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Anti-Hungarianism (also known as Hungarophobia,[1][2] Magyarophobia[3] or Antimagyarism[4]) is dislike, distrust, racism, or xenophobia directed against the Hungarians. It can involve hatred, grievance, distrust, intimidation, fear, and hostility towards the Hungarian people, language and culture.


The beginnings[edit]

During the era of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian monarchs, the court in Vienna was influenced by Hungarophobia; though the Hungarian side, the landowner nobles, also showed signs of Germanophobia.[5] In the 18th century, after the end of Rákóczi's War of Independence, many immigrants came to the underpopulated southern parts of the Kingdom of Hungary: for instance 800 new German villages were established.[6] The authorities preferred non-Hungarian settlers. The Habsburgs regarded Hungarians as "politically unreliable", and so they were not allowed to settle in the southern territories until the 1740s.[7] This organized resettlement was planned by the Habsburgs. The resettlement policy was characterized as anti-Hungarian,[8][9] because, among other reasons, the Habsburgs feared an uprising of Protestant Hungarians.[10]

The Habsburg Ruler and his advisers skilfully manipulated the Croatian, Serbian and Romanian peasantry, led by priests and officers firmly loyal to the Habsburgs, and induced them to rebel against the Hungarian government.[11] Thousands of Hungarians were massacred in Transylvania (now part of Romania) during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 in which there were massacres on both sides. Massacres of Hungarian victims occurred in the following places:

Date Location Numbers of victims
October 12, 1848 Kisenyed (Sângătin) 140[12]
8–9 January 1849 Nagyenyed (Aiud) 600[13]
October 1848 Magyarigen (Ighiu) 200[14]
October 24, 1848 Ompolygyepüi (Presaca Ampoiului) railway station 700[14]
January 1849 Marosújvár (Ocna Mureş) 90[12]
1848 Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia) unknown[15]
October 1848 Naszód (Năsăud) unknown[15]
October 1848 Zalatna (Zlatna) 640[16]
October 1848 Borbánd (Bărăbanţ) unknown[15]

Modern era[edit]

In Czechoslovakia[edit]

Minorities in Czechoslovakia during the years 1918-1939 enjoyed personal freedoms and were properly recognized by the state. There were three Hungarian and/or Hungarian-centric political parties:

After World War II, Czechoslovakia became a communist state; during the transition to a communist one-party state, decrees permitting the forced[17] expulsion of German and Hungarian minorities from ethnic enclaves in Czechoslovakia came into effect, and Hungarians were forcibly relocated to Sudetenland, on the borders of Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak government deported more than 44,129 Hungarians from Slovakia to the Sudetenland for forced labor[18][19] between 1945 and 1948.[19] To this day, these Beneš decrees remain legally in effect in the Czech Republic.[20]

In Slovakia[edit]

Ján Slota, the chairman of Slovak National Party SNS, according to whom the Hungarian minority of Slovakia "is a tumour in the body of the Slovak nation."[21][22][23]

Social class also contributed to this phenomenon in pre-World War I Slovakia. In 1910, Slovaks were primarily employed in rural fields such as agriculture, forestry, and fishing, whereas Germans, Jews, and Hungarians represented the urban class. The struggling Slovaks in their search for identity utilized this data to overcome the situation[clarification needed] hence elements of antimagyarism and anti-Semitism resurfaced in the early development of Slovak Nationalism.[24] Slovakia continued to apply pressure on the Hungarian minority to assimilate throughout the Iron Curtain era, and the level of freedoms accorded to minorities fluctuated. Women, whether Slovak or not, were in the past required to affix the Slovak language feminine marker -ová at the end of their surname.[25]

Today the Hungarian minority is officially recognized by the Slovak government. Some political parties (such as the Slovak National Party)[26] fundamentally oppose the granting of a special status to the Hungarian minority, and argue for the complete assimilation of the Hungarian minority into Slovak society: they suggest that Hungarians in Slovakia are actually overprivileged.[26][27]

One recent incident of ethnically motivated violence against Hungarians in Slovakia is the Hedvig Malina case. Hedvig Malina, a 23-year-old Hungarian student from Horné Mýto, was severely beaten and robbed in Nitra after speaking Hungarian in public on her cellphone.[28][29][30] A football match in Dunajská Streda also caused tensions between Slovakia and Hungary when Hungarian fans were badly beaten by Slovak police.[31]

In Romania[edit]

In Romania, the Ceaușescu regime was obsessed with the ancient history of Transylvania and suffering from Magyarophobia.[clarification needed][32] Due to the nationalistic state ideology,[33] the historical personalities of Hungary (such as John Hunyadi or György Dózsa)[34][33] went through Romanianization in these years, becoming more central figures in the Romanian history.[32][33]

A reported case of hate crime occurred in March 1988 in Cluj-Napoca, where a 12-year-old child was taken to hospital after being assaulted in a public park for speaking Hungarian.[35]

Derogatory terms[edit]

In English[edit]

  • Bohunk – combination of "Hungarian" and "Bohemian". An immigrant of East-Central European origin. A Laborer.[36][37]
  • Hunky – derived from the "Bohunk"

In Romanian[edit]

  • Bozgor (m), Bozgoroaică (f), Bozgori (pl.) – pseudo-Magyar term of possible Romanian/Slav origin. An ethnic slur describing Hungarians.[38] A view is that it means "homeless" or "stateless".[39] According to the linguist Szilágyi N. Sándor, the word is a combination of the Hungarian slur ba(s)zd meg ("fuck you") and the Romanian word for Hungarian, namely ungur[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Viktor Karády, The Jews of Europe in the Modern Era: A Socio-Historical Outline, Central European University Press, 2004, p. 223
  2. ^ András Bán, Hungarian-British Diplomacy, 1938-1941: The Attempt to Maintain Relations, Routledge, 2004, p. 128
  3. ^ Boyer, John W. (2009). Culture and Political Crisis in Vienna: Christian Socialism in Power, 1897-1918. University of Chicago Press, 1995. p. 116. ISBN 9780226069609. 
  4. ^ Verdery, Katherine. National Ideology Under Socialism: Identity and Cultural Politics in Ceauşescu's Romania. University of California Press, 1995. p. 317. ISBN 9780932088352. 
  5. ^ Michael Hochedlinger, Austria's Wars of Emergence: War, State and Society in the Habsburg Monarchy, 1683-1797, Pearson Education, 2003, p. 25
  6. ^ Thomas Spira, German-Hungarian relations and the Swabian problem: from Károlyi to Gömbös, 1919-1936, East European quarterly, 1977, p. 2
  7. ^ Károly Kocsis, Eszter Kocsisné Hodosi, Ethnic Geography of the Hungarian Minority on the Carpathian Basin, Simon Publications LLC, 1998, pp 140 -141
  8. ^ Hídfő könyvtár, Volume 8, Issue 1, p. 48
  9. ^ Istvàn Sisa, Magyarságtükör: nemzet határok nélkül, Püski, 2001, p. 99 Cited: "Magyarellenes betelepítési politika. A felszabadulást követően a Habsburgok olyan betelepítési politikát alkalmaztak, mely még tovább gyengítette a magyarok helyzetét." Translation: "(Section name) Anti-Hungarian resettlement policy. After the liberation, the policy employed by the Habsburgs weakened the situation of Hungarians more."
  10. ^ Tibor Iván Berend, Éva Ring, Helyünk Európában: nézetek és koncepciók a 20. századi Magyarországon, Volume 1, Magvető, 1986, p. 144 Cited: "A Habsburg-család azonban a kálvinista magyarok lázadásától való félelmében az évszázados török háborúk által elpusztított területen magyarellenes telepítési politikát kezdeményezett" Translation: "The Habsburg family initiated an anti-Hungarian resettlement policy in the destroyed territories (caused by hundreds of years of Turkish wars) because of their fear of an uprising of Calvinist Hungarians"
  11. ^ This attitude is not unprecedented: the Austrian government used the Galician uprising to decimate Polish insurgent nobles.
  12. ^ a b Domokos Pál Péter: Rendületlenül, Eötvös Kiadó-Szent Gellért Egyházi Kiadó, 1989, 33.-34. old.
  13. ^ Gerő, Patterson (1995), p. 102
  14. ^ a b Mátyás Vilmos: Utazások Erdélyben, Panoráma, 1977, 56. old.
  15. ^ a b c Gracza György: Az 1848/49-es magyar szabadságharc története, Budapest, Wodianer F. és Fiai kiadása, 337. és 339. old.
  16. ^ Magyar Nemzet: Fejőszék Százhatvan éve irtották ki Nagyenyedet a román felkelők
  17. ^ Thum, Gregor (2006–2007). "Ethnic Cleansing in Eastern Europe after 1945". Contemporary European History 19 (1): 75–81. doi:10.1017/S0960777309990257. 
  18. ^ Eleonore C. M. Breuning, Dr. Jill Lewis, Gareth Pritchard, Power and the people: a social history of Central European politics, 1945-56, Manchester University Press, 2005, p. 140
  19. ^ a b Anna Fenyvesi, Hungarian language contact outside Hungary: studies on Hungarian as a minority language, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2005, p. 50
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Separatist Movements Seek Inspiration in Kosovo". Der Spiegel. 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  22. ^ Slovakia and Hungary just won't get along
  23. ^ Slovakia and Hungary 'Dangerously Close to Playing with Fire'
  24. ^ Cichopek-Gajraj, Anna (2008). Jews, Poles, and Slovaks: A Story of Encounters, 1944--1948. ProQuest, 2008. p. 46. ISBN 0549980822. 
  25. ^ Bernd, Rechel (2009). Minority rights in Central and Eastern Europe. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0415590310. 
  26. ^ a b Cohen, Shari J. (2009). >Politics Without a Past: The Absence of History in Postcommunist Nationalism. Duke University Press, Nov 22, 1999. p. 140. ISBN 0822323990. 
  27. ^ Hungarian Human Rights Foundation New Slovak Government Embraces Ultra-Nationalists, Excludes Hungarian Coalition Party
  28. ^ "Malina case bungled: Prosecutor". The Budapest Times. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  29. ^ "Maligned Hungarian seeks higher justice". The Budapest Times. 2007-12-10. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  30. ^ "Une étudiante met le feu aux poudres ("A student sets fire to the powder")" (in French). 2006-09-18. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  31. ^ "Football riot stokes tension". Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  32. ^ a b Lucian Boia, History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness, Central European University Press, 2001, p. 222 Citation:"....Thanks to the trios of Gelu, Glad and Menumorut, and Horea, Cloşca and Crişan, the Transylvanian heroes are actually more numerous than those of Wallachia or Moldavia, illustrating the obsession with Transylvania and the Hungarophobia that became accentuated towards the end of the Ceauşescu era. Even the Hungarian princes of Transylvania are integrated into the Romanian schema. How many Romanians have heard of Roland Borşa, a Transylvania voivode of the late thirteenth century? Not only can they now hear of him, they can see him too, and even see him hurriedly integrated into the pantheon...."
  33. ^ a b c "Rethinking National Identity after National-Communism? The case of Romania (by Cristina Petrescu, University of Bucharest)". Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  34. ^ The Hungarian national component of the movement led by Dózsa was de-emphasized, while its strong antifeudal character was highlighted: (Romanian) Emanuel Copilaş, "Confiscarea lui Dumnezeu şi mecanismul inevitabilităţii istorice", Sfera Politicii 139, September 2009
  35. ^ Freedom House (U.S.); the University of Michigan (2009). Romania: A Case of "Dynastic" Communism (Issue 11 of Perspectives on Freedom). Freedom House, 1989. p. 109. ISBN 9780932088352. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ “bohunk” in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  38. ^
  39. ^ Vilmos Tánczos, Language Use, Attitudes, Strategies. Linguistic Identity and Ethnicity in the Moldavian Csángó Villages, Editura ISPMN, 2012, p. 130
  40. ^


Gerő, András; Patterson, James (1995). Modern Hungarian society in the making: the unfinished experience. Central European University Press.