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DOCUMENTS - Part Two: Frontiers of Hungary - Chapter II. Proposals and Remarks to the Subcommittee on Territorial Problems

Document 4

Secret T Document 48

August 24, 1942



The Hungarian-Slovak prob1em-area falls into two categories: a southern tier of predominantly Magyar districts, and a northern tier of mixed Slovak-Hungarian districts. These two tiers of districts may be susceptible of different handling in case an effort should be made to resolve the Hungarian-Slovak dispute by direct negotiation or by a compromise settlement induced through the efforts of the leading members of the United Nations.


Southern Tier

1. In the western section of the southern tier there are six districts, which together contain most of the Grosse Schuett and over half of the Little Hungarian Plain. According to the Czechoslovak census of 1930, they contain the following ethnic quantities:

    Name of District       Total      Czechoslovak     Magyar                
    amorín                  35,135    3,994            27,030                
    Dunajská Streda         44,296    2,196            39,070                
    Komárno                 64,098    7,910            53,154                
    Stará ala               52,676    14,536           36,940                
    Parkan                  48,413    7,532            39,483                
    eliezovce               30,227    4,503            24,164                
   | Total              |   274,845   40,671        |  219,841    |          

In 1938 all of these districts were taken by Hungary, except for about one-twentieth of eliezovce district. The transfer of these six districts to Hungary would leave intact in Czechoslovak hands the main-line railroad from Bratislava through Galanta and Nové Zámky to Levice. It would place in Hungarian hands (1) most of a subsidiary railroad from Bratislava to Komárno, which traverses the Grosse Schuett, (2) the main-line railroad southeast of Nové Zámky to the former frontier station of Szob; and (3) a branch-line northward in the direction of Levice. No serious adjustments in transportation and local marketing arrangements wou1d be needed, except that Slovakia should be provided with transshipment facilities at Komárno for the handling of lumber floated down the Váh River to that Danubian port

2. In the central section of the Slovak frontier of 1937 there are three districts of markedly Magyar population:

 Name of District   Total      Czechoslova  Magyar       
    Feledince       32,565     4,551        25,195       
     Tornal'a       21,297     2,629        17,701       
Moldava nad Bodvou  29,739     7,937        16,737       
      Total         83,601     15,117       59,633       

Of these three districts, all except about one-fifth of the Moldava district were annexed by Hungary in 1938.

The transfer of these three districts to Hungary would leave intact in Czechoslovak hands the existing railroad system connecting Levice, Luenec, Rimavská Sobota, Revúca, and Roava. It would place in Hungarian hands three branch-lines closely connected with existing Hungarian lines and with Budapest.

3. In the eastern section of the frontier of 1937 the district of Král'ovsk Chlumec is overwhelming Magyar in character. Of its total population of 37,817 in 1930,3,969 were Czechoslovaks and 29,832 were

Magyars. This entire district was annexed by Hungary in 1938.

The transfer of the district of Král'ovsk Chlmec to Hungary would cut the main-line connecting Koice with Uhorod and Ruthenia, but would leave an alternative through-line in Czechoslovak hands. The section of the main-line lying within this districts would, however, be cut off from the Hungarian network. If a narrow southern strip of Trebiov province were added to Hungary, this section could be connected with the important junction of Sátoraljaújhely and with the main Hungarian network.


Northern Tier

1. The western section of the Hungarian-Slovak problem-area consists of five districts of strongly mixed population:

 Name of District   Total       Czechoslova  Magyar       
Galanta               66,922    21,161       41,474       
al'a                  51,192    20,726       28,431       
Nové Zámky            62,107    39,724       19,629       
Vráble                35,817    25,744       9,208        
Levice                44,410    30,651       12,190       
Total                260,448    138,006      110,932      

Of these districts, considerable portions were annexed by Hungary in 1938; four-fifths of Galanta, three-fifths of al'a, nineteen-twentieths of Nové Zámky and of Vráble, and one-fifths of Levice district.

Slight adjustments of frontier could be made in this section, particularly in the districts of Galanta, al'a and Nové Zámky, if it should be desired, to transfer a number of strongly Magyar communities to Hungarian rule. However, the drawing of an ethnic line of demarca- tion would place the cities of Galanta and Nové Zámky in Hungary, thus depriving Czechoslovakia of its main-line eastward from Bratislava to Levice, while leaving to it a well-developed but more roundabout line to the north.

2. In the central section of the northern tier there are five districts of strongly mixed composition:

 Name of District   Total        Czechoslova  Magyar       
Krupina               47,489     28,945       17,279       
Modr Kame             35,508     23,898       11,025       
Luenec                71,699     49,302       18,502       
Revúca                21,815     18,777       2,094        

Name of District Total Czechoslova Magyar k Roava 42,131 23,417 14,767 Total 218,642 144,339 63,667

Considerable portions of these districts were annexed by Hungary in 1938; about one-third of Krupina and of Modr Kame, about two-fifths of Luenec, one-fourth of Revúca, and one-half of Roava.

Slight adjustments of frontier could be made in the southern portions of the districts of Krupina, Modr Kame, Luenec and Roava, to transfer a few mainly Magyar communes to Hungarian rule, and without dislocating the system of railroad transportation.

3. In the eastern section of the ethnically mixed area the following districts with small Magyar minorities are involved:

 Name of District   Total        Czechoslova  Magyar       
Koice Urban           63,967     42,245       11,504       
Koice Rural           55,715     50,188       3,546        
Trebiov               47,417     40,057       3,971        
Vel'ké Kapuany        20,304     7,457        11,314       
Michalovce            50,238     42,533       3,066        
Total                 237,641    182,480      33,401       

Of these districts Hungary, in 1938 and 1939, annexed all of Koice Urban, nine-tenths of Vel'ké Kapuany, two-thirds of Koice Rural, one-third of Trebiov, and one-fifth of Michalovce. A small rectification could be made in the district of Vel'ké Kapuany to leave a few Magyar villages to Hungary, without injuring the Czechoslovak railroad system.


The difference in the relative importance of the ethnic quantities involved is a significant one. The southern tier, comprising ten districts, contained a total population of 396,263 (census of 1930), of which 309,306 were Magyars and 59,757 were Czechoslovaks. The northern tier, on the other hand, includes fifteen districts with a total population of 716,731, of which 464,825 were Czechoslovaks, and 208,000 Magyars (1930). The retrocession to Hungary of the districts of the southern tier would not impose any great difficulties of transportation on Czechoslova- kia; the retroceded areas would return to their pre-1918 gravitation towards nearby Hungarian market-towns and towards Budapest. The return to Hungary of any substantial part of the Magyars contained in the northern tier of districts would, on the other hand, necessitate considerable adjustments in the Czechoslovak railroad system; even in this area certain small sections of compact Magyar settlement could be transferred to Hungary without serious inconvenience. In this connec- tion, it must be remembered that some of the district boundaries were redrawn in a somewhat gerrymandered manner after 1920, apparently with a view to diluting the volume of the Magyar element in some of the disputed districts.


24/VIII/42. Box 60


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