Chapter

The Legacy of World War I

Deborah S. Cornelius

in Hungary in World War II

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233434
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241767 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823233434.003.0002

Series: World War II: The Global, Human, and Ethical Dimension

The Legacy of World War I

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One must go back to the effects of World War I and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy to understand Hungary's role in World War II. During the turbulent years 1918–1919 the Kingdom of Hungary disintegrated, Hungary's neighbors occupied much of the country, and the new democratic republic failed to win Allied recognition, replaced by a short-lived Bolshevik regime. As a final blow the Peace Treaty confirmed the losses, including territories such as Transylvania and Northern Hungary, which had been integral parts of the Kingdom and carried great symbolic value. One and one-half million of the population lost lived in solidly Hungarian-inhabited belts on the new borders. Hungarians never recovered from their sense of injustice at the dismemberment of the Kingdom, and their belief that the Treaty of Trianon had been a dreadful mistake, which the Great Powers would eventually rectify.

Keywords: democratic republic; Bolshevik regime; Transylvania; Northern Hungary; Great Powers

Chapter.  9205 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

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