Hapax legomenon


Every Hungarian knows where Újpest is: a former industrial town along the Danube, now the 4th and northernmost district of Budapest. But where is the Újpest Street? I mean, where is that Újpest Street, more than four hundred kilometers from Újpest, where only one number exists, the 50, and the houses to the left and right of it already bear the name of вулиця Петра Грози, the Romanian politician Petru Groza, who at the Alba Iulia meeting of 1918 first proposed the union of Transylvania with Romania, and who in 1945 became, with the support of the Soviet army, Prime Minister of the first Romanian Communist government, so that with all Ukrainian-Romanian tensions he deserves to have a street named after him in the Ukrainian Солотвино, the former Hungarian Aknaszlatina?


Between the Ukraine and Romania, the Tisza is the border, at the just recently opened border post a bilingual billboard proclaims: “The Tisza, which connects us.” In Sighetu Marmației, the former Hungarian Máramarossziget on the Romanian side, where even the Romanian shopkeepers willingly switch for Hungarian for the sake of the foreigner, the street named after the former Royal Romanian foreign minister Nicolae Titulescu, starting from the main square, unexpectedly runs against the border: originally it was obviously not intended for such a short span. A hundred meters and a hour later, on the other bank it leads as вулиця Сігітська, Sighet Street, on the main street, along which in the neighboring Tiszafejéregyháza (Біла Церква, Biserica Albă) the Hasids, cut off from Sighet in 1920, founded a cemetery which became silent in 1941, and to the statue of the 15th-century Moldavian prince Ștefan cel Mare, next to which at the corner, above the Raiffeisen bank machine, there appears, on only one house, the inscription Ujpesti-út, Újpest Street, certainly left there from the “Hungarian world” between 1938 and 1944. Ghost script at its best.