Treaty of Trianon: Hungary's national trauma?

On 4 June 1920 Hungary reluctantly signed the Treaty of Trianon, one of the treaties that formally ended the First World War, and lost more than sixty percent of its territory. For some this is still an open wound, for others it's a closed chapter.

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Magyar Idők (HU) /

Equal rights for Hungarians living abroad

As a consequence of the Treaty of Trianon one in three Hungarians lives in state other than Hungary. The pro-government daily Magyar Idők calls for equal rights for Hungarian minorities living in neighbouring countries:

“Our goal is to ensure that all inhabitants of the Carpathian Basin can live freely in their country of birth without being discriminated because of their ethnicity. Who truly enjoy equal rights and can maintain their culture and use their mother tongue without this just being something people pay lip service to. And to achieve this we must also repair the disrupted, destroyed Hungarian-Hungarian relations. We must work to ensure that the nations that live in the Carpathian Basin no longer see each other as rivals but as partners who help each other to be happy. Would that be a utopian dream?”

Magyar Hang (HU) /

Treaty sowed the seeds of hatred

The fourth of June is a cursed day for every Hungarian, the conservative weekly Magyar Hang points out:

“Fate, or should we say tragedy, turned this day which saw perhaps the greatest losses in our entire history into the Day of National Unity [a public holiday in Hungary since 2010]. June 4 is the day on which the Treaty of Trianon which ended the First World War was signed. This day which every Hungarian who has lived in Hungary or one of its severed territories since the 20th century has cursed at least once. This day that defined the fate of our nation until much later. This day that tore families apart, mutilated a country and sowed the seeds of hatred among the peoples of the Carpathian Basin.”

Mandiner (HU) /

Commemoration pure kitsch nowadays

Nowadays the commemoration of the Treaty of Trianon is just an empty ritual, Mandiner counters:

“Trianon has become kitsch. ... We talk and talk, arguing about how Trianon could or could not have been avoided. We watch musicals about it, and wear colourful T-shirts to remember the event. At the start of the 2000s many people saw the commemoration as an opportunity to make money by exploiting the national sentiment that had been repressed under communism. ... That went from T-shirts embossed with the words 'I'm a Hungarian, not a tourist', to products glorifying Albert Wass [a nationalist author from Transylvania] and car stickers showing maps of Greater Hungary. That said, for most Hungarians commemorating Trianon is more like remembering the death of a distant relative they didn't even know.”