Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Slovakia’s Trianon gesture

June 6th, 2020

A senior commentator welcomes the friendly gesture made by Slovakia’s new prime minister towards the Hungarian minority on the centenary of the Trianon peace treaty.

Igor Matovič invited 100 ethnic Hungarian personalities to Bratislava Castle to remember the peace treaty which allotted the ‘Uplands’ (Felvidék) in what was northern Hungary to the new state of Czechoslovakia. He greeted them in Hungarian and said he understood that the anniversary had a different meaning for Hungarians than for Slovaks. He pledged to always lend an ear to the complaints of the Hungarian minority. Meeting his Slovak counterpart, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szíjjártó highly appreciated Mr Matovič’s gesture and on behalf of PM Viktor Orbán invited him to pay a visit to Hungary.

In his MagyarHang editorial, Szabolcs Szerető describes Mr Matovič’s speech as the most innovative gesture among all the commemorations by politicians on the Trianon centenary. His demeanour would be simply seen as natural under normal circumstances, he remarks, adding however that in the context of the history of Central and Eastern Europe such normalcy is nothing short of revolutionary. The PM’s warm tone in mentioning the two peoples’ common past and his appreciation of great Hungarian artists and scientists whom Slovaks were also proud of was unprecedented, Szerető finds. He adds however that when Eastern Slovakia became part of Hungary in 1938, Admiral Horthy also greeted ethnic Slovaks in their mother tongue and promised them equal treatment, a pledge not kept by his authorities during the war years. The outcome was catastrophic, with ethnic Hungarians collectively branded as guilty of the war and large numbers of them evicted from Slovakia after the war. This time it will certainly be entirely different, Szerető concludes.


Tags: ,