The Hungarian public television will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Trianon, the event that determined the fate of the country, with several films and documentaries. The historical drama A beszéd − Apponyi a magyar ügy védelmében (The Speech − Apponyi in defence of the Hungarian cause) about Albert Apponyi’s famous speech will also premiere on June 4 on Duna TV. The first trailer was released on Thursday.
Count Albert Apponyi (1846−1933) was the leader of the Hungarian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference concluding the First World War. The delegation’s only function was to receive the dictated peace terms of the Allied Powers. However, when they arrived in Paris in January 1920, Apponyi attempted to initiate negotiations and delivered an eloquent speech in which he formulated several counter-arguments against the treaty’s strict conditions. This speech had a great impact on the Hungarian public, and it is considered one of the most influential speeches of 20th-century Hungarian history.
“If Hungary was to be put in the position of having to choose between accepting this treaty or refusing to sign it, that would imply the following question: should it commit suicide in order to avoid death?”
Count Apponyi criticised, among others, the strictness of the terms of peace, especially the territorial provisions. He argued that the territorial changes imposed on Hungary were more severe than any punishment of the other defeated nations. The politician emphasised that these terms would deprive the country of all sources of economic development, most of its resources and workforce, two-thirds of its territory, and almost two-thirds of its population.
On ethnic grounds, Apponyi protested against the annexation of cities that had a predominantly Hungarian population. In the given political situation, Apponyi could not demand integrity, so he suggested that the population of the affected areas should be able to decide which state they want to belong to. Nonetheless, the proposals of the Hungarian delegation were rebuffed, and the Allies refused to amend the terms. The treaty was signed on June 4 at the Trianon Palace at Versailles, France.
The centenary of this pivotal moment will be commemorated with the release of a new historical drama, which is a dramatised and historically authentic reconstruction of Count Apponyi’s speech, Origo reported. Apponyi will be played by Zoltán Rátóti.
The producers aimed to provide a personal representation of the importance of the treaty and what it meant for the nation.
Through the reconstructed and dramatised scenes, viewers can experience the atmosphere of the peace conference. The script was written by Manó Csillag, László Kálomista, and Dr Áron Máthé, based on a publication titled “A magyar békeszerződés” (“The Hungarian Peace Treaty”).
Click here to watch the trailer. Unfortunately, it is only available in Hungarian.
Mediaklikk also shared a few pictures from the film.