|The Treaty of Trianon and
the Dismemberment of Hungary
More than one century ago the great French ecclesiastical orator, Father Gratry sounded this solemn warning from the pulpit of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris: \"Every nation\'s homeland is sacred. If you destroy one of them you mutilate the entire human race. He who wants to kill a group of people, takes up arms against God himself by attacking the living providential design of history. Our conscience tells us, it is a crime. And history adds, it is a futile crime. Thanks to God, our crimes are not only futile. they are also an unbearable burden, bringing ruin and punishment upon the evildoer.\"
References: (R.P. GRATRY La Paix, méditation politique et religieuse) Paris 1861.
Hungary Dismembered at Trianon
Hungary Pre-Trianon 324 411 km2 100.0%
Romania 103 093 km2 31.78%
Serbia 62 092 km2 19.14%
Czechoslovakia 61 633 km2 18.9%
Austria 4 020 km2 1.24%
Poland 589 km2 0.18%
Italy 21 km2 0.000065%
Successor States Total 231 448 km2 71.345%
Remainder to Dismembered Hungary 92 963 km2 28.655%
\"We must not forget that the territories on question are in the vicinity of Russia, the most critical part of Europe today, and so lie in the path of that advance of Bolshevism which must sooner or later ensue...\"
From a pamphlet entitled, \"Justice for Hungary!\", 1932
The Treaty of Trianon (1920)...
in the aftermath of WWI, was extremely harsh on Hungary and unjustifiably one-sided. The resulting \"treaty\" lost Hungary an unprecedented 2/3 of her territory, and 1/2 of her total population or 1/3 of her Hungarian-speaking population. Add to this the loss of up to 90% of vast natural resources, industry, railways, and other infrastructure. This was done to a nation whose borders were established over a thousand years earlier (896 A.D.) and one who lost countless lives defending the rest of Europe from numerous invasions from the likes of the Mongolian Tatars and the Ottoman Turks.
The victors in WWI, and primarily the French, were eager to weaken the former Austria-Hungary. In addition, the French wanted to reward those nations and groups that assisted them in the war with large pieces of territory. As you can see in the map below, these territorial changes were very large. The Slovaks, Serbs, and Romanians, however, wanted much more. To this day, some in Romania still claim territory that includes Budapest. These claims are based on some seriously unfortunate state propaganda-cum-history about an ancient Roman province called Dacia. This revised history, accelerated by Ceaucescu, has become the accepted state historical doctrine of Rumania now taught to schoolchildren, making the process of reconciliation much more difficult. Hungarians today are the one of the largest minorities in Europe. Numbering in the millions, Hungarian minorities are second only to the Russians who became \"minorities\" with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Hungarians live under harsh persecution in the new states created by the treaty. Though the situation has slightly improved under the new and more enlightened Constantinescu government, the Helsinki Watch Committee called Romanian efforts to \"purify\" Transylvania as \"Cultural Genocide.\" The Slovaks, in what was Northern Hungary, with their \"Language Law\" which sounds like something out of Nazi Germany, forbid the use of Hungarian in official places. Perhaps more unbelievably, the original bill, which was later amended, also forbade Hungarian (or any other language) in church. In one of the most recent attacks on human rights, the Slovaks have made the Hungarian National Anthem illegal unless an official delegation has been invited by the government. Still more recently in June \'97, a Hungarian teacher was fired because he handed out bi-lingual grade reports to his students who were mostly Hungarian. Efforts to guarantee anew the rights of the Hungarian \"minorities\" in Slovakia have been unsucccessful and Slovakia has continued to alienated itself from the West, NATO, and the European Union.
The West, in its infinite wisdom, created out of Hungary and the Austrian Empire the unlikely \"nations\" of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and doubled the size of Romania which itself was created only some 60 years earlier. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, the signatories of the treaty, have ceased to exist, yet the borders remain unchanged. Though the United States recommended a more liberal approach in regards to Hungary, it did not prevail. The \"self-determination of the nationalities\" posited by President Woodrow Wilson resulted in only one plebiscite in Sopron, in Western Hungary. The vote was overwhelmingly pro-Hungarian and Sopron remained within the new borders. Oddly enough, although Austria was also a loser in the war, she also received a part of Hungary, and Sopron, after its plebiscite, became a border city. Prior to WWII, a sympathetic ear (and posturing) from Germany gained Hungary part of her northern territory from Czechoslovakia and Northern Transylvania from Romania only to plunge her into another disaster and occupation by first Nazis and later Soviet communists. Her land was again taken. One part of northern Hungary was then transferred from Czechoslovakia and became part of the Soviet Union and is today part of the Ukraine.