Europe offers and services much breathtaking diversity. Hungary for instance: 10 Million inhabitants, instituted as a democratic republic as form of government, surrounded by Austria, Slowakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, it developed a mixed economy from 1989 and evolved from a state repressed by the Russians (see Memento Park with statues of the Cold War) towards a state with more freedom. After Habsburg and Ottoman era, Austro-Hungarian monarchy came into existence, ending with the Treaty of Trianon. The country is a member of the European Union (still 'Ft' as currency), OECD and the NATO. The Central European University (CEU) participates in EU higher education support schemes and Hungary Academy of Scienes on the European integration process. Main religion is Roman Catholic.

Budapest, the capital city and at the same time the cultural center of central Europe, combines a centuries-old architectural and cultural heritage with the latest features of modern life.
Neo-Gothic (Parliament, Matthias church), neo-Classical (
St. Stephen's Basilica), neo-Renaissance (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) and neo-Baroque (Széchenyl Spa Baths) styles, beautiful fine art, statues, musea, baths and churches, together with the music (e.g. the Szeged Open-Air Festival, which offers up a real treat to fans of opera, jazz and gospel music and where the city’s Dóm Square will be the one venue in Europe to hear classic melodies), theatres and folklore is a feast for the eyes and the mind.

Gyula Illyés is a well-known poet and novelist, with love, life and death as main themes.   A large part of the buildings are on the world heritage list of UNESCO.
In the era of 2012 however, the Hungarian democracy is in danger. Resistance against the 'one party dictatorship' is growing. Hungary is developing rapidly into democratic problem child of Europe. After the European Commission and the U.S. Government expressed for months their concern about the democratic decisions of the new constitution, which came into force, resistance in Budapest is increasing.
















The Liberty Statue or Freedom Statue, a monument on the Gellért Hill in Budapest, Hungary. It commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary.


Presidency of the EU | state of democracy | impressions | Central European University | 60 Years After the Hungarian Revolution | Treaty of Trianon


  Presidency of the EU
Taking forward the Strategic
Agenda 18-month Programme of the Council (1 July 2023 - 31 December 2024)
  Hungarian EU Presidency to Prioritize Cohesion Policy and Demographic Issues


state of democracy  
Population, as well as a group of prominent intellectuals raised the alarm. In this regard, in 2012, the New Year's message Democracy is at stake was send. "Liberal democracy, as designed in the West seemed ended, autonomy of power center looks to have become more of a formality". An analysis of a series of legislative changes (1) and actions expressed that increasing speed is built up for a one-party dictatorships.

Both the European Commission and the U.S. government has objected against provisions in the new constitution and other laws and measures.

The independence of both the central bank and of the judiciary is limited and political control over the media reinforced. The government says that the amendments fit into a process in which the country finally will leave behind his communist past, after years of half-hearted and often corrupt government. Intellectuals say that not only economic problems can lead to disintegration of the European Union, but also anti-democratic policies. They also say it is a warning. Hungary is a sad example of what can happen when it is tried to solve problems caused by the economic and social crisis through authoritarian remedies and a policy of national isolation. Early 2013, the constitutional Court and pressure of massive student protests resulted that intended changes in power could not be put.

In light of the 2018 election results, a main expectation can be the continuation of building the project of an “illiberal democracy.” This project has so far generated an extreme pressure for the rule of law in Hungary; openly resisting European Union values, disregarding fundamental rights and eliminating critical voices from public debate. The means are many and flexible. They include overarching judicial reforms, dominating the press, interfering with academic freedom, and attacking the work of non-governmental organisations. This list is not complete.

With the third parliamentary mandate it can be expected that these measures will continue. Indeed, few days after the elections, one pro-government newspaper published a blacklist containing the name of 200 individuals – labeled as “the people (mercenaries) of Soros.” The list included NGO leaders, professors at the Central European University and journalists.

website of the Hungarian government
At the time of writing, the Central European University is preparing to open a campus in Vienna. Furthermore, the Open Society Foundation – one of the NGO’s that played a key role in securing fundamental rights, minority rights and the rule of law in Hungary since the fall of communism – announced its relocation to Berlin.

(1) Controversial laws: Constitutional court extended with party members, possibly troublesome judges sent into early retirement, media council harnessed which can impose wide-ranging sanctions and heavy fines, electoral law changed in favour of ruling party, private pensions transferred to the state, political appointments affect independence of central bank governor, a popular and critical radio station beaten in frequency allocation

2022: The European Commission may reduce or stop subsidies to EU countries if a country does not respect democratic rights and freedoms. That is what the European Court of Justice says in a ruling on the conflict between the European Commission and the EU Member States Poland and Hungary. No appeal is possible against this decision. In 2020, the European Parliament and the European Council approved this European Commission's tool to enforce EU rules. Like the legal and political instruments, this new financial instrument is not a panacea for the Hungarian rule of law. Pressure from the EU is desirable, but in the end the Hungarians should above all stand up for their rule of law.



Work, welfare, knowledge, honour and peace
August 21 Heroes' Square: laying wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior
iron curtain
Part of the iron curtain.
Hungarian National Museum

central europe university
ceu bookshop CEU bookshop
In 1000 AC Stefan I, the first Christian king, was crowned
Stefanus I (975-1038)

Francis I being crowned 1792
Holy Roman Emperor, emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, King of Croatia and Slavonia, King of Italy

Events and people showing the atmosphere. Touch parts of the diversity:

Metro line no 1 (Andrássy)
constructed in 1872 - 1884
market hall
Remarkable Central Market Hall

Traveling the airport
Metroline no 3 (blue line)


Central European University

(1) Fidesz’s illiberal democracy may have its eye on CEU in 2017 February 3, 2017 by Justin Spike

Budapest’s Central European University (CEU) may come into the cross hairs of the Hungarian government in 2017 as part of the broader war it is declaring on civil society. Top Fidesz members in government have openly expressed their desires to “sweep out” certain civil organizations from the country, especially those funded by billionaire Hungarian-American financier and philanthropist George Soros, claiming that they are a threat to Hungarian sovereignty, democracy, and national security. CEU was founded by Soros in 1991, and its leftist tendencies have reportedly provoked the ire of the Orbán government: recent reports suggest that the crusade against NGOs might even reach this “crown jewel” of Soros-funded organizations in Hungary. 

An article appeared in the conservative business weekly Figyelő this week that suggests the Hungarian government might be considering concrete steps to rid Hungary of top-rated graduate-level university CEU. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán reportedly met secretly with CEU founder George Soros last summer, during which Orbán promised the billionaire that the government would not take steps to interfere with the university’s operations. However, with major changes in the global political landscape, the government might now be willing to risk such an attack on the university that it may not have dared prior to the election of American President Donald Trump, writes Figyelő.

A ranking government cabinet member reportedly remarked in closed-circle talks that CEU could be the government’s primary target in 2017. While it is unknown whether the cabinet member was speaking on behalf of higher levels of government or simply of his own desires, the statements implied that the government would like the university to leave the country.

CEU has one of the most prestigious social science programs in Europe, but some conservatives speculate that its Gender Studies department, in addition to what has been described as a “Marxist” sociology department, may be a factor rankling the conservative political establishment in Hungary. As Figyelő writes, “the identity-politics cultural line is incompatible with Hungarian illiberalism. While at first glance it seems more disconcerting than dangerous, the conservative parties around the world view the spread of the gender revolution, which is now one of the focuses at CEU, with great worry.”

The Orbán regime has indeed taken a hard line against gender politics: Budapest will reportedly host the ultra-conservative World Congress of Families in May, with Viktor Orbán as one of its primary patrons. The congress is intended to emphasize that Hungary stands “on the good side” of identity politics, with the “classical family” and parenthood, and against gay marriage and abortion.

But pressure on CEU would likely come not only from the retrograde moral convictions of the regime. Such rumors of impending attacks on the university hardly seem coincidental in light of recent threats against Soros-connected organizations made by high-level government figures such as government spokesman Zoltán Kovács, Fidesz vice-president Szilárd Németh, and Minister Overseeing the Office of the Prime Minister János Lázár. 2017 was declared to be the year that the government “use every means possible to repulse the pseudo-civil organizations of the Soros empire.”

A shot in the foot to save the skin

“An attack like this would be like the government shooting itself in the foot,” said a Figyelő source within CEU, arguing that it would be foolish for the government to stand in the way of a university that could raise Budapest to the level of an international higher education center. But CEU’s profile in Hungary as a nest of liberal elitist intelligentsia may be more than the government is willing to gamble on in its construction of an “illiberal democracy.” Indeed, many of the faculty at CEU are sharp critics of the Fidesz government, and some are even former opposition politicians. Such a dense center of criticism is naturally at risk at a time when the government has declared open war on regime-critical NGOs such as Transparency International, the Helsinki Committee, and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union.

It isn’t the first time CEU has faced such existential threats: the Fidesz government once tried to withdraw the university’s accreditation when a new education law dictated that it would not be issued an operating license. The case inspired a flurry of support for CEU, and the issue was eventually resolved. But university officials have reportedly browsed real estate in Bonn, Germany, in case of a possible relocation. But there is not necessarily consensus within Fidesz’s ranks on what to do about CEU. Figyelő spoke to a Fidesz parliamentary faction member who said there is no need to administratively undermine the university, but rather to establish an “anti-CEU” in Budapest.

A shot in the foot to save the skin

“An attack like this would be like the government shooting itself in the foot,” said a Figyelő source within CEU, arguing that it would be foolish for the government to stand in the way of a university that could raise Budapest to the level of an international higher education center. But CEU’s profile in Hungary as a nest of liberal elitist intelligentsia may be more than the government is willing to gamble on in its construction of an “illiberal democracy.” Indeed, many of the faculty at CEU are sharp critics of the Fidesz government, and some are even former opposition politicians. Such a dense center of criticism is naturally at risk at a time when the government has declared open war on regime-critical NGOs such as Transparency International, the Helsinki Committee, and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union.

It isn’t the first time CEU has faced such existential threats: the Fidesz government once tried to withdraw the university’s accreditation when a new education law dictated that it would not be issued an operating license. The case inspired a flurry of support for CEU, and the issue was eventually resolved. But university officials have reportedly browsed real estate in Bonn, Germany, in case of a possible relocation. But there is not necessarily consensus within Fidesz’s ranks on what to do about CEU. Figyelő spoke to a Fidesz parliamentary faction member who said there is no need to administratively undermine the university, but rather to establish an “anti-CEU” in Budapest.

CEU rector Michael Ignatieff wrote an open letter to the editors of Figyelő in response to their article, which he described as “misleading.” Figyelő was recently purchased by a key Fidesz-connected figure, the revisionist historian and director of the House of Terror museum Mária Schmidt. Here is Michael Ignatieff’s open letter:

"Dear editor in chief, I am writing in reaction to the article which came out today in Figyelő titled “Can the Soros school stay?”, which presents parts of our institution in a misleading way. Central European University (CEU) is proud to have been a member of the Hungarian higher education system for 25 years. We have numerous university programs which are accredited in Hungary. CEU rectors are appointed by the President of the Republic of Hungary.

Hungarians make up the largest nationality among CEU students. 20 percent of our students are Hungarian and we are proud of our international student body which comes from 117 countries. Contrary to allegations in your article, 40 percent of our teaching faculty is Hungarian, many of whom returned home to Hungary from abroad to teach and do research at CEU. We employ nearly 700 Hungarian workers. Our university spends nearly HUF 10 billion (USD 34.7 million) annually in Hungary on payroll and other expenses, including taxes, social security, healthcare contributions, and other goods and services purchased from Hungarian suppliers. This wonderful city has been our home for 25 years. We believe we have made a great contribution to life in the city over the years, and Budapest has given a lot to us.

We are not a civil organization. We aren’t a political platform. We are a university, which is proud of its education and its research. 14,000 of our graduates work in the business world, in government offices, in international organizations and in universities around the world. We cooperate with other outstanding Hungarian institutions such as the Hungarian Sciences Academy, the Eötvös Loránd University of Science (ELTE), the Budapest Corvinus University, and others. It is a false claim that we take resources from other institutions.

While CEU’s research truly is successful in receiving European Union support, the article makes an exaggerated claim when it says that CEU “takes away 95 percent of research and development funds.” These funds would otherwise go to other countries. The educational and research activities conducted at CEU do not displace state-financed universities from any market. Instead, they contribute to national research and educational capacities. Additionally, we consistently seek cooperation in our research with Hungarian partners, even if we are funding the research from our own sources. We are proud of our OLIve program, mentioned in the article, which on the basis of Hungarian law offers education to refugees who have received asylum. The program offers access to higher education, and our full year programs are jointly conducted with two other European universities, Vienna University and East London University.

We have a relationship with the Open Society Foundation that goes way back, but we have no influence on the institution’s funding decisions — we are concentrating exclusively and independently on our own higher education activities. The university was founded by George Soros, and we are proud that we can nurture a relationship with a Hungarian patriot, but we maintain our independence which is key to every excellent university.

The article suggests that the Hungarian government is considering taking steps against CEU. On the contrary: we have worked together with every Hungarian government for the past 25 years, including the present one. We expect to maintain this good relationship in the future as well.


60 Years After the Hungarian Revolution  
60 Years ago, on the afternoon of 23 October 1956, approximately 20,000 protesters convened next to the statue of József Bem—a national hero of Poland and Hungary. Péter Veres, President of the Writers' Union, read a manifesto to the crowd, which included: The desire for Hungary to be independent from all foreign powers; a political system based on democratic socialism (land reform and public ownership of some businesses); Hungary joining the United Nations; and citizens of Hungary should have all the rights of free men. After the students read their proclamation, the crowd chanted a censored patriotic poem the "National Song", with the refrain: "This we swear, this we swear, that we will no longer be slaves." Someone in the crowd cut out the Communist coat of arms from the Hungarian flag, leaving a distinctive hole and others quickly followed suit. Afterwards, most of the crowd crossed the River Danube to join demonstrators outside the Parliament Building. By 18:00, the multitude had swollen to more than 200,000 people; the demonstration was spirited, but peaceful.

During the night of 23 October, Hungarian Working People's Party Secretary Ernő Gerő requested Soviet military intervention "to suppress a demonstration that was reaching an ever greater and unprecedented scale." The Soviet leadership had formulated contingency plans for intervention in Hungary several months before. By 02:00 on 24 October, acting in accordance with orders of Georgy Zhukov, the Soviet defence minister, Soviet tanks entered Budapest.

24 October 2016, the Embassy of Hungary in the Netherlands organized a panel discussion on '60 Years After the Hungarian Revolution - Diplomacy and Sovereignty', hosted by The Hague Institute for Global Justice.. Discussed was the historical and international context of the 1956 revolution, the Dutch position at the time, as well as how the aftermath of the revolution affected Hungarians. Next to this, discussed was also how the revolution affected Hungary’s perceptions of sovereignty, and how varying perceptions of sovereignty in Europe have played a role in the aftermath of the 2004 enlargement process.



The Treaty of Trianon is the peace treaty concluded at the end of World War I by the Allies of World War I, on one side, and Hungary, seen as a successor of Austria-Hungary, on the other. It established the borders of Hungary and regulated its international situation. Hungary was shorn of over 72% of the territory it had previously controlled, which left 64% of the inhabitants including 3.3 out of 10.7 million (31%) ethnic Hungarians living outside of Hungary under the treaty. Her territory shrank from 325,111 km2 to 93,000 km2 and her population from 20.9 million to 7.6 million. The principal beneficiaries of territorial adjustment were Romania, Czechoslovakia, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The Hungarian delegation signed the treaty under protest on 4 June 1920 at the Grand Trianon Palace in Versailles, France. Hungary recovered part of its lost territories in 1939–40, but was later reduced to boundaries approximating those of 1920 by the peace treaties signed after the 2nd World War at Paris, 1947.

New borders of Hungary

The Hungarian government terminated the real union with Austria on 31 October 1918, officially dissolving the Austro-Hungarian state. The de facto temporary borders of independent Hungary were defined by the ceasefire lines in November-December 1918. Compared with the former Kingdom of Hungary, these temporary borders did not include:

  • On 29 October 1918, the Parliament of the Croatia-Slavonia terminated he union with Hungary. After that it first formed a State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs with other South Slavic formerly Austro-Hungarian territories on 1 October 1918, then the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by joining with the Kingdom of Serbia on 1 December 1918.

    Part of Transylvania south of the Mureş river and east of the Someş river, which came under the control of Romania (cease-fire agreement of Belgrade signed on 13 November 1918). On 1 December 1918, the National Assembly of Romanians in Transylvania declared union with the Kingdom of Romania.

    Most of the Baranya, Bács-Bodrog, Torontál, Temes and Krassó-Szörény counties according to the ceasefire agreement of Belgrade signed on 13 November 1918. The Great People's Assembly of Serbs, Croats, Bunyevs, Slovaks, Rusyns and other peoples from Banat, Bačka and Baranja declared union with the Kingdom of Serbia on 25 November 1918. The ceasefire line had a character of temporary international border until the treaty. On 1 December 1918, the National Assembly of Romanians in Banat voted union with the Kingdom of Romania

    Upper Hungary, which became part of Czechoslovakia as Slovakia (status quo set by the Czechoslovak legions and accepted by the Entente on 25 November 1918). Afterwards the Slovak politician Milan Hodža discussed with the Hungarian Minister of Defence, Albert Bartha, a temporary demarcation line which more or less followed the Slovak-Hungarian linguistic border. That was signed on 6 December, in 1918.

    The city of Fiume (Rijeka), which joined the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, but was subsequently occupied by the Italian Army and became a matter of international dispute between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

  • After the military victory of Croatian forces led by Slavko Kvaternik in Međimurje against Hungarian forces this region voted in the Great Assembly of 9 January 1919 for separation from Hungary and entry into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

After the Romanian Army advanced beyond this cease-fire line, the Entente powers asked Hungary (Vix note) to acknowledge the new Romanian territory gains by a new line set along the Tisza river. Unable to reject these terms and unwilling to accept them, the leaders of the Hungarian Democratic Republic resigned and the communists seized power. In spite of the country being under Allied blockade, the Hungarian Soviet Republic was formed and the Hungarian Red Army was rapidly set up. This army was initially successful against the Czechoslovak Legions (see Slovak Soviet Republic) due to having been implicitly aided with food and weapons by Italy; which made it possible for Hungary to reach nearly the former Galitian (Polish) border, thus separating the Czechoslovak and Romanian troops from each other.After a Hungarian-Czechoslovak cease-fire signed on 1 July 1919, the Hungarian Red Army left Upper Hungary by 4 July, as the Entente powers promised Hungary to invite a Hungarian delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference. In the end, this invitation was not issued. Kun then turned the Hungarian Red Army on the Romanian Army and attacked at the Tisza river on 20 July 1919. After intense fighting that lasted some five days, the Hungarian Red Army collapsed. The Royal Romanian Army marched into Budapest on 4 August 1919.The Hungarian state was restored by the Entente powers, helping Admiral Horthy into power in November 1919. On 1 December 1919 the Hungarian delegation was officially invited to the Versailles Peace Conference, however the new borders of Hungary were nearly finalized without the presence of the Hungarians. During prior negotiations, the Hungarian party, along with the Austrian, advocated the American principal of self-determination and that the disputed territories should themselves decide by free plebiscite to which country they wished to belong. However, this view did not prevail long, the reason being that it was primarily overlooked by the decisive French and British delegates. The outline of the new frontiers were drafted by the Allies with little or no regard to the historical, cultural, ethnic, geographic, economic and strategic aspects of the regio. Although the countries who were the main beneficiaries of the treaty just partially noted the issues, the Hungarian delegates tried to draw attention to them, but were left unnoticed by the Allied representatives. As a result, these problems also contributed to destabilization and the outbreak of World War II.

The 3.3 million Hungarians who ended up in foreign countries as a result of the treaty were subject to discrimination and assimilatie. Most Hungarian settlements, consisting of more than 2 million Magyars, were situated in a typically 20-50 km wide strip along the new borders in foreign territory. More concentrated groups could be found in Czechoslovakia (Felvidék), Serbia (Vojvodina or Vajdaság), and Romania (Transylvania).

The final borders of Hungary were defined by the Treaty of Trianon signed on 4 June 1920. Beside the previously mentioned territories, they did not include:
  • the rest of Transylvania together with former Eastern Hungary, which became part of Romania;

  • Carpathian Ruthenia, which became part of Czechoslovakia, pursuant to the Treaty of Saint-Germain in 1919;

  • most of Burgenland, which became part of Austria, also pursuant to the Treaty of Saint-Germain; the district of Sopron opted to remain with Hungary after a plebiscite held in December 1921 (it was the only place where a plebiscite was permitted in the decision);

  • Međimurje and Prekmurje, which became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

By the Treaty of Trianon, the cities of Pécs, Mohács, Baja and Szigetvár, which were under Yugoslav administration after November 1918, were assigned to Hungary.An arbitration committee in 1920 assigned small northern parts of the former Árva and Szepes counties of the Kingdom of Hungary with Polish majority population to Poland.After 1918, Hungary did not have access to the sea, which it had had directly through the Rijeka coastline and indirectly through Croatia-Slavonia.

With the help of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, Hungary expanded its borders towards neighboring countries at the outset of World War II, under the Munich Agreement (1938), the two Vienna Awards (1938 and 1940), following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia (occupation of northern Carpathian Ruthenia and eastern Slovakia) and following German aggression against Yugoslavia. This territorial expansion was short-lived, since the post-war boundaries agreed on at the Treaty of Paris in 1947 were nearly identical to those of 1920 (with three villages – Jarovce, Rusovce, and Čunovo – transferred to Czechoslovakia).

Consequences of the treaty

Demographic consequences

Trianon treaty
Difference between the borders of the Kingdom of Hungary within Austria-Hungary and independent Hungary after the Treaty of Trianon. Based on the 1910 census. Administrative Hungary in green, autonomous Croatia-Slavonia grey
According to the census of 1910, the largest ethnic group in the Kingdom of Hungary were the Hungarians, who were approximately 48% of the entire population (or 54% of the population of the territory referred to as "Hungary proper", i.e., excluding Croatia-Slavonia). The Kingdom of Hungary was not a nation-state as were many Western European nations.Some demographers believe that the 1910 census overstated the percentage of the Hungarian population, pointing to the discrepancy between an improbably high growth of the number of Hungarians and the decrease of other nationalities in the kingdom in the late 19th century. They also argue that there were different results in previous censuses of the Kingdom and subsequent censuses in the new states. Another problem with interpreting the census results is that the 1910 census did not record the respondents' ethnicity, but only language (whether it was "native language" or "most frequently spoken language") and the religion, thus the presented census numbers of ethnic groups in the Kingdom of Hungary are actually the numbers of speakers of various languages, which may not correspond exactly to the ethnic composition. Although the territories of the former Kingdom of Hungary that were assigned by the treaty to neighbouring states had a majority of non-Hungarian population, they also included significant Hungarian minorities, numbering 3,318,000 in total. After the treaty, the percentage and the absolute number of all Hungarian nationalities decreased in the next decades. The main reasons of this process were spontaneous assimilation and Slovakization, Romanianization, Serbianisation policy of the states. After WWII, the Czechoslovak government with the Beneš decrees granted the forcible "population transfer" (deportation) in 1945-47 of about 2.6 million former Czechoslovak citizens of German and Hungarian ethnicity to Germany, Austria and Hungary.

Distribution of the Hungarian population in the Kingdom of HungaryThe number of Hungarians in the different areas based on census data of 1910.

  • In Upper Hungary (Slovakia): 885,000 - 30%

    In Transylvania (Romania): 1,662,948 - 31.6%

    In Vojvodina (Serbia): 420,000 - 28%

    In Transcarpathia (Ukraine): 183,000 - 30%

    In Croatia: 121,000 - 3.5%

    In Slovenia: 20,800 - 1.6%

  • In Burgenland (Austria): 26,200 - 9%

Distribution of the non-Hungarian population in the Kingdom of Hungary

Slovaks, Romanians, Ruthenians, Serbo-Croatians and Germans, who represented the majority of the populations of the above-mentioned territories based on 1910 census data:

  • In Upper Hungary (Slovakia, Czechoslovakia): 1,687,977 Slovaks and 1,233,454 others (mostly Hungarians - 886,044, Germans, Ruthenians and Roma) [according to the 1921 census, however, there were 1,941,942 Slovaks and 1,058,928 others]

    In Carpathian Ruthenia (Czechoslovakia): 330,010 Ruthenians and 275,932 others (mostly Hungarians, Germans, Romanians, and Slovaks)

    In Transylvania (Romania): 2,831,222 Romanians (53.8%) and 2,431,273 others (mostly Hungarians - 1,662,948 (31.6%) and Germans - 563,087 (10.7%)). The 1919 and 1920 Transylvanian censuses indicate a greater percentage of Romanians (57.1%/57.3%) and a smaller Hungarian minority (26.5%/25.5%)

    In Vojvodina and Croatia-Slavonia (Yugoslavia): 2,756,000 Serbo-Croatians and 1,366,000 others (mostly Hungarians and Germans)

  • In Burgenland (Austria): 217,072 Germans and 69,858 others (mainly Croatian and Hungarian)

Minorities in post-Trianon Hungary

On the other hand, a considerable number of other nationalities remained within the frontiers of the new Hungary:According to the 1920 census 10.4% of the population spoke one of the minority languages as mother language:

  • 551,211 German (6.9%)

    141,882 Slovak (1.8%)

    23,760 Romanian (0.3%)

    36,858 Croatian (0.5%)

    23,228 Bunjevac and Šokac(0.3%)

  • 17,131 Serb (0.2%)

The number of bilingual people was much higher, for example 1,398,729 people spoke German (17%), 399,176 people spoke Slovak (5%), 179,928 people spoke Croatian (2.2%) and 88,828 people spoke Romanian (1.1%). Hungarian was spoken by 96% of the total population and was the mother language of 89%.The percentage and the absolute number of all non-Hungarian nationalities decreased in the next decades, although the total population of the country increased. Bilingualism was also disappearing. The main reasons of this process were spontaneous assimilation and the Magyarization policy of the state. Minorities made up 8% of the total population in 1930 and 7% in 1941 (on the post-Trianon territory).After WWII about 200,000 Germans were deported to Germany according to the decree of the Potsdam Conference. Under the forced exchange of population between Czechoslovakia and Hungary, approximately 73,000 Slovaks left Hungary. After these population movements Hungary became an ethnically almost homogeneous country except the rapidly growing number of Roma people in the second half of the 20th century.

Political consequences

The Treaty and its consequences are debated in Central European politics to this day. One of the main controversies about the Treaty of Trianon concerns the borders of Hungary.Officially for the public, the treaty was intended to be a confirmation of the concept of the right for self-determination of nations and of the concept of nation-states replacing old multinational empires. Although the treaty addressed some nationality issues, it also sparked new ones at the same time. While formal minorities of the Kingdom of Hungary, such as Slovaks, Romanians, Serbs, Croats, etc., established or joined to their nation-state; as much as one-third of the Hungarian population lived in the annexed territories beside these nationals, too. As a result, it was now a significant portion of Hungarian people, who were forced to go under foreign rule.From the point of view of most non-Hungarians that lived in the former Kingdom of Hungary, after centuries of foreign rule, the minorities of former Austria-Hungary (often called a 'dungeon of nations' by them) would finally achieve a right for self-determination and independence, and be united with other members of their nation. On the other hand, after the new borders had been established, majority of the 3.3 million Hungarians who lived in now-foreign lands were situated just outside the new border lines and were not given the option of self-determination. In addition, beside scattered Hungarian settlements, various extensive areas were composed of concentrated Hungarians too.Therefore, while the majority of the areas that had been part of the Kingdom of Hungary but were not part of the independent country after the Treaty were inhabited by non-Hungarian nationalities, there were also many areas inhabited mainly by Hungarians which were not located within the borders of Hungary after the Treaty, and there have periodically been concerns about the treatment of these ethnic Hungarian communities in the neighboring states. Areas with significant Hungarian populations include the Székely Land in Eastern Transylvania and some areas along the new Romanian-Hungarian border (cities of Arad, Temesvar), southern parts of Slovakia (see: Komárno, Csallóköz), southern parts of Carpatho-Ukraine, northern parts of Vojvodina (see: Ethnic groups of Vojvodina), etc.The Allies discarded the idea of plebiscites in any of the disputed areas with the exception of the city of Sopron, which voted to remain in Hungary (the Allies were indifferent as to the exact line of the new border between Austria and Hungary). Furthermore, ethnically diverse Transylvania, with an overall Romanian majority (53.8% - 1910 census data or 57.1% - 1919 census data or 57.3% - 1920 census data), was treated as a single entity at the peace negotiations and was assigned in entirety to Romania. The option of partition along ethnic lines as an alternative was rejected.Hence, the principle of self-determination was applied with double standards to different people by the Allies.Another reason why the victorious Allies decided to dissolve the Central-European superpower, Austria-Hungary, a strong German supporter and fast developing region, was to prevent Germany from acquiring substantial influence in the future. The Western powers' main priority was to prevent a resurgence of the German Reich and they therefore decided that her allies in the region, Austria and Hungary, should be "contained" by a ring of states friendly to the Allies, each of which would be bigger than either Austria or Hungary. Compared with the Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary, post-Trianon Hungary had 60% less population and its political and economical footprint in the region were significantly reduced: Hungary lost strategic military and economic infrastructure due to the concentric layout of the railway and road network which the borders bisected. In addition, the structure of its economy collapsed, because it used to rely on other parts of the Kingdom.(See Economic consequences) Also, the country lost access to the Mediterranean Sea, fallen short of the important sea port of Rijeka(Fiume), and became landlocked, which had a negative effect on sea trading and strategic naval operations. Besides, many trading routes from various parts of the kingdom had been abandoned that went through the new borders.With regard to the ethnic issues, the Western powers were aware of the problem posed by the presence of so many Hungarians (and Germans) living outside the core areas of the "new" nation-states of Hungary and Austria, although they assumed that the problem would solve itself over time as they expected that those ethnic Hungarians who were unhappy would gradually sell up and go to live in Hungary which did not turn out to be the case. The Romanian delegation to Versailles feared in 1919 that the Allies were beginning to favor the partition of Transylvania along ethnic lines in order to reduce the potential exodus and Prime Minister Ion I. C. Brătianu even summoned British-born Queen Marie to France to strengthen their case. The Romanians argued that they had suffered a higher relative casualty rate in the war than either Britainor France and that the Western powers had a moral debt to repay. In absolute terms, Romanian troops had considerably less casualties than either Britain or France, however. The underlying reason of the decision was a secret pact between The Entente and Romania In the Treaty of Bucharest (1916) Romania was promised Transylvania and territories to the east of river Tisza, provided that she attacked Austria-Hungary from south-east, where defense was scarce. However, after the Central Powers had noticed the military maneuver, the attempt was quickly choked off and Bucharest fell in the same year.By the time the victorious Allies arrived in France, the treaty was already settled, which made the outcome inevitable. At the heart of the dispute lay fundamentally different views of the nature of the Hungarian presence in the disputed territories. For the Hungarians the whole of the Carpathian Basin was seen as "home" (including its parts mainly inhabited by non-Hungarians who saw this area as their own "home" as well). The western powers and the American press in particular (as well as most non-Hungarians that lived in the Carpathian Basin saw the Hungarians as colonial-style rulers who had oppressed the Slavs and Romanians since 1000 AD, the foundation year of the Kingdom of Hungary. There was therefore no difference between the Turks giving up Serbia in the late nineteenth century and Hungarians giving up Transylvania or Ruthenia. For most non-Hungarians from the Carpathian Basin it was a process of decolonisation rather than a punitive dismemberment (as Hungarians saw it). The Hungarians saw it so, because, the borders where not ethnically correct, and territories with Hungarian majority[were put outside the "mock borders". The British Prime Minister David Lloyd-George was in favor of Irish independence from Britain and saw the claims of the "subject peoples" of the former Habsburg Empire in the same light. The French naturally sided with their "Latin brothers", the Romanians,[ although Clemenceau personally detested Bratianu. President Wilson initially supported the outline of a more ethnically correct border line based on the Coolidge Report, led by Harvard Professor A. C. Coolidge, but later gave in, due to changing international politics and as a courtesy to other alliesThe Hungarians did not regard the outer parts of the former Kingdom of Hungary as colonial territories, but rather part of the core national territory. For Hungarian public opinion, the realisation of losing much of the country's territories and ethnic Hungarians was followed by a lingering bitterness; because they would have preferred to maintain the integrity of the territory for mainly economic and strategic reasons, and claimed that they were ready to give the minorities a great deal of autonomy he outcome of the Treaty of Trianon is to this day remembered in Hungary as the Trianon trauma. The perceived humiliation of the treaty became a dominant theme in inter-war Hungarian politics, analogous with the German reaction to the Treaty of Versailles. All official flags in Hungary were lowered until 1938] when they were raised by one third after southern Slovakia, with 84% Hungarian population, that is to say 550.000 Hungarians was "recovered" following the Munich Conference. For Hungarian pupils in the 1930s each school-day began with a prayer calling for the reversal of the treaty. The Hungarian irredentism fueled not only the revisionist inter-war Hungarian foreign policy but became a source of regional tension after the Cold War too.

Economic consequences

To understand the economic consequences of the treaty and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, one must apprehend the way the economy of Austria-Hungary functioned.The Austro-Hungarian Empire was one economic unit with autarkic characteristics during its golden age and therefore achieved rapid growth, especially in the early 20th century when GNP grew by 1.76%. There was also a division of labour present throughout the empire: that is, in the Austrian Empire manufacturing industries were highly advanced, while in the Kingdom of Hungary an agri-industrial economy had emerged. By the late 19th century economic growth of the eastern regions consistently surpassed that of western, thus discrepancies eventually began to diminish. The key success of fast development was specialization of each region in fields that they were best.Hungary was the main supplier of wheat, rye, barley and other various goods in the empire and that made up a large portion of the empire's export, too. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic (Kingdom of Bohemia) owned 75% of the whole industrial capacity of formal Austria-Hungary. This clearly shows that the various parts of the formal monarchy were economically interdependent. To further illustrate this point, post-Trianon Hungary produced 500% more agricultural goods than it needed for itself and mills around Budapest were one of the largest ones in Europe at the time; now forced to operate at 20% level. As a consequence of the treaty, all the competitive industries of the formal empire were compelled to close doors, as great capacity was met by negligible demand owing to economic barriers presented in the form of the new borders.Furthermore, post-Trianon Hungary possessed 90% of the engineering and printing industry of the Kingdom, while only 11% of timber and 16% iron was retained. In addition, 61% of arable land, 74% of public road, 65% of canals, 62% of railroads, 64% of hard surface roads, 83% of pig iron output, 55% of industrial plants, 100% of gold, silver, copper, mercury and salt mines, and most of all, 67% of credit and banking institutions of the former Kingdom of Hungary lay within the territory of Hungary's neighbors.New borders also bisected transport links - in the Kingdom of Hungary the road and railway network had a radial structure, with Budapest in the centre. Many roads and railways, running along the new borders and interlinking radial transport lines, ended up in different, highly introvert countries. Hence, much of the rail cargo traffic of the emergent states was virtually paralyzed. These factors all combined created staggering unbalances in the artificially separated, core economic regions of the formal Monarchy.The disseminating economic chaos had been also noted in the Coolidge Report, as a very serious potential aftermath of the treaty. In spite of this fact, the warning was not taken into account during the negotiations. Thus, the resulting uneasiness and despondency of the concerned population was later one of the main antecedents of World War II. Unemployment levels in Austria, as well as in Hungary, were dangerously high, and industrial output dropped by 65%. What happened to Austria in industry, happened to Hungary in agriculture where production of grain declined by more than 70%. Austria, especially the imperial capital Vienna, was a leading investor of development projects throughout the empire with more than 2.2 billion crown capital. This sum sunk to a mere 8.6 million crowns after the treaty took effect and resulted in a starving of capital in other regions of the former empire.The disintegration of the multi-national state conversely impacted neighboring countries, too: In Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria a fifth to a third of the rural population could find no work, and industry was in no position to absorb them.In comparison, by 1921 the new Czechoslovak state reached 75% of its pre war production owing to their favorable position among the victors, thus greater access to international rehabilitation resources.With the creation of customs barriers and fragmented protective economies, the economic growth and outlook in the region sharply declined which in the end culminated in a deep recession. It proved to be immensely challenging for the successor states to successfully transform their economies in order to adapt to the new circumstances. All the formal districts of Austria-Hungary used to rely on each other's exports for growth and welfare; by contrast, 5 years after the treaty, traffic of goods between the countries dropped to less than 5% of its former value. This could be put down to the introduction of aggressive nationalistic policies by local political leaders.The drastic shift in economic climate forced the countries to re-evaluate their situation and to promote industries where they had fallen short. Austria and Czechoslovakia subsidized the mill, sugar and brewing industries, Hungary attempted to increase the efficiency of iron, steel, glass and chemical industries. The stated objective was that all countries should become self sufficient. This tendency, however, lead to uniform economies and competitive economic advantage of long well-established industries and research fields evaporated. The lack of specialization adversely affected the whole Danube-Carpathian region caused a distinct setback of growth and development compared to the West as well as high financial vulnerability and instability.

Other consequences

Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia had to assume part of the financial obligations of the former Kingdom of Hungary on account of the parts of its territory under their sovereignty.Military considerations diverted the Treaty from the Wilson principles, making economic cooperation within the Carpathian Basin even more difficult. Conditions were similar to those imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. After the war, the Hungarian navy, air force and army was disbanded. The army was to be restricted to 35,000 men and there was to be no conscription. Heavy artillery, tanks and air force were prohibited to maintain. Further provisions stated that in Hungary, no railway would be built with more than one track (even going so far as to remove one of the two tracks on one of the lines, due to the fact that at that time railways held a substantial strategical importance economically as well as military.Hungary also renounced all privileges in territories outside Europe that belonged to the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy.Articles 54–60 of the Treaty required Hungary to recognize various rights of national minorities within its borders.

Articles 61-66 stated that all former citizens of the Kingdom of Hungary living outside the new frontiers of Hungary were to lose their Hungarian nationality in one year.