Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Discussions on all aspects of the smaller Axis nations in Europe and Asia. Hosted by G. Trifkovic.
Futurist
Member
Posts: 3079
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by Futurist » 14 Dec 2020 07:19

In real life, Hungary was able to force significant territorial concessions from Romania in the Second Vienna Award in 1940--specifically northern Transylvania. The problem for Hungary, of course, is that by doing this, it also annexed a huge number of Romanians:

https://i.imgur.com/HIpmbB0.png

Image

In turn, this made me wonder if the idea of returning only the Szekely Land--with an extraterritorial road connecting it to Hungary--and some border areas to Hungary was ever actually seriously considered. This would have allowed Hungary to reacquire a lot of the Romanian Hungarians but without absorbing anywhere near as many Romanians as Hungary absorbed in real life. So, this would have struck me as the more sensible option for Hungary, no? Or was Miklos Horthy hungry for as much territory as he could acquire, even if that also meant absorbing much more Romanians than necessary?

For what it's worth, I would presume that Germany would ensure that this hypothetical extraterritorial road connecting the Szekely Land to Hungary proper would indeed operate as promised--as in, that Romania would not block this road's construction and/or operation. Germany is and was much larger than Romania, after all.

Anyway, though, what do you think?

Peter89
Member
Posts: 675
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Hungary

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by Peter89 » 15 Dec 2020 19:22

First of all, I'd say that map you use is a form of interwar gerrymandering, where administrative regions tried to dilute where there was a Hungarian majority area. Hungarians used a different administrative system (vármegyerendszer), which could be seen more neutral, because it was conceived before the age of nationalism, but I wouldn't recommend it, because it is not accurate.

What was indeed accurate, is not the A-H census of 1910 or the Romanian census of 1930, but the Hungarian census of 1941, where cross-references and other, highly sensitive methods were used to determine one's nationality. Teleki Pál, as a scientist, indeed wanted to have a clear picture of the national affiliations of Hungary. (Make no mistake, he had no good intentions with this, it was a pragmatic approach.)

It is worth to note that these lists were later used by both the Waffen-SS (to draft ethnic Germans into their ranks), the Eichmann-kommando (to deport Jews for the Holocaust), and by the Soviets and communists, to deport ethnic German families after the war. As my family was affected by it multiple times over, I am obviously not a big fan of the document, but I have to admit its merits.

The whoel census of 1941 broke down to settlements can be found here: https://library.hungaricana.hu/hu/view/ ... 0&layout=s

The map of the administrative districts of Hungary in 1941-1944 can be found here: http://dka.oszk.hu/009100/009160/kingdo ... agykep.jpg

To answer your question more directly, it was never considered, and that's no bloody wonder. Both the Romanians and the Hungarians knew that such a solution would not last, and place them for the other's mercy. So it's a no-no.

By the way... when the Second Vienna Award was conceived, a Romanian entrepreneur paid a huge bribe to Göring to modify the borders so the gas wells and the factories that used the gas could both remain on the Romanian side. Therefore the huge "sack" near Kolozsvár / Cluj-Napoca was nicknamed "Göring-zsák" or Göring-sack.

Also the Székelyföld / Szeklerland remained without rail connection, so the Hungarian government had to build a new railway connection.

Futurist
Member
Posts: 3079
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by Futurist » 17 Dec 2020 03:50

"where cross-references and other, highly sensitive methods were used to determine one's nationality."

Such as what, exactly?

Peter89
Member
Posts: 675
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Hungary

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by Peter89 » 26 Dec 2020 14:11

Futurist wrote:
17 Dec 2020 03:50
"where cross-references and other, highly sensitive methods were used to determine one's nationality."

Such as what, exactly?
I mostly answered that here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=254154

mihaiS
Member
Posts: 14
Joined: 16 Jul 2020 17:51
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by mihaiS » 10 Jan 2021 15:59

Peter89 wrote:
15 Dec 2020 19:22
It is worth to note that these lists were later used by both the Waffen-SS (to draft ethnic Germans into their ranks)
I know that I might be hijacking this thread, but I have a (slightly) related question. Are there any Hungarian primary sources available online regarding the issue of Waffen-SS conscription, or even the Deutsche Volksgruppe itself, within Northern Transylvania?

Peter89
Member
Posts: 675
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Hungary

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by Peter89 » 10 Jan 2021 19:53

mihaiS wrote:
10 Jan 2021 15:59
Peter89 wrote:
15 Dec 2020 19:22
It is worth to note that these lists were later used by both the Waffen-SS (to draft ethnic Germans into their ranks)
I know that I might be hijacking this thread, but I have a (slightly) related question. Are there any Hungarian primary sources available online regarding the issue of Waffen-SS conscription, or even the Deutsche Volksgruppe itself, within Northern Transylvania?
Sadly, nothing in English. However, with a Google translate, you might get what you are looking for in the best monography (Kovács Zoltán András - Számvéber Norbert: A Waffen-SS Magyarországon) on the topic.

https://www.arcanum.hu/hu/online-kiadva ... agon-3578/

or

https://vmek.oszk.hu/05000/05002/html/

If you have a specific question, please do ask. Hungarian is very hard to translate to English, Google translate is legendary :)

mihaiS
Member
Posts: 14
Joined: 16 Jul 2020 17:51
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by mihaiS » 11 Jan 2021 10:13

Peter89 wrote:
10 Jan 2021 19:53
If you have a specific question, please do ask. Hungarian is very hard to translate to English, Google translate is legendary :)
Thank you for the links. I was just wondering whether the primary sources used in that book (more specifically the Hungarian Archives, military or not) are at least partly digitalized, although it seems unlikely.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 675
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Hungary

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by Peter89 » 11 Jan 2021 10:26

mihaiS wrote:
11 Jan 2021 10:13
Peter89 wrote:
10 Jan 2021 19:53
If you have a specific question, please do ask. Hungarian is very hard to translate to English, Google translate is legendary :)
Thank you for the links. I was just wondering whether the primary sources used in that book (more specifically the Hungarian Archives, military or not) are at least partly digitalized, although it seems unlikely.
They are partially digitalized, but the problem is that the digitalization is usually in scan format, so it's a hell of a job to search for keywords and it's impossible to copy-paste it into translators. Do you happen to speak Hungarian btw?

Please feel free to ask if you are interested in something in particular.

mihaiS
Member
Posts: 14
Joined: 16 Jul 2020 17:51
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by mihaiS » 11 Jan 2021 21:15

Peter89 wrote:
11 Jan 2021 10:26
They are partially digitalized, but the problem is that the digitalization is usually in scan format, so it's a hell of a job to search for keywords and it's impossible to copy-paste it into translators. Do you happen to speak Hungarian btw?

Please feel free to ask if you are interested in something in particular.
I don’t speak Hungarian, and I’m not really looking for something in particular. I’m currently doing a research project (for college, nothing fancy) about Waffen-SS recruitment in Romania and the way in which National Socialist ideology was disseminated in its Volksdeutsche communities. I thought that perhaps I could also compare it to the forced conscription in Hungary, but it seems that I can only rely on a few documents from the German Foreign Ministry’s archives, since none of the relevant NARA rolls are available online.

Do you know if there are any available Hungarian documents about Werner Lorenz, Gottlob Berger, the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle, or even Waffen-SS conscription in general?

Khor
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 15 Nov 2014 07:19

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by Khor » 18 Jan 2021 11:31

Conscription in Romania is a tricky question.
Firstly the Waffen-SS started to conscript ethnic Germans. But they had no monopoly over it. The Wehrmacht similarly did that, but obviously in a lesser manner.
Waffen-SS later on also recruited Romanians to their Romanian SS unit.
The weird thing is, that the Hungarian military also recruited Romanians partially to their Hungarian units, but not in a large manner. Those Romanians lived in reclaimed lands and they were deemed "useful".
Sadly they did not understand, that those man were highly unreliable, because they did not have any connections to the government in Budapest, not to mention, that a lot of times not purely Hungarian soldiers were often critized or painfully joked about. (To say the least.) While similar happened in every other army, it is still noteful.

There was also some population exchange between the Northern and Southern part of Transylvania as both wanted an ethnically more "proper" territory.

Hungarian documents about Waffen-SS recruitment:
https://vmek.oszk.hu/05000/05002/html/
https://moly.hu/konyvek/teged-hiv-az-ss
https://www.antikvarium.hu/konyv/kosara ... ben-403455
https://www.regikonyvek.hu/kiadas/hadit ... paja-kiado (Hungarian magazin with mostly ww2 in it. The issues have an interesting number of details on the SS.)
https://www.antikvarium.hu/konyv/tilkov ... agon-38073
https://moly.hu/konyvek/tilkovszky-lora ... -volksbund
https://moly.hu/konyvek/norbert-spannen ... est-kozott
https://moly.hu/konyvek/vitari-zsolt-sz ... es-ifjusag
https://moly.hu/konyvek/bank-barbara-oz ... -1945-1953

If you would like to know more, or ask about the theme, just pm me.

János

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 8151
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 18 Jan 2021 14:41

Hi Futurist,

Neither side was interested in such a compromise, even if raised.

For the Romanians, the concession of an extraterritorial highway would have been a loss of sovereignty and they would have regarded it as the "thin end of the wedge".

We can be pretty certain they would have been right because the Hungarians didn't just want the then four Szekely-majority provinces in the middle of inter-war Romania, or even just Northern Transilvania. At Vienna they wanted all of Transilvania. This would have included an additional large number of Romanians and relatively few more Hungarians.

The Hungarians were actually engaged in rebuilding an empire, not in consolidating a Hungarian nation state.

We know this not simply because of their ambitions for all of Transilvania, where even their own figures agree that Romanians were in a majority, but because of what had recently happened in Ruthenia. There, Hungary had recovered all the Hungarian-majority areas in late 1938, and yet still went on to seize all the larger Ukrainian-majority areas in early 1939.

Both sides regarded the Vienna Arbitration as a "dictat" because neither got what they wanted.

Both sides had a vested interest in their censuses showing they were in a majority in the disputed areas. However, the 1941 Hungarian census has one unique flaw in judging the situation in 1940. It was taken after 100,000 additional Hungarians had arrived from Southern Transilvania and after a similar number of Romanians had left to go south. However good its methodology may, or may not, have been, the 1941 Hungarian census is not an accurate representation of the population balance in Northern Transilvania before the 2nd Vienna Award in 1940.

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. For comparison, this is a map of the results of the Romanian 1930 census: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demograph ... map_EN.png

P.P.S. This is a map of the ethnic distribution of Romania in 1977. Since 1940 the Hungarians had lost some ground, but it still illustrates the problem for any notional extra-territorial highway: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Demographic ... of_Romania

Futurist
Member
Posts: 3079
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by Futurist » 19 Jan 2021 05:10

Sid Guttridge wrote:
18 Jan 2021 14:41
Both sides had a vested interest in their censuses showing they were in a majority in the disputed areas. However, the 1941 Hungarian census has one unique flaw in judging the situation in 1940. It was taken after 100,000 additional Hungarians had arrived from Southern Transilvania and after a similar number of Romanians had left to go south. However good its methodology may, or may not, have been, the 1941 Hungarian census is not an accurate representation of the population balance in Northern Transilvania before the 2nd Vienna Award in 1940.
Did this population trend reverse itself after the end of World War II, when Northern Transylvania was given back to Romania?

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 8151
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 19 Jan 2021 07:55

Hi Futurist,

I don't know specifically, but population maps show a consistent drift towards the Romanians after 1930. How much of this is due to displaced Romanians and Hungarians from 1940 being allowed to return, or not, I don't know. My guess is that after 1944 it was much easier for the Romanians to reclaim their homes than it was for Hungarians.

There is one proviso - Romanians often complain that their earlier post-war Communist governments were heavily dominated by minorities. This seems to have some truth. If so, they may have been more even handed in allowing both ethnicities to return home.

There are no precise statistics for the ethnic composition of the immediate post war Communist Party, but there are for 1933: "Ethnic composition of the PCR in 1933: from a total of 1,665 members, 26.8 percent were Hungarian, 22.65 ethnic Romanians, 18.22 Jews, 10.27 Russians and Ukrainians, 8.45 percent Bulgarians, and 13.93 other nationalities." (Giurescu, 1997, p. 8). As the post-war leadership were probably mostly already members by then, to some degree this probably carried over into the governments of the early post-war era. However, by the 1960s the party membership was much more proportional to the composition of the population. The only good thing many Romanians say about Ceausescu is "He may have been a bastard, but at least he was our bastard."

Cheers,

Sid

User avatar
steppewolf
Member
Posts: 72
Joined: 24 Feb 2017 07:38
Location: Bucharest

Re: Was the idea of returning the Szekely Land to Hungary but with an extraterritorial road connection ever considered?

Post by steppewolf » 20 Jan 2021 18:04

Sid Guttridge wrote:
19 Jan 2021 07:55
The only good thing many Romanians say about Ceausescu is "He may have been a bastard, but at least he was our bastard."
Many who lived those times also say that 70s were quite good, there was more freedom compared with 60s, food wasn't an issue and so on and he went mad after going to North Korea and decided to went full Stalinism probably also following pressure of his wife.

Return to “Minor Axis Nations”