First Vienna Award

First Vienna Award

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The First Vienna Award was the result of the First Vienna Arbitration, which took place at Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

's Belvedere Palace
Belvedere (palace)
The Belvedere is a historical building complex in Vienna, Austria, consisting of two Baroque palaces the Upper and Lower Belvedere, the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. The buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape in the 3rd district of the city, south-east of its centre. It houses the...

 on November 2, 1938. The Arbitration and Award were direct consequences of the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

 (September 30, 1938). It entailed the partitioning
Partition (politics)
In politics, a partition is a change of political borders cutting through at least one territory considered a homeland by some community. That change is done primarily by diplomatic means, and use of military force is negligible....

 of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

.

By the First Vienna Award, arbiters from Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Fascist Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 sought a non-violent way to enforce the territorial claims of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, in revision of the Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

 of 1920. Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 was by then well into her own revision of the Versailles Treaty, with her request for a plebiscite in the Saar Region
Saar (League of Nations)
The Territory of the Saar Basin , also referred as the Saar or Saargebiet, was a region of Germany that was occupied and governed by Britain and France from 1920 to 1935 under a League of Nations mandate, with the occupation originally being under the auspices of the Treaty of Versailles...

 (13 January 1935), remilitarization of the Rhineland
Remilitarization of the Rhineland
The Remilitarization of the Rhineland by the German Army took place on 7 March 1936 when German military forces entered the Rhineland. This was significant because it violated the terms of the Locarno Treaties and was the first time since the end of World War I that German troops had been in this...

 (7 March 1936) and Anschluss with Austria
Anschluss
The Anschluss , also known as the ', was the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938....

 (12 March 1938).

The First Vienna Award separated largely Magyar-populated territories in southern Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 and southern Carpathian Rus
Carpathian Ruthenia
Carpathian Ruthenia is a region in Eastern Europe, mostly located in western Ukraine's Zakarpattia Oblast , with smaller parts in easternmost Slovakia , Poland's Lemkovyna and Romanian Maramureş.It is...

 from Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 and awarded them to Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

. Hungary thus regained some of the territories in present-day Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 and Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 that she had lost by the Treaty of Trianon in the post-World War I dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In mid-March 1939, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 gave Hungary permission to occupy the rest of Carpathian Rus
Carpatho-Ukraine
Carpatho-Ukraine was an autonomous region within Czechoslovakia from late 1938 to March 15, 1939. It declared itself an independent republic on March 15, 1939, but was occupied by Hungary between March 15 and March 18, 1939, remaining under Hungarian control until the Nazi occupation of Hungary in...

, north up to the Polish border
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, thus creating a common Hungarian-Polish border, as had existed prior to the 18th-century Partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

. Before the end of the First World War and the Treaties of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

 and Saint Germain, the Carpathian region of the former Kingdom of Hungary (Transleithania) in the Austro-Hungarian empire had bordered to the north on the province of Galicia, which since the 18th-century Partitions of Poland had been part of Cisleithania
Cisleithania
Cisleithania was a name of the Austrian part of Austria-Hungary, the Dual Monarchy created in 1867 and dissolved in 1918. The name was used by politicians and bureaucrats, but it had no official status...

, the Imperial-Austrian- or Hapsburg-controlled part of the Dual Monarchy
Dual monarchy
Dual monarchy occurs when two separate kingdoms are ruled by the same monarch, follow the same foreign policy, exist in a customs union with each other and have a combined military but are otherwise self-governing...

.

Six months after Hungary had occupied the rest of Carpathian Rus
Carpatho-Ukraine
Carpatho-Ukraine was an autonomous region within Czechoslovakia from late 1938 to March 15, 1939. It declared itself an independent republic on March 15, 1939, but was occupied by Hungary between March 15 and March 18, 1939, remaining under Hungarian control until the Nazi occupation of Hungary in...

, north up to the Polish border
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, in September 1939, the Polish government and part of its military would escape to Hungary and Romania, and from there to France and French-mandated Syria to carry on the war against Hitler's Germany.

After World War II, the 1947 Treaty of Paris
Paris Peace Treaties, 1947
The Paris Peace Conference resulted in the Paris Peace Treaties signed on February 10, 1947. The victorious wartime Allied powers negotiated the details of treaties with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland .The...

 declared the Vienna Award null and void.

Before the negotiations


The award, rendered in favor of Hungary, was one of the consequences of the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

. However, it is important to emphasize that the award had nothing to do with the goals of the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

; whilst the latter intended to change the status of Czech territories, the award was a worldwide favoured correction of the Trianon borders which less than 20 years ago had not consider neither 1000-year-old status quo nor ethnic maps in favor of newly created states (e.g. Czecho-Slovakia). This is the reason that although together with the Munich Agreement, it was part of Germany's plan for the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, supposedly a supporter of panslavism, did not make any strong move against this act. Hungary openly planned to reannex the former Hungarian territories
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 of the earlier Upper Hungary
Upper Hungary
Upper Hungary is the usual English translation for the area that was historically the northern part of the Kingdom of Hungary, now mostly present-day Slovakia...

 with a Hungarian majority, the southern territory Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 and the Subcarpathian Rus. A third player was Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, with an authoritarian regime led by Józef Beck
Józef Beck
' was a Polish statesman, diplomat, military officer, and close associate of Józef Piłsudski...

, Ignacy Mościcki
Ignacy Moscicki
Ignacy Mościcki was a Polish chemist, politician, and President of Poland . He was the longest-serving President of Poland .-Life:...

 and Edward Rydz-Śmigły; Poland and Hungary found common interest in laying claim to parts of Czechoslovakia. However Hungary, with its army almost completely disarmed by the Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

, feared the consequences of a military conflict with a well-armed Czechoslovakia. As Horthy put it on October 16, 1938, "A Hungarian military intervention would be a disaster for Hungary, because the Czechoslovak army has currently the best arms in Europe and Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 is only five minutes from the border for Czechoslovak aircraft. They would neutralize me before I could get up from my bed." As for Poland, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 had other plans.

Since Hungary did not want a military conflict, she tried to get the desired territories through diplomacy. As early as November 1937, Hitler had promised Hungary an unspecified portion of Czechoslovakia. At the beginning of 1938, representatives of Hungary and of Hungarian and German political parties in Czechoslovakia worked for its disintegration. On February 11, 1938, they made an agreement in Budapest that "Czechoslovakia must be broken up." On April 17–18, 1938, Count János Eszterházy, a leader of the Hungarian minority in Czechoslovakia, presented in Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

, Poland, a plan drawn up by the Hungarian government which aimed at breaking up Czechoslovakia and incorporating territory of Slovakia back into Hungary. Miklós Kozma
Miklós Kozma
Vitéz Miklós Kozma de Leveld was a Hungarian politician, who served as Interior Minister between 1935 and 1937. He was also Minister of Defence for a short time in the cabinet of Gyula Gömbös. He attended the Ludovika Academy and fought in World War I. He was the supporter of Miklós Horthy from...

, palatine to Hungarian Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 Miklós Horthy
Miklós Horthy
Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya was the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary during the interwar years and throughout most of World War II, serving from 1 March 1920 to 15 October 1944. Horthy was styled "His Serene Highness the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary" .Admiral Horthy was an officer of the...

, would openly admit a year later, on April 12, 1939 — after the Vienna Award — that "the demands of the Hungarian minorities in the neighboring countries were only tactics directed at implementing a strategic goal — the restoration of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 occupying the entire Carpathian Basin."

On September 30, 1938, the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

 was concluded regarding the German population in Czechoslovakia. Following pressures from Poland and Hungary, the agreement received supplementary protocol
Protocol (diplomacy)
In international politics, protocol is the etiquette of diplomacy and affairs of state.A protocol is a rule which guides how an activity should be performed, especially in the field of diplomacy. In diplomatic services and governmental fields of endeavor protocols are often unwritten guidelines...

s. Proposed from the Italian side, the clause
Clause
In grammar, a clause is the smallest grammatical unit that can express a complete proposition. In some languages it may be a pair or group of words that consists of a subject and a predicate, although in other languages in certain clauses the subject may not appear explicitly as a noun phrase,...

 of the Munich Agreement requested Czechoslovakia to resolve territorial disputes with Hungary and Poland with substantial Hungarian
Hungarians in Slovakia
Hungarians in Slovakia are the largest ethnic minority of the country, numbering 520,528 people or 9.7% of population . They are concentrated mostly in the southern part of the country, near the border with Hungary...

 and Polish minorities within three month through bilateral negotiations; otherwise matters would be resolved by the four signatories to the Munich Agreement (Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom). The principle of four powers handling all important issues in Europe was however deeply resented by Poland, leading to annexation Zaolzie
Zaolzie
Zaolzie is the Polish name for an area now in the Czech Republic which was disputed between interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia. The name means "lands beyond the Olza River"; it is also called Śląsk zaolziański, meaning "trans-Olza Silesia". Equivalent terms in other languages include Zaolší in...

 (801,5 km², with a predominantly Polish population) already on October 1, pursuant to demands made on Czechoslovakia as early as September 21. The negotiations required by the Munich Agreement began only on October 25, 1938. As a result of them, on December 1 Poland received further territories, this time in northern Slovakia, comprising 226 km², with 4,280 inhabitants, less than 0.3% of whom were Poles.

Following the early-October occupation of frontier regions of the Czech part
Czech lands
Czech lands is an auxiliary term used mainly to describe the combination of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia. Today, those three historic provinces compose the Czech Republic. The Czech lands had been settled by the Celts , then later by various Germanic tribes until the beginning of 7th...

 of Czechoslovakia by Germany pursuant to the Munich Agreement, the Czechoslovak territories of Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 and Subcarpathian Rus received autonomy within Czechoslovakia on October 6 and October 11, respectively. In November 1938, Subcarpathian Rus  was unofficially renamed "Carpathian Ukraine
Carpathian Ruthenia
Carpathian Ruthenia is a region in Eastern Europe, mostly located in western Ukraine's Zakarpattia Oblast , with smaller parts in easternmost Slovakia , Poland's Lemkovyna and Romanian Maramureş.It is...

" aka "Carpatho-Ukraine
Carpatho-Ukraine
Carpatho-Ukraine was an autonomous region within Czechoslovakia from late 1938 to March 15, 1939. It declared itself an independent republic on March 15, 1939, but was occupied by Hungary between March 15 and March 18, 1939, remaining under Hungarian control until the Nazi occupation of Hungary in...

" by the new pro-Ukrainian government of Avhustin Voloshyn.

Main negotiations


Invoking the negotiation provisions of the Munich Agreement, Hungary on October 1 demanded that Czechoslovakia begin negotiations. Under international pressure, and facing diversionist activities by specially trained groups of Hungarian
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 partisan
Partisan (military)
A partisan is a member of an irregular military force formed to oppose control of an area by a foreign power or by an army of occupation by some kind of insurgent activity...

s sent mainly to the frontier regions, Czechoslovakia agreed to begin negotiations, which took place between October 9 and October 13, 1938, in Komárno
Komárno
Komárno is a town in Slovakia at the confluence of the Danube and the Váh rivers. Komárno was formed from part of a historical town in Hungary situated on both banks of the Danube. Following World War I, the border of the newly created Czechoslovakia cut the historical, unified town in half,...

 on the Slovak northern bank of the Danube River, just on the border of Hungary.

The Czechoslovak delegation was led by Jozef Tiso
Jozef Tiso
Jozef Tiso was a Slovak Roman Catholic priest, politician of the Slovak People's Party, and Nazi collaborator. Between 1939 and 1945, Tiso was the head of the Slovak State, a satellite state of Nazi Germany...

 (later Prime Minister of the Slovak Nazi puppet state), and included Ferdinand Durčanský
Ferdinand Durcanský
Doctor Ferdinand Ďurčanský was a Slovak nationalist leader who for a time served with the collaborationist government of Jozef Tiso.-Nationalism:...

, Minister of Justice in the Slovak cabinet, and General Rudolf Viest
Rudolf Viest
Rudolf Viest , was Czechoslovakian division general of Slovakian ethnicity, commander of the partisan army during the Slovak National Uprising and the only Slovak general during the interwar period in the first Czechoslovak republic.In the years 1920-1939 he was...

. The Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 Government (the central government of Czechoslovakia) was represented by Dr. Ivan Krno
Ivan Krno
Dr. Ivan Krno, after emigration Dr. Ivan Kerno, was an important Slovak lawyer and diplomat serving for the inter-war Czechoslovakia. He was a member of the Czechoslovak delegation at the First Vienna Award in 1938...

, Political Director of the Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. Autonomous Subcarpathian Rus was mainly represented by I. Párkányi, Subcarpathian minister without portfolio
Minister without Portfolio
A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister that does not head a particular ministry...

. The Hungarian delegation was led by Foreign Minister Kálmán Kánya
Kálmán Kánya
Kálmán de Kánya , Foreign Minister of Hungary during the Horthy era. He started his diplomatic career in Constantinople. In 1913 he appointed as Austro-Hungarian ambassador to Mexico later to Berlin. From 1933 he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs...

 and Minister of Education Pál Teleki
Pál Teleki
Pál Count Teleki de Szék was prime minister of Hungary from 19 July 1920 to 14 April 1921 and from 16 February 1939 to 3 April 1941. He was also a famous expert in geography, a university professor, a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Chief Scout of the Hungarian Scout Association...

. The Czechoslovak (mostly Slovak) delegation was inexperienced and unprepared, because the puppet regime had many other internal problems to solve. The Hungarian delegation, on the other hand, comprised experienced individuals, and its government had had an opportunity on October 8 to discuss the negotiations in advance.

The basic difference between the arguments of the two parties was that the Hungarians presented the 1910 census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 figures (as had Germany during the Munich Conference) while Czechoslovakia presented the latest, 1930 figures, contested the validity of the 1910 census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, and later also presented figures from Hungarian censuses before 1900.

One of the chief reasons for the discrepancies between the ethnic proportions as indicated in the 1910 Hungarian and the 1930 Czechoslovak censuses was the large number of individuals of mixed origins, or Slovak-Hungarian bilinguals, who could declare themselves with equal ease as either Slovaks or Hungarians, and decided to go for the side where they were not harassed. Another reason for a large difference in the two censuses was that both states preferred to fill public administration positions with members of the state-forming nation, whose loyalty to the state was not questioned. This implied that a large number of former Hungarian civil servants and intellectuals were driven out of Czechoslovakia after the Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

, and the same tendency could have been observed after the First Vienna Award, this time to the detriment of the Slovak civil servants. According to 'official' Hungarian statistics 107,000 Hungarians had to escape from their home between 1918–1924 (10% of the total Hungarian population of Czechoslovakia)

Agreeing to a Hungarian request for two border-crossing towns, the Czechoslovak delegation offered Hungary the railway town of Slovenské Nové Mesto
Slovenské Nové Mesto
Slovenské Nové Mesto is a village and municipality in the Trebišov District in the Košice Region of south-eastern Slovakia.-History:The village is a former suburb of the Hungarian city of Sátoraljaújhely, which was separated from the rest of the city by the border of the newly created...

 (until 1918 a suburb of the Hungarian town of Sátoraljaújhely
Sátoraljaújhely
Sátoraljaújhely or אוהעלי ) is a town located in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county in northern Hungary near the Slovak border. It is east from the county capital Miskolc.- History :...

) as well as the town of Šahy
Šahy
Šahy is a town in southern Slovakia, The town has an ethnic Hungarian majority and its population is 7,971 people , with an average age of 42.5.-Geography:...

 . Both were occupied by Hungary on October 12.

At the beginning of the negotiations, Hungary demanded southern Slovakian and Subcarpathian territories up to and including the line defined by Devín
Devín
Devín originally a separate town at the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers, is now a suburb of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. It is an important archaeological site, famous for the ruins of Devín Castle...

 (Hungarian: Dévény) - Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

 (Pozsony) - Nitra
Nitra
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

 (Nyitra) - Tlmače
Tlmace
Tlmače is a town and municipality in the Levice District in the Nitra Region of Slovakia.- History :In historical records the town was first mentioned in 1075 as Talmach. It has town status since 1986. From 1970 to 1994 the villages of Malé Kozmálovce and Veľké Kozmálovce were part of the town.-...

 (Garamtolmács) - Levice
Levice
Levice is a town in western Slovakia. The town lies on the left bank of the lower Hron river. The Old Slavic name of the town was Leva, which means "the Left One"....

 (Léva) - Lučenec
Lucenec
Lučenec is a town in the Banská Bystrica Region of south-central Slovakia. Historically, it was part, and in the 18th century the capital, of the Nógrád county of the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1918, as a result of the Treaty of Trianon, it became a part of Czechoslovakia...

 (Losonc) - Rimavská Sobota
Rimavská Sobota
Rimavská Sobota is a town in southern Slovakia, in the Banská Bystrica Region, on the Rimava river. It has 24,374 inhabitants . The town is a historical capital of the Gömör-Kishont county .-Geography:...

 (Rimaszombat) - Jelšava
Jelšava
Jelšava is a town and municipality in Revúca District in the Banská Bystrica Region of Slovakia.-Geography:The town lies in the Revúcka vrchovina highlands at the border of the Slovak Ore Mountains and Slovak Karst, in the valley of the Muráň river, at an altitude of around 258 m...

 (Jolsva) - Rožňava
Rožnava
Rožňava is a town in Slovakia, approximately 71 km by road from Košice in the Košice Region, and has a population of 19,120.The town is an economic and tourist center of the Gemer. Rožňava is now a popular tourist attraction with a beautiful historic town centre. The town is an episcopal seat...

 (Rozsnyó) - Košice
Košice
Košice is a city in eastern Slovakia. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary...

 (Kassa) - Trebišov
Trebišov
Trebišov is a small industrial town in the easternmost part of Slovakia, with a population of around 23,000. The town is an administrative, economic and cultural center with machine and building materials industries.-History:...

 (Tőketerebes) - Pavlovce (Pálócz) - Uzhhorod
Uzhhorod
Uzhhorod or Uzhgorod is a city located in western Ukraine, at the border with Slovakia and near the border with Hungary. It is the administrative center of the Zakarpattia Oblast , as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Uzhhorodskyi Raion within the oblast...

  - Mukacheve
Mukacheve
Mukachevo or Mukacheve is a city located in the valley of the Latorica river in the Zakarpattia Oblast , in southwestern Ukraine. Serving as the administrative center of the Mukachivskyi Raion , the city itself is also designated as a separate raion within the oblast...

 (Mukačevo, Munkács) - Vinogradiv (Nagyszőlős). In 1930, the Slovak portion of this territory (12,124 km², about 85% of the total) comprised 550,000 Magyars and 432,000 Slovaks (according to the 1930 census), and held 23% of the total population of Slovakia. The Hungarians further demanded a plebiscite in the remaining territory of Slovakia, in which Slovaks would declare whether they wanted to be incorporated into Hungary.

The Czechoslovak delegation, for its part, offered Hungary the creation of an autonomous Hungarian territory within Slovakia. Kánya characterized the proposal as a "joke". Czechoslovakia then offered the cession of Great Rye Island (Slovak: Žitný ostrov, Hungarian: Csallóköz, 1838 km², with 105,418 inhabitants of whom an overwhelming majority were Hungarians), the creation of a free port
Free port
A free port or free zone , sometimes also called a bonded area is a port, port area or other area with relaxed jurisdiction with respect to the country of location...

 in the town of Komárno
Komárno
Komárno is a town in Slovakia at the confluence of the Danube and the Váh rivers. Komárno was formed from part of a historical town in Hungary situated on both banks of the Danube. Following World War I, the border of the newly created Czechoslovakia cut the historical, unified town in half,...

, and a population exchange in the remaining frontier regions. Since Hungary turned down this offer as well, on October 13 the Czechoslovak delegation proposed another solution, under which there would remain as many Slovaks and Rusyns in Hungary as Magyars in Czechoslovakia. This proposal involved Czechoslovakia keeping the main towns of the region: Levice (Léva), Košice (Kassa), and Uzhhorod (Ungvár). This offer was unacceptable to Hungary. In this aspect, it was not clear why Rusyns, a would-be minority in both countries, counted as Slovaks in the Slovak proposal. On the evening of October 13, after consultations in Budapest, Kánya declared that the negotiations as failed, and asked the four signatories of the Munich Agreement to be the adjudicator. As United Kingdom and France have decided not to undertake any decision, the adjudicators became Joachim von Ribbentrop
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 until 1945. He was later hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg Trials.-Early life:...

 German Foreign Minister and Galeazzo Ciano
Galeazzo Ciano
Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari was an Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Benito Mussolini's son-in-law. In early 1944 Count Ciano was shot by firing squad at the behest of his father-in-law, Mussolini under pressure from Nazi Germany.-Early life:Ciano was born in...

 Italian Foreign Minister. There are unfortunately no public documents from Entente
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 powers why the border agreement was "ignored".

After the negotiations


On October 5, 1938, Germany had decided internally that "for military reasons a common Hungarian-Polish frontier was undesirable", and that "it was [in Germany's] military interest that Slovakia should not be separated from the Czechoslovak union but should remain with Czechoslovakia under strong German influence."

On October 13, the day the negotiations deadlocked, Hungary conducted a partial mobilization and, shortly after, Czechoslovakia declared martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 in her frontier region. Hungary sent delegations both to Italy and to Germany. Count Csáky went to Rome, and Italy began preparing a four-power conference similar to the one that had produced the Munich Agreement. On October 16 the Hungarian emissary in Germany, Kálmán Darányi
Kálmán Darányi
Kálmán Darányi de Pusztaszentgyörgy et Tetétlen was a Hungarian politician who served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 1936 to 1938. He also served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of Hungary from 5 December 1938 to 12 June 1939 and from 15 June 1939 to 1 November 1939...

, told Hitler that Hungary was ready to fight. Hitler demonstrated that Hungary had lied to him in claiming that the Slovaks and Rusyns desired union with Hungary at all costs, and said that if Hungary started a conflict, nobody would help her. He advised Hungary to continue the negotiations and to observe the ethnic principle. Hitler also indicated that Hungary would not receive the (largely German) town of Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

, because Germans did not want to live as a minority under Hungary. As a result of this conversation, Ribbentrop
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 until 1945. He was later hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg Trials.-Early life:...

, in cooperation with Hungary and in the presence of Czechoslovak (more exactly, Czech) Foreign Minister František Chvalkovský
Frantisek Chvalkovsky
František Chvalkovský was a Czech diplomat and the fourth foreign minister of Czechoslovakia.-Activities during the First Republic:...

, substituted for the Hungarian proposal a new frontier line, the "Ribbentrop line". This kept closer to the ethnic principle but actually differed little from the Hungarian proposal. During the drawing of his line, Ribbentrop contacted Italy and told her to drop the plans for a four-power conference, because Germany preferred to act "behind the scenes".

Back in Prague, the Czechoslovak foreign minister recommended accepting the Ribbentrop line. On October 19, however, the Slovak representatives Tiso and Ďurčanský met with Ribbentrop in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 and managed to persuade him to assign Košice (with 75% Hungarian majority in 1910) to Czechoslovakia and to accept the principle that there should remain as many Slovaks and Rusyns in Hungary as Magyars in Czechoslovakia. A few days later, Ribbentrop revealed to be quite hostile to the Hungarians. As Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano
Galeazzo Ciano
Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari was an Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Benito Mussolini's son-in-law. In early 1944 Count Ciano was shot by firing squad at the behest of his father-in-law, Mussolini under pressure from Nazi Germany.-Early life:Ciano was born in...

 saw it, "The truth is that he intends to protect Czechoslovakia as far as he can and sacrifice the ambitions, even the legitimate ambitions, of Hungary".

After October 17, activities around Subcarpathian Rus intensified. Poland proposed a partition of Subcarpathian Rus among Hungary, Poland and Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. Romania, staunch ally of Czechoslovakia against Hungary, rebuffed the proposal, even offering military support for Czechoslovakia in Subcarpathia. Hungary, in turn, attempted to persuade the Carpathorusyn representatives to become part of Hungary. Since a common Polish-Hungarian frontier, which would arise by a Hungarian annexation of Subcarpathian Rus, had been a long-time dream of both Poland and Hungary, Poland was moving troops toward that frontier for support. However, since a common Polish-Hungarian frontier would mean a minor flanking of Germany, Germany was willing to countenance such a common frontier only if Poland made compensation by giving up the Danzig
Gdansk
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay , in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the...

 corridor to East Prussia
East Prussia
East Prussia is the main part of the region of Prussia along the southeastern Baltic Coast from the 13th century to the end of World War II in May 1945. From 1772–1829 and 1878–1945, the Province of East Prussia was part of the German state of Prussia. The capital city was Königsberg.East Prussia...

. Poland refused the German proposal. On October 20, the Rusyns produced a resolution more or less in favor of a plebiscite concerning the entirety of Carpathorus becoming part of Hungary. Five days later Subcarpathian Prime Minister Andriy Borody was placed under arrest in Prague, and Subcarpathian Foreign Minister Avhustyn Voloshyn
Avhustyn Voloshyn
Avgustyn Ivanovych Voloshyn was a Ukrainian politician, teacher, and essayist. He was president of the independent Carpatho-Ukraine, which existed for one day on March 15, 1939....

 was appointed prime minister in his stead. He was willing to consider the cession only of ethnically Hungarian territories to Hungary, and rejected the idea of a plebiscite.

Resumed negotiations


In the meantime, negotiations between Czechoslovakia and Hungary resumed via diplomatic channels. As a result of the Slovak visit to Munich on October 19, Czechoslovakia made her "Third Territorial Offer" on October 22: she offered to cede Hungary 9,606 km² in southern Slovakia plus 1,694 km² in Subcarpathian Rus; Czechoslovakia would retain Bratislava, Nitra and Košice. Hungary turned down the proposal and demanded that the territories offered by Czechoslovakia be immediately occupied by Hungary, that there be a plebiscite in the disputed territory, and that Subcarpathia "decide her own future". Hungary also warned that if Czechoslovakia refused this proposal, Hungary would demand arbitration (Italo-German in Western Slovakia, Italo-German-Polish in Eastern Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rus). Czechoslovakia rejected the demands, but agreed to arbitrate. Both parties hoped that Germany would support their demands. Meanwhile Britain and France announced a lack of interest in arbitration, but remained ready to participate in a four-power conference if such should arise.

Before the arbitration


Czechoslovakia, however, underestimated Hungary's influence with Italy. Hungary managed to persuade Italy that the powerful German influence exercised through Czechoslovakia could be eliminated by a strong Hungary, which would support Italy. Consequently on October 27, in Rome, Italian Foreign Minister Ciano persuaded Ribbentrop — who meanwhile had changed his mind and now supported a four-power conference — that German-Italian arbitration was a good idea as it would be a major move against Franco-British influence. After long hesitation, Ribbentrop was also persuaded that the award should go beyond the ethnic principle, and should above all give Hungary the important towns of Košice (Kassa), Uzhhorod (Ungvár) and Mukachevo (Munkács). Giving up the last two Carpathorusyn towns, however, meant that Carpatho-Ruthenia would be deprived of her economic centers and could not survive. Of course, Czechoslovakia did not know about this change in Ribbentrop's attitude, and the Slovak leaders' confidence in a favorable German decision was instrumental in bringing them to accept arbitration.

On October 29, 1938, Czechoslovakia and Hungary officially asked Germany and Italy to arbitrate, and declared in advance that they would abide by the results.

Delegations


The award was rendered in Vienna by the foreign ministers of Germany (Joachim von Ribbentrop
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 until 1945. He was later hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg Trials.-Early life:...

) and Italy (Galeazzo Ciano
Galeazzo Ciano
Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari was an Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Benito Mussolini's son-in-law. In early 1944 Count Ciano was shot by firing squad at the behest of his father-in-law, Mussolini under pressure from Nazi Germany.-Early life:Ciano was born in...

). The Hungarian delegation was led by Foreign Minister Kálmán Kánya
Kálmán Kánya
Kálmán de Kánya , Foreign Minister of Hungary during the Horthy era. He started his diplomatic career in Constantinople. In 1913 he appointed as Austro-Hungarian ambassador to Mexico later to Berlin. From 1933 he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs...

, accompanied by Minister of Education Pál Teleki
Pál Teleki
Pál Count Teleki de Szék was prime minister of Hungary from 19 July 1920 to 14 April 1921 and from 16 February 1939 to 3 April 1941. He was also a famous expert in geography, a university professor, a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Chief Scout of the Hungarian Scout Association...

. The Czechoslovak delegation was led by Foreign Minister František Chvalkovský
Frantisek Chvalkovsky
František Chvalkovský was a Czech diplomat and the fourth foreign minister of Czechoslovakia.-Activities during the First Republic:...

 and by Ivan Krno
Ivan Krno
Dr. Ivan Krno, after emigration Dr. Ivan Kerno, was an important Slovak lawyer and diplomat serving for the inter-war Czechoslovakia. He was a member of the Czechoslovak delegation at the First Vienna Award in 1938...

. Important members of the Czechoslovak delegation included representatives of Subcarpathian Rus — Prime Minister Avhustyn Voloshyn
Avhustyn Voloshyn
Avgustyn Ivanovych Voloshyn was a Ukrainian politician, teacher, and essayist. He was president of the independent Carpatho-Ukraine, which existed for one day on March 15, 1939....

 — and of Slovakia: Prime Minister Jozef Tiso
Jozef Tiso
Jozef Tiso was a Slovak Roman Catholic priest, politician of the Slovak People's Party, and Nazi collaborator. Between 1939 and 1945, Tiso was the head of the Slovak State, a satellite state of Nazi Germany...

 and Minister of Justice Ferdinand Ďurčanský
Ferdinand Durcanský
Doctor Ferdinand Ďurčanský was a Slovak nationalist leader who for a time served with the collaborationist government of Jozef Tiso.-Nationalism:...

. Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

 was also present.

Arbitration


The arbitration began in the Belvedere Palace, in Vienna, at noon on November 2, 1938. The Czechoslovak and Hungarian delegations were allowed to present their arguments. Chvalkovský was brief and left the task of presenting the Czechoslovak case to Minister Krno. Ribbentrop then prevented Slovak Prime Minister Tiso and Subcarpathian Prime Minister Voloshyn from officially stating their views. As Ribbentrop explained, Tiso and Voloshyn participated in the bilateral negotiations as members of the Czechoslovakian delegation, so they could not be considered third parties.

The two arbiters, Ribbentrop and Ciano, continued their conversations with the delegates at lunch and then retired to a separate room, where they argued over a map. Ciano sought to shift the new frontier north; Ribbentrop sought to shift it in the opposite direction. The Italian foreign minister prevailed. When the award was announced around 7 p.m., the Czechoslovak delegation was so shocked that Jozef Tiso actually had to be talked by Ribbentrop and Chvalkovský into signing the document.

Provisions


Czechoslovakia was obliged to surrender the territories in southern Slovakia and southern Subcarpathia south of the line (and inclusive of the towns of) Senec (Szenc) - Galanta
Galanta
Galanta is a small town in Slovakia. It is situated 50 km due east from the Slovak capital Bratislava.-Geography:Galanta lies in the Danubian Lowland , the warm southern part of Slovakia...

 (Galánta) - Vráble
Vráble
Vráble is a small town in the Nitra District, Nitra Region, western Slovakia.-Geography:It is located in the Danubian Hills on the Žitava river, about 20 km south-east-east from Nitra. The cadastral area of the town has an altitude from 140 to 240 m ASL...

 (Verebély)- Levice
Levice
Levice is a town in western Slovakia. The town lies on the left bank of the lower Hron river. The Old Slavic name of the town was Leva, which means "the Left One"....

 (Léva) - Lučenec
Lucenec
Lučenec is a town in the Banská Bystrica Region of south-central Slovakia. Historically, it was part, and in the 18th century the capital, of the Nógrád county of the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1918, as a result of the Treaty of Trianon, it became a part of Czechoslovakia...

 (Losonc) - Rimavská Sobota
Rimavská Sobota
Rimavská Sobota is a town in southern Slovakia, in the Banská Bystrica Region, on the Rimava river. It has 24,374 inhabitants . The town is a historical capital of the Gömör-Kishont county .-Geography:...

 (Rimaszombat) - Jelšava
Jelšava
Jelšava is a town and municipality in Revúca District in the Banská Bystrica Region of Slovakia.-Geography:The town lies in the Revúcka vrchovina highlands at the border of the Slovak Ore Mountains and Slovak Karst, in the valley of the Muráň river, at an altitude of around 258 m...

 (Jolsva) - Rožnava
Rožnava
Rožňava is a town in Slovakia, approximately 71 km by road from Košice in the Košice Region, and has a population of 19,120.The town is an economic and tourist center of the Gemer. Rožňava is now a popular tourist attraction with a beautiful historic town centre. The town is an episcopal seat...

 (Rozsnyó) - Košice
Košice
Košice is a city in eastern Slovakia. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary...

 (Kassa) - Michaľany
Michalany
Michaľany is a village and municipality in the Trebišov District in the Košice Region of south-eastern Slovakia.-Geography:The village lies at an altitude of 131 metres and covers an area of 8.152 km².It has a population of about 1750 people.-Ethnicity:...

 (Szentmihályfalva) - Veľké Kapušany
Velké Kapušany
Veľké Kapušany is a small town on the eastern plains of Slovakia, not far from the Ukrainian border.-History :The territory of the town has been settled since time immemorial . From the second half of the 10th century until 1918, it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary...

 (Nagykapos) - Uzhhorod
Uzhhorod
Uzhhorod or Uzhgorod is a city located in western Ukraine, at the border with Slovakia and near the border with Hungary. It is the administrative center of the Zakarpattia Oblast , as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Uzhhorodskyi Raion within the oblast...

 (Ungvár) - Mukachevo (Munkács)- to the border with Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. Thus Czechoslovakia retained the western Slovakian towns of Bratislava and Nitra, while Hungary recovered the three disputed eastern towns as well as four others in the central area.

These territories came to 11,927 km² (10,390 of them in what is present-day Slovakia, the rest in Carpathian Ruthenia) with approximately 1,060,000 inhabitants.

. Area (km²) Population Hungarian Slovak
Population Ratio (%) Population Ratio (%)
Czechslovak census (1930) 11 927 852 332 506 208 59 290 107 34
Hungarian census (1941) 869 299 751 944 84,1 85 392 9,8



According to Slovak sources 67,000 Hungarians, according to Hungarian sources, 70,000 remained in the non-annexed part of Slovakia.

Slovak sources declare that although, analogously to the Munich Agreement, the award was supposed to have ceded territories that, according to the 1910 census, had more than 50% Magyars, in reality the award was contrary even to that old census in several regions, especially in the areas of rural Košice, Bratislava, Nové Zámky
Nové Zámky
Nové Zámky is a town in southwestern Slovakia.-Geography:The town is located on the Danubian Lowland, on the Nitra River, at an altitude of 119 metres. It is located around 100 km from Bratislava and around 25 km from the Hungarian border. It is a road and railway hub of southern...

, Vráble, Hurbanovo
Hurbanovo
Hurbanovo is a town and large municipality in the Komárno District in the Nitra Region of south-west Slovakia. In 1948, its Slovak name was changed to Hurbanovo, named after Slovak writer Jozef Miloslav Hurban.- Geography :...

 and Jelšava. If the Czechoslovak census is taken for basis: Slovaks constituted the majority in 182 communities out of the 779 ceded, and were 60% in the ceded town of Košice and 73% in the ceded district of Vráble.

Hungarian sources however state Košice (Kassa) had 75% Hungarian majority, Bratislava itself had a German 41% relative majority, Hungarian population was 40% while Slovakian 14% in 1910, and Nové Zámky
Nové Zámky
Nové Zámky is a town in southwestern Slovakia.-Geography:The town is located on the Danubian Lowland, on the Nitra River, at an altitude of 119 metres. It is located around 100 km from Bratislava and around 25 km from the Hungarian border. It is a road and railway hub of southern...

 had 91% Hungarians.

Eastern Slovakia and many towns in southern Slovakia lost their railway connections to the rest of the world, because their only railway lines ran through the annexed territories and the border was closed. Carpathian Ruthenia was deprived of its two principal towns, Uzhhorod and Munkachevo, and of all of its fertile lands. We have to add that this border adjustment was in any case not comparable to the Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

, and from the Hungarian side, the resources of cities and the railroads were reconnected.

In addition, the award stated that "both parties accept the arbitral award as the final frontier adjustment".

Consequences


The award was, of course, unfavorable to Slovakia and Carpatho-Ukraine. The fact that the rest of Slovakia remained a separate entity enabled Germany to gain control over this strategic territory in central Europe and later to play Hungary and Slovakia off against each other, with both trying to gain German approval.

Aftermath


Shortly after the award had been announced, János Eszterházy, a leader of Hungarian minority in Slovakia, proposed that Hungary return to Slovakia 1000 km² of the territory that Hungary had received: predominantly Slovak lands in the districts of Šurany (Nagysurány) and Palárikovo (Tótmegyer) in order to ensure long-term peaceful coexistence between the two nations. His proposal was ignored in Budapest.

The ceded territories were occupied by Hungarian honvéds (Magyar Királyi Honvédség) between November 5 and 10, 1938. On November 11, Hungarian Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 Miklós Horthy solemnly entered the principal town, Košice (Kassa). By that time 15,000 Czechs and Slovaks (the Czechs settled there after 1919) had left the town; 15,000 more would do so before the month was out, leaving perhaps 12,000 Slovaks and virtually no Czechs.

The recovered Upper Hungary
Upper Hungary
Upper Hungary is the usual English translation for the area that was historically the northern part of the Kingdom of Hungary, now mostly present-day Slovakia...

 territories were incorporated into Hungary on November 12, 1938, by act of the Hungarian Parliament. Following the ancient counties of the Kingdom of Hungary
Comitatus (Kingdom of Hungary)
A county is the name of a type of administrative units in the Kingdom of Hungary and in Hungary from the 10th century until the present day....

, the occupied territory was divided into two new counties with seats in Nové Zámky and Levice, while some lands became part of other Hungarian counties.

As the frontier established by the award had been set on a large-scale map, Hungary was able to shift the actual frontier even farther North during the delimitation process. Czechoslovakia did not protest, because its government was terrified of another arbitration.

Under pressure from Hitler, Slovakia on March 14, 1939, declared her total independence. Czechoslovakia ceased to exist. Two days earlier, Hitler had informed Hungary that she was allowed to occupy the rest of Carpathorus within 24 hours, but that she was to keep her hands off the remainder of Slovakia, which Hitler wanted to turn into a strategically located German ally, especially for his planned invasion
Invasion
An invasion is a military offensive consisting of all, or large parts of the armed forces of one geopolitical entity aggressively entering territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a...

 of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. On March 14–15, what remained of Carpathorus declared its independence, and shortly after, between March 15 and 18, "Carpatho-Ukraine" was occupied by Hungary. From Carpatho-Ukraine, Hungary on March 15 occupied a small part of Slovakia. Seeing no substantial reaction, Hungary on March 23 launched a larger attack on Eastern Slovakia. The plan was to "advance as far west as possible." After a short Slovak-Hungarian War
Slovak-Hungarian War
The Slovak–Hungarian War or Little War , was a war fought from March 23 to March 31/April 4, 1939 between the First Slovak Republic and Hungary in eastern Slovakia.-Prelude:...

 (with several Hungarian air raids, e.g. March 24 on Spišská Nová Ves, Hungary was forced by Germany to stop and negotiate. As a result of the negotiations (March 27–April 4), Hungary received further territories in Eastern Slovakia (1,897 km²) with 69,630 inhabitants, almost exclusively Slovaks or Rusyns. This was a violation of the spirit of the Vienna Award.
(The argument of the Hungarian government was that the Vienna award was an arbitration between Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and the latter had ceased to exist a few days earlier.)

Life in the annexed territories


As by the Treaty of Trianon the Hungarian economy was depressed, so in Hungary there were longer working hours, higher prices, lower pay, higher taxes, no collective bargaining, no unemployment benefits, almost no leaves of absence from work. The local population failed in most of their attempts to preserve the advantages of the Czechoslovak system, but did prevail on one count: both in the annexed territories and throughout Hungary, compulsory education was increased from 6 years to the Czechoslovak standard of 8.

In violation of the provisions of the award, Hungary imposed military dictatorship on the annexed territories (which were administered by the military) and failed to promote minorities. On the contrary, Slovak, Rusyn, Jewish, and to some extent also German citizens of the annexed territories were subjected to persecution. In particular, Hungarian gendarmes frequently committed violence against Slovaks. The best-known case occurred at Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 1938, when gendarmes fired at Slovaks leaving a church, merely because they had sung a Slovak national song during mass. Special military courts which sentenced resistance members to death or torture were nothing out of the ordinary. Looting of Slovak and Czech stores and properties in the annexed territories was commonplace. Many Slovak libraries and books were burned; thousands of Slovak and Czech employees — especially in the railways and public services — were dismissed; Slovak and Jewish trade licenses were revoked; priests unwilling to say mass in Hungarian were tortured. Most Slovak schools were closed (386 primary schools, 28 council schools ["burgher schools"] and 10 gymnasia
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

); protestors were imprisoned, and 862 of 1,119 Slovak teachers were fired. Many of them were presumably among the 100,000 Slovaks and Czechs who fled or were expelled from the annexed territories. Deportations began with an order of November 5, 1938, from the Hungarian Chief of Staff that all Czech and Slovak colonists be expelled from the annexed territories. Only when the upset Slovak government ordered retaliatory measures against Magyars in Slovakia in November 1938, did Hungary start to negotiate. The result of all this was — as the Hungarian ambassador in Prague put it in February 1939 — that "emotional conflicts have arisen between the Slovaks and Hungarians that have never existed before".

In addition, the Hungarian authorities openly and deliberately called up mainly Slovaks, Romanians and Rusyns into the Second Hungarian Army, which was sent to the Soviet Union in 1942. This army was totally defeated at the Battle of the Don, with thousands of fatalities. In this connection, Hungarian Prime Minister Miklós Kállay
Miklós Kállay
Dr. Miklós Kállay de Nagykálló was a Hungarian politician who served as Prime Minister of Hungary during World War II, from 9 March 1942 to 19 March 1944....

 said on February 23, 1943: "Thank God the losses of the Hungarian Army did not to an appreciable extent touch the substance of the Magyar nation, because the [non-Magyar] nationalities have lost more lives".

After World War II



After the Soviet Army
Soviet Army
The Soviet Army is the name given to the main part of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union between 1946 and 1992. Previously, it had been known as the Red Army. Informally, Армия referred to all the MOD armed forces, except, in some cases, the Soviet Navy.This article covers the Soviet Ground...

's occupation of the annexed territories, they — like the short-lived Slovak republic  — immediately became part of Czechoslovakia again). After World War II, until 1948, the Hungarians were considered war criminals, except for those who had been underground resistance fighters
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

 against the Germans. However, the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 did not allow a deportation of the Hungarians similar to that of Germans from the Czech lands, instead they invented another brutal idea: "exchange of ethnicity", in which 68,407 Magyars were resettled to Hungary in exchange for Slovaks resettled to Czechoslovakia. A further 31,780 Magyars were expelled because they had come to these territories only after the Vienna Award. Hungarians and Germans were forced to go through a Re-Slovakization process. Earlier, with a will to assimilate Hungarians in Czechoslovakia, some 44,000 Magyars, much as over 100,000 Slovaks, had been sent or deported to the depopulated Sudetenland
Sudetenland
Sudetenland is the German name used in English in the first half of the 20th century for the northern, southwest and western regions of Czechoslovakia inhabited mostly by ethnic Germans, specifically the border areas of Bohemia, Moravia, and those parts of Silesia being within Czechoslovakia.The...

 for labor service. One or two years later, the Hungarians were allowed to return to southern Slovakia, and some 24,000 availed themselves of the opportunity. This brief lawless period ended with the 1948 Communist coup, following which the Hungarians — unlike the Germans — got back
Beneš decrees
Decrees of the President of the Republic , more commonly known as the Beneš decrees, were a series of laws that were drafted by the Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile in the absence of the Czechoslovak parliament during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in World War II and issued by President...

 their Czechoslovak citizenship and all their rights, but not the property. In October 1948 the Czechoslovak parliament restored Czechoslovak citizenship to Hungarians who were resident in Slovakia on November 1, 1938, and who had not been convicted of crime. This latter provision excluded from restitution the Hungarian "war criminals", a category that embraced a large number of Hungarians; members of Hungarian cultural or social associations or of Hungarian political parties; people connected directly or indirectly with the Hungarian administration in the years 1938 to 1944.

Strategic role of the Hungarian-Polish border


From the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 well into the 18th century, Hungary and Poland had shared a historic common border, and the two peoples had always enjoyed good-neighborly relations. Following the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

 (September 30, 1938) the two countries, from common as well as their own special interests, had worked together to restore their historic common border. A step toward their goal was realized with the First Vienna Award (November 2, 1938).

Until mid-March 1939, Germany had considered that "for military reasons a common Hungarian-Polish frontier was undesirable". Indeed Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, when in March 1939 authorizing Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 to occupy the rest of Carpathorus
Carpatho-Ukraine
Carpatho-Ukraine was an autonomous region within Czechoslovakia from late 1938 to March 15, 1939. It declared itself an independent republic on March 15, 1939, but was occupied by Hungary between March 15 and March 18, 1939, remaining under Hungarian control until the Nazi occupation of Hungary in...

, had warned Hungary not to touch the remainder of Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

. He meant to use Slovakia as a staging ground for his planned invasion
Invasion
An invasion is a military offensive consisting of all, or large parts of the armed forces of one geopolitical entity aggressively entering territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a...

 of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. In March 1939 Hitler changed his mind about the common Hungarian-Polish frontier, and decided to betray Germany's ally, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists
Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists
The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists is a Ukrainian political organization which as a movement originally was created in 1929 in Western Ukraine . The OUN accepted violence as an acceptable tool in the fight against foreign and domestic enemies particularly Poland and Russia...

, who had already in 1938 begun organizing Ukrainian military units in a sich
Sich
A sich is the administrative and military centre for Cossacks and especially the Zaporizhian Cossacks. It is derived from the Ukrainian word siktý, "to chop", meaning to clear a forest for an encampment, or to build a fortification with the trees that have been chopped down.The Zaporizhian Sich...

outside Uzhhorod
Uzhhorod
Uzhhorod or Uzhgorod is a city located in western Ukraine, at the border with Slovakia and near the border with Hungary. It is the administrative center of the Zakarpattia Oblast , as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Uzhhorodskyi Raion within the oblast...

 under German tutelage – a sich
Sich
A sich is the administrative and military centre for Cossacks and especially the Zaporizhian Cossacks. It is derived from the Ukrainian word siktý, "to chop", meaning to clear a forest for an encampment, or to build a fortification with the trees that have been chopped down.The Zaporizhian Sich...

that Polish political and military authorities saw as a real and present danger to nearby southeastern Poland, with its largely Ukrainian
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 population. Hitler, however, was concerned that, if a Ukrainian army organized in Rus were to accompany German forces invading the Soviet Union, Ukrainian nationalists would insist on the establishment of an independent Ukraine; Hitler, who had plans for the natural and farming resources of Ukraine, did not want to have to have to deal with an independent Ukrainian government.

Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 would soon have cause to regret his decision regarding the fate of Carpatho-Ukraine
Carpatho-Ukraine
Carpatho-Ukraine was an autonomous region within Czechoslovakia from late 1938 to March 15, 1939. It declared itself an independent republic on March 15, 1939, but was occupied by Hungary between March 15 and March 18, 1939, remaining under Hungarian control until the Nazi occupation of Hungary in...

. In six months, during his 1939 invasion of Poland
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

, the common Hungarian-Polish border would become of major importance when Admiral Horthy's government, on the ground of long-time friendship between Poles and Hungarians, declined, as a matter of Hungarian honor, Hitler's request to transit German forces across Carpathian Rus into southeastern Poland to speed Poland's conquest. This in turn allowed the Polish government and tens of thousands of Polish military personnel to escape into neighboring Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 and Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, and from there to France and French-mandated Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 to carry on operations as the third-strongest Allied belligerent after Britain and France. Also, for a time Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 and British intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

 agents and courier
Courier
A courier is a person or a company who delivers messages, packages, and mail. Couriers are distinguished from ordinary mail services by features such as speed, security, tracking, signature, specialization and individualization of express services, and swift delivery times, which are optional for...

s, including the notable Krystyna Skarbek
Krystyna Skarbek
Krystyna Skarbek, GM, OBE, Croix de guerre was a Polish Special Operations Executive agent. She became celebrated especially for her daring exploits in intelligence and irregular-warfare missions in Nazi-occupied Poland and France....

, used Hungary's Carpathorus
Carpatho-Ukraine
Carpatho-Ukraine was an autonomous region within Czechoslovakia from late 1938 to March 15, 1939. It declared itself an independent republic on March 15, 1939, but was occupied by Hungary between March 15 and March 18, 1939, remaining under Hungarian control until the Nazi occupation of Hungary in...

 as a route across the Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

 to and from Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

.

Nullification


While World War II was still in progress, the Allies
Allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

 had declared the Vienna Award null and void, because it was a direct result of the equally void Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

 and was a violation of international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

 and of the September 30, 1938, agreement between Germany and Great Britain, requiring consultations with Britain and France before such an award. (This is dubious, as the latter parties showed no interest). This was confirmed in the peace treaty with Hungary (Treaty of Paris
Paris Peace Treaties, 1947
The Paris Peace Conference resulted in the Paris Peace Treaties signed on February 10, 1947. The victorious wartime Allied powers negotiated the details of treaties with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland .The...

) signed February 10, 1947, whose Article 1 (4a) stated that "The decisions of the Vienna Award of November 2, 1938, are declared null and void". The Treaty went on to declare that the frontier
Frontier
A frontier is a political and geographical term referring to areas near or beyond a boundary. 'Frontier' was absorbed into English from French in the 15th century, with the meaning "borderland"--the region of a country that fronts on another country .The use of "frontier" to mean "a region at the...

 between Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 was to be fixed along the former frontier between Hungary and Czechoslovakia as it existed on January 1, 1938 (except for three villages south of Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

, which were given to Czechoslovakia). The Soviet Union, seeking a border with Hungary, had "received" Subcarpathian Ruthenia from Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 in June 1945. Neither the Vienna Act nor the nullification solved the problem of mixed ethnicities in southern Slovakia. Like so many nationality questions, the problem retreated into the twilight during the communist years as part of the Pax Sovietica; like all Eastern Bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

 countries, Czechoslovakia and Hungary officially considered themselves "socialist brother countries", and the respective governing authorities did not encourage differing political opinions on the matter. The post-communist nationalist landscape has, however, seen the matter re-emerge.

See also

  • Second Vienna Award
    Second Vienna Award
    The Second Vienna Award was the second of two Vienna Awards arbitrated by the Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Rendered on August 30, 1940, it re-assigned the territory of Northern Transylvania from Romania to Hungary.-Prelude and historical background :After the World War I, the multi-ethnic...

  • Vienna Awards
    Vienna Awards
    The Vienna Awards are two arbitral awards by which arbiters of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy sought to enforce peacefully the claims of Hungary on territory it had lost in 1920 when it signed the Treaty of Trianon...

  • Carpathian Rus
    Carpathian Ruthenia
    Carpathian Ruthenia is a region in Eastern Europe, mostly located in western Ukraine's Zakarpattia Oblast , with smaller parts in easternmost Slovakia , Poland's Lemkovyna and Romanian Maramureş.It is...

  • German occupation of Czechoslovakia
    German occupation of Czechoslovakia
    German occupation of Czechoslovakia began with the Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia's northern and western border regions, known collectively as the Sudetenland, under terms outlined by the Munich Agreement. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's pretext for this effort was the alleged privations suffered by...


External links