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Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:57:42 EDT by webmaster, 6478 views
National Archives of Hungary
History/Political Science paper by Kovács, Tamás (all papers)
Who Was Hungarian or a Hungarian Citizen Before 1948, According to the Documents of the Ministry of the Interior
Many Hungarian writers, historians, sociologists have asked the question, who is Hungarian. A possible answer to the question is given in the title of this presentation. That is, who can be considered a Hungarian citizen by the Hungarian State or by the Hungarian authorities?
After the Compromise with Austria in 1867, the need emerged in the Kingdom of Hungary that the state should regulate who qualifies to be viewed as a Hungarian citizen, as previously Austrian law and customary laws had been applicable. “Hungarians” still had to wait another 12 years to adopt the first Hungarian citizenship law, but three laws had also addressed the issue of the so-called “Village residence” before.
These may be considered essentially the precedence of the citizenship law. This presentation analyzes the 1879 Citizenship Law, which was valid until 1948. Thus, during all the great cataclysms of the Hungarian history – the Trianon Peace Treaty, the Holocaust and the population exchanges – the law had to be interpreted and applied. We shall show how the application of the law was implemented by the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior, especially if decisions had to be applied using the narrowest definitions. We shall also address how other laws overwrote the Citizenship Law during and after the Second World War, like for example to justify the deportation to Kamenets-Podolsk and/or the forced population exchanges after the war. The presentation addresses, amongst others, which departments dealt with citizenship issues within the Ministry of the Interior and also the activities of the National Central Authority for Controlling Aliens (NCACA, well-known Hungarian abbreviated name KEOKH), established in 1930. The timeliness of the topic is based on the event that NCACA’s successor organization will hand over its documents to the National Archives in 2017.
Brief Professional Bio:
Kovacs Tamas earned a MA and a Ph. D (in history) from University of Pecs. He worked for Holocaust Memorial Center (2003-2008), currently work for National Archives of Hungary as vice-head of the Department of pre 1945 Governmental Organ. In addition, he teaches at the University of Pannonia. His special field the Hungarian Ministry of Interior, police, military and civil secret service during Horthy era and the holocaust in Hungary.