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The Western Hungarian Borderland had been a part of Hungary for over 1000 years when it was given to Austria by the Treaty of Trianon (1920), in violation of international law, and also violating Hungary's territorial integrity, state sovereignty, and the right of self-determination of the Hungarian people. Only the Western Hungarian City of Sopron was given the possibility of a plebiscite, and despite the fact that the majority of the population was German-speaking, they decided to stay in Hungary. The other Hungarian regions taken from Hungary by the Treaty of Trianon were not given this opportunity, and as a result, Hungary was deprived of nearly three quarters of its territory, forcing millions of Hungarians under hostile foreign rule. Thus, the Western Hungarian Borderland became the easternmost province of Austria under the name of "Burgenland".

Before the arrival of German-speaking peoples, the territory of present-day Austria was part of the Avar Empire (6th c. AD), and of the Hun Empire (5th c. AD). The Hun Empire also extended along the upper Danube valley all the way to the Rhine, through what is now Southern Germany. It is noteworthy that the Southern German peoples - Swabians, Bavarians, Austrians - manifest certain ethno-linguistic, cultural, and even anthropological characteristics which differ from those of the Northern German peoples. This indicates that the Southern Germans were formed by the assimilation of the original non-Germanic inhabitants of this region by the German-speaking newcomers. The Turanian Hungarian peoples (Huns, Avars, Magyars) were among these original inhabitants.

Since the Middle Ages, the Danubian-Carpathian Hungarian territories have been a target of German imperialist expansionism. Because the Huns, Avars, and Magyars represented an obstacle to these German imperialist ambitions, the Germans repeatedly attacked them. Following the invasion of the Western Avar territories in the 8th-9th c. AD, the Germans occupied the region which thus became known as the "Ostmark" (later to become Austria). Since then, this region has been used by the Germans as a battering ram against the Hungarians.

Not long after the Magyars established the Hungarian state in 896 AD, the Germans launched another assault in 907 AD. The Hungarians repelled this attack and they pushed back the Germans to the Oberenns river (currently the border between the provinces of Upper and Lower Austria). This became the Hungarian-German border until about 1000 AD, when the border was shifted eastward to the Lajta (Leitha) river. Following this latest German attack, the Hungarians launched a series of retaliatory and pre-emptive military strikes against the German Empire. The Hungarian objectives were first and foremost to neutralize the German threat by providing support to the various regions (such as Bavaria) which were opposed to the Saxon-led imperial German forces, and also to recover the golden treasures stolen by the Germans from the Avars. The Hungarians were successful in reaching their strategic objectives by carrying the armed conflict to German-held territories, and as a result, the German imperial forces were unable to mount an offensive against Hungary after 907 during the rest of the 10th c., not even after what German historians claim as a "great victory" over a Hungarian expeditionary force in 955 at Lechfeld, near Augsburg, Bavaria. In reality, this partial setback did not alter the fact that Hungary was the greatest military power in 10th century Europe, as witnessed by the overwhelmingly successful Hungarian military campaigns carried out across the continent, from Spain to the Balkans. Seeing that they would not be able to defeat Hungary militarily, the Germans resorted to more subversive means. Under the cover of a peace treaty (Quedlinburg, 973) and under the pretext of spreading Christianity to Hungary, the Germans pursued their goal of taking over Hungary through court intrigues and arranged dynastic marriages. As a result, the Germans managed to influence the Hungarian leadership and to install several puppet rulers in Hungary, but these attempts to dominate Hungary were short-lived and inconclusive, although great harm was done to Hungarian interests by the foreign christianization forced upon the people and the resulting destruction of the original Hungarian culture: the persecution of the ancient Hungarian religion and the burning of ancient texts written in Hungarian runes.

Since the Habsburgs took control of Austria (1278), they have continued the age-old German expansionist ambitions directed against Hungary. Recognizing this threat, the Hungarian King Mátyás Hunyadi took back the former Hungarian territories of Eastern Austria, Moravia, and Silesia during the 15th c. However, after his death, the Habsburgs were able to regain the upper hand, exploiting the weaknesses of foreign rulers installed upon the throne of the Hungarian Kingdom, preventing the formation of an alliance between the Ottoman Empire and Hungary, and maneuvering Hungary into a conflict with the Ottoman Empire. As a result, Hungary was carved up between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans, and was devastated by 150 years of warfare between these two powers. When the Ottomans were expelled from Hungary at the end of the 17th c., the Habsburgs occupied the entire territory of the Kingdom of Hungary. There were several Hungarian uprisings (1701-11, 1848-49) against the illegitimate Habsburg rulers. The Habsburgs treated Hungary like a conquered colony, oppressing and exploiting the Hungarians, and settling millions of foreigners (Germans, Slavs, Rumanians) during the 18th c. The Habsburgs then used the divide and rule tactic against the Hungarians by turning the various other ethnic groups against the Hungarians, thereby sowing the seeds of the nationalistic hatreds which ignited the First World War and which still plague the region.

Hungary and Austria must therefore confront the legacy of the centuries of Habsburg rule, and settle their scores as Austria finds itself historically indebted to Hungary for a number of reasons: Hungary has suffered massive destruction and huge loss of life as a result of the 150 years of warfare between the Austrian and Ottoman empires on its territory during the 16th-17th centuries, following which the Austrian Empire became a major European power for centuries largely as a result of the acquisition and exploitation of the economic and human resources of Hungary, and the Austrian Habsburg government was also responsible for dragging Hungary into the First World War, to which Hungary was opposed, and this war also caused great losses to Hungary, not least of which was the loss of nearly three quarters of its territory (Treaty of Trianon, 1920). There is also the destruction of the Hungarian fortresses, the imposition of catholicism upon the largely protestant Hungarian population under an Austrian-led counter-reformation inquisition, the imposition of German as the official language, the appointment of German "experts" to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to conduct "scientific" research about the origins and early history of the Hungarians for the purpose of creating an "official" (falsified) version of Hungarian history, the Hungarian historical artifacts currently held in the history of art museum of Vienna, and the list goes on...