HUNGARIAN HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGY© Copyright HUNMAGYAR.ORG
The War of 1914-1945
Hungary was forced by the major powers to participate in both world wars against its will. Taking advantage of the internal political turmoil within the Austro-Hungarian Empire following the armistice ending WWI in November 1918, an incompetent pro-Western liberal government took over in Hungary, paving the way for a Communist coup carried out by mostly non-Hungarians in 1919, thus providing a pretext for the invasion and occupation of Hungary by enemy forces. This led to the territorial dismemberment of Hungary at the Treaty of Trianon in 1920, whereby Hungary lost nearly 3/4 of its territory and millions of Hungarians were forced under the oppressive foreign rule of the neighbouring states newly created and enlarged at Hungary's expense. The Treaty of Trianon was imposed upon Hungary by force, in violation of international law, of Hungary's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and of the Hungarian Nation's right to self-determination. The treaties ending WWI were responsible for WWII.
The false accusation of responsibility for WWI directed against Hungary was an attempt at justification for the Treaty of Trianon imposed upon Hungary by force in 1920. This false accusation is still widely held today: at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games opening ceremony, an American TV broadcast commentator remarked that Hungary was banned from the 1920 Antwerp games as punishment for being an "aggressor" state during WWI. In reality, Hungary was the only country which was opposed to the war in 1914, but the major powers forced Hungary into the war. The responsibility for causing the war lies primarily with France, Russia, and Serbia.
Since WWII, the Hungarians have also been accused of being a "guilty" nation, as a means to justify false accusations relating to that war, and to justify anti-Hungarian defamation and war reparations and compensations imposed upon Hungary. The evidence shows that Hungary was again forced into the war, and therefore the Hungarian Nation and State is in no way responsible for WWII, and the accusations of war guilt and compensation claims directed against the Hungarian Nation and State are groundless.
The so-called "Victorious Powers" of WWI & WWII had no legal or moral right to lay accusations of war guilt and of war crimes against their defeated enemies. Furthermore, the naming of these wars as World War I and World War II is in itself inappropriate, giving the misleading impression that these wars were unique and had no relationship to the wars of the previous centuries. This is completely false: the conflict from 1914 to 1945 was in fact the continuation of a long series of wars, and there were also wars on a global scale in the previous centuries among the major colonial and imperial powers.
Since the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th c., the European states have been continuously at war with each other for territory and other reasons (religion, ideology, etc), and the European imperial and colonial expansionism which began in the 16th c. and spread to many parts of the globe through military conquests was a continuation and extension of the Medieval European "Game of Thrones" (see: European Wars). The Western European states took on a leading role in this imperial and colonial expansionist drive: Portugal, Spain, Holland, France, England. During this time, Russia also went on a huge territorial and imperial-colonial expansion which reached its height after 1945. Since it gained independence, the USA has also undertaken a similar territorial and global imperial-colonial expansion. During this process of territorial and global imperial-colonial expansion, these powers have inflicted enormous human and material losses through wars and colonial conquests and exploitation, slavery and genocide against indigenous peoples. An estimate of the total human and material losses caused during all these centuries by the imperialist wars and colonial conquests, including the victims of Communism, shows that the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the so-called "Victorious Powers" of WWI & WWII outweigh and exceed by far those of which they accuse their defeated enemies.
The accusation of complete and exclusive responsibility and guilt for starting the war in 1914 made by the "Victorious Powers" against their defeated enemies is a complete fabrication. Before 1914, England looked upon Germany as an emerging rival which threatened its global imperial hegemony, France wanted revenge for its defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 (France started this war as well), and Russia saw Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire as obstacles that had to be destroyed in order to pursue its territorial and imperial ambitions. The English, French, and Russian imperialist ambitions found a common target in Germany and its allies, and the Sarajevo assassination instigated by a Russian-Serbian plot sparked the war in 1914: the assassination of the heir to the Habsburg throne was deliberately calculated to provoke and drag Austria-Hungary into a war. The Sarajevo assassination was a trap and the Habsburgs walked right into it. The responsibility of the Allied Powers (England, France, Russia, and their allies) for causing the war far outweighs any responsibility that the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and their allies) may have had.
The "Victorious Powers" also demonstrated their use of a double standard by accusing Germany of unilaterally starting the war in 1939, without taking into account that before the outbreak of the war, the Soviet Union made a secret pact with Germany for the invasion and division of Poland. The "Victorious Powers" are primarily responsible for the continuation of the conflict in 1939 as the so-called "Peace Treaties" of Versailles (1919-1920) are the root cause of WWII. The French "statesman" Clemenceau admitted himself that the "Peace Treaties" of 1919-1920 were just another way of continuing the war, hence the saying that the second world war started in 1919. Thus there was really only one great war from 1914 to 1945, with a 20-year cease-fire (false peace) separating the two main phases of the conflict.
Hungary is therefore not responsible in any way for this war, and all its military activities were executed in legitimate self-defense. In the 16th c., Hungary lost its independence and was divided between the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires, and since the end of the 17th c. the Austrian Habsburgs took control of the entire Kingdom of Hungary. Under centuries of foreign rule, the Hungarians were subjected to genocide, devastation, oppression, colonial exploitation, massive settling of foreigners who were used by the foreign Habsburg regime against the Hungarians, then the Hungarians were forced into the war of 1914-1945, suffering great losses, and the repercussions of these injustices are still felt by the Hungarians to this day as Hungary is still partitioned and millions of Hungarians remain under foreign occupation and oppression by the neighbouring states. As a result, it is Hungary which has the right to claim compensation for all its losses and damages suffered during the past 500 years from the major powers and its neighbours who still view Hungarians with an irrational hatred and are still perpetrating ethnic cleansing and hate crimes against Hungarians.
For further reference see Origins of the Hungarian Question and The Hungarian Question
Latest Update: 2021.12.03
The territorial dismemberment of Hungary by the treaty of Trianon, June 4, 1920 (the orange lines represent the pre-1920 borders, the grey lines the borders after 1920, and the areas lost by Hungary are coloured)
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