Monday, October 08, 2012

13 Martyrs of Arad

The 13 Martyrs of Arad have been idealized by the future generations of Hungarians.

The 13 Martyrs of Arad (Aradi vértanúk) were the thirteen Hungarian rebel military generals that were executed on October 6, 1849 in the city of Arad. The city used to belong to the Kingdom of Hungary but is now in Romania. The generals were executed after the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1848-1849. Forces of the Austrian Empire and Imperial Russia reestablished Hapsburg (Austrian) rule over Hungary after crushing the Hungarian revolution for independence. The generals were captured by the Austrians and executed to make sure that Hungary would never again rebel against the Hapsburg Empire and seek independence.

The 13 generals that were executed have come to be regarded as martyrs for promoting the ideals of independence and freedom for the Hungarian people. They fought for the cause of independence and for a liberal Hungary. Not all the generals were ethnic Hungarians, some were Slavic and an Armenian. Legend has it that while the execution was taking place, the Austrian generals were drinking beer and clinking their mugs together arrogantly in celebration of the defeat of the Hungarians. Hungarians vowed never to cling  glasses of bottles together for 150 years after the execution. October the 6th has become a day of national mourning for Hungarians as they remember the execution of the martyrs of Arad.

The 13 Martyrs of Arad are:

Knezić Károly, Nagysándor József, Damjanich János, Aulich Lajos, Láhner György, Poeltenberg Ernő, Leiningen-Westerburg Károly, Török Ignác, Vécsey Károly, Kiss Ernő, Schweidel József, Dessewffy Arisztid, Lázár Vilmos.