Hungarophobia[1][2] (also known as Anti-Hungarianism, Magyarophobia[3] or Antimagyarism[4]) is dislike, distrust, racism, or xenophobia directed against the Hungarians. It can involve hatred, grievance, distrust, intimidation, fear, and hostility towards the Hungarian people, language and culture. Due to Hungarian background, especially about Atilla the Hun, it is confused with Anti-Turkism and Anti-Mongolianism.


The beginnings

During the era of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian monarchs, the court in Vienna was influenced by Hungarophobia; though the Hungarian side, the landowner nobles, also showed signs of Germanophobia.[5] In the 18th century, after the end of Rákóczi's War of Independence, many immigrants came to the underpopulated southern parts of the Kingdom of Hungary: for instance 800 new German villages were established.[6] The authorities preferred non-Hungarian settlers. The Habsburgs regarded Hungarians as "politically unreliable", and so they were not allowed to settle in the southern territories until the 1740s.[7] This organized resettlement was planned by the Habsburgs. The resettlement policy was characterized as anti-Hungarian,[8][9] because, among other reasons, the Habsburgs feared an uprising of Protestant Hungarians.[10]

The Habsburg Ruler and his advisers skilfully manipulated the Croatian, Serbian and Romanian peasantry, led by priests and officers firmly loyal to the Habsburgs, and induced them to rebel against the Hungarian government.[Note 1] Thousands of Hungarians were massacred in Transylvania in 1848-49 (now part of Romania) in nine separate incidents during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.

Modern era

In Czechoslovakia

Minorities in Czechoslovakia during the years 1918-1939 enjoyed personal freedoms and were properly recognized by the state. There were three Hungarian and/or Hungarian-centric political parties:

After World War II, Czechoslovakia became a communist state; during the transition to a communist one-party state, decrees permitting the forced[11] expulsion of German and Hungarian minorities from ethnic enclaves in Czechoslovakia came into effect, and Hungarians were forcibly relocated to Sudetenland, on the borders of Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak government deported more than 44,129 Hungarians from Slovakia to the Sudetenland for forced labor[12][13] between 1945 and 1948.[13] To this day, these Beneš decrees remain legally in effect in the Czech Republic.[14]

In Slovakia

Ján Slota, the ex-chairman of Slovak National Party SNS, according to whom the Hungarian minority of Slovakia "is a tumour in the body of the Slovak nation."[15][16][17]

In Slovakia, Hungarian and pro-Hungarian political parties are a stable part of the political system. Anti-Hungarian sentiment had been cricicized particularly during the third government of Vladimír Mečiar. In the past, so-called "Hungarian card" had been used mainly by the Slovak National Party (SNS)[18] which opposed the granting of a special status to the Hungarian minority, and argued for the complete assimilation of the Hungarian minority into Slovak society: suggesting that Hungarians in Slovakia are actually overprivileged.[18][19] After personal changes in the presidium, SNS abandoned similar rhetoric and formed a common government with pro-Hungarian Most-Híd in 2016.

Anti-Hungarian rhetoric of some far-right organizations in Slovakia is based on historical stereotypes, conflicts in the common history interpreted from nationalistic positions and recent events. In such interpretations, the arrival of old Hungarian tribes is described as the occupation by barbarian tribes that contributed to the destruction of Great Moravia. Other negative sentiments are related to the period of magyarization, revisionistic policy of inter-war Hungary, collaboration of Hungarian minority parties with Hungarian government against Czechoslovakia, the First Vienna Award and Slovak–Hungarian War.[20] According to these views, Hungary still tries to undermine the territorial integrity of Slovakia and local minority politicians are drawn as irredentists.[20] However, anti-Hungarian sentiment is not typical even for all far-right organizations. E.g. the leader of Slovak Brotherhood emphasized the collaboration with Hungarian far-right organisations against materialism and multiculturalism.[20]

Women, whether Slovak or not, were in the past required to affix the Slovak language feminine marker -ová (used for declension of femine names) at the end of their surname.[21]

One incident of ethnically motivated violence against Hungarians in Slovakia is the Hedvig Malina case. Hedvig Malina, a 23-year-old Hungarian student from Horné Mýto allegedly beaten and robbed in Nitra after speaking Hungarian in public.[22][23][24] A football match in Dunajská Streda also caused tensions between Slovakia and Hungary when Hungarian fans were badly beaten by Slovak police.[25]

The majority population and the Hungarian minority describe their coexistence mostly as good. For example, in a public survey in 2015, 85.2% of respondents characterized their coexistence as good (63.6% rather good, 21.6% very good) and only 7.6% as bad (6.3% rather bad, 1.3% very bad).[26]

In Romania

In Romania, the Ceaușescu regime was obsessed with the ancient history of Transylvania and suffering from Magyarophobia.[27] Due to the nationalistic state ideology,[28] the historical personalities of Hungary (such as John Hunyadi or György Dózsa)[28][29] went through Romanianization in these years, becoming more central figures in the Romanian history.[27]

In Serbia

Although Hungarophobia in Serbia is not really high, however, due to Serbia's conflict with Hungary in the past, notably over Vojvodina, there are some anti-Hungarian feelings in Serbia.

Derogatory terms

In English

In Romanian

See also

Notes and references


  1. This attitude is not unprecedented: the Austrian government used the Galician uprising to decimate Polish insurgent nobles.


  1. Viktor Karády, The Jews of Europe in the Modern Era: A Socio-Historical Outline, Central European University Press, 2004, p. 223
  2. András Bán, Hungarian-British Diplomacy, 1938-1941: The Attempt to Maintain Relations, Routledge, 2004, p. 128
  3. Boyer, John W. (2009). Culture and Political Crisis in Vienna: Christian Socialism in Power, 1897-1918. University of Chicago Press, 1995. p. 116. ISBN 9780226069609.
  4. Verdery, Katherine. National Ideology Under Socialism: Identity and Cultural Politics in Ceauşescu's Romania. University of California Press, 1995. p. 317. ISBN 9780932088352.
  5. Michael Hochedlinger, Austria's Wars of Emergence: War, State and Society in the Habsburg Monarchy, 1683-1797, Pearson Education, 2003, p. 25
  6. Thomas Spira, German-Hungarian relations and the Swabian problem: from Károlyi to Gömbös, 1919-1936, East European quarterly, 1977, p. 2
  7. Károly Kocsis, Eszter Kocsisné Hodosi, Ethnic Geography of the Hungarian Minority on the Carpathian Basin, Simon Publications LLC, 1998, pp 140 -141
  8. Hídfő könyvtár, Volume 8, Issue 1, p. 48
  9. Istvàn Sisa, Magyarságtükör: nemzet határok nélkül, Püski, 2001, p. 99 Cited: "Magyarellenes betelepítési politika. A felszabadulást követően a Habsburgok olyan betelepítési politikát alkalmaztak, mely még tovább gyengítette a magyarok helyzetét." Translation: "(Section name) Anti-Hungarian resettlement policy. After the liberation, the policy employed by the Habsburgs weakened the situation of Hungarians more."
  10. Tibor Iván Berend, Éva Ring, Helyünk Európában: nézetek és koncepciók a 20. századi Magyarországon, Volume 1, Magvető, 1986, p. 144 Cited: "A Habsburg-család azonban a kálvinista magyarok lázadásától való félelmében az évszázados török háborúk által elpusztított területen magyarellenes telepítési politikát kezdeményezett" Translation: "The Habsburg family initiated an anti-Hungarian resettlement policy in the destroyed territories (caused by hundreds of years of Turkish wars) because of their fear of an uprising of Calvinist Hungarians"
  11. Thum, Gregor (2006–2007). "Ethnic Cleansing in Eastern Europe after 1945". Contemporary European History. 19 (1): 75–81. doi:10.1017/S0960777309990257.
  12. Eleonore C. M. Breuning, Dr. Jill Lewis, Gareth Pritchard, Power and the people: a social history of Central European politics, 1945-56, Manchester University Press, 2005, p. 140
  13. 1 2 Anna Fenyvesi, Hungarian language contact outside Hungary: studies on Hungarian as a minority language, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2005, p. 50
  14. "Radio Prague - The "Benes decrees" - a historian's point of view". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  15. "Separatist Movements Seek Inspiration in Kosovo". Der Spiegel. 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  16. Jan Cienski. "Slovakia and Hungary just won't get along". GlobalPost. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  17. SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany (25 August 2009). "The World from Berlin: Slovakia and Hungary 'Dangerously Close to Playing with Fire'". SPIEGEL ONLINE. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  18. 1 2 Cohen, Shari J. (2009). Politics Without a Past: The Absence of History in Postcommunist Nationalism. Duke University Press, Nov 22, 1999. p. 140. ISBN 0822323990.
  19. Hungarian Human Rights Foundation New Slovak Government Embraces Ultra-Nationalists, Excludes Hungarian Coalition Party
  20. 1 2 3 Danilov, Sergej; Nociar, Tomáš, eds. (2012). Milovaní a nenávidení: Podobnosti a rozdiely medzi slovenskou a maďarskou krajnou pravicou [Loved and hated: Similarities and differences between Slovak and Hungarian far-right]. Bratislava: Inštitút pre medzikultúrny dialóg. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-80-970915-0-7.
  21. Bernd, Rechel (2009). Minority rights in Central and Eastern Europe. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0415590310.
  22. "Malina case bungled: Prosecutor". The Budapest Times. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  23. "Maligned Hungarian seeks higher justice". The Budapest Times. 2007-12-10. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
  24. "Une étudiante met le feu aux poudres ("A student sets fire to the powder")" (in French). 2006-09-18. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
  25. "Football riot stokes tension". Retrieved 2014-04-04.
  26. "Prieskum: Vzťahy Slovenska a Maďarska sa za posledných 10 rokov zlepšili" [Survey: Relationships between Slovakia and Hungary has improved over the last 10 years] (in Slovak). 2015-09-20. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
  27. 1 2 Lucian Boia, History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness, Central European University Press, 2001, p. 222 Citation:"....Thanks to the trios of Gelu, Glad and Menumorut, and Horea, Cloşca and Crişan, the Transylvanian heroes are actually more numerous than those of Wallachia or Moldavia, illustrating the obsession with Transylvania and the Hungarophobia that became accentuated towards the end of the Ceauşescu era."
  28. 1 2 "Rethinking National Identity after National-Communism? The case of Romania (by Cristina Petrescu, University of Bucharest)". Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  29. The Hungarian national component of the movement led by Dózsa was de-emphasized, while its strong antifeudal character was highlighted: (Romanian) Emanuel Copilaş, "Confiscarea lui Dumnezeu şi mecanismul inevitabilităţii istorice", Sfera Politicii 139, September 2009
  30. "Bohunk - Definition of bohunk by Merriam-Webster". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  31. "bohunk" in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  32. "The Racial Slur Database". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  33. Vilmos Tánczos, Language Use, Attitudes, Strategies. Linguistic Identity and Ethnicity in the Moldavian Csángó Villages, Editura ISPMN, 2012, p. 130


Gerő, András; Patterson, James (1995). Modern Hungarian society in the making: the unfinished experience. Central European University Press. 

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