database only because it was made by the Hungarian authorities, but also because the subsequent agricultural censuses, conducted by the Romanian authorities were mistaken in several respects. The first result of this analysis was published in Italian in 1941 in Budapest, entitled “La Transilvania e La Riforma Agraria Rumena”. In 1942 he publishes in Cluj, in Hungarian, an extensive analysis of the effects of the 1921 agrarian reform. Without presenting in detail the results of this research (7), the conclusion that can be inferred is that while the members of Bucharest School of Sociology – as M. Vulcănescu, R. Cresin, or N. Cornăţeanu – published in the Sociologie Românească [Romanian Sociology] articles in which they show, by analysis of the land reform performed in the Old Kingdom of Romania in 1921 – was more motivated by populist politics than by economic reasoning, Venczel also proves, in his analysis, that the land reform in Romania – realised in the new territories in 1921, as well – was more motivated by national politics than economic reasoning (8).
In 1943 he publishes a volume that concludes the results of the Romanian land reform after going through all the documents that had been published on this issue, pointing out the different methods of calculation used to manipulate the final results of the reform assessment. In this topic also falls his work published in 1944, entitled A Volt Határőrezredek Vagyonának Sorsa [The faith of the assets of the former border companies] which presents the effects of the agrarian reform on the property of companies at the Transylvanian border.
What the prominent members of the Bucharest School of Sociology – who stayed in Bucharest or in Romania after the Vienna Dictate – and Venczel have in common is that they remained followers of the knowledge of reality, because they believed that a realistic future of a nation can be only built on a basis consisting of real data. As a result, many followers of scientific reality were subject to sufferings under various political regimes whose operating logic was based on false premises and ideals, and who could be exposed by these champions of reality. As a conclusion, we can say that in this politically tense period the real scientists, motivated by their objective knowledge of reality, belonged to the same élite group, able to exceed the current polemics, and to mutually recognize the scientific value of their colleagues.
Monographic Research at Unguraş Although József Venczel was not an employee of the Ferencz József University in Cluj, his name was well-known in the Hungarian scientific circles of Cluj. An eloquent proof for that is the fact that Venczel was appointed as the manager of the largest monographic research – in the Gustist sense of the word – performed by Hungarian students. Although the research was initiated by students who were members of the Social Sciences and Ethnographic Work Group [Társadalomtudományi Néprajzi Munkaközösség] which operated under the aegis “KMDSZ” (9), [The Hungarian Students’ Union of Cluj], this institutional difference was overcome and the analyzed documents show that Venczel accepted this appointment and began to prepare the monographic campaign.
As a clear demonstration that Venczel practiced monographs in the spirit of the Bucharest School of Sociology results from the fact that not only the field practice was similar, but most stages of preparation were, as well. In the spirit of multidisciplinarity, therefore, in the recruitment phase, Venczel and the other organizers tried and gather students from different fields of science.
This recruitment process yielded the following results: the first monographic campaign involved a total of 33 people, out of which 5 girls and 28 boys and, by their professional formation there were law students, medical students, students preparing to become economics, teachers, Roman Catholic, and Protestant priests, and a student of agriculture.
Besides ensuring the multidisciplinarity, Venczel followed the preparation steps learned in Bucharest, as during the run-up period the students and attended a one-week professional training session. In this period of preparation, Venczel invited the most prominent representatives of the areas aimed in the research, and, as a result, the participants received an “intellectual starting package” even before moving on to the fieldwork.
Without getting into details, I have to say that, on the field, the similarities with campaigns organized by Professor Gusti or his collaborators continued. This similarity can be detected beginning with the camp’s daily schedule of the camp, and continuing with the methods of gathering information, the way of divisioning the research themes by teams, and the meetings with the students, directly supervised and coordinated by Venczel. Of course, the similarities continue in the development of the research reports as well. Even if the vast majority of the documents were lost, due to an article signed by Venczel himself, we can figure out how the data collection was organized during this first monographic campaign.
Outside the similarities, it should be noted that there were also notable differences between the campaign organized by Venczel and those organized by the close members of the Bucharest School of Sociology. These differences can be divided into two categories: the first category is of those differences that were imposed by the objective constraints. I think that in this category is enough indication that the financial basis of Professor Gusti and Venczel’s researches were not by far of the same magnitude: while Professor Gusti had got a Royal Foundation to support his work, Venczel had to organize a monographic campaign in the eve of Hungary’s entering the war, in times where the vast majority of funds were automatically redirected to the army. On another level were the different views of Professor Gusti’s various disciples, such as H.H. Stahl and A. Golopenţia who, on the field, tried and tweak the method of monographic sociology in the same way as Venczel tried and further develop this method, that is, synthetizing the knowledge gathered from Hungarian authors with the vast treasure of ethnologic knowledge stored in Transylvanian scientific life.
Nonetheless, in spite of all the changes, Venczel remained committed to the methods of the Bucharest School of Sociology and never lost sight of the basic scientific characteristics of the method – the Unguraş monographic campaign still remained, therefore, a campaign carried out in the Gustist paradigm.
(1) The importance of Széchenyi’s work in J. Venczel’s conceptions and scientific works is presented in his article published in the June 1936 issue of the journal Romanian Sociology, entitled “From National Self-Awareness to the Science of the Nation – Research Notes over Attempts of Hungarian Village Research”, where it develops the idea that there is a spiritual connection between Széchenyi’s perception of the nation’s self-knowledge with the similar ideas of Dimitrie Gusti. As he kept the name of the magazine Hitel [Credit], Venczel make a direct reference to the work of the same title by I. Széchenyi, suggesting the ultimate goal of the magazine, which is serving an objective national self- knowledge with the help of social sciences.
(2) Dezső Albrecht (26 February 26, 1908, Huedin – September 6, 1976, Paris, France) was a lawyer, journalist, editor, and politician. He graduated from the Faculty of Law in Cluj. He takes part in restarting the Hitel [Credit] journal, where after an allusion to a new order, made in the first issue’s editorial, is called a Fascist by Edgar Balogh, the publisher of the journal Korunk [Our time], a convinced Communist. This mark accompanied him in the collective memory of Transylvanian Hungarian literature, despite the fact that, for example, the editorial team from Hitel participated along with that of Korunk [Our time], in organizing the meeting in Targu Mures. Between 1941 and 1944, he is the executive vicepresident of Erdélyi Párt [Transylvanian Party].
(3) Sándor Vita (February 1, 1904, Sibiu – January 26, 1993, Budapest, Hungary) was a writer specializing in economics and an editor. After graduating from the Bethlen College from Aiud, he attends the Budapesti Kereskedelmi Akadémia [Commercial Academy of Budapest] and Vienna. After returning to Transylvania, in addition to positions held as an economist, he is involved in organizing the youth. He is a member of the editorial team of the journal Hitel [Credit]. In the period 1940- 1944, he is a member of the Hungarian Parliament, delegated by the Erdélyi Párt [Transylvanian Party], where he represents the moderate line – openly opposing the deportation of Jews after 1944. From 1944 on, he is a member of the faction which began negotiations with the leftist intelligentsia members and signed – together with Imre Miko – Miklós Horthy’s memorandum asking the exit of Hungary exit from the war.
(4) Béla Kéki (December 30, 1907, Petroşani – April 5, 1993, Budapest, Hungary) was a librarian, editor, and music critic. After graduating from the Roman Catholic High School in Targu Mures, he finished his studies in Cluj, specializing in Hungarian literature, pedagogy, and aesthetics. He becomes an assistant of the Lyceum Library, where Venczel worked, and it is there that they must have met. Since 1936, he is an editor at Hitel [Credit]. After World War II, he becomes a librarian within the Országos Széchenyi Könyvtár [National Széchenyi Library] in Budapest, and finally retires as ex- Deputy chairman of the Műszaki Egyetem Központi Könytára [Central Library of the Technical University] in Budapest.
(5) Bíró, S. (1997). A kolozsvári egyetem román uralom alatt [The University of Cluj under the Romanian domination]. Magyar Kisebbség [Hungarian Minority], 1997, III. 3-4. (http://www.jakabffy.ro/magyarkisebbseg/ index.php?action=cimek&cikk=M970312.HTM, accessed on 8/30/2014)
(6) Cseke, P. (2009) Az Erdélyi Fiatalok Történelemszemlélete [The view on history of the Transilvanian Youth]. Kisebbségkutatás [Minority Research], 2009, 4. (http://www.hhrf.org/kisebbsegkutatas/kk_2009_04/ cikk.php?id=1798, accessed on 8/30/2014)
(7) For a better understanding of the political and economic context it should be noted that, in Romania, the Agrarian Reform of 1921 was regulated by two different laws: one regulating the reform carried out in Oltenia, Muntenia, Moldova, and Dobrogea (issued on July 17, 1921), and the other regulating, in a different spirit, the reform in Transylvania, Banat, Crişana, and Maramureş (issued on July 3, 1921).
(8) A more detailed analysis of the article can be read in my paper (Telegdy 2015).
(9) Kolozsvári Magyar Diák Szövetség – The Hungarian Students’ Union of Cluj.
Stahl 1981 – Stahl, Henry H., Amintiri şi Gânduri: din vechea școală a “monografiilor sociologice”, Bucureşti, Minerva (1981)
Szabó 1942 – Szabó, Attila T., Az erdélyi Múzeum-Egyesület Története és Feladata, Cluj, Az Erdélyi Múzeum-Egyesület Kiadása (1942)
Venczel 1942 – Venczel, József, Az Erdélyi Román Földbirtokreform Cluj, Minerva (1942)
Venczel 1944 – Venczel, József, A Volt Határőrezredek Vagyonának Sorsa, Cluj, Erdélyi Múzeum- Egyesület (1944).
Vita 2014 – Vita, Sándor, A Hiteltől a Tisztelt Házig – Visszemlékezés, Napló (1943-1944), Országgyűlési beszédek, Cluj- Napoca, Polis (2014).
b. Chapter in books
Tamás 1941 – Tamás, Lajos, “Az Erdélyi Tudományos Intézet”. In Gyula Bisztray, Attila T. Szabó, Lajos Tamás (eds.), Az erdélyi egyetemi gondolat és a M. Kir. Ferencz József Tudományegyetem Története, Cluj-Napoca (1941), p. 409-416.
Tóth-Bartos 2015 – Tóth-Bartos, András, “Erdélyi magyar birtokpolitika és Venczel József munkássága (1940- 1945)”. In Valér Veres, Tivadar Magyari (eds.), Tanulmányok Venczel József munkásságáról: az erdélyi magyar szociológai társadalomkutatás kezdetei, Cluj- Napoca (2015), p. 87-110.
c. Papers in periodical journals
Bíró 1997 – , Bíró Sándor, A kolozsvári egyetem román uralom alatt. In: Magyar Kisebbség, 3-4 (1997).
Cornăţeanu 1937- Cornăţeanu, Nicolae, Problema lotului ţărănesc, indivizibil. In: Sociologie Românească, 2 (1937).
Cresin 1937 – Cresin, Roman, Care este structura proprietăţii agrare din România? In: Sociologie Românească, 2 (1937).
Cseke 2009 – Cseke, Péter, Az Erdélyi Fiatalok Kissebségkutatás, 4 (2009).
Gusti 1936 – Gusti, Dimitrie, Sociologie Românească. In: Sociologie Românească, 1 (1936).
Imreh 1967 – Imreh, István, A bálványosváraljai falukutatás. In: Korunk, 16 (1967).
Szabó 1936 – Szabó, Zoltán, A társadalomkutatás célja. In: Hitel, 3 (1936).
Telegdy 2015 – Telegdy, Balázs, The 1921 Agrarian Reform in Transylvania and its Reflection in the Considerations of the Members of the Bucharest School of Sociology. In: Belvedere Meridionale, 1 (2015).
Venczel 1935 – József Venczel, Az falumunka és az erdélyi falumunka mozgalom, In. Erdélyi Tudományos Füzetek, 78
Venczel 1936 – Venczel, József, Metamorphosis Transylvaniae. In: Hitel, 1 (1936).
Venczel 1943 – Venczel József, Tallózás az erdélyi földreform román irodalmában. In: Hitel, 1(1943).
Vulcănescu 1936 – Vulcănescu, Mircea, Omagiu Profesorului D. Gusti: II. XXV de ani de Învăţământ Universitar (1910-1935). In: Arhiva Pentru Ştiinţa şi Reforma Socială (1936).
Vulcănescu 1937 – Vulcănescu, Mircea, Excedentul populaţiei agricole şi perspectivele gospodăriei ţărăneşti. In: Sociologie Românească, 2 (1937).