A leading pro-government columnist blames the destruction of the Habsburg monarchy for Hungary’s ill fortune in the 20th century. He calls on western powers to deliver on their post-World War One promise of autonomy for beyond-border Hungarians.
June 4th is the Day of National Unity, to commemorate the Trianon peace treaty which deprived Hungary of two thirds of its territory in 1920. The Paris peace treaties following WWII left the Trianon borders largely in place.
In his Magyar Hírlap editorial on the anniversary, Zsolt Bayer recalls that Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand wanted to establish a more stable monarchy by providing more autonomy to the Slavic peoples of the Empire, but was killed in Sarajevo in June 1914, after which the First World War broke out, so his plan could never materialize. He even suspects that the Entente powers had precisely that in mind “which is why they discovered Gavrilo Princip” (Ferdinand’s murderer). He goes on to declare that the war put an end to Jewish emancipation in Hungary because of the short-lived Communist dictatorship, among whose leaders Jews were overrepresented. The West, claims Bayer, “cynically and deliberately prepared the second conflagration” by imposing the Paris peace treaties, including the Trianon treaty on Hungary. He thus deems it quite wrong to blame Horthy for entering WWII because he had no choice – in fact, he says, Hungary “produced a miracle” of recovery after WWI which was entirely crushed by the second war and ensuing era of Communism. Yet Hungary can repeat the miracle, he says, and western powers must now grant to beyond-border Hungarians what they promised at Trianon but never thought to fulfil: that is, autonomy.