Hungary–Poland relations

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Hungarian-Polish relations
Map indicating locations of Hungary and Poland

Hungary

Poland

Hungary–Poland relations are the foreign relations between Hungary and Poland. Relations between the two states date back to the Middle Ages, with the two peoples enjoying a traditional close friendship.

Hungary has an embassy in Warsaw, a general consulate in Kraków and 2 honorary consulates (in Łódź and Poznań). Poland has an embassy in Budapest. Both countries are full members of NATO, joining it on the same day (March 12, 1999) and are also both members of the European Union.

Historic relations[edit]

Good relations between Poland and Hungary date back to the Middle Ages. The Polish and Hungarian noble houses (as Piast dynasty or House of Árpád) often intermarried with each other. Louis the Great was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1342 and King of Poland from 1370 until his death in 1382. He was his father’s heir, Charles I of the House of Anjou-Sicily (King of Hungary and Croatia) and his uncle’s heir, Casimir III the Great (King of Poland - the last ruler of Piast dynasty). King Casimir had no legitimate sons. Apparently, in order to provide a clear line of succession and avoid dynastic uncertainty, he arranged for his nephew, King Louis I of Hungary, to be his successor in Poland. Louis' younger girl Saint Jadwiga of Poland inherited the Polish throne, and became one of the most popular monarch of Poland. In the 15th century, the two countries briefly shared the same king again, Poland's Władysław III of Varna, who perished, aged barely twenty, fighting the Turks at Varna, Bulgaria. In the 16th century, Poland elected as her king a Hungarian nobleman, Stefan Batory, who is regarded as one of Poland's greatest kings.

Hungarian Revolution of 1848[edit]

In the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, a Polish general, Józef Bem, became a national hero of both Hungary and Poland. He was entrusted with the defence of Transylvania at the end of 1848, and in 1849, as General of the Székely troops.[1] On October 20, 1848 Józef Wysocki signed an agreement with the Hungarian government to form a Polish infantry battalion of about 1,200 soldiers. After agreement Wysocki organized in Hungary "Polish legion" of volunteers contained 2,090 foot soldiers and 400 Polish uhlans. They took part in the siege of the Arad fortress in the spring of 1849 and participated in all important battles at Szolnok, Hatvan, Tápió-Bicske and Isaszeg. After the Battle at Temesvár in August 1849, and the Hungarian capitulation at Világos, eight hundred the remnants of the Legion escaped to Turkey.[2][3]

Polish–Soviet war[edit]

During the Polish–Soviet War (1919–21), after the Bela Kun government in Hungary was overthrown, Hungary offered to send 30,000 cavalry to Poland's aid, but the Czechoslovak government refused to allow them through the demilitarized zone that had existed between Czechoslovakia and Hungary since the end of the Czechoslovak-Hungarian war a few months earlier. Nevertheless, some Hungarian munitions trains did reach Poland.

From the Middle Ages well into the 18th century, Poland and Hungary had shared a historic common border between Poland and Carpathian Ruthenia (known as Kárpátalja in Hungarian), governed by Hungary. In the aftermath of World War I, the victorious allies had, at Versailles, transferred Carpathian Ruthenia, with its Slavic population, from defeated Hungary to Slavic nascent Czechoslovakia. Following the Munich Agreement (September 30, 1938) — which doomed Czechoslovakia to takeover by Germany — Poland and Hungary, from common as well as their own special interests, worked together, by diplomatic as well as paramilitary means, to restore their historic common border by engineering the return of Carpathian Rus to Hungary.[4] A step toward their goal was realized with the First Vienna Award (November 2, 1938).

Grave of a Hungarian Honved captain and six of his men who fell, fighting on the Polish side in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.

Until mid-March 1939, Germany considered that, for military reasons, a common Hungarian-Polish frontier was undesirable. Indeed, when in March 1939 Hitler made an about-face and authorized Hungary to take over the rest of Carpatho-Rus (which was by then styling itself "Carpatho-Ukraine"), he warned Hungary not to touch the remainder of Slovakia, to whose territory Hungary also laid claim. Hitler meant to use Slovakia as a staging ground for his planned invasion of Poland. In March 1939, however, Hitler changed his mind about the common Hungarian-Polish frontier and decided to betray Germany's ally, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, who had already in 1938 begun organizing Ukrainian military units in a sich outside Uzhhorod, in Carpathian Ukraine, under German tutelage — a sich that Polish political and military authorities saw as an imminent danger to nearby southeastern Poland, with its largely Ukrainian population.[5][6] Hitler, however, was concerned that, if a Ukrainian army organized in Carpathian Rus were to accompany German forces invading the Soviet Union, Ukrainian nationalists would insist on the establishment of an independent Ukraine; Hitler, who had designs on Ukraine's natural and agricultural resources, did not want to deal with an independent Ukrainian government.[7]

World War II[edit]

Hitler would soon have cause to rue his decision regarding the fate of Carpatho-Ukraine. In six months, during his 1939 invasion of Poland, the common Polish-Hungarian border would become of major importance when Admiral Horthy's government, on the ground of long-standing Polish-Hungarian friendship, declined, as a matter of "Hungarian honor,"[8] Hitler's request to transit German forces across Carpathian Rus into southeastern Poland to speed that country's conquest. The Hungarian refusal allowed the Polish government and tens of thousands of military personnel to escape into neighboring Hungary and Romania, and from there to France and French-mandated Syria to carry on operations as the third-strongest Allied belligerent after Britain and France. Also, for a time Polish and British intelligence agents and couriers, including Krystyna Skarbek, used Hungary's Carpathorus as a route across the Carpathian Mountains to and from Poland.[9]

The old, and famous Hungarian-Polish Brotherhood

Revolution of 1956[edit]

A student demonstration in Budapest in support of the Polish October and asking for similar reforms in Hungary was one of the events that sparked the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[10] During the revolution, Poles demonstrated their support for the Hungarians by donating blood for them; by 12 November 1956, 11,196 Poles had donated. The Polish Red Cross sent 44 tons of medical supplies to Hungary by air; even larger amounts were sent by road and rail.

Friendship Day[edit]

On March 12, 2007, Hungary's parliament declared March 23 the "Day of Hungarian-Polish Friendship", with 324 votes in favor, none opposed, and no abstentions. Four days later, the Polish parliament declared March 23 the "Day of Polish-Hungarian Friendship" by acclamation.[11]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kálmán Deresnyi, General Bem's Winter Campaign in Transylvania, 1848-1849 (Hung.), (Budapest, 1896)
  2. ^ Józef Wysocki, "Pamiętnik Jenerała Wysockiego, dowódcy Legionu Polskiego na Węgrzech z czasu kampanii węgierskiej w roku 1848 i 1849" digital version of Wysocki memoirs
  3. ^ E. Kozłowski, Legion polski na Węgrzech 1848–1849, Warszawa 1983
  4. ^ Józef Kasparek, "Poland's 1938 Covert Operations in Ruthenia", East European Quarterly", vol. XXIII, no. 3 (September 1989), pp. 366-67, 370. Józef Kasparek, Przepust karpacki: tajna akcja polskiego wywiadu (The Carpathian Bridge: a Covert Polish Intelligence Operation), p. 11.
  5. ^ Józef Kasparek, "Poland's 1938 Covert Operations in Ruthenia", p. 366.
  6. ^ On 17 September 1939, pursuant to the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union entered and took control of eastern Poland, including southeastern Poland. That former southeastern part of Poland now comprises western Ukraine.
  7. ^ Józef Kasparek, "Poland's 1938 Covert Operations in Ruthenia", pp. 370-71.
  8. ^ Józef Kasparek, "Poland's 1938 Covert Operations in Ruthenia", p. 370.
  9. ^ Józef Kasparek, "Poland's 1938 Covert Operations in Ruthenia," pp. 371–73;Józef Kasparek, Przepust karpacki (The Carpathian Bridge); and Edmund Charaszkiewicz, "Referat o działaniach dywersyjnych na Rusi Karpackiej" ("Report on Covert Operations in Carpathian Rus").
  10. ^ "United Nations report of the Special Committee on the problem of Hungary", Page 145, para 441. Last accessed on 5 August 2012.
  11. ^ Uchwała Sejmu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 16 marca 2007 r. (Polish)

References[edit]

  • Józef Kasparek, "Poland's 1938 Covert Operations in Ruthenia", East European Quarterly", vol. XXIII, no. 3 (September 1989), pp. 365–73.
  • Józef Kasparek, Przepust karpacki: tajna akcja polskiego wywiadu (The Carpathian Bridge: a Covert Polish Intelligence Operation), Warszawa, Wydawnictwo Czasopism i Książek Technicznych SIGMA NOT, 1992, ISBN 83-85001-96-4.
  • Edmund Charaszkiewicz, "Referat o działaniach dywersyjnych na Rusi Karpackiej" ("Report on Covert Operations in Carpathian Rus"), in Zbiór dokumentów ppłk. Edmunda Charaszkiewicza (Collection of Documents by Lt. Col. Edmund Charaszkiewicz), opracowanie, wstęp i przypisy (edited, with introduction and notes by) Andrzej Grzywacz, Marcin Kwiecień, Grzegorz Mazur, Kraków, Księgarnia Akademicka, 2000, ISBN 83-7188-449-4, pp. 106–30.

External links[edit]