After WWI, the country had to face the tragic loss of its territory and population. None of the winner countries in Europe cared about or even tried to reconsider the injustices of the Trianon Treaty. Hungary was all alone, surrounded by the Little Entente, a real ill-wisher, which hated the country as much as it was possible. This was until the moment when a British gentleman stepped into the story.
Harold Harmsworth, 1st Viscount of Rothermere, was a very successful British newspaper proprietor; he was born in 1868 and died in 1940. He is well-known for maintaining The Daily Mail and The Daily Mirror. He was famous for writing several popular articles including one about Hungary in which he disagreed with the Trianon decision – reports 24.hu. In his article, which was published on 27 June 1927 in The Daily Mail, he argued for the revision of the Trianon Treaty in favour of the Hungarians. Additionally, the editions number of The Daily Mail was more than two million in England at the time. The editorial’s title was Hungary’s Place in the Sun; Safety for Central Europe, and he organised it under various subtitles.
The first main point of the article is about the danger and unfairness of the treaty, as he writes “the frontiers of the new Central European States are arbitrary and uneconomic. … Their injustice is a standing danger to the peace of Europe.” He calls attention to the fact the Hungarian delegates’ opinions about the frontiers concerning the Hungarian population are neglected for the benefit of the surrounding new countries. After this article was released, several others were born emphasising the injustice of the Trianon treaty and its dangers.
Due to the revolution and uprising in 1849, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France sympathised with Hungary until the beginning of the 20th century when the relationship with these countries got bad. The reason behind this was that Hungary did not have politicians who would take care of building the country’s image and to communicate with foreign countries. Due to the propaganda of World War I, the country’s reputation got worse day by day in the eyes of the West.
Famous British politicians like Harold Nicolson and Robert Seton-Watson stated that before WWI they considered Hungary as their friends but during the war their opinions changed. They mocked Hungarians telling that they are Asians, the reason why the country, as others, become the victims of propaganda and manipulation. They felt hatred and disgust towards this ”tribal country”.
To make the country’s image better, the Hungarian state bought several British and French newspapers to inform the nation about their propaganda-content and also invited those people who spread the negative news about the country to change their minds. Although Harold Harmsworth did not have the power to influence the political beliefs in Europe, he joined the “battle” and fought on the weaker side, emphasising the drawbacks, danger and unjustified factors of Trianon. On the other hand, Hungary tried to escape the influence of The Daily Mail. It was a very popular medium but still mainly a British tabloid.
To sum up the story, the impact of The Daily Mail had a result in the 1930s when the United Kingdom and France admitted that Trianon was a mistake and a solid correction needed to be negotiated.