The regulated its status as an independent state. The

The Treaty of Trianon /Essay/ By Flóra Jakab In my essay I will try to understand the way Hungarians see the Treaty of Trianon, and try to find a different approach of the memory of the events. The Treaty of Trianon was signed on the 4th of June in 1920. This was the peace agreement which formally ended World War I between the Kingdom of Hungary and most of the Entente Powers. The treaty defined the new borders of Hungary and regulated its status as an independent state. The country lost approximately 70% of its lands and population, including five of the ten largest cities. It also limited Hungary’s army (1st internet link). In comparison to the country’s role in the war the punishment was way too harsh. So harsh Hungarians collectively could not process it in the last nearly 100 years. But to be able to understand the reasons hidden we have to understand collective victimhood first, because this is the way Hungarians still think about themselves. “Victimization in the history of a group can cause substantive changes in group identity. Bar-Tal, Cheryak-Hai, Shori and Gundar (2009) have proposed the idea of self-perceived collective sense of victimhood, which describes the identity state arising as a consequence of recurrent or prolonged victimization. They define collective victimhood as a mindset of members of collectives that is based on the sense of being victim of a harm intentionally committed by another group. This harm is perceived as undeserved, unjust and immoral. It has important consequences on the regulation of intergroup relations, particularly in the management of intergroup conflicts. Collective victimhood is more likely to arise when people feel the sense of victimhood not because of the harm experienced by themselves but because of the loss or suffering of their group” (Fülöp et al., 2014, 7). It is not surprising that Hungarians developed a collective victimhood since the last positive events and won wars happened in the medieval era. Since then Hungarians only experienced lost wars and repressions. The unfairness of the Treaty of Trianon could make this sense of victimhood even stronger. 2 But these failures are not just negative memories, they had serious impacts on the group identity of Hungarians as well. These experiences threatened the positive self-image of the group, as well as the integrity of it. But this sense of collective victimhood provided certain identity-serving functions too, like giving explanation for threatening events, helping to cope with stress caused by a conflict. It also gives a feeling of superiority and moral justification which can be observed in the way Hungarians treat outgroups. This victim position can become permanent and create a ‘syndrome of victimhood’ which can become a dominant part of the group identity, influencing the group reactions. This sense of victimhood can be passed from generation to generation (Fülöp et al., 2014). This transmission of the feeling of loss, and the anger caused by it can be seen the social representation of the Treaty of Trianon. First of all, the demonstrations. Every 4th of June people walk to the embassies of the countries which got the lands of the Kingdom of Hungary and hold a speech about how unfair the treaty was and that Hungary has the right to get back those territories. In those speeches show how strongly they still feel this victimhood, and even the tries to justify every negative thing that happened after the treaty to be caused by it. The second representation can be seen on the demonstrators, the shirts, badges, flags and anything with the map of the Big-Hungary on it. These clothes can be seen every day on the streets as well. The third emphatic representations are the blogs, webpages, facebook pages and groups discussing the treaty and the urban legends about it such as the treaty will expire in 2020 or that Romanian prostitutes influenced the politicians who decided about the treaty. There are a lot of legends form the USA did not sign the Treaty of Trianon because they felt it was too unjust to the theory that the Czech politicians lied that the rivers Ipoly and Ronyva were navigable so they would become boarder rivers. Most of the legends turned out to be false but a few new one turn up every year. To change this social representation, I think we should concentrate on the positive aspects of our past. If we think about the Turkish occupation, we see 150 years of repression instead of 150 years of endurance. Throughout those years Hungarians did not assimilated to the Turkish, they valued their norms, customs and believes too much to do so. And it is not just the Turkish occupation, Hungarian history is full of with events when the country should have fallen and disappear by assimilating to the neighbouring countries but it never happened. 3