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                                         MARGARET BOTOS





Eighty-five years ago, on June 4, 1920, Hungary lost two thirds of her territory and half of her population to the surrounding states.  Since that time, more than 3 million Hungarians have been living outside of Hungary in states which have regarded them as a minority and have treated them as second-class citizens, even harassing and persecuting them with programs which amount to ethnic genocide. The Hungarians living in the Successor States have been forbidden to use their mother-tongue, Hungarian language schools were closed and worship in Hungarian was forbidden.  They were denied the opportunities for higher education and were refused leadership positions in the educational, legal or political arenas.


The border changes were made by the victorious powers at the end of World War I., by politicians who knew nothing about Hungarian history, the geography of the area or the circumstances of the day.  They relied on fabricated information, false statistics and unfounded accusations provided to them by politicians from the states that stood to benefit from the border revisions.


For over a thousand years, Hungary had existed in the Carpathian Basin, an area that was geographically perfect for the development of a nation; a great plain surrounded by mountains, which made a natural defensible border.  The people were self-sufficient, able to produce enough food by agricultural and pastoral farming and use the minerals and ores from the mountains for their manufacturing industries. They were even able to provide enough agricultural products to support almost the whole of  Europe.  The Hungarian people were in the majority in the Carpathian Basin. 


The territory of Hungary was reduced from 282,000 square kilometers to 93,000 square kilometers.  Rumania received the largest part, 103,000 square kilometers, which is 36.2% of Historic Hungary.  This territory alone is bigger than mutilated Hungary which retained 92,963 square kilometers. 


Hungary lost all the national resources which are essential for her existence.  Her lost  resources helped to stabilize the new states.   50.7% of the industrial workers were given to the new states.  Their productive value which generated 44.4% profit was also given away.  The steel, textile, cement, glass, milling, timber and paper industries suffered the most.  The salt and coal mines and stone quarries were all given to the Successor States, together with the natural gas wells.  They took away the railroads, the highways and the telephone lines.  57.8% of the Hungarian railroads and 60.3% of the Hungarian highways were given to the Successor States.  The lives of millions of people were affected.  They had to change their language, their customs, their culture, their allegiance, their whole lives, yet they remained in the same territory in the Carpathian Basin, where their ancestors had lived for a thousand years.


Two new states were created artificially, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, by annexing parts of Hungary to the existing territories.  These states claimed the Hungarian territory by providing incorrect statistics and false information about the treatment of their minorities within Hungary.  Lloyd George, British Prime Minister, acknowledged this: „Some of the proofs which our allies  provided were lies and distortions.  We made decisions on false claims.”[1] 

Even before the end of World War I., there was a plan to destroy Hungary and create new states.  Hungary was surrounded by Slavs and the goal of the Pan-Slav movement was to move toward the West and take over Europe.  The Germans, on the other hand wished to move toward the East, following the centuries-old philosophy of the “Drang nach Osten” of the Hapsburg Empire.  Hungary was in the middle, forced to join Austria on the German side because she was part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. 


Karl Marx said: „Pan-Slavism is not only a goal for the unification of the Slav people but it is also a goal to destroy a thousand years of history in Europe. . . . When Pan-Slavism has reached this goal then the Slavs will begin to subjugate Europe.  Europe has only two choices, to accept Pan-Slavism or to conquer Russia and eradicate the center of Pan-Slavism.[2]


The Czech politicians, Tamas Masaryk and Edvard Benes, used the anti-German politics of the Great Powers to their own advantage. Initially, they only advocated a Central European Peoples’ alliance, under Czech leadership.  In this way they intended to change the political situation of Central Europe.  Their goal was to eradicate Hungary and create a Czech-Slovak-Croatian-Serb federation in which they would have included Rumania.  In this way they felt that they would be strong enough to oppose Germany.  The Czech politicians spread the idea that the division of Hungary would secure the stability of Central Europe.  Benes proposed that the new Czechoslovakia would be the buffer state for Europe against attacks from the East and from the West.  Czechoslovakia received Ruthenia (Carpathian Ukraine) at the end of World War I., although there were only 234 Czechs living there.  The Czech language became the official language of the Ruthenians.  After World War II.  Czechoslovakia gave this territory to the USSR. When the Soviets annexed Ruthenia, they deported the Ruthenian populace aged 18 to 50 years old.  As time passed they allowed the oldest 5 age groups to return.  The rest were absorbed into the millions of Soviets.  After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, this territory became the property of the Ukraine.


On May 17, 1915, in Cleveland, Ohio, representatives of the emigrant Czechs and Slovaks signed an agreement for an independent Slovakia within Czechoslovakia.  Based on this agreement, President Wilson became convinced of the brotherly unification of the Czechs and Slovaks and supported the formation of Czechoslovakia.[3]  How was it possible that the emigrant Czechs and Slovaks were allowed to express their wish for self-determination but the Hungarians who were living in the Carpathian Basin had no right to a plebiscite?


Masaryk and Benes had a widespread propaganda campaign.  The politicians of the time were easily bribed and the press was paid huge sums by Prague, Moscow, Bucharest and Belgrade to spread the Pan-Slav propaganda.[4] Already in 1917, The Czech Revolutionary organizations had divided Hungary between each other.  These plans were helped by the French and the English advisors, and Lord Northcliffe with his financial support, when they made the decisions, in London, Amsterdam and Paris.  The propaganda committee met regularly in London at the house of the Marquis of Crewe from 1918 until the decision at Trianon.  These were the people who influenced the decision at Trianon.  The new borders were drawn from the proposals of this group.  All the statistical data were provided to this committee by Benes. The president of this group was Lord Northcliffe.  The members of the committee were the Count of Denbigh; Robert Donald, the editor of the Daily Chronicle; Sir Roderick Jones, the director of Reuter News Agency; Sir Sidney Low; Sir Charles Nicholson, Member of Parliament; Sir James O’Grady; Wickham Steed, foreign correspondent of The Times; Seton Watson, editor and historian, and H.G. Wells, the writer.[5]


Fifteen years later, the British acknowledged that they were misled.  Therefore, more than two hundred Members of Parliament demanded the revision of the Hungarian borders.


Benes called for the eradication of Hungary. „Détruisez l’Autriche-Hongrie!  Austria-Hungary has to be destroyed.  We have to unify the Czechs with the Slovaks and the Yugoslavs.  Think finally of the interest of Europe, which is your interest.”[6]   


Benes and Masaryk hid the real goal of the Czechs behind their public goal of democracy.  They demanded self-determination for the Czechs and the Slovaks.  At the same time, they vehemently opposed this same right for other peoples.


 Since the time of King (Saint) István, who was crowned in AD. 1000, Hungary had welcomed foreigners and had encouraged Serbs and Vlachs, fleeing from the Turks, to settle in Hungary and nourish their culture with their own schools, even universities.  In 1648, the catechism was translated into Wallachian by István Fogarassy (a Hungarian) and published in the Wallachian language.  In the same year Fogarassy translated the New Testament into Wallachian and three years later the Psalms of David.  These settlers repaid this generosity by claiming the land they had settled on and accusing the Hungarians of oppression.  The Rumanians, Serbs, Czechs and Slovaks demanded self-determination.  The Allies were persuaded by the propaganda of Masaryk and Benes and proposed that the borders be redrawn according to plebiscites. 


On December, 1, 1918, at the Rumanian National Assembly at Gyulafehérvár, the leaders of the Transylvanian Rumanians declared that they wanted to join the Rumanian kingdom forever.  There were approximately 100,000 Transylvanian Rumanians who took part in this Assembly.  The rest of the populace of this territory, Serbs, Saxons and Hungarians were not allowed to take part in this plebiscite.


The Corfu Agreement, which the Serb government effected on July 27, 1917, supposedly states that the south Slav minorities desired to join with Serbia. Henri Pozzi, a French politician says: „This is a barefaced lie and one of the greatest frauds of the age.[7]  He states that: „it was not the leaders of the Monarchy’s so-called ‘suppressed south Slav minorities’ who negotiated this unification but it was three individuals, Wickham Steed, the foreign correspondent for The Times, Seton Watson, the leader of the Slav propaganda in London and Doctor Trumbic, the former mayor of the Dalmatian city of Zára.”[8] Seton Watson wrote about the Corfu Agreement  in the London Review of Reviews five years later, in 1923.  He stated that the „suppressed minorities” were represented by a few dozen Croatians, Slovenes, Illyrians, and Serb emigrants and these were joined by a few Czech soldiers who were Italian prisoners of war.  He told Pozzi that the Frenchman,  Magat, the Director of the Corfu Press, said, „This was the height of absurdity, but it was a great success!”[9]


 The Serbs were unable to live peaceably with the other ethnic groups which made up Yugoslavia and the Republic of Yugoslavia ceased to exist in 1990, allowing Serbia to become an independent state, retaining the Hungarian territories awarded to it in 1920.


The Túrócszentmárton Declaration of October 30, 1918, provided for the formation of Czechoslovakia by unifying the Czechs and the Slovaks into one state, based on the false claims that they were the same people.  The 700,000 Hungarians in this territory were denied a plebiscite.  The Czechs and the Slovaks were unable to live together in harmony and Czechoslovakia finally broke up in 1992, to become two separate states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which retained the Hungarian territories awarded it in 1920.

Lord Weardale, a British politician, stated:  “The principle of self-determination, which was the reason for which we went to war, was disregarded in countless cases, none of them so obviously as when the borders of Hungary were decided.[10]

André Tardieu, one of the creators of the Treaty of Trianon, said:  “We had to choose between a plebiscite and the creation of Czechoslovakia.”   He was paid for the latter.[11]


Henri Pozzi quotes from a letter from French President Millerand to British Prime Minister Lloyd George: „We all definitely acknowledge that there is a possibility of revisions of the Treaty.”[12]


Hungarians all over the world unite with their separated brethren in the continued hope for just revisions of the infamous Treaty of Trianon.



Information taken from The Road to the Dictated Peace by László Botos, Cleveland 1999






[1] Lángi, Mária: Trianon, MET Publishing Corporation, Hungary, 1996, p. 83; Lloyd George, Speech at Queens Hall

[2] Kostya, p. 82; Karl Marx’s Political Works, Vol. 6, Budapest, 1960, p. 196

[3] Pozzi, Henri: A századunk bűnösei, p. 249

[4] Szőllősy, Sándor: Ez az igazság, London, Hídfő, 1968  p. 117.

[5] Pozzi, Henri: Századunk bűnösei, p. 186

[6] Ibid. p 88.  Benes: Détruisez l’Autriche-Hongrie

[7] Pozzi, Henri: Századunk bűnösei p. 232

[8] Ibid: p. 228

[9] Ibid: p. 237

[10] Lángi, Mária: Trianon, MET Publishing Corporation, Hungary, 1996, p. 8;  Vecseklői József: Nemzetgyilkossági kísérlet, Lakitelek,

       1993, 112.

[11] Kollányi Károly: A Kárpátmedence Európában, Budapest, 1991 p. 24; Tardieu, André: La Paix

[12] Pozzi, Henri: Szazadunk bűnösei, 1936, translated by Dr. Frigyes Marjay,  Budapest, p.292; Letter to Lloyd George