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

Document 5

Secret T Document 61

September 3, 1942

Not to be removed from the State Department building


I. Southern and Northern Tier in the Problem-Area

In a memorandum entitled "Hungarian-Slovak Frontier; Alternative Frontier Solutions; Additional Note" (T Document 48; August 24, 1942), a distinction in regard to possible post-war treatment was drawn between the southern tier of ten districts bordering on the Slovak-Hun- garian frontier of 1937, and the northern tier of fifteen districts adjoining the first group. It was suggested that the southern tier might be assigned to Hungary, the northern tier to Czechoslovakia. It was found that the ten districts of the southern tier contained, in 1930, a total population of 396,263, including 309,306 Magyars and 59,757 Czechoslovaks. The northern tier, it was ascertained, contained 716,731 inhabitants, of which 464,825 were Czechoslovak and 209,000 were Magyars by nationality.

If the sixty thousand (59,757) Czechoslovaks living in the southern tier of districts were exchanged for an equal number of Magyars of the northern tier, there would be no Czechoslovaks left in the strip of territory ceded to Hungary. The number of Magyars left in the Czechoslovak-held northern tier would thereby be reduced to about one hundred and fifty thousand (148,243). The total number of Magyars 1eft would then be about two hundred thousand (202,925), of whom 54,692 lived (in 1930) scattered elsewhere in Slovakia, outside the northern and southern tiers of frontier districts.

If the transfer of the southern tier of districts to Hungary should not be followed by the compulsory exchange of the sixty thousand Czechoslo- vaks of this tier for an equal number of Magyars of the northern tier, Slovakia would still contain 262,682 Magyars, compared with a 1930 total of 571,966.

II. Possible Bases for a Further Exchange of Slovak and Magyar Minorities

If an attempt were made to redraw the Hungarian-Slovak frontier, taking into account only the twenty-five districts of the southern and northern tiers, so as to leave approximately equal minorities on each side of a new frontier, certain sections of the northern tier would have to be transferred to Hungary. The following approximate areas with a 1930 Magyar majority would be involved in the first instance:

Western section:                                         
Galanta              (two-thirds)     41,474 Magyars     
al'a                 (three-fifth)    28,431 Magyars     
Nové Zámky            (one-third)     19,529 Magyars     
Eastern section:                                         
Vel'ke Kapuany        (one-half)      11,314 Magyars     

By assigning to Czechoslovakia the remaining area of the same four districts, 89,068 Czechoslovaks would come under Czechoslovak sovereignty. At this stage in the study, these estimates are of course based on district totals; although somewhat simplified, they may serve to give some indication of the ethnic quantities involved. In any actual division of these four districts between Czechoslovakia and Hungary, only an examination of the area commune by commune would indicate just where the line of division would run within the four districts, and what minor minority quantities would be then subject to exchange.

If the 59,757 Czechoslovaks of the southern tier (1930) were exchanged for a number of Magyars located in the northern tier outside of the additional area assigned to Hungary, and if 100,849 Magyars of the northern tier were also transferred to Hungarian rule by shifting the frontier, the number of Magyars then left in that part of the northern tier assigned to Czechoslovakia would be reduced to 47,395. Even added to the 64,682 scattered Magyars who, in 1930, lived in Slovakia outside the northern and southern tiers, a total minority of 102,077 dispersed Magyars would present no problem from the point of view of possible future claims for territorial or autonomous self-deter- mination. By the same token, no Czechoslovak minority would remain in that part of the problem-area assigned to Hungary.

Thus, even the transfer to Hungary of the predominantly Magyar sections of these four districts of the northern tier would fall short of establishing complete equality of minority quantities on each side of the new frontier. To achieve such equality, it would also be necessary to transfer to Hungary narrow southern strip of some of the remaining eleven districts of the northern tier. The approximate territorial division which would be required under this solution has been outlined roughly in a memorandum entitled "Hungarian-Slovak Frontier; Alternative Territorial Solutions" (T Document 27), and need not be repeated here.

III. Occupational Factors in a Possible Exchange of Minorities

On to this point the discussion of possible exchanges of minorities contingent upon a redrawing of the Slovak-Hungarian frontier has been in terms of numbers involved. In practice, the problem of the occupa- tional stratification of the exchangeable populations is of equal or greater importance. The first step in a study of this aspect of the problem is to determine the structure of the population in terms of nationality and occupation. However, in order to make a really usable analysis of the prob1em, it would be necessary to refine the study even further. One would need to know, for example, how far peasants accustomed to raising wheat in the plains can be set down in the place of uplands peasants accustomed to mixed farming, and vica versa. A detailed analysis might show, for instance, that a plains peasant, transferred to the uplands, would need to have a larger cultivable area and a smaller capital equipment at his disposal taking, if he was to maintain his accustomed standard of living. An experienced mechanic, moved from a more industrial town of the foothills to a more primitive market-place on the plains, might not find employment for his acquired skill and at his customary wage-level. However, even without entering, at present into these further refine- ments of analysis, it is possible to indicate some of the occupational quantities involved in an exchange of "remnant" minorities of this problem-area.

Combined data of nationality and occupation are available for some, but not all, of the districts in question. For purposes of illustration the relevant data for two districts are presented here. Stará ala is a typical plains districts of the southern tier. Nové Zámky is a somewhat more industrialized district, partly plain and partly foothills, fairly typical of the northern tier. Only Czechoslovaks and Magyars are taken into account; in the following table the data refer, not to persons actually engaged in the occupation indicated, but to those "dependents" on it for their livelihood. re> Stará Nové ala Magyar Zámky Magyar Czecho s Czecho s - - slovak slovak s s l.) Farming, 11,870 30,109 19,080 9,364 cattle-raising, gardening 2.) Lumbering, 39 179 97 58 hunting, min- ing 3.) Industry 891 3,957 7,499 4,851 4.) Commerce and 278 638 2,167 1,830 private tran- sport, banking, hotelkeeping 5.) Government 995 754 7,522 815 service, i ncl. post office, railroad, army 6.) Free professions 20 294 269 277 7.) Living on 335 884 1,999 1,777 investments or charity 8.) Independent 34 129 532 360 domestic ser- vice, hospitalized, students, barbers 9) No occupation 93 300 754 615 designated

While these figures offer no basis for a planned exchange of minorities according to occupations, as they refer to only two districts, they may serve to indicate some of the discrepancies involved. More particularly for industry, commerce, and the free professions the differences in quantities are significant. Such qualitative discrepancies within the "remnant" minorities, like the quantitative disproportions mentioned above, would be greatly diminished in their extent, and thus rendered more tractable, if certain southern strips of the districts of the northern tier were also assigned to Hungary. For example, in Nové Zámky district 10,193 of the 19,629 Magyars of the district live (1930) in the city of Nové Zámky, located in the southeastern corner of the district adjacent to the southern tier.


3/IX/42 Box

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