The Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR) was established on Christmas Day, 1989, three days after a week of violent demonstrations and street-fighting culminated in the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s twenty-five-year dictatorship. 1 Both its founders and mass base overwhelmingly supported the revolution, and sought from the outset to link political democratization in Romania as a whole with the recovery of cultural rights systematically eroded since the late 1950s by Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej’s “national” communism and its xenophobic elaboration under Ceausescu. During this period, Romania had broken not only with the Comintern, but also with the Soviet development model based on institutionalization, co-optation, and control of minority ethnicity, replacing it with a strategy of agressive Romanianization through gerrymandering, internal migration, and repression of Hungarian-language education. The small Mures Autonomous Magyar Region, a faithful application of the Soviet model’s territorial basis, was weakened legally and administratively, and finally eliminated in 1968. 2 As a project of cultural standardization and political assimilation, however, Romanian national communism was a failure. The Hungarians, even many of those in the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) retained their language and identity, and the UDMR quickly emerged as an effective political alternative to the National Salvation Front (FSN), the ruling legislative and executive body established and led by former Ceausescu allies who spearheaded his overthrow, trial by a military court, and execution.