Every nation's homeland is sacred. If you destroy one, you mutilate the entire human race.
Until then, the ageing and unstable Austria-Hungary was still one of the great powers of Europe. It had a population of 52 million, an army of 8 million and as such it contributed to balance the power between eastern and western Europe. This balance lasted for half a century and some western powers did not like it, because they wanted to dominate the whole of Europe. By winning WW1, they achieved their goal, the treaties of Versailles and Trianon eliminated the power of Central Europe.
In the souls of the Hungarians, the wound of Trianon, the memory of the unjustified dismemberment of their homeland, did not heal during the last century. The referendum on Trianon's borders never took place and even local autonomy was denied to the annexed Hungarian minorities. Even after 1989, the power balance of Europe did not return. Instead of stable unity, what evolved was tension in the West and Russian expansion in the East that included their attempt to establish a beachhead in Hungary, as one of the first steps to destabilize the EU.
Today the western media is full of reports, suggesting that democracy is dying in Hungary, that the electoral system is rigged, the independent media is suppressed, while the official media in Hungary spreads anti-Brussels, anti-globalization and pro-Russian propaganda. In the liberal western media, the reports got even worst when Victor Orbán started to rule by decree - justified by the pandemic crisis -, without even setting a time limit of when will democracy return. Yes, this is all the western public reads about and hear little about both the contributions and the suffering of the Hungarians during the last century!
It is time to balance that picture, it is time to remind their readers, that it was the Hungarians who sacrificed 3% of their population to protect democracy and who mortally wounded the barbarian Soviet empire? To quote Helmut Kohl:
It was the Hungarians who mortally wounded international communism and it was the Hungarian heroism that smashed the firrst stone from the Berlin wall!
The western readers heard plenty about the unfortunate closing of a university in Hungary, but was never reminded of the Hungarian contributions to science during the post Trianon period! Where would science be without Neumann's computer, Szilárd's nuclear reaction, Gábor's holograph (the reader of the bar graphs), Goldmark's color TV, Grove's computer chip, Kárman's supersonic flight theory and the hundreds in other fields, from Pulitzer to Bartók? Yes, this is also part of what Hungarians did and a fair press should also talk about it, when painting an image of the Hungarians,, not just about wire fences.
The main reason of Hungarian resentment towards the West is that in spite of all the talk about human rights, it is the third generation of Hungarians who are still living as second class citizens in the very tows which their ancestors built, and even their most basic rights, the right to speak their own language in their own villages and towns is often denied. A language that deserves respect, a language that George Bernard Shaw described in this way:
After studying the Hungarian language for years, I can confidently conclude that had Hungarian been my mother tongue, it would have been more precious. Simply because through this extraordinary, ancient and powerful language it is possible to precisely describe the tiniest differences and the most secretive tremors of emotions.
Yes, the "progressive" West did not protect Hungarian culture and did nothing about the denial of minority rights, not even demanding local autonomy for the annexed Hungarians. It is sad, very sad that at some of the birthplaces of people like Endre Ady, János Arany, Béla Bartók, János Bolyai, Matthias Rex (below), György Dózsa, John Hunyadi, Sándor Kányádi, Sándor Kőrösi Csoma, Ferenc Kölcsey, Péter Pázmány, Áron Tamási, Elie Wiesel and so many others, even the teaching in Hungarian is banned.
It would not only be fair, but it would also be in the interest of their readers to learn that in the center of Europe, people can be beaten up for speaking their native language. Yes, the EU is justifiably concerned about the xenophobic trends in Hungary, but how come that it does not lift a finger when the most basic human rights of fellow Europeans are denied? It would not only be fair to inform the western public of such injustice, but it would also explain why the resentment towards Busssel is building and eventually could fulfill Putin's dream, that Brexit be followed by Hexit.
I believe that if the western public was properly informed and if these democracies acted to finally mitigate the brutal consequences of Trianon, Hungary would stop her drift to the East and instead of becoming a beachhead of Putin, it would return to what it always was, a member of pro-EU democracies.