I’ve written several times about András Nyerges’s excellent column, “Color Separation,” that compares today’s right wing to their interwar counterparts. His articles–originally published in Magyar Hírlap when it was a liberal paper and, after Gábor Széles made it a mouthpiece of the far right, in Élet és Irodalom–were reprinted in a two-volume collection. Inspired by some recent topics of discussion, I went back to these books. Today I’ll focus on two articles that are especially on target. One deals with the Romanian occupation of Budapest in August 1919 and even mentions Cécile Tormay by name. The other, published in 2002, is about Fidesz’s “reinterpretation” of Mihály Károlyi and the First Republic.
First to Tormay and the Romanians. I took a look at the last few pages of Cécile Tormay’s second volume in which she discusses the events between August 1 and August 8, 1919. During this time Tormay was hiding from the Budapest terrorists in a border town between Slovakia and Hungary, Balassagyarmat. It turned out to be a bad choice: Balassagyarmat was swarming with local terrorists who planned to kill practically all the better-off people in town even after the fall of Béla Kun. At least according to Tormay.
It is here that Tormay learned that the Romanians had occupied Budapest. She immediately came up with a conspiracy theory. That’s why the Entente representative refused to negotiate with “us, Hungarians” and instead turned to “William Böhm, Kunfi and with Károlyi’s henchman, Garami.” I guess it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that all three happened to be of Jewish origin. The Entente didn’t allow the Hungarian troops stationed in French-occupied Szeged to liberate Hungary because “the occupation of Budapest was reserved by the Great Powers for the Rumanians so that the city might become their prey and they might still act the role of deliverers.”
Well, it seems from Nyerges’s article that there were alternative theories about the arrival of the Romanian troops. One of the very few liberal members of parliament in 1922 inquired from István Bethlen, by then prime minister, whether he was planning to set up a committee to investigate “who those traitors were who, against the expressed wishes of the Entente, asked the Romanians to occupy the capital city.” The committee was indeed set up and those members of parliament who in one way or the other were involved in the coup d’état against the social democratic government that took over after the fall of Béla Kun loudly protested, although no one accused them of anything. They all denied complicity. As usual with investigative committees in Hungary then or now, no one became any the wiser as a result of the hearings.
Outside the House, however, rumors didn’t die down. A Romanian politician, Ioan Erdeli (in Hungarian sources he is referred to as Erdélyi János) who was involved in the secret Hungarian-Romanian negotiations during September-October 1919, gave an interview in a Cluj (Kolozsvár) paper in 1922 in which he said that there were indeed several delegations to the Romanian army asking for the occupation of Budapest. He was not at liberty to disclose names, “but they were mostly aristocrats and important representatives of industry.” But a journalist close to government circles had already mentioned in late 1919 two important people who were allegedly involved: István Friedrich, prime minister in 1919, and General Ferenc Schnetzer, his minister of defense. There is no real proof of their complicity, but what we can say for sure is that the fall of Béla Kun and the arrival of the Romanians was greeted with relief. In fact, the Romanians’ reception in Budapest was more than cordial; the disillusioned Hungarians welcomed the soldiers with a shower of late summer flowers. Tormay was “longingly waiting for the arrival of the occupiers” because communism meant the death of the nation. Foreign occupation was only humiliating.
And since we were just talking about the White Terror, mostly conducted by Miklós Horthy’s officers stationed in Siófok at Lake Balaton, here is Tormay’s account. “In Western Hungary the peasants are arresting the hiding butchers of the dictatorship and delivering them up to the justice of the crowd. They are executed by those whose father, mother, husband or child they have murdered.” This is how people rewrite history according to their own political views. Surely, true Hungarian officers couldn’t possibly murder the Jews and riff-raff whom Tormay loathed; this task had to fall to the aggrieved peasant masses.
Nyerges’s second article deals with the reevaluation of the 1918-1919 period. Nyerges wrote it in 2002 after reading a work by a historian of decidedly right-wing views. This work as well as many other studies of the period try to portray the period in black and white. All the good men were on the right; those who supported Mihály Károlyi, and especially the Hungarian Soviet Republic, were “the garbage of Hungarian society.” This is still the case, says the unnamed historian, “even if some well known intellectuals enthusiastically spoke of the communist system and the arrival of the Red God and for a while served the regime. That was only their error or rather their shame.”
But life is never that simple. Combing through the contemporary conservative press Nyerges found plenty from the other side who enthusiastically supported the Károlyi regime. Here is an editorial (December 24, 1918) from Alkotmány (Constitution), the official paper of the Katolikus Néppárt (Catholic People’s Party). “We can take it for granted, based on Mihály Károlyi’s political past, and he himself certainly has the right to claim that every word of his comes from inner conviction. We don’t believe that the ship of state would be heading in better direction than in his hands.” The militantly conservative Budapesti Hírlap on February 25, 1919 wrote in connection with the land reform that “regardless of how it will end, it is leading toward true democratization. … As the Romans said: Quod bonum, faustum, felix fortunatumque sit (May the outcome be good, propitious, lucky and successful.)” But this very same newspaper on October 7, 1919 wrote: “Károlyi and his conniving accomplices killed Hungary!” A few weeks later the Budapesti Hírlap thought that the stupefied people didn’t realize that the October 1918 revolution “was not national but a Bolshevik revolution. Every thinking man in the very first week, at the time Barna Buza announced the land reform, should have seen that.” But if that was the case, why did the same newspaper say on February 22, 1919 that Buza “clearly stated that the land reform means not only a right but a responsibility.” The conservative Élet (Life), a literary magazine, wrote: “Károlyi is a martyr. A well meaning man who is ready to negotiate with the enemy and who received real promises.” In another article, the literary weekly admitted that under the circumstances the socialists became the backbone of society. Moreover, they are real patriots because “the socialists fought for the integrity of Greater Hungary” at the meeting of the Bern International in February 1919.”We were reading their speeches with great excitement at home. We applauded and cheered.” And the very last example, which is really telling: the Alkotmány (Catholic People’s Party) wrote on March 23, two days after the declaration of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, that “when pacifism and the pro-Entente politics failed, the hand of the proletariat was raised. The Hungarian Soviet Republic was born in order to save the integrity of Hungary.” “During the war years the enemy called the Hungarian soldier ‘the red devil.’ The enemy will certainly hear in the future about the Red Army.” So, not only duped, ill-informed, naive people were enthusiastic about the revolutionary events of 1918-1919.
After the arrival of the counterrevolutionaries the history of these years was rewritten. And today the rewriting of history is again proceeding apace. Black (or red) and white, evil and good, non-Christian and Christian, international (and by implication treasonous) and national. But a binary history is a false history, whichever side writes it.
I’m not saying that such a policy is realistic in this day and age, but, as I mentioned, parts of a country do not need to be contiguous in order to be united. Kaliningrad and Nakhchivan are proof of that, in my opinion, as was West Berlin. True, Seklerland does not have a large population, but there are areas adjacent to it that are also heavily Hungarian, which could be added to a sovereign Hungarian region.
As for reasons why this would be desirable, I would point out the language laws in Slovakia and the hostility to the idea of autonomy in Transylvania (which has had it in the past), not to mention the situation in Vojvodina under Milosevic. Hopefully someday the EU will truly make borders obsolete, but that day is far off in the future.
The Danube border could be considered a valid excuse for that area (though not really, otherwise Austria should’ve given up the area northeast of Vienna and Czechoslovakia should’ve given up Petrzalka to the Austrians, who were the majority in the area), but that doesn’t explain the other Hungarian-majority areas further east, after the Danube bend. It’s quite clear that Hungary was being punished.
Googly: “It’s quite clear that Hungary was being punished.”
If you read the transcripts of the discussions of the commissions dealing with the Romanian-Hungarian, Czechoslovak-Hungarian border you wouldn’t use the word “punishment.” First of all, as Harold Nicolson,, the British diplomat on the committee, explains the “experts” didn’t think that their suggestions were more than recommendations. They thought that the representatives of the Great Powers would make the final decisions. As you know this wasn’t the case.
Second, the different committees with different personnel worked separately and until the very end they didn’t realize how small Hungary became. They were actually shocked. The problem was that all mixed territories, for example in today’s Voivodina, where there were Serb-Hungarian-German villages next to each other, were awarded to Yugoslavia. Third, you must keep in mind that the representatives of the “associated powers” were in Paris and they could argue their case with the members of the committee. If you read Nicolson’s memoirs, Benes had lunch with these guys quite often and he made a very good impression on them. Hungary wasn’t represented by anyone.
In my opinion you can’t just speak about “punishment” or “prejudice.” It was the result of many factors.
I’m there, ütögardon in hand.
Magyarization was not so Harsh as western European situation, because the minorities were defended by minority rights and laws. Contemporary Western Europe did not know the minority rights, therefore they covered up their minorities. Were there state sponsored minority schools in contemporary Western European countries? NO. How many official languages existed in Western-European states? Only 1 official language! Could minorities use their languages in the offices of public administration in self-governments , in tribunals in Western Europe? No, they couldn’t. What about minority newspapers? etc.. etc…
Why do you think that these minorities wanted to leave Kingdom of Hungary? Have you got any real proofs for that? (forexample a hard fact like a democratic plebiscite under the controll of entente officers like in Sopron plebiscite)
The so-called Magyarization was too soft, slow and wrongly organized in Hungary (due to the unique exsistence of minority rights in Europe).
Why did the political leaders of Czechs Romanians Serbs act against the self-determination (the idea of Wilson) and democratic plebiscites about disputed areas after the WW1? (beacuse they did not trust in their own ethnic groups)
Shocking data from 1910 census: 40% of the total population pre WW1 Kingdom of Hungary didn’t know the Hungarian language (due to the fact they did not need to know Hungarian language in offices tribunals , and they had own media too.)
Perhaps we should have done what the contemporary French or English did, and then we would have no issues with minorities.
Panslavism was a racist belief system (under the false cover of “romantic” nationalism).
It was mainly organised by Russian Tzars.
Walkerstone: “Shocking data from 1910 census:”
The shock of the century.
Did you read the posts? Learn basic Hungarian History, and the history of ww2.
Your shock will be the partitioning of France around the mid 21th century, between French and Muslim immigrants. France will have the same fate as Kingdom of Hungary had in Trianon. It will be partitioned between the immigrant nations 🙂
Very good points, Walkerstone.
So, you are firmly convinced that Trianon was badly done – because of Hungarians having been left in foreign countries. What completely all discussants here have forgotten, is that also other nationalities, e.g. many Slovaks were left in Hungary. According to the peace conference document in Paris (“Conférence de la paix 1919-1920. Recueil des actes de la conférence. Partie IV.Paris 1929, p.30. “) there were 630 000 Slovaks left in Hungary after Trianon. And approximately the same number of Hungarians in Czechoslovakia. How does it look like today? There are still about 600 000 of Hungarians in Slovakia and – and this should be a shock for everyone – less than 9 000 (!) Slovaks with Slovak as the mother language in Hungary. (We can of course argue hours about the issue – because Hungarians have their own – usually biased – facts and figures for everything).
Why is it so? The answer is straightforward – because of the educational system. The state-financed system of hundreds Hungarian schools in Slovakia (even 1 university) on the one side and some individual (little-more Potemkin-village-like) Slovak schools in Hungary on the other side. Generally, Hungary continued with application of Apponyi´s principles after Trianon. Today, Slovaks in Hungary learn Slovak language as a foreign language – 2 hours/week. Concerning other minorities in Hungary, the situation is approximately the same. Shouldn´t Hungary shame for it? – Instead of raving of Trianon?
It is just a fantasy. One of Benes’ lies. It was not supported by any documents and census.
Read the speeches of British Pm. Lloyd George, Queen’s Hall (Attachment 621) Benes and the Czechoslovak delegation mislead the peace conference with fantastic lies.
Looking back on what was done to Hungary at Trianon, the Czech Lt. Colonel, F.O. Miksche, stated in his work, the Danubian Federation:
The following examples illustrate the confusion which arises when peacemakers accept statements without first having them checked by unbiased authorities.
During the Peace Conference in Paris, Prime Minister Lloyd George asked Benes how many Hungarians would fall under Czech rule if his territorial demands were granted, and the reply – according to David Hunter Miller (My Diary at the Conference in Paris) – was that the number would be about 350,000. But in fact the Czech census of 1926 counted nearly 800,000 Hungarians. In pleading for a natural frontier, Benes described a small brook as a navigable river.
Bratianu, the Rumanian delegate, claimed the whole of Transylvania with about “one million Hungarians,” although the real number was nearly two million, which drew a vigorous objection from Lansing, Wilson’s Secretary of State. who was silenced by André Tardieu, the French delegate, who said that the subcommittee had considered this award with great care…
In 1919-20, the defeated were not even allowed to prove that some of the new statesmen from Central and Eastern Europe had produced false maps and forged statistics in order to filch more territory from Austria and Hungary…
Slovaks – Hungarians
For Mr. Slota’s information
More than one thousand and one hundred years ago th
e Magyars arrived in the Carpathian
Basin. The chronicle speaks of seven tribes, but fo
r all intents and purposes it could have been
twenty. The Slavic tribes preceded us by a short he
ad. The Magyar tribes found a sparse
population of Slavs, Germanics, Romans, and, mostly
, our relative Avars. Throughout the
years immigrants joined these fragments of peoples
and cohered into the Hungarian nation.
Slovak history was similar. In the course of one th
ousand and one hundred years Czech,
Moravian, Polish, Slovene, Croat, Serb, pseudo-Huss
ite, German, Ruthene, and Ukrainian
people flocked into the Carpathian Basin and slowly
became nations with literary languages.
All of this happened under “terrible Hungarian oppr
ession” under the government’s nose.
During the same time the English divested the Welsh
, Scottish and Irish people – not to
mention the Norwegians, Danes, Corwallians and Fris
ians – of their statehood and language.
So sweeping was their success that since 1936 only
ten percent of independent Ireland’s
population properly speaks their ancestral language
. The Scots and Welsh fared no better.
The “Big French Revolution” (Liberty-Fraternity-Equ
ality) “invented” the previously
unknown “nation-state”. Then and for many years aft
er, the Gauls were a minority in France.
The Germans, Corsicans, Basques, Occitanians, Norma
ns, Italians, Bretons and others
comprised over half of the population. This did not
concern the revolutionary government. In
fact, they sought to “improve” the situation, even
with the use of force.
They banned all non-French speaking schools, with b
loody consequences. The Bretons
revolted against tyranny and fought for their langu
age, schools, and church for years.
The pack of thieves sent to put down the revolt wer
e recruited from the mobs, and under the
leadership of General Turreau they slaughtered whol
e towns and cities. The city of Vendee,
whose entire population was wiped out under terribl
e circumstances, cannot be erased from
the stones. If anyone is interested in this, do a G
oogle search on Turreau or Vendee. Consider
taking a sedative beforehand…
Mr. Slota! If we had done this with your people, yo
ur complaint and request for an apology
would be well founded. But we did not do this to yo
ur people. In the few decades before the
First World War the government did indeed make path
etically futile attempts to oppress the
few Slovak leaders who were gradually gaining self-
consciousness and falling for pan-
Slavism. These attempts, however, are dwarfed by Cz
echoslovakia’s and independent
Slovakia’s wild, illegal, and inhumane anti-Hungari
an measures carried out by fire and sword.
The myth of “Hungarian oppression” has been under c
onstant development since Trianon.
Today, news has it that every Hungarian teacher sla
pped every student who did not speak
Hungarian. The ideologues of Matica and the ultra-r
ight wing parties explain and support all
anti-Hungarian measures by retelling the “thousand
year suffering” nursery story. Today, the
unceasingly voiced accusations—the gendarme line-fi
re near Rózsahegy , the closing of the
small Slovak high school, the “stealing” of the Slo
vak patriarchal double cross crest—have
been branded into not only the Slovak, but also the
western public’s mind.
Let us quote a few sentences (Paris, 1920) from a h
ighly authentic Slovak leader, Pater Hlinka
(whose words quoted below would most preferably be
denied by many) on Slovak-Czech
relations: “But in three months, indeed, after only
three weeks, the veil was lifted. In this short
time we have suffered more from the high-handed Cze
chs than we did from the Magyars in a
thousand years. Now we know: Extra Hungariam non es
t vita (outside of Hungary there is no
life for us). Remember these words, time will prove
their truth. Benes is an ambitious knave.”
(SUITORS AND SUPPLIANTS” by Stephen BONSAL, US dipl
You recently canonized Pater Hlinka, but you probab
ly do not realize, or do not want to
realize, that in the end, Hlinka wanted to remain u
nder the Hungarian crown with complete
autonomy given to a few northern, Slovak-populated
If you are interested in more of what Hlinka had to
say, we would gladly send you the
Besides falsifying the history of Hungarian-Slovak
coexistence, more can be said at the
expense of the Slovak extremists who thrive on hati
1. The incorporation of Hungarian populated territo
ries after 1918, which is contrary to every
international, human, and collective right. What is
the worth of a people’s right to self-
determination, which they claim only for themselves
and do not even consider for others?
2. The Benes Decrees are still alive today. They ar
e a functional part of the Slovak (and
Czech) constitution. They were the means by which t
he Hungarians were stripped of their
rights. Further, they provided the foundation for t
he confiscation of the Hungarians’ individual
and collective properties. Your parliament has ossi
fied this shame of Europe for the greater
glory of human rights.
3. Forced population exchange.
4. Inhumane relocation of approximately forty thous
and Hungarians to the Sudeten region.
5. Murders that greatly outnumber the famous gendar
me line-fire casualties trumpeted
throughout the world.
a. Pozsonyligetfalu: the slaughter of 90 unarmed yo
ung soldiers returning home
b. The slaughter of part of Dobsina’s population (a
pproximately 120 people) on the other side
of the Czech border
c. How exactly was the forced expulsion of the majo
rity of Pozsony’s Hungarian population to
Pozsonyligetfalu? According to the report of the ca
mp doctor there was an extraordinarily
high rate of infant mortality in the internment cam
p due to poor provisions. Who lived in the
And now you want to get rid of Hungarian language s
igns in Pozsony because “the percentage
of Hungarians is less than 20%.” Modestly hiding th
e fact that you are fully responsible for
creating this situation
6. How many Hungarians schools did you close since
1919? Can you still count that number?
7. How many hectares of land and other real estate
did you steal from the Hungarians?
8. You reorganized the historical county system, wh
ich developed in the course of a
millennium according to geographical circumstances.
You changed the county system only to
divest the Hungarians of their political influence!
9. Throughout the centuries the Hungarian Catholic
church had numerous Slovak bishops and
even archbishops. How many ethnic Hungarian bishops
do the Hungarians of Slovakia have
today? In case you don’t know, let me tell you: Not
1O You have even rearranged the Episcopal borders t
o eliminate the Hungarian majority in
Perhaps it is time for us to face the historical my
ths built on hatred of Hungarians. Established
Hungarian historiography never recognized the tradi
tion of our Hun origins. You, however,
unflinchingly reclaim “Svatopluk’s heritage.” Of co
urse this will slowly but surely come to an
end due to the work of foreign and honest Slovak hi
storians. Perhaps it would not be
redundant for some of your Matica-bred historians t
o read the German Martin Eggers book:
“Das Grossmärishe Reich – Realitäte, oder Fiction?”
And then there are the military reports
and tax documents of Charles the Great’s Kingdom in
Aachen… You would be scratching
We Hungarians and Slovaks have a thousand years of
common history. Our kings were your
kings as well. Under the Holy Crown you had the sam
e rights as anyone in the Carpathian
Basin. Just don’t try to demand modern rights for t
he feudal era, because those were quite the
same in all of Europe. If we were serfs, you were a
lso; if we were free, you were also free. If
your landowners treated you harshly, so they treate
d us. You have no cause to complain.
During my trips to Slovakia I experienced numerous,
thought-provoking manifestations of
antagonism. Based on my past experiences, they were
incomprehensible. We have
antagonistic feelings only towards the Soviets and
Romanians, Serbs, but that antagonism
does not play out in individual relations. I have h
ad coworkers from these groups. Often we
sat together at lunch, but it never occurred to us
to give either verbal or physical expression to
our mutual antipathy. This, however, was exactly wh
at I experienced in northern Slovakia.
We never had any problems with the Slovak person. T
he primitive politician, teacher, and
journalist who makes a living by hating Hungarians
has caused much, almost irreversible,
damage to the traditional relations between the two
peoples. If this could ever be turned
around, both people would have much to gain. Sooner
or later, even the most vehement
Slovak will realize that our peoples are dependent
on each other in both the political and
economic realms. If the Slovaks abandon their force
ful Hungarian-exterminating experiment
and give them complete autonomy, they would gain an
eternal friendship. State borders
slowly fade, but – according to the laws of biology
– ethnic borders stay on for centuries.
Regarding membership in NATO and the EU: a chauvini
stic people that denies the most basic
human and self-governing rights from a minority sho
ved into its claws has no business in
these organizations. In times when Great Britain fr
ees most of Ireland and gives more-or-less
autonomy to Scotland and Wales, or Spain to the Bas
ques and Catalans, Italy to South Tyrol
and – horribile dictu – the French to Corsica, the
independence of Kosovo, where is Slovakia
heading toward? On what grounds does it consider it
self to be immune to these changes?
Especially when it has sovereignty over regions pop
ulated not long ago by only Hungarians.
Let me pose only one question to those people in Hu
ngary (including those in the Foreign
Ministry) who at all costs pay attention to the “se
nsitivities” of the successor states: When did
the Romanians, Slovaks, Serbs ever pay attention to
our sensitivities? We suffered the most
grievances in the whole of Europe in 1920 and again
in 1947. The time has come to talk back
to the West. They have become overly accustomed to
the servility of our Soviet-trained
foreign officers and leftist politicians. They comm
and only those who will listen. We must not
take their bluff seriously.
That, however, I can promise, that even without the
cooperation of the government, we will
do everything in our power to blunt your senseless
acts of racial hatred
I can’t find it now but Szomszéd said something about 600,000 Slovaks left in Hungary after Trianon. I’m afraid that is the Slovak version of the Hungarian self-allusion. Sheer propaganda just as the Hungarian claim that Hungary’s nationality policy was perfection itself. If both Szomszéd and Walkstone or what’s his name put forth false claims we will get nowhere.
Except that isn’t what happened, which is why Hungary needed to be dismembered. The only fault was in the areas that were chosen.
Szomszéd, you wrote: “other nationalities, e.g. many Slovaks were left in Hungary.”
Yes, and at the time, German-speakers were also left in Hungary, some in German-majority areas right up against the Austrian border (which was corrected later, after WWII), plus speakers of many other languages. The difference is that, as far as I can tell, there were no significant areas where Slovaks were in the majority, and right up against Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, there were huge areas where Hungarians were in the majority, right next to Hungary, that did not need to be taken from Hungary.
Now that Walkerstone has copied so many pages of irrelevant remembrance of the past – could we return to discussing Hungary’s future again, please!
What new laws had Fidesz produced last week ? I’m sure there are a lot of “gems” hidden in them.
It never ceases to amaze me how some Hungarian (expletive deleted) can go on for hours and days about Trianon – I haven’t read or heard a single word on the equivalent Versailles treaty from my German compatriots for years – nor from the Austrians (forgot the name of the castle where their treaty was signed, but it’s really not important).
Any way I think the deathly blow to “Greater Hungary” was dealt when the Austrians demolished the Hungarian revolution – that was a real shame but obviously just a part of the “restauration” that happened in most of Europe in the middle of the 19th century.
PS and not too much OT:
I got a real surprise some days ago, reading that about 20 % of Germans wished for a return to the monarchy – can you imagine that in the 21st century ?
Obviously there are enough idiots around in any country, not just those Nazis …
Walkerstone, your 5000-word (unsupported) thesis on the crimes of the world against Hungary notwithstanding, “talking back to the West” is not a good way to ensure that Hungary becomes wealthy, free, and stable. Sure, Hungary should stand up for its interests, but those interests still lie within a fully-integrated European Union, not within a reconstituted Russian empire or the cold embrace of Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela. Your diatribe against Slovakia is not a healthy attitude to take with neighbors who are not going anywhere, and who control the destinies of millions of ethnic Hungarians. There were crimes committed by both sides, and your obsession with trying to prove that Hungarians’ crimes were somehow less spectacular than those of others doesn’t convince anyone but right-wing loonies, who don’t need much convincing anyway.
Except that the same can be said about Hungary today, but not about Western countries (or Hungary’s neighbors) anymore. I know Hungarians in Slovakia and Romania who went to Hungarian-language schools and conducted government business in Hungarian, but the German-speaking minority here in Hungary doesn’t have that option, as far as I know. Germany, France, etc. have made extensive allowances for people who don’t speak the official language.
I guess that some countries move forward, but some move backward.
I read exactly the same thing years ago, and it made me realize that the cards were stacked against Hungary, whether you want to call it punishment or not, and selfish, short-term interests took precedence over fairness and self-determination. That’s not surprising, in that day and age, but very sad. Think of the bloodshed that could have been avoided!
No, that won’t happen unless the immigrant muslims are allowed to become the majority in a region that can secede. The more likely scenario is that France will continue to absorb the grandchildren of the immigrants, who will disperse throughout the population. Of course, there are neighborhoods and towns where immigrants are in the majority, such as the banlieues around Paris, but they are for the poor, not specifically for moslems, and do not constitute a specific region.
You seem to take a particular delight in the scenario you outline (as evidenced by your smiley-face emoticon), as if you hold some special hatred for either the French or moslems.
So, despite some Entente members counseling against it, those in charge of making these decisions decided to listen only to Benes and the representatives of Hungary’s neighbors and not consider the Hungarian side. Sounds like punishment to me, but I guess we’ll never know the absolute truth, because there’s no legitimate record of it.
If the committees were “shocked”, why did they then go through with it? They could easily have made a change, once the reality of their mistake was apparent. I’m sorry, I respect your opinion in most things, but with this you seem to be defending the indefensible. Again, I don’t think that anything can or should be done about it right now, but the history suggests that the wrongs could be righted at some time in the future. If I were a Transylvanian Hungarian living in a majority-Hungarian area, I would be quietly thinking of a peaceful way to bring about reunification with Hungary (once democracy returns to Hungary), but I would also resent the troubles being stirred up in my name for the sake of nationalistic posturing.
Germany lost only few traditional territory. See the maps of present-day Germany and pre WW1 GErmany
Remember the still active Benes decrees and Slovakia’s language law, the ethnic celanising of Benes. These harsh events were unimaginable in Austria-Hungary.
By any measure, the “punishment” of the Germans after the Second World War, in which not only huge territories were taken away, but entire German populations (including millions from large regions with well-defined borders, like East Prussia, that were almost exclusively ethnic German) were expelled without compensation to the rump German territory, was greater than that of Hungary in the Trianon settlement 28 years earlier. And yet, why is it that — as we approach the 100th anniversary of Trianon, so that the post-Trianon settlement has been a fact on the ground for the conscious lives of every living Hungarian while the more recent German losses and expulsions are still in living memory for a relatively large part of the population — revisiting or revising Trianon is an active topic in Hungarian politics, while revising the post-WWII borders is an absolute non-topic in Germany? Any sober assessment of the states in Central Europe today would soon conclude that revising Trianon borders is a non-starter, as none of the states created with the settlement would ever agree to a revision, so that it is completely clear that the topic is being instrumentalized in public discourse in Hungary today with full knowledge that it is unrealistic, indeed impossible. Why does unrealistic, nationalist and populist rhetoric of this sort carry so much weight in Hungary today while it is nearly absent in Germany?
Thank you GW and googly for making my points against this right wing loonie racist “Blackadder”! In a way they’re funny with their ranting against everyone else, whether it’s Slovaks, Austrians, Germans, French, Muslims, Jews – just waiting what will be on the idiot’s menu next …
Just some anecdotes (I’ve written about those things here before):
My father and mother visited his birthplace Danzig (Gdansk in Polish)in the 80s and he was really surprised and happy how well the Poles had rebuilt the city – but of course he was not interested in returning there – he had become at home in Schwab country …
My wife and I went to Komarno in the summer after they had introduced the € there and sat down in a cafe. The waitress automatically addressed me in German (it happens everywhere …), the couple at the next table in Slovak – and when my wife asked her something in Hungarian she effortlessly answered her in the same language of course – that’s what I like about the Europe of the 21st century!
My wife asked about the new Slovak €-coins and minutes later the waitress came back with a complete set for her which we brought to a friend in Germany.
East-German West-German problems are not similar to Trianon. The communist East-Germany didn’t became part of foreign nation states. Under foreign hostile public administration police and Judicature. Trianon was similar if east german state would have been part of CZ and Polish state. Moreover the originally Central European Transylvanian Hungarians and Voivodine Hungarians became part a very different Eastern European (aka: Orthodox) “civilizations” which had poor economic social and development,
Walkerstone, please stop this endless and useless discussion. You keep repeating your arguments, half of which are simply not true. Your conclusions are wrong and the description of the situation in Hungary prior to 1918 is not correct either. If there is one more tirade from you on Trianon, I will delete the comment.
I think nationalism studies are underrated.
It is fascinating to read these arguments almost a 100 years after the Trianon treaty.
It seems to me that an increasing number of people are obsessed with Trianon.
Also it is fascinating to realise that contemporary Iranians do live in a world in which their “nation” has been in existence for thousands of years so how do the US or the EU come to tell them anything.
Same with China, a “civilization” (as they call themselves) of five thousands years against the world. Or the Korean or Japanese “races”, no less. Or look at the recent elections in Malaysia.
Nationalism is on the rise, it seems to me.
Sure the world is globalising, and while voters become consumers of the same “stuff”, they are getting also more vocal even hysterical about their imagined communities.
I deleted two of your comments on Trianon. The discussion doesn’t lead anywhere. If you want to participate here, change the topic. We had enough of Trianon.
Indeed it is.
And as the Good Doctor, doctor Johnson so aptly noted: “it is the scoundrel’s last refuge.”
I really hope that he will again prove correct and the scoundrels are soon had the last of spoiling and poisoning everything with their stupid nonsense.
By the way Eva, I sincerely hope, next time you will think it over twice before the next “lesson in history.” Or is it hysteria?
When I think about the decay of regional languages in the British Isles, and contrast it with the perseverance of languages other than Hungarian in Magyar-ruled territories, bearing in mind the era of these events, one thing strikes me: In Britain, there was well-paying industrial work, and that work required English. In Magyar-ruled territories, small-holding agriculture predominated.
Where was the incentive in Erdely, Felvidek, Delvidek to leave the land and to flock to the industrial factories of Budapest, where Hungarian would have been the “lingua pannonica”? To say to one’s children — Forget Romanian / Slovak / Serb, you’ll never get a good job?
And, of course, unlike the Scots / Cornishmen / Welshmen, language patriots could go across a border and never have to deal with the Hungarian tongue again. In Britain and Ireland, such people had nowhere to which to flee.
Perhaps Magyar efforts to supplant regional languages were less successful than were English ones not because Magyar polity was more tender-hearted…
What do you mean by “still active”? Nobody is kicking anybody out of anywhere, though they are not reversing what has been done in the past. I wouldn’t call that active, at all. The language laws are a travesty of course, but the government used Hungarian recidivism (by people like you) as an excuse to pass those laws. Everything was fine until you lot came along. Leave it alone, and in a generation or two maybe the borders will become so irrelevant that Hungarians in Slovakia will feel like they are back in Hungary.
I’m not sure that ethnic cleansing was “unimaginable” in the entire history of Austria-Hungary, but the fact is that crimes were committed by Hungarians during that time, and especially during the re-occupation of the lost Trianon territories before and during WWII. Also, don’t forget that Jews, while not necessarily an ethnic group, were definitely deprived of their rights, and their lives. There is no such thing as an innocent nation in Europe.
The bottom line is that whatever the nationalists want, if they would hold a referendum today on the territories that were part of Hungary prior to Trianon, we would not gain anything back. If the Entente’s members would sit down today to decide, they would do the same almost hundred years later. What happened to Hungary happened because of the cockiness and the entitlement of the Hungarian ruling class. Not to much changed since. THe member representatives of the Entente mostly had a very bad opinion even before sitting down. Look at what is happening today? Look at Hungary’s foreign policy, and the “respect” of our leaders over the border. Orban is almost on the verge to declare war against all Hungary’s neighbours and the EU. They must love us!
The borders dictated by Trianon were simply based on the French desire (really one of the losers in WWI) to disable Germany and its potential allies from adversely challenging France for hegemony of the continent. Unfortunately human rights, self-determination or Wilson’s important ideas were discarded in the process. The U.S. was prescient, it never agreed to the treaty’s terms. The seeds for WWII were sown right there!
The fallacious assumptions used for determining the new subdivisions were shown to be what they were by the breakup of the newly created entities after the end of the cold war. Granting autonomy can slow the process. More are in the offing. The continent contains no unitary states and minorities have the right to retain their languages and cultures.
I just want to make clear to Zoltáni as well as the long-named fellow from Hungary that I will no longer answer comments on Trianon. I certainly will not waste my time on arguing with people whose knowledge of the period simply can’t match mine who spent years studying the period and who wrote a 500-page Ph.D. dissertation (with distinction) at Yale University on the subject. Sorry, I usually don’t talk about this but after all the nonsense I received in the last few days I had enough.
Eva, I would not say that it is a sheer propaganda. I have quoted the source which doesn´t seem to be a tatter. I know that Hungarian official figure is very different, maybe the truth is somwhere in the middle. But the exact figure is not so important, I only wanted to draw attention to sad destiny of minorities remained in Hungary after the WWI.
Recent Hungarian census show that some of them are coming to the end of their existence, if nothing changes, the Slovaks among them. At the same time, the Hungarians in Slovakia are relatively o.k. and I am glad that it is so. This is the result of different approach to education of minorities in both countries. In fact, this issue should not be discussed in the context of Trianon and I am also not very happy about how the discussion has evolved.
Quite frankly Trianon discussions seem almost like bike shedding. Ok, not a trivial issue but certainly nothing anyone can do anything about at this point in time except learn from it and move on. If half the energy that has been put into Trianon would have been put into an analysis the current sets of amendments….
My last ever post on Trianon… I read in a book on Trianon some time ago that the Hungarian delegation showed up for the negotiations with an air of entitlement which almost immediately weakened their position in the negotiations. I believe the comment was made in David Fromkin’s, A peace to end all peace but I need to look to be sure.
I have searched on Yale Libraries and found the title of your Ph.D. dissertation which the library keeps on microfilm:
The Road to Isolation: Hungary, The Great Powers, and the Successor States, 1919-1920.
In view of your accomplishments as the creator and editor of the Hungarian Spectrum there may be many people who would like to and would possibly also benefit from reading your dissertation. Would it be possible for you to make it accessible on the internet?
Re dissertation. Yes, with a lot of work but maybe I should bite the bullet one day.
Do you remember Tiso and his deeds with the Jews in Slovakia?
While the deportation of Jews began after the the German occupy of Hungary, Tiso’s slovakia was the first country who deported jews, and Slovakia did it very “lightly” without any german occupeation.
Dear friend, Before you try to study the historic situation of the central European area, I suggest to read some basic information about the area. Csaba K. Zoltan remind you,
“To keep the record straight, Hungary did NOT invade Romania during WWII. Hungary and Romania, allies of Germany, signed an agreement that returned parts of Transylvania where Hungarians were in majority, to Hungary. If one can talk of invasion, it was the Romanian army that invaded Hungary, after Romania switched sides from being an ally of Nazi Germany, after it was obvious that the war did not go as they anticipated. ”
Some basic info about axis powers.
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