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Chapter 4

[1.] HPPC, Supplementary Documents,no. 19. This statistic, however, failsto give the complete picture. Most landholding Slovaks and Ruthenians owned only tiny plots. The relative well-beingof the various national groups may be also gauged by a comparison of the proportion of the property they owned, the percentage of the national group in the total population, and their share of direct taxes:

National Group

% in Population
% of land
Direct Taxes Paid

Source: Kövágó,A magyarországi délszlávok, p. 12.

These figures, of course, fail to reflect the distribution of wealth within each of these national groups __ they fail to measure the degree of social stratification. The greatest extrems of wealth and poverty existed among the Hungarians; but among Serbs, Slovaks, Ruthenians, and Romanians,property was more evenly distributed.

[2.] Of the approximately 1.7 - 1.8 million people who permanently emigrated from Hungary after 1899, 33 percent were Hungarians, 25 percent Slovaks, 18 percent Romanians, 4.5 percent Ruthenians, and 2.6 percent South Slavs. Péter Hanák, ed.,Magyarország története[History of Hungary} (Budapest, 1978) VII: 412-13.

[3.]Lucy E. Textor,Land Reform in Czehoslovakia(London, 1923), p. 25.

[4.] Ifor L. Evans,The Agrarian Revolution in Romania, (Cambridge, 1924), p. 102.

[5.] Textor,Land Reform, pp. 31-32, 95, 99.

[6.] Jarmila Meclová and Ferdinand Stoces,Land Reform in Czechoslovakia (Prague, 1963), pp. 30, 32.

[7.] From the total amount of expropriated land, 79.8 percent was owned by Hungarian landowners, 11.2 percent by the Catholic Church, and the remainder by Germans, Slovaks, and Ruthenians. C. A. Macartney,Hungary and Her Successors(Oxford, 1937), pp. 172, 123.

[8.] Ibid., p. 399. Another source gives a slightly different set of figures. According to this, in northern Yugoslavia, 720 estates were forced to contribute to the land pool. From these, 369 estates were owned by private individuals, 50 by corporations, 77 by the churches and monasteries, 171 by various municipalities, 44 by the state, and 9 by others. Of the 369 private owners, 310 were "foreigners,'' 142 Austrians, 126 Hungarians, 10 Italians, 8 Czechoslovaks, 3 Germans, and 17 others. Jozo Tomasevich,Peasants, Politics, and Economic Change in Yugoslavia (Stanford, 1955), p. 366.

[9.] Magyar Sorskérdések, A jugosláviai magyarság, p. 9.


[11.] Maximum limits on landholdings were finally set in 1931. Limits varied with areas, depending on local conditions. Thus, for example, in Herzegovina all land holdings above 50 hectares were subject to expropriation; in the Voivodina, a landowner was allowed to retain as much as 300 hectares of agricultural and 500 hectares of land in total, if all local needs were satisfied. Tomasevich, Peasants, p. 364.

[12.] The most scholarly presentation of the Romanian side of the argument is David Mitrany'sLand and the Peasant in Rumania: The War and the Agrarian Reform, 1917-1921 (Oxford, 1930). Yet, his data should be used with care, since he generally accepts the unreliable official Romanian statistics. The best opposing view in English is Móricz,The Fate.It was written with the aim of challenging and correcting Mitrany's book. Another useful source is Jakabffy's Erdély statisztikája.

[13.] The distribution was as follows:

Number of Holdings

Amount of Land Held
Percentage of Arable Land
Small holdings of less than 11.2 hectares
Medium sized holdings (11.2-112 hectares)
Large estates (above 112 hectares)

Source: Evans,The Agrarian Revolution, p. 76.

[14.] József Baróthy,Magyar föld román kézen[Hungarian Land in Romanian Hands] (Budapest, 1940), p. 28.

[15.] Ferenc Matheovits,A magyar-román birtokper. Nemzerközi jogi tanulmány, [The Hungarian-Romanian Property Litigation.A Study inInternational Law] (Budapest, 1929), p. 19. The number of Romanian landowners in the upper categories, however, was low:

Distribution of Middle Sized and Large Estates
According to Nationality

Estate Size in Yokes

Number of Owners

Of these





























Above 1000












Source: Ibid., p. 39.

[16.] Zoltán Tóth.Magyarok és románok. Történelmi tanulmányok [Hungarians and Romanians. Historical Studies] (Budapest, 1966). pp. 376-85; 394-96.

[17.] Between 1907 and 1912 alone, Romanian nationals bought about 166.000 yokes from Hungarian landlords, 96,000 yokes of arable and 70.000 yokes of forest land. That represented an approximate 6.6 percent decrease of Hungarian-owned property. Baróthy, Magyar föld,p. 45.

[18.] Szász,"Az erdélyi román polgárság," pp. 304 305.

[19.] See for example Gusztáv Beksics, Román kérdés és a fajok harca Europában és Magyarországon[The Romanian Question and the Struggle of Races in Europe and in Hungary] (Budapest, 1895): esp. pp. 166-69.

[20.] Bethlen, Bethlen István, I: 60 61.

[21.] See, for example, László Tokaji's Új honfoglalás Erdélyben[New Conquest in Transylvania] (Kolozsvár, 1912). For a contrasting earlier, and more optimistic view, see Gusztáv Beksics, A magyar faj terjeszkedése és nemzeti konszolidációnk különös tekintettel a mezögazdaságra, birtokviszonyra és a népesedésre[The Expansion of the Hungarian Nation and Our National Consolidation, with Special Emphasis on Agriculture, Property Relations and Population] (Budapest, 1896). Also, Gusztáv Beksics,Magyarosodás és magyarositás. Különös tekintettel városainkra [The Natural and Forced Process of Magyarization. With Special Emphasis on our Cities] (Budapest, 1883).

[22.] From the total of 2,377,928 yokes of land seized before the land reform. 150,000 were taken in 1919 and before, 830,000 in 1920, and the rest in 1921. About 87 percent of the affected land was owned by Hungarians. Barothy, Magyar föld, p. 50.

[23.] Mitrany, Land and the Peasant, pp. 126, 171-72.

[24.] Móricz,The Fate,p. 176.

[25.] Baróthy,Magyar föld, p 99. Mitrany gives high figures: he placed the number of Romanian recipients at 228.000, whereas other nationalities at 83.000, altogether receiving 785,000 yokes. Mitrany, Land and the Peasant, p. 210.From the remaining land area the state retained 9,000 yokes of pasture lands, 70,000 yokes of forest, and, finally 57,000 yokes were designated for purposes of colonization.Baróthy,Magyar föld, p. 98.

[26.] Macartney,Hungary and Her Successors,p. 123.

[27.] Magyar Sorskérdések, A jugoslaviai magyarság,p.8.

[28.] Kövágó, AMagyarországi délszlávok,pp. 12-14.Seealso Macartney,Hungary and Her Successors,p. 427.

Chaptr 5

[1.] Honore de Balzac,Cousin Bette (Hammondsworth, 1965), p. 73.

[2.] See, for example, Éva Bene, " Anxiety and Emotional Impoverishment in Men under Stress,'' British Journal of Medical Psychology 34 (1961): 281-89.

[3.] As was reported by Leo Eitlinger, in " The Incidents of Mental Disease among Refugees in Norway,"Journal ofMental Science 105 (April 1959): 326-338.

[4.] Ágnes Várkonyi,"A nemzet, a haza fogalma a török harcok és Habsburg-ellenes küzdelmek idején,'' [The Concept of Nation and Homeland during the Time of Anti-Türkish and Anti-Habsburg Struggles]A magyar nacionalizmus kialakítása és története[Development and History of Hungarian Nationalism] (Budapest, 1964), p. 30.

[5.] Ibid., p. 61. See also, Ferenc Salamon, Magyarország a török hódítás korában[Hungary during the Time of Turkish Occupation] (Pest, 1864), p. 136.

[6.] Figures vary according to sources consulted. Thus, Elek Fényes offers a figure of 537,000. Magyarországnak s hozzákapcsolt tartományoknak mostani állapotja[The Present Condition of Hungary and Its Appendages] (Pest, 1841), p. 43.Hóman and Szekfü give a figure of 680,000, for 1848. Bálint Hóman and Gyula Szekfü, Magyar történet [Hungarian History] (Budapest, 1935-36) 5: 661. See also Béla K. Király,Hungary in the Late Eighteenth Century (New York, 1969), p. 37, n. 50: p. 38.

[7.] Ibid., p. 37.

[8.] For example, Count Mihály Károlyi's unforgivable crime, in the eyes of his fellow aristocrats, was not his radical ideas, but his becoming a traitor to his estate. It was considered his birth right to indulge in unorthodox behavior, to embrace peculiar ideas. But, after 1919, when it became clear that he was no longer bound by the standards of aristocracy and was willing to sacrifice the interests of the nobility for his ideals, he was denounced in terms more venomous than those reserved for Béla Kún. Károlyi was repeatedly called a " worthless cretin,'' a mental and physical cripple and degenerate, implying that only mental deformity or disorder could have brought a Hungarian aristocrat to abandon his estate. See, for example, Miklós Surányi, Bethlen Történetpolitikai tanulmányok, [Bethlen. Historical and Political Studies] (Budapest, 1927), p. 90.

[9.] Andrew C. János, "Hungary: 1867-1939;A Study of Social Change and the Political Process'' (Ph.D.diss., Princeton University, 1961), pp. 50-51.The economic crisis which followed the Napoleonic wars spelled financial ruin for manynobles with small- and middle-sized estates, swelling the ranks of the already numerous group of landless nobles. See B. G. Iványi, " From Feudalism to Capitalism: The Economic Background to Széchenyi's Reforrn in Hungary,"Journal of Central European Affairs XX (April 1960), pp. 270-88. In 1830, there were 180,000 nobles with less than 100 yokes of land, 120,000 peasant nobles, living as feudal tenants and 120.000"honoratiores"or landless nobles. At the same time, 108,000 owned between 100-10,000 yokes; at the top of the pyramid stood 800 magnates.

[10.] In 1848, the number of middle-sized estates of between 200-1000 yokes of land was 30,000. By 1910, their numbers had diminished to less than 10,000. Iván Berend and György Ránki,"Economic Factors in Nationalism: The Example of Hungary at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century," Austrian History Yearbook III, part 3 (1967): 167. Only the magnates possessed sufficient resources to modernize; members of the gentry were often forced to sell their lands. Béla Balázs, A középrétegek szerepe társadalmunk fejlödésében. Egy évszázad magyar történelmének néhany sajátosságáró1, 1849-1945 [The role of the Middle Strata in the Development of Our Society. A Few Characteristics of a Century of Hungarian History, 1849-1945] (Budapest, 1958), pp. 30-31.

[11.] In Transylvania, for example, between 1890 and 1900, the number of officials in the Hungarian counties, where most of the newly dispossessed gentry resided, was expanded by 31.4 percent; in the predominantly Hungarian towns, by 29.6 percent. At the same time in the Romanian-populated areas, the number of county officials declined by 6.7 percent; in the cities, by 13.6 percent. Ferenc Pölöskei,"Nacionalizmus a dualizmus korában" [Nationalism during the Dualist Era] A Magyar nacionalizmus, p. 170.

[12.] Péter Hanák, Magyarország a Monarchiában. Tanulmányok [Hungary in the Monarchy. Studies] (Budapest, 1975), p. 366. See also Iván Berend and György Ránki,A magyar gazdaság száz éve[Hundred Years of Hungarian Economy] (Budapest, 1972), p. 86.

[13.] Otto Szabolcs, A köztisztviselök az ellenforradalmi rendszer társadalmi bázisában, 1920-1926 [Public Officials in the Social Base of the Counterrevolutionary Regime. 1920-1926] (Budapest, 1965), n. 1, p. 150.

[14.] Eugene N. Anderson, Political Institutions and Social Change in Continental Europe in the Nineteenth Century (Berkeley, 1967), p. 183.

[15.] This is not to argue that the Hungarian bureaucracy was free of corruption. Misappropriations and embezzlements or careless"borrowings" from state funds were not infrequent, although they were generally hushed up. But bribery was not part of conducting routine government business and corruption was rarely systematic.

[16.] Gyula Kádár, A Ludovikától Sopronköhidáig [From the Ludovika to Sopronköhida] (Budapest, 1978), pp. 31-32. Also, Balázs, A középrétegek szerepe, p. 86.

[17.] Gyula Szekfü, Három nemzedék és ami utána következik [Three Generations and What Follows] (Budapest, 1934), p. 313

[18.] For a more detailed analysis of the decline of the gentry middle class, see Hanák, Magyarország a Monarchiában, pp. 359-68;Endre Kovács, ed., Magyarország története[History of Hungary] (Budapest, 1979) VI: 1270-71 and Hanák, Magyarország története VII: 458-63.

[19.] Ibid., p. 165. The idea of an "empire of thirty million Hungarians," originated with Jenö Rákosi, who, along with Béla Grünwald, Pál Hoitsy and Gusztáv Beksics,publicized extreme-nationalist theories.

[20.] See, for example, Beksics'sMagyarosodás és magyarosítás.A lower death rate among the Hungarians was also held to be responsible for the increase of the proportion of the Hungarian population, but it was more than offset by the declining birth rate, which alarmed many nationalists. See, for example, The Hungarian Eugenic Society,The Consequences of the Division of Hungary from the Standpoint of Eugenics,reprint from Nemzetvédelem I, no. 4 (1919): 1-2.

[21.] Bethlen, Bethlen lstván I: 52.

[22.] Tihany, A Baranya Dispute, p. 19.

[23.] Hungarian Eugenic Society,The Consequences of the Division of Hungary, pp. 3-5.

Chapter 6

[1.] Hajdu, Az öszirózsás forradalom, p. 186.

[2.] Károlyi, Faith Without Illusion, p. 127. See also, Böhm, Két forradalom, pp. 148-49, 193-94: Mrs. Mihály Károlyi, Együtt a forradalomban [Together in the Revolution] (Budapest, 1978), p. 432.

[3.] Of the returning prisoners of war to Hungary 94,000 were Romanians, 80,000 Croatians, 44,000 Slovaks, and 4000 Serbs. Antal Józsa, Háború, hadifogság, forradalom: Magyar internacionalista hadifoglyok az 1917-es oroszországi forradalmakban [War, Prisoners of War Experience, Revolution: Hungarian Internationalist Prisoners of War in the 1917 Russian Revolutions] (Budapest, 1970), pp. 101-103.

[4.] Breit,A magyarországi 1918/19 évi forradalmi mozgalmak I: 37. Ervin Liptai, Vöröskatonák elöre! A magyar Vörös Hadsereg harcai, 1919 [Forward, Red Soldiers! The Wars of the Hungarian Red Army, 1919] (Budapest, 1969), p. 12. Mrs. Rudolf Dósa,A MOVE: egy jellegzetes magyar fasiszta szervezet, 1918-1944 [The MOVE: A Typical Hungarian Fascist Organization, 1918-1944] (Budapest, 1972), p. 34.

[5.] Hajdu, Károlyi Mihály, pp. 314-15.

[6.] Károlyi, Faith Without Illusion, pp. 126-27.

[7.] Jászi,Revolution, p. 43.

[8.] Rudolf Tökés,Béla Kún and the Hungarian Soviet Republic (New York, 1967), p. 106, no. 23. Count Tivadar Battyány, minister of interior in Károlyi's first government, related an incident from the middle of November 1918. A village gendarme personally had to call the minister of interior for instructions, because no one remained in the entire law enforcement chain of command who could give him orders. Battyány, Beszámolóm I: 297-98.

[9.] Jászi,Revolution, p. 45. In his memoirs, Battyány detailed government efforts to expand the state police, gendarmerie, and border police, but, in spite of allocation of substantial funds, recruitment proceeded slowly. Battyány, Beszámolóm I: 295,313. See also Ervin Liptai,Vöröskatonák, pp. 14-16. On the other hand, Gyula Kádár, who was a young recruiting officer at the time, argued that volunteers were many, but lack of funds doomed the effort. Kádár also asserted that the key mistake was rapid demobilization of the army;in early November, he argued, soldiers in many of the returning units still obeyed their officers. Kádár,A Ludovikától Sopronköhidáig, pp. 68-75.

[10.] See for example Károlyi's appeal to President Wilson on November 16 and 25, 1918. FRUS PPC II: 191-92.

[11.] Originally, this plan was developed as a proposal for the postwar reorganization of the Habsburg monarchy. Although it seemed realistic and even generous at the time it was drafted, the situation had changed drastically by the time those who made these proposals came to power. Oscar Jászi, Der Zusammenbruch des Dualismus und die Zukunft des Donaustaaten (Vienna, 1918); Oscar Jászi, A nemzeti államok kialakulása és a nemzetiségi kérdés[Development of Nation-States and the Nationality Question] (Budapest, 1912); Béla K. Király, "The Danubian Problem in Oscar Jászi's Political Thought," Hungarian Quarterly V, no. 1-2 (1965): 120-34.

[12.] Jászi, Revolution, p. 37. Scholars generally agree that Károlyi clung to an illusion about Wilson. As one author put it: "he believed that the aim of Wilsonian democratic pacifism, which he held to be the dominant principle of the Western Allies, was a just peace, freely negotiated, without territorial expansion and war indemnity." Hajdu, Károlyi Mihály, p. 254; see also, Pastor,Hungary between Wilson and Lenin, p. 90.

[13.] FRUS PPC II: 204-205; see also Hajdu, Károlyi Mihály, p. 306.

[14.] FRUS PPC XII: 413-16. Also, Tibor Hetés, ed., A magyarországi forradalmak krónikája, 1918-1919 [Chronicles of the Revolutions in Hungary, 1918-1919] (Budapest, 1969), pp. 143-45. For the origins and history of the controversial "Vix note", see Pastor, Hungary between Wilson and Lenin, pp. 130-39.

[15.] Károlyi, Faith without Illusions, p. 158.

[16.] Many of these individuals had never appeared in the official statistics as refugees, even though they may have considered themselves such. Thus OMH figures must be considered only as minimal. See Kovácsics, Magyarországi történeti demográfiája, p. 240. See also, OMH Report, p. 37.

[17.] By September 1920, the number of individuals who resided in freight cars had risen to 16,500. In subsequent months their numbers had declined, but then, once again, began to climb to 16.000 by September 1921. Even in 1923 between three and four thousand individuals lived under such conditions. OMH Report, p. 37.

[18.] Battyány, Beszámolóm II: 261 63.

[19.] Lábay,Az ellenforradalom, p. 99.

[20.] Dósa, A MOVE, pp. 32, 35.

[21.] Lászlo Deme and József Keleti.Az ellenforradalom Vasvármegyében és Szo mbathelyen[The Counterrevolution in Vas County and at Szombathely] (Szombathely, 1920), p. 12. Also, Gyula Gömbös. Egy magyar vezérkari tiszt biráló feljegyzései a forradalomról és az ellenforradalomról [A Hungarian Staff Officer's Critical Comments on the Revolution and Counterrevolution] (Budapest, 1920), p. 29.

[22.] Ibid. These plans were carried forward in spite of the fact that MOVE was outlawed. Ibid., pp. 30-31. Also, Deme and Keleti, Az ellenforradalom Vasvármegyében, pp. 11, 18; Dósa, A MOVE, p. 41.

[23.] Dósa, A MOVE, p. 47.

[24.] Ágnes Szabó and Ervin Pamlényi, eds., A határban a Halál kaszál. ..: Fejezetek Prónay Pál feljegyzéseiböl[Death Reaps in the Countryside. ..: Chapters from the Journals of Pál Prónay] (Budapest, 1963), pp. 58-59.

[25.] Tökés, Béla Kún, p. 107.

[26.] There is little doubt that Communist nationalist propaganda was greatly responsible for their successes. In fact, it seems that Béla Kún's nationalist rhetoric was viewed in the Soviet Union with some misgivings. At the same time, for a brief period, this nationalist policy assured broad support for the Communist regime. See March 26, 1919 letter from "Taylor in Belgrade to H. C. Hoover" American Relief Administration (henceforth cited as ARA) -- Paris -- H73, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In another letter Taylor wrote: "The Hungarian situation assumes each day more the appearance of a well-organized communistic coup d'etat, but still with nationalistic character." And, commenting on the ultimatum of Colonel Vix to Károlyi, he wrote: "Those of us who have been in this country are convinced that an error was made in announcing the decision on Hungarian boundaries in advance of announcement of other disputed boundaries and in advance of the presence of the delegates from the defeated countries in Paris." March 29, 1919, Taylor from Trieste to H. C. Hoover in Paris, ARA -- Paris -- H73.

[27.] The willingness of the refugee peasants to serve in the Red Army is illustrated by the case of the refugees from Arad. On March 22, the day after the declaration of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, the French commander of Arad, General Henri Gondrecourt, ordered the expulsion of the local Hungarian military units, who were suspected of leftist sympathies. Those troops were accompanied by some 14,000 inhabitants of the city -- workers, leftist intellectuals, and even a large number of peasants, who often fled with their families. Within days, most of those peasants were organized into the Red Army, and served with distinction against the Romanians. ASzET, pp. 216-17.

[28.] Tibor Számuely, Összegyüjtött írások és beszédek [Collected Writings and Speeches] (András Simor and Pál Máthé, eds.) (Budapest, 1975), p. 603

[29.] Ottó Korvin, ". . . a Gondolat él. . ." [". . . The Thought Lives . . ."] (András Simor and János Márton, eds.) (Budapest, 1976), p. 152.

[30.] A good example of this is the makeup of the 19-men group led by István Friedrich and András Csilléry. Among them, there were seven officers, three lawyers, three police officials, two officers in the merchant marine, one dentist, an engineer, a professor, and a state official. Six out of the nineteen were assimilated Germans. Lábay, Az ellenforradalom, p. 176.

[31.] It was headed by General István Sréter and the brother of Admiral Horthy, István Horthy. See Zsuzsa L. Nagy,Forradalom és ellenforradalom a Dunántúlon, 1919 [Revolution and Counterrevolution in Transdanubia, 1919] (Budapest, 1961), p. 84.

[32.] Deme and Keleti, Az ellenforradalom Vasvármegyében, p. 74; cf. L. Nagy, Forradalom, pp. 135-36.

[33.] Dezsö Sulyok, A magyar tragédia[Hungarian Tragedy] (Newark, N.J., 1954), pp. 237-42. According to the chief prosecutor of the Horthy regime, during the Soviet Republic, 238 proven cases of executions or murders took place. Györgyi Markovits, ed.,Magyar pokol. A magyarorszagifehérterror betiltott és üldözött kiadványok tükrében [Hungarian Hell. The Hungarian White Terror Mirrored in Forbidden and Persecuted Publications] (Budapest, 1964), p. 28. The total number of victims was put around five to six hundred. Vilmos Böhm, however, argues that the 587 claimed victims included everyone who died a violent death during the Hungarian Soviet Republic. It included all those who died with weapons in their hands, resisting the state. Böhm, Két forradalom, pp. 398-99.

[34.] Among the nearly dozen different right-wing groups that promised to support the planned uprising, the heaviest concentration of refugees was in the Hungarian Christian Cultural League, originally a Transylvanian refugee organization, and in the Hun Alliance.

[35.] Hetés, A magyarorszagi forradalmak, pp. 309-13. Cf. Tökés, Béla Kún, p. 193, Böhm, Két forradalom, p. 371.

[36.] Originally, the date of the insurrection was fixed for June 12, by Count Istvan Bethlen, who, although already in Vienna, was still the recognized leader of the planned coup. But forty-seven of the conspirators were arrested a few days earlier; this contributed to the ultimate failure of the June 24 coup d'etat. Lábay,Az ellenforradalom, pp. 101-107. Also, Hetés, A magyarországi forradalmak, p. 311.

[37.] Kálmán Benkö,Az1919. évi juniús hó 24-iki tengerészeti forradalom[The Sailors' Revolution of June 24, 1919] (Budapest, 1920), pp. 20-56. Cf. L. Nagy,Forradalom, pp. 165-67; Böhm, Két forradalom, pp. 371-73; Lábay, Az ellenforradalom, pp. 66-68.

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