Something happened 97 years ago that had never happened in the history of the millennial Hungary. 2/3 of Hungary’s territory was taken away by the winner side with the aim of finally getting Hungary on its knees.
Hungary joined the war as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the decision was made in Vienna that the empire would declare war against Serbia. The Hungarian leadership didn’t really have a word in the decision, but the country had to take part in war actions anyway. The military loss worth 660 thousand lives indicates that WWI cost Hungary dearly. But this wasn’t enough; the Entente powers, who decided to wipe off the Austro-Hungarian Empire of the map and replace it with a slightly maimed Austria and a completely split up Hungary. Yes, it is true: Austria lost way less of its territory than Hungary, in fact, the Austrians even got a part of Hungary (4,020 km2), which is truly inexplicable.
In point of fact, the winners took away 2/3 of Hungary’s territory at the Treaty of Trianon. Supposedly, the Entente powers wanted to ensure the right of autonomy for the nations living in the Carpathian Basin and this was why they cut up Hungary into small pieces. If this had been true, they wouldn’t have let millions of Hungarians end up outside the borders, who then became totally defenseless to the new states’ leaders heated with nationalism. The states that were formed didn’t seem to stand the test of time. States like Czechoslovakia and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes don’t exist anymore. Regarding the professed ethnic borders, Romania’s territorial growth is quite questionable because for one thing: the Romanians received a greater part (102 thousand km2) than the remaining territory of Hungary (93 thousand km2) and for another thing, millions of Hungarians ended up under foreign control. For instance, Szeklerland dwelled by solely Hungarians was annexed to Romania.
The people assassinated were plenty. An actual persecution happened in the Carpathian Basin, the number of Hungarians living in the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary drastically decreased as soon as the designated parts were taken away.
A good example of this is Košice which currently belongs to Slovakia. In 1910, 33,000 people out of the 44,000 population of the city were Hungarians, while one year after the treaty, only 17,000 people out of the 46,000 were Hungarians, meaning that 16,000 Hungarians vanished from Košice in a few years’ time. Based on a 2011 survey, the total population of the city is 240 thousand, out of which only 6 thousand people are Hungarians.
Another example that says a lot is the case of the capital of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca, which used to be a Hungarian city for a thousand years, whereas nowadays meeting Hungarians in the city is a rare spectacle. Before WWI, 51,000 Hungarians lived in the city with a population of 62,000 people which was an 82% rate. After the Treaty of Trianon, only 49% of the 85,000 people were Hungarians, as the Romanian population quadrupled in ten years’ time, while a significant part of Hungarians fled to the motherland.
There are several other examples similar to Košice and Cluj-Napoca, because the great powers advertising democracy and minority rights turned their back on the Carpathian Basin and let the history’s greatest action – full of aggression, persecution, massacre and population exchange – against Hungarians happen.
The statement saying that Hungarians should finally forget these monstrosities and move on might seem rightful in today’s world. But another rightful question could be that, if we commemorate the monstrosities of the nazi and communist dictatorships, why shouldn’t we commemorate Trianon and the forceful demographic transformation of the Carpathian Basin? Meanwhile, others wonder why the European Union turns its back on the striving of transborder Hungarian communities after the right of autonomy. Autonomic ambitions have been proven right in several parts of Europe, so there might be potential in these aspirations that could also be counter-agents against the vanishing of historical communities.
Featured image: Wiki Commons
Source: Daily News Hungary