14 March 2020

On the Use and Abuse of Borders

In the 2019 issues of the present journal several essays discussed the importance of borders and their protection. It is fitting to remember that most wars were not only started by violating borders but were about borders and the determination to change them. Since the Second World War European inter-state relations are founded on the inviolability of the present borders. But the peace of Europe has been upheld not just by respecting these borders, irrespective of how far they correspond to ethnic realities and geography, but also by ending the role of borders as separating nations and creating tariff-walls.

Tony Abbott, the former Prime Minister of Australia on his recent visit to Hungary (and in his resulting essay published in November 20191) explained the very sensible conduct of Australia on immigration and argued that helping illegal migrants in crossing the Mediterranean is just the go-ahead for more people to leave their homeland and risk their lives. The beneficiaries of the seemingly humanitarian policy are often the cynical smugglers, whose main business is trafficking humans, demanding excessive payment from misled people, and who quite often are responsible for the death of would-be migrants. I also agree that admitting more Muslim immigrants in Europe would increase an already very serious problem caused by those who are already here but are hostile to the customs and values of Europe. I am convinced that unhindered emigration to Europe is not a solution for whole countries or larger regions suffering from poverty, tribal and religious intolerance or war. Half of Asia and two thirds of Africa cannot move to America or Europe. In my opinion it is not enough to try to deal with the symptoms, that is the flood of refugees by simply fortifying the borders of Europe. It is the causes, the roots that should be handled. We need to have a serious international discussion on how to stem the flow of refugees and migrants, followed by action.

In the March and May issues, Éva Eszter Szabó put up a spirited defence of the barbed wire fence erected on Hungary’s southern border against migrants,2 and Theodore Dalrymple argued against the vision of a borderless world.3 He also called for open debates on people on the move. Here I do not want to enter the discussion about migration per se, since I expressed my views on the issue three years ago on these very pages (“The Visegrád Countries and the Migrants”).4 I think few people in Hungary (or for that matter in the whole EU) believe that Europe would be able to cope with millions of immigrants, who have a totally different cultural and religious background, and who have no intention of becoming Europeans. We have seen enough proof in Western and Northern Europe of the grave problems caused by large-scale immigration from Asia and Africa, despite the goodwill of the European governments. Today we are much nearer to an agreement on how to handle migration than a few years ago. “Good fences may make good neighbours”, as Szabó put the proverb,5 hoping for an era of global walls in our globalised world. I certainly agree with Dalrymple that we have to observe limits in our speech, behaviour, and also in admitting immigrants. I also believe that the need to fight organised crime and terrorism requires ever better cooperation and coordination of law-enforcement agencies, including the temporary and/or random imposition of strict border controls, but I abhor the idea of the return of the rule of border guards and customs officers, as well as the re-imposition of protectionism and tariff-walls. The readers of this journal were reassured by Szabó that “these fences and walls with their gates or revolving doors open to all types of legal cross-border movement at all times, are not those of the Iron Curtain”.6 This reasoning is insufficient. The Iron Curtain was built not for preventing people from entry but for denying exit, escape from the Soviet bloc. But the approved few were permitted by the Communist authorities to cross the heavily guarded borders in both directions.




Why do Central Europeans (at least those older than 30) hate borders? With very good reason. History proves that physically strong borders, visas and armies guarding borders are not guarantors of peace and security, but rather of bondage.

Before the Modern Age European borders frequently changed, as a result of the many wars. But where the borders were high mountains, with practically no permanent resident population, they were stable. The Pyrenees and the Carpathians were such borders; the Polish–Hungarian border did not change for a thousand years. On the other hand Poland and its population suffered much as a result of a flat region being a wedge between the Germans and the Russians. Both its western and eastern border kept moving to and fro.

The sea is of course the best natural border. It protected Britain both against Napoleon and Hitler. Natural borders usually separated peoples who spoke different languages and had different customs. Rivers are not good borders; they tend to unite rather than divide those who live in their valley. Thanks to the ships, the roads along the banks, and the ferries and fords the waterways always served travel, trade and communication between the riparian populations. The absence of natural borders facilitates the mixing of peoples. Genetically and psychologically that is beneficial, but it often led to conflicts between neighbouring countries who claimed the same territory.

In the decades prior to the First World War there were far fewer countries in Europe, consequently fewer borders than today. With railway transportation travel became easy, there was no visa requirement, no need for using a passport, and economic activity flourished. The 11 national groups inhabiting what was called the Austro- Hungarian Monarchy had a common customs territory, a common currency, a common army and even a common foreign policy. People could naturally move, work and set up business within its confines without any hindrance, facilitating a boom. But all the large empires held many small national groups in oppression. Liberation and the restoration (or the establishment) of independence was a common desire of each nation in Central Europe and in 1918–1919 there was a chance to achieve that. Drawing the borders, however, was easier said than done. A member of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, a body with the task of preparing fair terms for peace, Professor Charles Seymour, warned in 1918:


The Commission is forced to the conclusion that the frontiers proposed are unsatisfactory as the international boundaries of sovereign states. It has been found impossible to discover such lines, which would be at the same time just and practical. An example of the injustice that would result may be instanced in the fact that a third of the area and population of the Czecho-Slovak state would be alien to that nationality. Another lies in placing a quarter of the Magyars under foreign domination. But any attempt to make the frontier conform more closely to the national line destroys their practicability as international boundaries. Obviously many of these difficulties would disappear if the boundaries were to be drawn with the purpose of separating not independent nations, but component portions of a federalised state. A reconsideration of the data from this aspect is desirable.7


An Englishman, Leo Amery, an adviser to British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and a school friend of Winston Churchill, later himself a Cabinet minister, circulated a warning in the British Foreign Office in late October 1918 against carving up Central Europe into small and weak states.


The essential thing is to realise that whatever basis is taken for the creation of new units in the area now covered by Austria–Hungary, they cannot really be independent units. To attempt to create artificial sovereignties, especially on the basis of “spoils to the victor”, is only to create a new and more troubled Balkan Peninsula. […] Permanent stability and prosperity could best be secured by a new Danubian Confederation comprising German Austria, Bohemia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Rumania and probably also Bulgaria. [...] In such a union the different nationalities would find the solution of their nationalist rivalries and an ample field for prosperous development. [...] In any case the various nationalities of Central Europe are so interlocked, and their racial [i.e. ethnic] frontiers are so unsuitable as the frontiers of really independent sovereign states, that the only satisfactory and permanent working policy for them lies in their incorporation in a non-national superstate. We can delay, but we cannot prevent the eventual coming of that superstate. [...] For the purposes of the war we have rightly backed up Czecho-Slovaks, Yugoslavs and every anti-German and anti-Austrian movement we could find. But for the purposes of a lasting settlement we must regulate the satisfaction of these national aspirations by the need of creating, or recreating, a larger super-national unity in Central and South-Eastern Europe.8


Was Amery a dreamer or a forerunner of the European Union?

The peace treaties signed in 1919–1920 did not heed Amery’s advice. States proliferated and the new borders often broke up natural geographical, economic or ethnographic units, thus presenting new problems and also seeds of new conflicts. Berlin was not the first divided city in history. Cieszyn/Tesin on the Polish–Czech border with a Polish population was such 25 years earlier. There were more on the Czechoslovak–Hungarian border, like Komárom/Komarno and Sátoraljaújhely/Slovensky Nove Mesto. In those cases the population of the town was Hungarian, but it was divided between Hungary and Czechoslovakia. What was also very common was the separation of a town from its natural economic zone. In Hungary’s case Arad, Nagyvárad/Oradea, Szeged, Sopron/Ödinburg are the better-known examples. The new borders became fortified, patrolled – but that did not make good neighbours. All the states in Europe introduced protectionism, high tariffs, visa requirements with strict border controls, and many prepared for a new war in order to change or protect the new borders.

In my view the real mistake was not the break-up of the Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg Empires, rather the drawing up of frontiers in disregard of ethnic and economic considerations. The territorial settlement proved to be the apple of Eris, turning practically all the neighbours against one another over the disputed territories. An even graver mistake were the policies of the new states. “In each of the new states there prevailed a narrow official nationalism”, and the repressive policies pursued against large national minorities led to perpetual internal and external divisions and conflicts. “This state of generalised and mutual hostility provided opportunities for any great power intent on disturbing the peace.”9 The mistreatment of the national minorities, who formed about 30 per cent of the new states, made them unhappy and eager for changing the borders. Economic nationalism and protective tariff walls made the new borders also a hindrance to trade and business.

Between 1938 and 1941 Hitler and Stalin redrew the borders in the eastern half of Europe drastically, obliterating whole countries, and causing suffering for millions. Fear of those dictatorships also led to migrations on a large scale. At the end of the war borders were changed again, expulsions euphemistically called population transfers were carried out, usually under inhuman conditions. Throughout the Central European region the economic and financial position of the populations were reduced drastically. For all that suffering the underlying cause was the issue of borders.

Communism, imposed on the eastern half of Europe, made the international borders almost impenetrable and even invented internal borders and internal passports in order to restrict the movement of citizens. The aim was that people should be isolated, ill-informed about the outside world and should not learn about life in other countries or in other regions. During the Communist period all the state borders became Iron Curtains, heavily guarded, and those separating the two halves of Europe were also mined, so as to prevent escape from political captivity. Within the whole Soviet Empire crossing any border was a most unpleasant experience, even in the 1970s. It might be enlightening, especially for the young generation, to recall what it was like. Allow me to describe a typical crossing of the Slovak–Polish border by bus from Javorina to Lysa Polana in the High Tatras, on a skiing vacation. We had to fill in a long declaration on what we carried and how much money we had on us. Then we had to leave the bus, dragging our entire luggage (suitcase or rucksack, skis and poles) into the customs house, open and put the contents of the luggage on a table for inspection, then pack back everything and climb back on the bus. At least that was a joint customs office. On the Hungarian–Romanian border you had to do the same on each side! Another example. After 1919 the Danube formed a long stretch of the border between Czechoslovakia and Hungary. It is a very nice place for rowing, but to do so at that time you needed a special permit. If granted it did not allow you to land on the other side, in the neighbouring “brotherly Socialist country”, just to row “in border water”. Our border with the Soviet Union was especially heavily guarded up to 1990.

Life for people living in the borderland areas was most unpleasant. After the First World War, due to the new borders, many roads were closed and several railway lines ceased to operate, but at least local traffic in the border area was permitted. Communism blocked even more roads and railways. An impenetrable border makes the whole region poor; many towns and villages become isolated, with dead-end roads. As the villagers could not go to the nearest town-market, because it was in a foreign country, local trade practically came to an end.




Oscar Halecki (1891–1973) was one of the many great Polish historians. A professor of the Jagellonian University in Kraków, following the Nazi attack on Poland he lived and taught in exile in France and then the United States. His posthumously published book was a life of Jadwiga of Anjou, i.e. the life of the daughter of Hungary’s King Louis the Great (1341–1382), who married the Grand Duke of Lithuania, thus founding the Polish–Lithuanian great power. Halecki’s two most important works, however, were The Limits and Divisions of European History (1950), and Borderlands of Western Civilization: A History of East Central Europe (1952). In both he showed that Soviet-occupied East Central Europe was historically and culturally Western, an integral part of the West. The years 1989–1990 proved his point.

I admire the role Poland and its Solidarity Free Trade Union played in the collapse of European Communism, but the actual process started on 19 August 1989 with the “Pan-European Picnic” at Hungary’s border with Austria.10 The successful escape by close to a thousand citizens from the country called in Orwellian Newspeak German Democratic Republic (DDR in German) prompted tens of thousands from the DDR to come to Hungary in the hope that they too could follow their lucky compatriots. Such an unmanageable crowd, camping in parks, meadows and woods, compelled the Hungarian Government, already committed to substantial political reform, to permit all East Germans to leave Hungary for Austria, using their passport. The free departure commenced on 11 September 1989. That was the first memorable 9/11. The lifting of the Iron Curtain in Hungary made it pointless to keep the Berlin Wall closed. So a more sensible member of the East German leadership announced on 9 November that the Brandenburg Gate would be opened. Then das Volk, the people tore the Wall into pieces, obliterating the abhorred inner-German border. That was too much for the Czechs to watch: after several days of demonstrations the Prague government started negotiations with the opposition and on 29 December the Czechoslovak Communist Parliament elected the playwright Václav Havel, not long before then a political prisoner, provisional President. That was the “Velvet Revolution”. By that time Ceauşescu, the Romanian Conducator had been summarily executed on the order of the revolutionary Council of National Liberation. We, Hungarians, are proud that the fall of the Communist dominoes started in Hungary.

Free elections took place in the formerly Soviet Empire in the following months, and they were won by democratic parties determined to wind down the Communist system, including the strict border-crossing arrangements. Becoming the foreign minister of Hungary following the free election in the spring in 1990, I initiated talks with all the neighbours about increasing the number of border crossings by reopening the old, forgotten check-points. Hungary declared the first anniversary of the Pan-European Picnic “Europe Day” and held memorial meetings at eight locations on our borders, inviting people from the other side. I deliberately spoke at the border with Romania, as our bilateral relations were rather tense, following riots against the 1.5 million strong Hungarian minority of that country in March 1990. I recalled that a year earlier, when 500 kilometres away Hungary removed the Iron Curtain and tens of thousands of East Germans rushed to freedom, the Romanian–Hungarian border was the most tense and frightening border in Europe, with high watch- towers, barbed wire, snipers and guards ready to shoot those trying to escape to Hungary. I recalled that at the end of the year a miracle happened, the dictator was chased away, and Hungarians and Romanians were united in triumph and hope for a better life.

During my term as foreign minister the number of open border-crossings almost trebled, despite concerns by our Ministry of Finance, which thought that each point required an impressive building with water, electricity and land phone-line. I tried to reassure the bureaucrats that in a few years’ time, with forthcoming membership in the European Community, border controls would be abolished, so they should not waste money on such investments. Those re- opened crossings were really important for the local population, who were generally Hungarians on both sides of the border, often even close relatives. Until then they had to travel a long distance, sometimes a hundred kilometres or more to find a functioning border-crossing. There was a celebrated case some 20 years ago, when it was an appeal by the Congress of the US to Slovakia and Ukraine which eventually led to the opening of a border-crossing between two halves of the same village, cut by the border. Incidentally the village, Szelmenc, is inhabited by Hungarians, who were transferred from Hungary to Czechoslovakia in the 1920 Trianon Peace Treaty.

The establishment of the Visegrád Cooperation on 15 February 1991 provided an excellent framework for developing ever closer ties between the core Central European countries. It consolidated the whole European borderland region, the traditional bone of contention between Germany and Russia. It managed to bring about the early dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, that alliance of the unwilling, and eventually helped those countries to be admitted into NATO, the strongest possible guarantee for their sovereignty. It showed that contrary to fears the “new Europe” was able to overcome the legacy of conflicts, and that true European values guided their policies. Visegrád was the alternative to the mutual hostility of the inter-war years, symbolised by the “Little Entente” of Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia against Hungary.

Restoring old ties, opening long-closed borders was essential for the economic recovery of Central Europe. A very practical outcome of the Visegrád association was the Central European Free Trade Agreement concluded between those very countries in December 1992. The aim was gradually to reduce tariffs between the members, so as to have more trade between them, and to be better prepared for the elimination of duties once they become members of the European Community. The initiative worked and contributed to the economic growth of the whole area. The border areas benefited from increased trade in many ways: end-of-the-road places became transit points full of traffic, jobs were created and markets revived. That was recognised by Western Europe and the United States, who all encouraged trans-frontier cooperation, often by financial contributions, too. One of the most visible forms of help was the rebuilding of the bridge between Esztergom and Párkány/Stúrovo over the Danube. It was blown up in 1945 by the retreating German Army, and its ruins remained an eyesore until it was rebuilt in 2000 with financial help from the EU.

The re-opening of the bridge between Esztergom and Párkány/ Štúrovo on 11 October 2001 by Prime Ministers Orbán and Mikuláš Dzurinda in the presence of Günther Verheugen, EU Commissioner for Enlargement. The brigde was blown up by the Wehrmacht on 26 December 1944, and rebuilt with EU support. The photo is by the courtesy of the Author

But many reopened border-crossings needed substantial funds for the long- neglected roads leading to them to become usable again, and much of the money needed was coming from the EU. Moving towards free trade had another advantage. Prices used to show significant differences between the countries of Central Europe. Once travel restrictions were lifted it became profitable to utilise such price differences, smuggling, i.e. not paying duty. Petrol, cigarettes, various drinks were the most common goods for private trading, as everywhere. But once prices levelled out, such illegal border traffic largely came to an end, except on the borders with Ukraine, a country where both living standards and consequently prices are well under those at the neighbours, so “subsistence smuggling” persists.

Following western examples Hungary was also eager to create Euroregions, linking economically interdependent territories which had been cut by the borders. The most important was the Carpathian Euroregion formed in February 1993 in Debrecen by the foreign ministers of Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. It was designed to bring together the people who inhabit the region of the Carpathian Mountains and to facilitate their cooperation in the fields of science, culture, education, trade, tourism and economy. At that time the nationalist leadership of Slovakia and Romania refused the invitation, but eventually they also joined to what today comprises 19 administrative units of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine and Romania. Its total area is about 160,000 km2 and it is inhabited by approximately 16 million people. Alas lack of sufficient funds has sent that most important initiative into slumber.

The arch of the Carpathian Mountains is practically a large traditional border zone, with many natural resources, from minerals to spas and tourist attractions, like climbing, skiing, white-water rafting and recuperating. As long as the borders were impenetrable and crossing was permitted only at a few points, tourism was restricted. If you were mountaineering in the High Tatras, or rafting on the River Dunajec you were not permitted to cross the border-line between Poland and Slovakia. Even a few years ago at Rysy peak in the Tatra at 2,000 metres high, where the border was running, there was border control. In a party of Hungarians crossing from Poland to Slovakia those coming from still non-EU Romania were turned back when they wanted to cross the border.

When in 1997 I wanted to row down the River Tisza where it forms the border between Ukraine and Romania, I needed special permission both from Kiev and Bucharest to do so, but even that was not sufficient without presenting some bottles of drink to the local border guards. When a party of climbers wants to cross the ridge of the Carpathians from Romania to Ukraine, they still have to go down into the valley and travel a hundred kilometres by road to cross the border, and then they have to climb back on the Ukrainian side to the northern side of the very same peak.




It is a mistaken view that the agreement signed in 1985 between five members of the European Community obliterated borders. The system only abolishes standard obligatory border control between member states, not affecting the sovereign rights of national governments. The advantages are not only enjoyed by individuals, travelling on business or pleasure. Unimpeded crossing of national borders brings huge benefits to the economy as well. As incomes and the standard of living grow, more people travel, especially in Europe, and thus come to know one another better. Tourism brings benefits to the local population in general, and particularly in those mountain areas which are not suitable for agriculture, where there is little or no industry, and where unemployment is high. Very often these are in the border zones. From history we know that a little more than a hundred years ago the villages of the Alps and their inhabitants were poor, making a living from animal breeding and forestry work. The spread of hiking and skiing has changed their lives and boosted their incomes very substantially. The same can and should happen in Central Europe, too.

Soon after the admission of most Central European states in the EU in 2004, the Visegrád Four as well as Slovenia and the Baltic States acceded to the Schengen border control system in 2007. The abolition of any visible sign of the border (except abandoned empty buildings) has great psychological as well as practical importance. It reinforces the idea of unity with Europe and with one another. It facilitates more ties, more common projects, more free movement of capital, goods and people over the borders. In the long run it is bound to reduce lingering tensions and prejudices between the inhabitants of the countries included.

True, however, that the unimpeded crossing of the borders may be utilised also by criminals, but effective police work and good, sufficiently severe laws can combat growing crime, as the example of the fifty states of the US shows. The Schengen system can restore much of the damage caused by artificial borders and isolationist policies. Natural economic connections gradually revive, unused roads are repaired, and perhaps even some of the old railway lines will be rebuilt and re- opened. Such a prospect is not restricted to the present Schengen zone, since all the South-eastern European countries aspire first for EU membership and eventually to enter the Schengen system. The admission of Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria has been long overdue, and it is a European obligation. Serbia, Macedonia and Albania must first clear the obstacle of EU membership and need to do much work for that, while Kosovo is still further away. Bosnia’s future is uncertain, and so is Ukraine’s. All have common borders with the EU and Schengen members. Irrespective of the lifting of visa requirements they, especially Ukraine, do not show enough effort to bring crime under control and to make border-crossings quicker.

Moderation is needed even in toleration. I read on the Schengen web-page: “If you think that you have been subjected to an unlawful check at an internal border, you may file a complaint to the European Commission.” In my view this is sheer nonsense. Nobody objects even to random body searches at airports because of the threat of terrorism in air traffic. If we want to reduce and obliterate the ease criminals operate with over borders we must be able and ready not to be dogmatic about the free movement of people across even the Schengen borders. It is reassuring that the Schengen rules allow national authorities to temporarily reintroduce internal border controls – in case of a serious threat to security or of serious deficiencies at the external border that can put the overall functioning of the Schengen area at risk. Mass migration and terrorist attacks can present ample reason for that.




So far I have written mainly about the present borders in Central Europe. But the term “Borderland” has a different meaning; it is the large region between the eastern and western parts of Europe, the frontier between Western Christianity and Eastern Orthodoxy. Timothy Snyder called the area “Bloodlands” – sadly with reason. The division between the two denominations largely coincides with the representative and the authoritarian tradition, today between genuine democracy and the countries where at best there is only formal democracy. Before Central Europe was admitted into NATO, I often spoke on a new eastern frontier:


Once there was a westward moving Frontier in America which greatly contributed to the consolidation and prosperity of a continent. Today there is a kind of eastward moving frontier in Europe, and that can help solving many of the problems of the present and the future. That new frontier must be helped to move quickly, unrestrained. The process of enlarging Western institutions could have, should have started long ago. By postponing or denying the admission of new members into NATO we are not helping the cause of democracy in Russia, but rather the forces of reaction. If the Western institutions do not fill the security vacuum in Central Europe there will be others to put in a claim. As a famous, shrewd aggressor once put it: “there had never been spaces without a master”. And even if that notion professed by Hitler no longer holds true, NATO and the EU, by expanding eastward and consolidating Central Europe would exclude any chance for others to try to influence that “grey zone” against the will of the inhabitants. The democracies and the democrats of Central and Eastern Europe are the friends and supporters of democracy in Russia. They can support the latter best by their own rapid success, but that requires adequate policies by the Western world, a conscious break with attitudes which remind people of appeasement.


Central Europe today is no longer a no-man’s land, the enlargement of NATO and the EU was a most important step in conflict prevention, in projecting security, in consolidating the newly won frontiers of democracy. Both institutions face the challenge of how to deal with the East, particularly with Russia. The present eastern and south-eastern borders of the EU continue to be difficult borders. The lifting of visa requirements increased rather than decreased some of the problems, including crime, poverty and disease, the overflow of the negative phenomena into the West. Illegal trade and smuggling, especially of drugs, trafficking in women, illegal immigrants trying to enter the EU, all that must be contained and eventually eliminated. That is the biggest challenge connected to the borderland and its vicinity. But it is a dangerous illusion to think that the solution lies in an era of global walls and closed borders.



1 Tony Abbot, “No End of a Lesson to Europe”, Hungarian Review, Vol. X, No. 6, 2019, 48–52, www.hungarianreview.com/article/20191122_no_end_of_a_lesson_to_europe_on_border_

2 Éva Eszter Szabó, “The Iron Curtain Metaphor and the Fence Walls of the US and Hungarian Border Barriers”, Part I, Hungarian Review, Vol. X, No. 2, 2019, 23–35, www.hungarianreview.com/article/20190314_the_iron_curtain_metaphor_and_the_fence_walls_
; and Part II, Vol. X, No. 3, 2019, 15–21, www.hungarianreview.com/article/20190521_the_iron_curtain_metaphor_and_the_fence_walls_

3 Theodore Dalrymple, “On Thoughtcrimes in a Borderless World”, Hungarian Review, Vol. X, No. 3, 2019, 8–14, www.hungarianreview.com/article/20190420_on_thoughtcrimes_in_a_borderless_world_the_

4 Géza Jeszenszky, “The Visegrád Countries and the Migrants”, Hungarian Review, Vol. VII, No. 2, 10-13,  www.hungarianreview.com/article/20160310_the_visegrad_countries_and_the_migrants

5 Éva Eszter Szabó, “The Iron Curtain Metaphor and the Fence Walls”, Part I, Hungarian Review, Vol. X, No. 2, 2019, 23.

6 Éva Eszter Szabó, “The Iron Curtain Metaphor and the Fence Walls”, Part II, Hungarian Review, Vol. X, No. 3, 2019, 20.

7 Charles Seymour, “Epitome of Reports on Just and Practical Boundaries within Austria– Hungary for Czecho-Slovaks, Jugo-Slavs, Rumanians, Poles, Ruthenians, Magyars”, undated [around the end of 1918], National Archives, Washington, DC, RG 256. Inquiry Doc. 514. See Géza Jeszenszky: “The Idea of a Danubian Federation in American Thought during World War I”, Acta Historica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 1988, (1989) 2–3: 271–278.

8 “The Austro-Hungarian Problem”, Memorandum by L. S. Amery, 20 Oct. 1918. Public Record Office, London, Foreign Office, 371/3136/17223. See Géza Jeszenszky: “British Policy towards Central Europe during World War I”, in Ignác Romsics (ed.): 20th Century Hungary and the Great Powers. New York: Atlantic Research and Publications. Columbia University Press, 1995, 55–71.

9 Hugh and Christopher Seton-Watson, The Making of a New Europe. R. W. Seton-Watson and the Last Years of Austria–Hungary, London, 1981, 324.

10 The story was told by one of the organisers, Gábor Turi. See Gábor Turi, “A Day That Changed the Course of History – The Pan-European Picnic and Its Perception Today”, Hungarian Review, Vol. X, No. 6, 2019, 25–32, www.hungarianreview.com/article/20191122_a_day_that_changed_the_course_of_history_the_


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