Fully 94 percent of Hungarians believe the WWI Trianon Peace Treaty was “unjust and excessive”, according to a representative survey conducted by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA).
The nationwide survey aimed to gauge the Hungarian population’s knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the treaty under which two-thirds of Hungary’s territory was ceded to neighbouring countries and large ethnic Hungarian communities found themselves living beyond Hungary’s border.
Three-quarters of the survey’s respondents said they were curious to learn more about the historical developments surrounding the treaty, MTA said in a statement. About one-fifth of them said they had relatives who live in areas that were lost to neighbouring countries under the treaty.
A total of 43 percent of respondents knew the treaty was signed in 1920 and only 30 percent knew the correct date (June 4).
Altogether 10 percent could not specify the size of the area lost by Hungary after the war, with 54 percent underestimating and 5 percent overestimating the actual size. Fully 31 percent gave a close estimate.
Overall, 70-78 percent named the geopolitical aspirations of the major global powers, neighbouring countries’ aspirations for expansion and Hungary being on the losing side in the first world war as the main reasons for the treaty being drafted the way it was.
Altogether 85 percent said the treaty was the “biggest ever tragedy” in Hungary’s history and roughly the same amount agreed with the statement that “Hungarians are those for whom Trianon is painful”.
Of the territories lost by Hungary, most respondents have visited the areas ceded to Slovakia but a slight majority of them have also been to Transylvania. Just over one-third of them have visited Serbia’s Vojvodina region and only one-fifth of respondents have been to western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region. Fully 27 percent have never visited any of the territories lost under the treaty.
MTA carried out the survey in collaboration with research and analyst firm Soreco Research with a sample of 1,048 people.