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Wed, 20 Apr 2011 13:02:38 EDT by admin, 127103 views
History paper by Waters, Leslie (all papers)
Erasing Borders: The Reacquaintance of Trianon and Felvidék Hungarians
This paper explores the reconnection of Hungarians in Felvidék and Hungary proper after the expansion of Hungary’s northern border in November 1938. During the previous twenty years of Czechoslovak rule, contact between Hungarians living within the Trianon borders and those in Felvidék had been curtailed and regional distinctions became more pronounced during the separation. The minority experience and exposure to democratic processes in Felvidék had transformed the area’s Hungarian residents in the eyes of many. The two sides became reacquainted first through extensive press coverage of the Grand Re-Entry of the Hungarian Army as both groups celebrated the first major triumph of Hungarian revisionism. A stream of civil service migration into Felvidék followed shortly thereafter, along with a smaller flow of leading Felvidék politicians to represent the region in Budapest. Later, tourism opportunities arose for average citizens to visit sites in the redeemed territory as travel restrictions in and out of Felvidék gradually eased. This paper examines these encounters, the two sides’ mutual suspicions, and the attempts to overcome them. It reveals that despite widespread support for the re-annexation both in Hungary proper and Felvidék, practical concerns abounded and solutions were difficult to achieve.
Brief Professional Bio:
Leslie Waters is a PhD Candidate in History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation, “Resurrecting the Nation: Felvidék and the Hungarian Territorial Revisionist Project, 1938-1946,” explores contested political, ethnic, linguistic, and national loyalties in southern Slovakia during the period of Hungarian rule following the First Vienna Award. Leslie was a Fulbright Scholar to Hungary in 2009-2010 and is currently a visiting instructor in European Studies at The College of William and Mary.