How should Hungary commemorate the Treaty of Trianon?
On 4 June Hungary will mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Trianon in 1920. When the First World War ended, the country had to give up two-thirds of its territory, as a result of which a quarter of the native speakers of Hungarian were left living outside the new borders. The Orbán government introduced this day of remembrance after taking office in 2010. Commentators take the opportunity to reflect on the commemoration policy.
Don't forget historical diversity
The Memorial of National Unity in Budapest, which was completed especially for the anniversary, says a lot about the government's commemorative policy, Új Szó comments:
“Ironically, the historical Hungarian state is remembered with the help of the monolingual [Hungarian] place name database dating from the early 20th century. This was one of the causes for the ethnic tensions that contributed significantly to the country's disintegration. … One can only hope that the memorial will soon be endowed with a sensible visitor centre that offers a real picture and support to visitors interested in the bilingual or trilingual names of these communities, their real history and today's reality.”
We have bounced back
From a nationalist perspective the Treaty of Trianon is should not just be perceived as a trauma, writes pro-government journalist Miklós Szánthó in Magyar Nemzet:
“The Treaty of Trianon followed a very concrete plan: the annihilation of Hungary. At the time this was seen as obvious. And it was planned in such a way that the country would be obliged to make impossible reparations for sins it did not commit and so that, mutilated and deprived of its natural and physical infrastructure and its population, it would not survive. ... We can see the trauma of Trianon as one of the worst blows fate has dealt to Hungary (which it is without a doubt). But we can also see it as a challenge that we have successfully overcome: no one has been able to wipe us off the map.”