treaty trianon

The Peace Treaty of Trianon is one of the biggest Hungarian traumas from the previous century. It took away 2/3rd of Hungary’s territory while more than 3.3 million ethnic Hungarians became citizens of neighbouring countries hostile towards them. Since most of their problems are still not solved, the “Hungarian issue” is still present in the Carpathian Basin. Even today, the neighbouring countries would like to assimilate them while ethnic Hungarians want only some form of autonomy but not secession.

The Peace Treaty of Trianon was signed at 4:30 pm on June 4, 1920, by the Entente powers and Hungary. Historians agree that its provisions were not in balance with Hungary’s role in WWI (even Germany was punished lighter) and it served only the momentary interests of the Entente powers. For Budapest,

there was no choice but to sign

the treaty. If not, the political leadership risked the total disappearance of the country. However, the people rejected and hated it swearing a collective oath to do everything possible to change or even abolish it.


remained a common trauma even today;

therefore, there are many misbeliefs regarding it. collected some of these.

1. The peace treaty will expire in 2020

Of course, there is no ground for such expectations: there is no secret clause in it containing such provisions. Furthermore, the peace treaty is not in effect today since Hungary had to sign a new one after losing WWII. The peace treaty of Paris was created in 1947, and it reestablished the Trianon borders except for three villages near the actual Hungarian-Slovakian border which it gave to onetime Czechoslovakia.

Moreover, the Hungarian governments signed basic treaties with the neighbouring countries in the 90s in which they cleared that Budapest has and will have no territorial claims towards them and vice versa.

However, even today many believe in Hungary that

in 2020 all lost territories will suddenly return. 

2. French PM Georges Clemenceau hated the Hungarians

Therefore, he took vengeance on them with Trianon – says the other widely accepted Hungarian misbelief. True, Clemenceau’s son married a Hungarian woman, Ida Michnay, they had two children but their spousehood went bad soon, and they divorced. However, the French PM

remained in a very good relationship with Ida,

moreover, his daughter-in-law lived in the Clemenceau castle until her death in 1983. 

The origin of the gossip comes from the fact that Clemenceau was in the middle of his presidential campaign when he met the Hungarian peace delegation and since he was a very morose person he was very rude to them. Albert Apponyi, Pál Teleki and other Hungarian diplomats in Trianon were not used to the tone of the French PM, and therefore, they thought that he hates them.

However, they were not right; Clemenceau worked only for what he believed the national interest of France was. For example, he hated Romanian PM Ion Bratianu, but he gave Transylvania to Romania because he believed that a Greater-Romania behind the back of Germany is important for Paris.

3. Romanian prostitutes influenced the entente decision makers

This is a “good sounding” lie. In fact, the Romanian lobby was very powerful in Paris from the end of the 19th century, and it cannot be totally excluded that there were even Romanian prostitutes in the salons of the French youth. However, Historians all agree that this, of course, was not a decisive factor, at all.

Though we know that Romanian Queen Mary, a beautiful celebrity of her age,

met entente politicians,

and in March-April 1919 we also know that she did so to restore the reputation of PM Bratianu because the Entente powers resented Romania for its peace treaty of Bucharest on 1918 May with the central powers.

4. Czech politicians said that the Ipoly and the Ronyva are navigable rivers

Of course, they are not, but, also, the Czechs did not really tell this lie to Entente decision makers. Some assumed this because Prague wanted to gain even more land and thus they were thought to struggle for a more Southern borderline in Trianon. The reason behind the widely believed gossip is that the Czechs, the Romanians and the Serbs wanted to gain control over as many Hungarian railway lines as possible and the Entente powers backed this goal for obvious reasons.

In this case, the railway ran near the two rivers, and it was the only connection to Transcarpathia which was given to Czechoslovakia. This is how such a pathetic decision could be made as

Sátoraljaújhely remained part of Hungary while its railway station was given to Czechoslovakia.

5. The United States did not sign the Peace Treaty of Trianon because they believed it is very unjust


This cannot be true because the American delegation travelled home after the German peace treaty in 1919. Only a few American diplomats remained in Europe as observers. It is true that even though the American ambassador to Paris signed the treaty,

the Congress did not ratify it later.

But, actually, the US legislation did not ratify any of the treaties, and, of course, the Hungarian one was no exception. In fact, by the time the treaties should have been signed, the Republicans gained a majority in both houses, and they did not want to become part of the League of Nations.


  1. John Wood, what is your reference that Hungary will get back its territories next year? Based on my knowledge it is just a fairytale. And what do you think, how it will happen?

  2. The reality is that if Hungary were to somehow “get back” the territories it lost from Trianon, there would be much more non-Hungarians in the country than Hungarians. In short, if there was an election, Hungarians would lose. Hungary needs to concentrate on solving its population problem. Some models project that the population of Hungary, which is about 9,750,000 today may drop to as low as 6,500,000 by 2050 due to low birth rate and massive emigration of young people to Western Europe and elsewhere. This will be catastrophic for Hungary economically as well as from a national security point of view..

  3. John woods, instead of apologizing for the raping of Hungary why don’t you research and share with the readers the monetary gifts, many of the politicians favouring the “new” countries received? How a country with historic blood ties to its territories, documented history and geographic territory was stolen by a bunch of cut throat thieves?

  4. Dear Krisztian, I think you should read the article carefully because it is about misbeliefs regarding Trianon.

  5. Dear alhorvath, the article is about misbeliefs regarding Trianon so it deals with the fact that many Hungarians believe even today that after 100 years (in 2020) the peace treaty will somehow expire (it is not in effect today but they do not care for the historical facts). We did not write anything about getting back territories.

  6. Dear Edward, in the article it is clearly written that there was an effective lobby in favour of Romania, Serbia and Czechoslovakia in Paris. But it is also emphasized that this was not a decisive factor, great powers and mostly France decided based on what they thought their national interests are.

  7. Thank you for responding Mr. Woods. . I agree , in part, that the Entente and mainly France and England pushed for the destruction of Hungary. I disagree that the lobby was not a decisive factor. Money will corrupt any decision. Lord Seton Watson, a great sympathiser of Czech, Slovak and Romania, pressed his influence upon the authors of Hungary’s destruction. Maps drawn up by the Czechs, Romanians and Serbs showed many falsehoods and claims. River names and place names were shown in every language but Hungarian. The bigger the lie and the louder you shout it, the easier it will be believed.,
    The Treaty was not only pushed by Clemencaeu but others who hated Hungary and Hungarians. The pan-Slavic movement was aiming for Hungary’s destruction from the late 1800’s. So the treaty itself was already set into play years before. The players were only looking for the opportune time.

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