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No. 12 Nationality

in East-Central Nationalism and Century 18th the since

Foreignand CammonucalthOffice


Febniaiy 19%


The idea of the `nation' is very old. Nationalism, which has made of the focus identified the primary nation, whether with state or ethnic community, During loyalty, belongs definitely the to the modern era. of political very nineteenth century the principle of nationality contradicted earlier notions of political legitimacy in international relations, and nationalism was often liberating force, reuniting ancient peoples and challenging regarded as a both it long-established dynastic But alien rule and was also used empires. to fuel expansionist designs and to win popular support for authoritarian inter-communal it became tension strife and a potent source of regimes, and Europe. The Paris Peace in the multinational states of central and eastern in followed War First World Conference the redrawing sought, which Europe's frontiers, to apply the doctrine of national self-determination, and in some instances granted statehood to nations whose past was almost as future. National their minorities, nevertheless, remained an uncertain as feature of Europe's political geography, and their grievances important helped breed further crises and conflicts. The Second World War and the Vรถlkerwanderungled homogenous to the accompanying emergence of more Cold War Elbe, during lands in the the the the east of and subsequent states lost Recent former the their of region much of significance. ethnic politics developments have, however, demonstrated that in post-communist Europe kicking is killing. for A still alive, and achieving nationalism powerful vehicle it Balkans, has, in the change and social cohesion, political especially disorderly to the resurrection of a contributed and murderous past. During the autumn of 1994 the FCO's Historians organised a series of in east-central Europe since the lectures on nationality and nationalism in this volume of the texts of are which century, published eighteenth issue of Occasional Papers. Each of the speakers addressed a particular Professor in historical international identity its and context. national Norman Davies thus began the series by looking at Poland, an example of The `an he terms national consciousness'. precocious extremely what product of an advanced and well-developed national culture and embraced by a large and educated nobility, Polish nationalism was shaped by the late identities that the of national clash and partitions eighteenth-century followed in the provinces absorbed by Prussia and Russia. But Professor Davies maintains that the social expansion of the Polish national identity from the aristocracy to the burgher classes, and eventually the peasantry, lines. The identity brought with it the fragmentation rise on ethnic of that Dmowski, by Roman integral as expounded nationalism, of an exclusive Polish historic the within and other minorities alienated non-Catholics

lands, and was mirrored in the Zionism of Poland's large Jewish community. In practice, it also served the ends of Poland's communist masters in the half-century that followed the Second World War. A similar feeding pattern of rival nationalisms off each other was also in the former Habsburg Bohemia Moravia, the observable and provinces of best There, for Czech Republic. territories the the part of a of modern hundred locked Czech in German-speakers what ultimately years, were and Cornwall history Mark for Dr traces the to amounted a struggle supremacy. in 1918, Bohemian from 1848, this troubled of some when, as relationship Germans looked to the creation of a Greater Germany as a solution to their Czechs inter-war first the through the problems, years, when until fell dominated Czechoslovakia Nazi then to the newly-formed and victims he Finally, the significance considers occupation and persecution. of the Sudeten Munich the the tragic the and expulsion reversal of settlement of Germans from their homeland. The contest between Czechs and Germans domestic 1918 Habsburg the essentially a multinational was until problem of broader it had international implications. Much the same thereafter empire; be between the Hungarians, their neighbours could said of relations and The by Ian lectured Roberts, paper subject peoples. on the persistence who in Hungary, Austrian the of nationalism explores Hungary's position within Austro-Hungarian Hungarians the to assert empires, and endeavours of difficulties their independence, the policies of Magyarisation, and which beset the truncated Hungary from the peace settlements that emerged both followed which world wars.

The centralising policies pursued, first by the Habsburgs, and then by the did much to stimulate the growth amongst their Croat and Hungarians, Slovene subjects of the South-, or Yugo-, Slav idea. In her paper Dr Wendy Bracewell explains how, in the nineteenth century, the Croats looked first to Illyrism and then to Yugoslavism as a means of asserting their national unity Slavs. Serbs, Balkan By the and winning allies amongst other with contrast, their own state and stronger sense of national awareness, only gradually be Yugoslav idea became it it to the that accept a came as apparent might Serbs Croats, Slovenes towards absorbing and all and assimilating way Muslims in a Greater Serbia. The result was that both the highly-centralised Yugoslavia of the inter-war years, and the federalised republic which by from Second War, World the competing were rent emerged flexibility The interpretations Yugoslavism. the of the meaning of of very idea became, according to Dr Bracewell, a `source of conflict because of the brought Yugoslav different to their peoples very expectations which the union'.

One consequence of the collapse of Yugoslavia has been the establishment independent be in land Macedonia, of an state one of the a which must let but its in Europe, oldest geographical entities alone whose very name, is disputed. Crampton's Dr Richard nationhood, contribution still surveys Macedonia's birth, in 1870s, history from the the complex of the `Macedonian Question' to the emergence, initially within Yugoslavia, of a language Macedonian its separate and political nation with own church, institutions. As Dr Crampton of modern makes clear, the evolution be Ottoman Macedonia disentangled from the the cannot politics of Greeks Bulgars, Serbs, Albanians, the empire, competing claims of and and domestic developments in the former Yugoslavia. Macedonia's assertion of its nationhood is evidence of the durability of the idea of the nation in history; but, as has so often been the case elsewhere, the European be formation identity in Macedonia of a separate national can only by by to the tensions the rival nationalisms reference generated understood peoples. of neighbouring

Keith Hamilton Library and Records Department



& Commonwealth HISTORIANS Occasional



No. 12


CONTENTS Lectures presented in the series Nationality and Nationalism in East-Central Office, Europe since the 18th Century at the Foreign & Commonwealth 1994 October-December

Page The Polish Nation, Ideal an Norman Davies


Czechs and Germans: Mark Cornwall The Hungarian 1848-1956 Ian Roberts


The Yugoslav Idea: Wendy Bracewell Macedonia, Nation a


Idea of an and

in Conflict,

The Persistence



The Survival



of Nationalism,


Development, and






Birth the and



Richard Crampton Note


Contributors on

Copies of this pamphlet

be deposited will

National the with

FCO Historians, Library & Records Department, Clive House, Petty France, London SW1H 9HD Crown Copyright

ISBN 0 903359 62 6





`Poland is not a nation, it's a conspiracy. ' A Russian diplomat

of the 19th century

Before talking about Poland, I should mention two or three background The first issues which are relevant to the general subject of nationalism. know You that the profession theories to of nationalism. probably relates has invented scientists a typology which contrasts western of political forget I this, think you can safely nationalisms with eastern nationalisms. decided looked into I the most typical nationalism this at some point and as be in fact in happens Ireland, European to the type which was of the east A is Europe. that there second general comment most westerly country of is a school of thought which explains nationalism and nationalisms and the heard Eric largely in I terms the theory of nation of economics. once Hobsbawm talk for an hour on nationalism without mentioning anything other than the economic motor which gave rise to modern nationalism. He drew all of his examples to illustrate his theme from eastern Macedonia, because in the room could possibly nobody which was an excellent ruse, for had free he like himself those people who said except contest anything holidays from the Bulgarian government in Eastern Macedonia. The third fashion, I think that's the right word, of talking the general point concerns in Eastern Europe the of nationalism since the collapse resurgence about be fad believe I this of you should somewhat cautious of of communism. the media for there are endless conferences about it and people rush off to Moldova or Bosnia or wherever and spot the resurgence of nationalism. Now the point here is that a very extreme form of nationalism was a basic ingredient of Stalinism and of all the communist regimes which modelled Eastern Europe People Soviet think that themselves on who communism. in Poland by left-wing two regimes of course never spent a year or was run for Ceausescu, like Someone example, was an extreme and other countries. ideas, blended and many of the with various other communist nationalist belong the resurgence of nationalism people who are now complaining about The in 1980s. lost the other to the older camp of chauvinists who power dangerous is the that the most virulent and most thing which strikes me form of current nationalism - what Lenin called great Russian chauvinism is be found in Russia. And is topic that to more serious a much of course Slovenia from dangers Europe than the to the extreme nationalism of or is But that somewhat other major powers people seem to concentrate on.


brief, I since was asked to talk to you about the Polish nation my from in Poland 1921. the of eighteenth end century nationalism and until beyond

Poland was an example of an extremely precocious national consciousness. Scholars who know their Polish literature are recording expressions of from 1760s ideas ideas the onwards, of the poetry even nationalist national late if The 1760s Barl, that to the of means anything you. confederation of in Poland, beginning the the of corpus of nationalist sentiment are really in other words before the French revolution, before any sign of economic be Europe in the motor of taken to were many parts of changes which I could think of many reasons why this precocity should modern nationalism. have occurred. One is obviously because Poland possessed a very advanced language language The Polish developed of state, which was a culture. and had been developed over many centuries. It was not like many of the languages had be invented Europe Eastern to or essentially something which of Polish in Czech like the the century. nineteenth course of reinvented literature was highly developed, far more developed in the middle of the had literature, Russian literature German which or eighteenth century than hardly got off the ground. Polish literature starts with the Renaissance and literature Baroque Renaissance formidable which and there was a corpus of in had fed the sense of a Polish community advance of many well both to the west and to the east. countries neighbouring A second reason for this precocity was the extreme size and large numbers The Polish Polish nobility class or estate. nobility, the culture-bearing of the 15% 10% least for the of population possibly and at probably accounted be 2% barely in counted as would this country of the population whereas forming the gentry and peerage. The sheer number of this educated Polish five four times greater than the nobility of any other country or nobility was I Spanish think in Europe. The nearest competitor nobility which was the So its like 5% there was a great pool of maximum. at reached something families in who reflected most cases educated noble politically conscious and Indeed ideas the themselves they thought as nation: the of the nation. of late in the the nation eighteenth century was the noble community. or national nationalism third reason for Poland's precocious like deprivation. is There taking something away nothing was consciousness from people to make them conscious ofwhat they have lost, and in the three


I The Confederation fortress formed league Polish Bar the at gentry, of and nobles was a of Catholic Church by insurrection defend in 1768, Podolia in Bar the the to of privileges of being by Russian Poland independence the the made against encroachments of and the Government through its ambassador in Warsaw, Prince Nikolai Repnin.


of 1773,1793 and 1795 a historic state, the Republic of Poland/ destroyed. long before It totally too was was a state which not the largest state in Europe, larger than the Russian state in the and sixteenth century, and yet this historic political and cultural community was wiped off the map. Hence this act of deprivation and of partition had promoted an awareness of what Poland had lost. This had nothing to do with economics, it was a political act with great cultural and psychological consequences. partitions Lithuania had been fifteenth

Let me turn briefly to the typology of nationalisms which makes most sense. The most practical is the division between state-sponsored nationalism and State-sponsored nationalism is something which you popular nationalism. be familiar here because British is should very nationality with something been has know by I lot English historians the think which created of state. a the British and English are the same and that England was a national state but this was part of our mythology. Britain is not a nation state, early on, Britain is a state of multiple national identities: some of them popular Scots, Irish, Welsh and some extent English identities -but also state-sponsored permeating ideas of a new British nation from the top downwards. All states, do this to some extent or other. All of them wish that governments all least the citizens share at very a common political culture, all wish them to have a common language, all of them wish their identity to be a centre in The British of solidarity society. and even more so the Americans have from the eighteenth century onwards a state-sponsored artificially created identity. On the continent of Europe itwas much more common for national identity to come from the bottom upwards, from popular grass-roots nationalism. Germany is an obvious example, also Italy, where the pressures of popular forced the creation of a national state in the second half of nationalism the nineteenth century. Poland, however, was a battle ground between two identity. On sources of national one hand were the ruling empires who had the old Polish state, namely Russia, Austria and Prussia, who partitioned impose to attempted a new national identity on their Polish subjects. On the other were the Polish subjects who had this ancient identity very deeply engrained in their minds and who sought not only to resist the identities being imposed from above but also to promote and expand the sense of Polishness from below. This battle focused above all on education - who language in loyalties, in to the was going educate new generation, what what In for Prussia, 40% and with what values? example, where of the population from the beginning of the nineteenth centurywas actually Polish, the question Germans be Germanised become theywere to to was whether orwhether and


they could be allowed to remain loyal subjects of the King of Prussia but Polish identity. culture and with separate In Russia, the question was whether the Tsar would be content as he was have loyal Polish in the beginning of the nineteenth to century subjects be there the the end of nineteenth century would a campaign or whether as at to turn all the Poles, Jews and Ukrainians of the Polish land into Russians. Religion was another important issue -whether, for example, in the Russian be Catholics Roman Polish to the allowed to maintain their were empire had (as late in they to abandon the nineteenth century) religion orwhether For instance, you could not be a their religion and become orthodox. diplomat or a high ranking civil servant or a military officer in the Russian So by Poland religion. was a empire unless you were officially orthodox Germanisation the campaign country where state-sponsored nationalism, from Berlin and the Russification campaign from St Petersburg, was battling Polish I those the the subjects of empires. popular nationalism of against don't think one has to say who won in this battle. The state-sponsored in Prussia, promoted exactly the opposite effect nationalisms, particularly to those intended. In fact, the critical period at the end of the nineteenth imperial launched German Kulturkampfwhich during the the state century Polish identity Catholic its the was most subjects was period where against being for impressed the the educated new masses who were on strongly first time. Let me mention three processes which were operating throughout the I is first The would call the social something process century. nineteenth is by I What identity. this that starting at the mean expansion of national it the was really only the nobility, this numerous eighteenth century end of Polish nobility which was conscious of belonging to a national community. When they talked about the nation, they meant themselves. The serf was In let the course of the period the nation. alone a member of not a citizen, definition however, this narrow social of the nation we are talking about, burgher include the to estate, the merchants and the urban expanded incidentally 1791, Polish May The which was constitution of population. by in French just 4 Europe (earlier first the than the months), constitution i. to the e. membership of the political community, extended citizenship, burgher estates and to the property classes of the cities. Hence, by the time destroyed, Polish the social constituency of the national the republic was beginning to expand. was community however took place through The really major expansion the emancipation Poland longer but Russian Poland the the serfs. no ruled, of part of was last Europe in the corner of absolutely which the serfs were emancipated


in 1864. As a result of that emancipation the serfs could move, they could leave the land and probably most important for our topic, they could be educated. Thus this great peasant mass moved into the sphere of education and once again the questions were raised in what language were they to be educated, in what political loyalties and so on? At the end of the nineteenth beginnings The Polish Lodz, industrialisation. the century you get city of of for example, was the largest industrial city in the whole Russian empire, and this new industrial proletariat, the urban masses, were moving into the into language through the sphere of education and education problems of identity. So and a national over the nineteenth century this narrow noble least it Polish the theoretically embraced whole nation expanded until at population. The second process is what I would call the rise of integral nationalism. in Action This is nationalism, the brand of ethnic identity as exemplified Franfaise in France in the 1890s which was of course very widespread in Germany. In Germany the slogan was Blut und Boden, the blood and the land idea that there territorial the was a reserve or a national which soil, historic for by Europe the of one nations rights reserved of was - as opposed to the unhistoric nations which were in those days expected to fade away. Now the slogan of this integral nationalism was `Poland for the Poles' but it applies to all national movements. They all have this fanatically intense is not merely concerned with variety of national consciousness which Polish Polish Polish literature, but is actively culture, education, promoting of the country. Integral nationalism opposed to all the other nationalities is xenophobic. Ukraine for the Ukrainians means slitting the throats of any happen Jewswho live Russian Russians, in Ukraine. Poles, to the unfortunate driving out the nationalities is equally xenophobic, integral nationalism Russian doubt inhabit have I the there soil and so on. no who mistakenly is integral nationalism on the British National Front side which has the same primitive view of other ethnic groups and nationalities. In the case of Poland this integral nationalism developed in the last quarter Dmowski Roman Its premier spokesman was one of the nineteenth century. Pole in its that to count as a order prime characteristic conviction was and Catholic. Their Roman had be Polish to newspaper a speaker and a you brand Polak Katolick 1900s in this the early and was called which appeared bound Polish of nationalism was up with the whole question not only of brand This identity. identity but of nationalism also of religious national identity historic the the of national sense contrasted very much with older, little language the played very part. old noble nation where religion and of You could, for example, be a Ukrainian, nobleman, and member of the but the orthodox church, or of you were still a nobleman uniate church


In language Latin, Latin the then the any case common of rzeczpospolita. was dominant lingua franca the the culture and of the multi-cultural culture was be be German, Lithuanian, You you could a could a you could noble nation. be Jewish and still be a Pole. The integral nationalist 100 years later rejected did those not conform to ethnic groups who all the national minorities, became Integral the thus their particularview of nation. nationalism a source between Jews, Poles between Poles the the the and and the of conflict Ukrainians, Poles and Germans, Poles and Russians, Poles and Lithuanians and so on. I would describe the third process at work as the ethnic contraction of the beginning By I identity. the that this of the whereas at mean national belonging identity to this noble community century national nineteenth had little to do with ethnic connections, by the end of the century it had large Therefore do to a segment of with ethnic connections. everything i. least lands, Polish third the possibly more, e. the the population one at of Ukrainians, Belorussians, Germans, Jews and so on withdrew Lithuanians, from the Polish national community. Polish identity was being narrowed, being contracted, and each ethnic group or national minority developed just integral brand as xenophobic and their own of nationalism which was Lithuanians If Polish take the as an example, model. we exclusive as the 1840s in being into the under the their national movement only came counteract in Vilna, Polish Bishop to attempts order of sponsorship of the Cyrillic in Lithuanians by the Tsarist government the to educate alphabet In into draw to the order counteract them religion. to orthodox eventually and learning first for Bishops Catholic Polish the schools very this the set up imitating Latin in language Lithuanian the alphabet and the and writing in its early stages the much more developed Polish cultural model. This by Polish Bishops, initially Lithuanian the sponsored national movement, Lithuanians became the today that more and more anti-Polish so gradually fact, In integral they see the nationalism. the of example most extreme are Poles as more of a threat than the Russians simply because in their eyes Polish culture is more developed, more attractive and a greater threat than Russianism. communism and in Similarly, Ukrainian the mid nineteenth century starts off nationalism imitating the Polish model, operating in Galicia under Austrian rule. Galicia Polish by Poles Austrian culture was allowed where province run was an launched Galicia Ukrainians flourish, their national to of so that when the deprived felt than the other communities and even more movement they became more and more xenophobic. They were extremely anti-Russian but equally anti-Polish and anti-Jewish.


The Jews of Poland are a very interesting example. Historic Poland had by far the biggest Jewish community in the world. There were no Jews in Russia before Russia took over the eastern provinces of Poland and there 80% Russian Jew before thing the as a of was no such eighteenth century. is like Jews today trace their origins to Poland, but the Jewish community the wider Polish community, divided into three. Some of them drifted into the German sphere, like the Jews of Danzig or Posen and of Breslau. Some Galician Jews drifted like Freud's family to Vienna via Budapest or Prague Jews began to think of themselves as the the of eastern provinces while Russian Jews. However, within the Jewish community there arises in this known Jewish integral integral nationalism nationalism, an same era an today as Zionism, which has all the features of the other integral nationalisms in being xenophobic, and so on. anti-Russian, anti-Polish, anti-Ukrainian These Jewish nationalists complain that everybody else is anti-semitic and that they are being persecuted but that they are not persecuting others. Hence someone like Menachem Begin or Mr Shamir are arch-products of Poland, Jews of an extreme integral nationalist conviction who are mirror images of the Polish nationalists from whom they learned their political creeds. We see therefore that in Poland the social expansion of national identity lines fragmentation identity the of national along ethnic goes along with Mitteleuropa. By beginning is the typical this of of the twentieth very and identity, Polish Polish to to the national nation, were attitudes century dominated from Polish figures in then thinking two political who embodied Roman have Dmowski I the nationalist, mentioned already almost until now. the other was Josef Pilsudski. Pilsudski was on the left wing of Polish politics, being both a socialist and above all a sponsor of the view that Polish identity Catholics, Ukrainians, Germans, Poles, Lithuanians, Jews, could embrace Orthodox, or Protestants. Polish politics divided on the issue of nationalism. Dmowski was the spokesman of `Poland for the Poles', Polak Catholic and faction headed Jews. The foreigners and other away with all other aliens, identity. Polish byPilsudski believed in amulti-cultural, multi-national view of I happen In fact Pilsudski used to say `I am not a Pole, I am a Lithuanian: Catholic left had ' Pilsudski language. be Lithuanian Polish the church to of a found Protestant join this the to caused problems when people church and WhetherJews, head Polish he had become 1918 in the the state. of after out Ukrainians, Germans, Pilsudski welcomed all to the organisations sponsored by him. These two traditions have stayed locked in combat right up to the present day. In the inter-war period it is interesting that Dmowski's integral Polish lost into line. I the misinformation the out all along nationalism will not go


by books Pilsudski text that circulated most was a right-wing dictator, he left, issue he this the on and national was on prevented the Polish nationalists It in the years 1935-39, after Pilsudski getting a grip on state policy. was only died, that the so called regime of the Colonels began to take on some When the communists came along and nationalist coloration. xenophobic they adopted Dmowski's nationalism, and rather than being left wing, they became right wing nationalists. In fact after 1945, they put into effect Dmowski's dream of a Poland for because in Jews Poland Poles, Nazis there the the no more a which were had killed them, there were no more Germans because the Germans in their millions were forcibly deported, and there were no more Ukrainians because the Ukrainians were either deported or excluded by the change brought frontier. So the about the pre-war rightcommunists actually of be Poland Poland that's the and should we wing nationalist view of what have today. So when the communist regime collapsed the right wing parties, because taken the right wing nationalist catholic parties were not seriously by the their point of view had been tarred by fifty years of promotion communists. I conclude with a simple historical fact. In 1797, after dividing up the country, Prussia, Austria Russia, the three partitioning and signed a treaty powers, in which they agreed to obliterate the name of Poland for ever. Their clear intention was to eliminate not only the state of Poland but the Polish nation, 200 However, from European from Polishness the years on community. and left, disappeared Prussia it is that notorious treaty there no such place as having it disappeared Austrian is 1947; in for there empire, no all once and in 1918; somewhere called Russia still exists but whether or not the Russian in debate is is time; the yet spite the present at a matter of gone empire 200 years of this intense battle over identity something called Poland still remains.




The Czech-German Sudeten problem as it became the relationship known in the 1930s remained an unresolved issue in central notoriously Europe for almost a hundred years from the time of the 1848 revolutions. In its narrowest sense, the problem was settled after the Second World War: most of the three and a half million Germans living in the Czech provinces Bohemia Moravia of and were either expelled into east or west Germany dispersed Czech in the or among remaining population order to be more By 1950 the easily assimilated. census they numbered only 165,000 within the borders of communist Czechoslovakia, and they diminished further in 50,000 by 1989. Yet this drastic the following decades, numbering about termed by some the `transfer' of the post-war solution, euphemistically Sudeten Germans, was never the final chapter. After fortyyears of communist become it has for Czechs freely to discuss a previously the rule, now possible taboo subject: President V채clav Havel in 1990 even went so far as to apologise for the expulsion (an apology perhaps as anachronistic as Baroness Thatcher's for Munich). In lease life has been turn, apology a new of given to the cause of older Sudeten Germans who still wish to recover their property or at least for the events of 1945-7. Furthermore, acquire some compensation the Czech-German relationship in its wider context has now partially resurfaced: Germany the with reunification of and the relaxation of border controls, the Czechs once again have to come to terms with an economic (if not as by their territory their powerful neighbour. yet demographic) penetration of The Sudeten problems was caused in essence by the inability of Czechs and Germans to compromise on how they would live as neighbours within the Austrian crownlands of Bohemia and Moravia. In this narrow territorial had zone of the Habsburg Empire German-speaking people ebbed and flowed for centuries. Some had migrated to major trading and mining centres in the thirteenth century; others had arrived in the wake of the Thirty Years War to repopulate devastated regions; most continued to inhabit a crescent`colonisation' While the the area shaped around rim of crownlands. such (as the Czechs controversially likely it) to provoke shortcalled was quite term irritation from any native population, itwas only in the early nineteenth I Although the `Sudeten' words and `Sudetenland' are essentially 20th century terminology, I use them in the following discussion to refer to all German inhabitants and German in the Czech lands during the period 1848-1948. territory


Czech-German in its form At the that clash modern materialised. century that time both the Czechs and the Sudeten Germans experienced a rise in their national consciousness, a growing appreciation of the distinctiveness language Sudeten Germans For it the and culture. was a process of their own in which they could feel some security because of the predominance of German language and culture within the Austrian Empire: the German language, theoretically at least, was the Imperial language of education and hand, Czechs, find Educated the to other on awoke administration. in language their themselves, their culture a subordinate position to and for They Bohemia-Moravia. Germans thereafter the strove a position within history their own allegedly glorious and of equality, one which would match traditions as revealed by their patriotic historian Frantisek Palacky; or at least one which would reflect the ever clearer demographic realities: namely, Bohemia formed Czechs the the that they population of of a majority and Moravia. in For the next century there were three territorial contexts which the Sudeten problem could and did develop. First, there was the possibility that German Greater into be incorporated Bohemia-Moravia state. some might This was an option favoured by many Sudeten Germans as long as they could it But identity Sudeten distinct that state. was naturally within maintain their by be Czechs their the neighbours. to swamped who would wholly anathema It was only seriously proposed by the Sudeten Germans on three occasions: in 1848,1918 (both dates of major crisis for the Habsburgs), and then again in 1938. In the latter case of course, the option actually became reality and Czechs developed into over six years of Nazi occupation; educated were failed Germans Sudeten but to the too the gain autonomy exterminated, Reich. had the they expected within which The second context was within the Habsburg Empire from 1848 to 1918. Within the Empire a real lasting solution was viable only if the Monarchy impossible lines. But federalised this after was virtually along ethnic was Magyars dualist in 1867 the the a privileged the creation system which gave of barrier between imposed Empire a rigid administrative and status within the Austria and Hungary. It was also made doubly difficult by Czech behaviour began Czech Firstly, treat the to provinces of this time. politicians most at be historic Bohemia-Moravia carved up on national as a unitwhich could not lines. Secondly, from the 1860s for economic reasons Czechs began to migrate into Sudeten German areas: thereby they began to blur the Czech-German deep in language border by creating new nationally-conscious minorities `hostile territory'.


When asolution in thisAustrian context proved impossible, and the Habsburg Empire was defeated in the First World War, a third territorial context was independent Czechoslovak state which enclosed within created: namely an it the Sudeten Germans. For most Czech leaders this was the ideal solution: they now thought of a Czech national state rather on the British model with the Germans- perhaps like the Welsh -being thrown some cultural autonomy but gradually becoming to a broader assimilated and reconciled `Czechoslovak' identity. For the Germans, however, this third context was the worst scenario: it was only bearable if they received from their new Czech in ideal Panthat territorial they masters autonomy which expected any German or Austrian context. It was intolerable if as Sudeten radicals Sudeten German identity the constantly proclaimed was under threat and if, as was the case in the 1930s, the option of a Pan-German solution was last Already 1867 in Czech leader Frantisek the table. the on at once again Rieger (son-in-law of Palacky) had warned his fellow-countrymen that a living Czechs Germany's like borders to the so close people could not afford 2 Germans. Sudeten Unfortunately, in the inter-war period to oppress the too many Czech politicians in the euphoria of advancing their own new `nation state' ignored this warning: the Germans were subtly discriminated local level. True, Czech against, particularly at a minority policy was still far more considerate than that in the other states of Eastern Europe (Poland But Germans for Sudeten Romania the the grievances of or example). were Hitler Sudeten to that the powerful ammunition with sufficient provide so international crisis in 1938. problem could cause an in Of the three territorial which the Sudeten problem simmered contexts between 1848 and 1948, it was chiefly the first - the Greater German context implications. It had international therefore this was also chiefly which Great For brought Britain's to the whole subject attention. context which Sudeten issue, in Austrian 1848-1918 the the the context most of period for Habsburg Empire's (especially damaging the stability although potentially in the 1890s), was essentially a domestic concern for Austria: the German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, for example had no desire to annex the Czech for did Sudetenland; Tsarist Russia to overtures not respond and The leaders Czechoslovakia in 1920s. The for the true same was support. keep Sudeten Germans Germany Weimar to the tended at arms' always of length: they established, in Czech terminology, `correct' and then `friendly' lost Czechoslovakia, far interest in their more while retaining relations with German minority in Poland. 3 The British in turn, desired above all stability 2 Jan Kren, Konfliktni 191. 1990), (Prague Cesi Nimei 1790-1918 p. spolecenstvi. and 3 See Confrontation in Central Europe. Weimar Germany the study by F. Gregory Campbell, 1975). and Czechoslovakia (Chicago-London


Europe, but they increasingly began to feel that in East-Central Czechoslovakia was an `unimportant country' for them. In the 1920s they Sudeten German to complaints: they tended to accept their gave short shrift from Czech Prague, behaviour that chauvinist minister's opinion at this time was part of `a necessary though painful adjustment' for the Bohemian lands. 4 dimension to the Sudeten problem in the 1920s The chief international forced Allies had fact Eastern the the that the all new states western of was Europe to sign treaties giving certain guarantees to the national minorities Since borders. Minority be treaties theoretically these to their were within Geneva, Sudeten Germans by League Nations the the at enforced new of forum for their in the 1920s were at least provided with an international because little, it However, especially of the skill availed them grievances. Beneg foreign Edvard Czech the was able to counter minister with which 5 had Germans Because the their numerous complaints. no results at all from their petitions to Geneva, they would be even less inclined to put their based League. By faith in the new international the theoretically on order German leadership Sudeten the mid-1930s a new radical under the instead began Konrad Henlein to petition sympathetic gymnastics-instructor Britain. The fact Baldwin's Germany Hitler's that and countries: namely Henlein's Office Foreign British to the overtures responded encouragingly domestic issue have for helped to internationalise remained a what should further Chamberlain Neville in Czech then one step went the authorities. Germany's in 1938 Nazi by internationalisation the acknowledging (something which Anthony Eden interest in the Sudetenland illegitimate be in It had Secretary Foreign this way argued could always avoided). while from 1935 1938 behaviour British to that slowly exacerbated the crisis, doing Czech Henlein then to to the authorities and stand up encouraging Germany's it But for Hitler. aims - unparalleled the same equally of course was in the previous ninety years - which produced from the Sudeten problem for Hitler's And European the sustenance providing underneath, crisis. a designs and British anxieties, was the unresolved Sudeten question itself. Events would show that to settle the problem by a Pan-German solution it Reich Sudeten by to the territory giving and simply amputating - was highly dangerous because of the strategic and economic losses which this 4 Quoted in Mark Cornwall, barometer: British diplomatic `A fluctuating views of the in Great Britain, Czechoslovakia 1918-1938', in Czech-German the United States relationship Schmitt-Hartmann Eva & Stanley B. Winters (Munich Lands 1848-1938, theBohemian eds. and 1991), p. 315. 5I have discussed Beneg's behaviour at Geneva in `Dr. Edvard Beneยง Czechoslovakia's and German minority 1918-43', in The Czech and Slovak Experience, ed. John Morison (London 1992).


for Czechs: the their borders were left wide open for the Nazi entailed invasion of 1939. On the other hand the Czech solution to the problem in 1930s basically imply it the to equally unsatisfactory: was slow seemed Sudeten Germans; by 1945 it had graduated to the idea the assimilation of forcibly from them the Czech lands. Both ideas left the Germans expelling of lasting For therefore to as victim and were guaranteed resentment. provoke these reasons one might well feel in retrospect that it was the Austrian for Czech-German favourable the context which provided most setting a compromise. indeed have subsequently agreed that the years 1848-9 were the for At Panthat time a course opportunity real settlement. of a golden German solution was also threatening. In the Frankfurt Parliament in 1848 debated Liberal delegates from all parts of the German Confederation in Europe German include the nation centre of would regions whether a new in Bohemia-Moravia for Austria other words, would example also of or not; be included in the new nation and a Greater Germany created? Many Sudeten Germans hoped that it would be so. However, they exhibited at this time Janus-like the that thereafter character: of one wanting on as so often hand the security of intimacy with their cousins to the north, and on the dominance in hand the they to of position shared preserve other wishing Austria with their German-Austrian cousins. The fairly distinct identity of the Sudeten Germans vis-a-vis both sets of cousins was always - in the next hundred years- to be evident both in the Pan-German and Austrian context; in Greater did be Germany, did to they a simply submerged nor not want German Austrians 1848 In fully identify to the they ever south. with other their ideal of a Greater Germany was wholly at odds with Czech aspirations. The Czechs rather naturally were even less inclined to be swamped by a Grossdeutschland: instead, in the heady tumult of the revolutions they had Emperor from Habsburg the promise of unity and autonomy the secured (the `Czech lands') within the Austrian Empire. for Bohemia-Moravia-Silesia This particular Austrian solution could, however, never be acceptable to the Sudeten Germans: for in such a unit - without strict guarantees - they Czechs, in drown a race moreover who they quite rightly a sea of would lower plane of western social and cultural on a perceived as currently But despite this Czech-German clash of ideals, by 1849 with development. leaders did German Czech Sudeten the revolutions on the wane some and future Kromeriz the to structure of the on a unique agreement at come Austrian Empire. It is true that they did not go as far as Palacky's radical lines (perhaps Empire into the up eight units on ethnic proposal - of carving the only real solution). But they both retreated from their former standpoints for division lines Bohemia to the administrative of on ethnic and agreed This It forward. judicial purposes. would preserve was a possible way and Historians


Sudeten German

in future inevitable Czech the autonomy of steady social Therefore division, this solution, of strict ethnic and economic advancement. Sudeten Germans the would return to again and again in was one which the decades up to 1938. But in 1849 itwas stopped dead because the Habsburg Emperor recovered his authority and proceeded to impose absolutism on the whole Empire. During the rest of the Habsburg era a Czech-German compromise proved impossible to achieve. A major reason was that the Germans became paranoid fighting battle justification that they an uphill against were much with Slav dominance in Austria as a whole and Czech dominance in BohemiaMoravia. The Germans were thrown onto the defensive all the more from from Bismarck's For 1860s. late they the not only were now excluded new Sudeten Germans Germany, something particularly to many galling who had welcomed Prussian troops in 1866 and continued to revere Bismarck during his lifetime and thereafter. But with the sudden split of the Empire into Austria and Hungary in 1867, the German Austrians found themselves for True, further the present they could expect confined territorially. even Austrian Parliament Austria: in dominate to the the curial electoral system to for it to the their to most weighting wealthy. gave advantage was organised As for the Germans of Bohemia and Moravia - always cut off and exposed favour to tend a system of government they would naturally geographicallyfellow Vienna their solidarity with which would reinforce centralised on Germans in Lower Austria or Styria. Yet this German predominance of the 1870s was not something easy to maintain. Firstly, the Habsburg authorities in be impartial inclined the to nationality struggle: more and more were among majority a consensus they some workable all was above wanted what Germans As Austria. the could not always expect a result of the peoples of began in This loyal leading turn to cause be treated as the nationality. to their the in think as up status giving of their not could some ranks: splits Staatspartei, but others - especially the Sudeten Germans - drew the correct German defend felt to nationalist an even greater need conclusion and interests. In the 1890s in particular, the Sudeten issue was still able to rally Slav Austria the in Germans they as advancing perceived against what all German decades likely in increasingly to the it But these split was also peril. for Austrian joined Germans if the government, some parties, especially which pervaded the the fact was that the peculiar radical nationalism Thus the Sudetenland was never fully shared by other German-Austrians. disjointed due in Germans, different their to part of the mentality by 1900.6 German in disunity the camp geographical spread, caused major 6A

blume Kaiseradler. Korn Germans' dilemma is Lothar Hรถbelt, the und good recent study of 1993). Die deutschfreiheitlichen Parteien Altรถsterreichs 1882-1918 (Vienna-Munich


Secondly, since the Slavs the Czechs in particular steadily - were advancing in education itwas only a matter of time before political and social standing, demographic Germans realities caught up with the realities: would be shown in Austria. The Germans might well seek to preserve the as a real minority dominance language in schools, universities their of and culture and the bureaucracy, but they were fighting losing battle. One a way to fight back borders within Austria. For example, the administrative was to redefine an idea repeatedly forward (for the last time in 1916) was to give the Polishput Ukrainian Galicia from province of a semi-independent the status, separate Austria: in this way the Germans would indeed become the majority rest of in Austria language the Staatssprache. Another nationality and the German idea, as we have seen, was for Sudeten German regions to be given territorial Bohemia autonomy within and Moravia. Some Sudeten Germans might still for it from this them their fellow Germanoppose would inevitably set apart Austrians to the south. But most by the turn of the century were in favour, it Czech that the sensing would staunch advance and preserve what they termed their nationaler Besitzstand (national assets).

By this time, however, most Czechs could not accept the division of their territory on ethnic lines. It is true that in the years before the First World War some Czech-German political compromises were achieved on the basis of the existing ethnic status quo. Some historians have viewed them as impending evidence of an settlement of the Sudeten issue. For example, this was the case in Moravia (in 1905) and in the German language island of Budweis (Ceske Budejovice) in 1910. But it is important to note that such balance agreements were made from the premise that the demographic Czechs Germans fixed in these areas; since this was of and would remain highly unlikely, one might question how long these agreements could really last. Moreover, for Bohemia as a whole most Czechs would not accept an division. There ethnic were several reasons for this. Since the 1860s when the Emperor had given the Hungarian kingdom a unique status, the Czech leaders had demanded the same status, the same `recovery of age-old rights', for their own crownlands of Bohemia-Moravia. That would mean full equality for the Czech and German languages throughout these crownlands. Czech insistence and German nervousness about this was intensified because the demographic Bohemia picture in late nineteenth century was not static. The reality was that from the 1860s in particular, Czech peasants, under in had begun the to migrate to what were largely pressure countryside, German urban and mining centres. They quickly made Czech cities of former German language islands like Prague and Budweis; they also, by their language border, began to plant Czech colonies deep the movement across


in Sudeten territory. Some of these Czech migrants could be absorbed and into local But in the communities. assimilated many cases the flood was too Czech While tensions resulted. great and serious propaganda societies began to send economic and cultural aid to their comrades on the `frontier', German equivalents sprang up to defend the native German population: from islander German Jihlava as one ominously observed, it was vital to use Czech bacteria to the antitoxin neutralise attack of every possible on the healthy blood cells of the German islands.? The most notorious result of this steady Czech invasion was the creation in 1904 of the German Workers' Party: it was formed in northern Bohemia to defend German jobs, culture and `living space' (Lebensraum) against It was to be one of the forerunners Hitler's Czech encroachment. Nazi of dangers from the an ethnic clash which could result party, an example of In Czech in a confined industrialising environment. other words, migration helped Sudeten in the late nineteenth to the radicalise century problem: because the two peoples were having to interact on the same territory the did it friction its not, as one authority of own accord problem produced 8 from ignite to such material. outside once suggested, always need a spark The Czechs, because of their slow expansion, naturally favoured full equality Bohemia-Moravia; for their culture throughout at the same time they German the to strength which still economic-political resent continued As for Czech Germans, full be the to advancement. an obstacle seemed to holding in be by 1914 their they own many regions, on the might although defensive. But leaders increasingly the their on and whole they were Sudeten demographers the territory to as still solidly portray continued German and therefore capable of being separated cleanly from Czech areas. 9 Some compromise on the basis of mutual minority rights might have been But had intervened. World War First if the war years served the not possible home trends, to radicalise existing nationalist and at revealing clearly at the front that Czech public opinion was more and more at variance with did not now need the Habsburg ideal. Most educated Czechs undoubtedly their leaders-in-exile - Masaryk and Beneg - to influence them against the Austrian regime: they could see that in war the Empire was inextricably tied bureaucratic home from 1916 Germany; Imperial the they that to could see at German `German increasingly adopting planning a a course', regime was Austria if the war ended victoriously. In these circumstances, the alternative 7 Anton Altrichter, Heimatbuch derlglauer Volksinsel. Ein StĂźck deutscherErdeund seine Geschichte (Iglau 1940), p. 239. 8 S. Harrison Thomson, Czechoslovakia in European History (Princeton 1965), p. 156. 9 The best Rauchberg, Der nationale Besitzstand example is the classic work of Heinrich in BĂśhmen, 3 vols (Leipzig 1905).


Czechoslovak independent it indeed, of an seemed state was very attractive the only way to safeguard Czech development. Edvard At the Paris Peace Conference 1919 delegation Czech the of under Czechs (like hand. The BeneĂ˝ already held most of the winning in its cards the Yugoslavs) had already gone a long way towards creating their own state it: by late 1918 they had military control before the West formally recognised Allies But had been Bohemia Moravia. they as and also recognised of all borders Benes by the western Powers, and in order to secure favourable Allied fears German Bolshevik played on of expansion of carefully now for claiming Europe. His main argument disorders in central the whole Moravia `historic Bohemia that these that territory and of rights', of was lands had belonged to the Czechs since the seventh century, but he reinforced demographic, In this with exaggerated economic and strategic claims. border he that the asserted with a range of maps regions were particular, full Czechs had been of native usually assimilated who mixed, ethnically dubious he To by German this rather ethnic claim, added the colonists. Sudeten industrial the that one economic regions were more accurate heartland Czech (and There dependent the agrarian on vice-versa). closely BeneĂ˝'s in Sudeten truth the arguments all and of was a strong element from Germans they them as counter were excluded could not effectively the conference.

The Germans had been shocked at the sudden loss of the war and collapse Czechs late 1918, but in in behaved Empire; they the turn, the alarmed and of in a way which would leave a major imprint on Czech minds for years to four in Sudeten had They the regional authorities set up zones, come. behaving (as one Czech leader put it) `with their old cheeky insolence' in `occupying' the border regions. 10In fact their actions were highly precarious German-Austrian demand be They to part of a new might and short-lived. because but of geographical realities this was clearly utopian unless state, by Allies. Germany Austria Anschluss the the of and was also permitted Moreover, the factwas that their regional authorities were weak (dependent disadvantage for disunited Czechs food), at a and psychologically on the Germans Sudeten Czechs. it is Indeed, the the that quite clear compared to industrialists Many their time. this already of were not a united people at feared the competition they would face within a powerful Germany and Other Czechoslovakia. for life borders the ordinary a new within of soon opted Sudetens could not but be resigned to the reality of Czech military occupation Allies localities. by faith in They 1919 therefore the their western put of their German territory the to theywould that apply principle of self-determination 10 Archive

Foreign Ministry, the of 1918. to Benes, 29 November

Prague: Parizsky Archiv, Kniha 29/3313,


Karel Kramar

But bound be disappointed they to we can as well. naturally see why were in hoping for this Pan-German solution at this particular time: Clemenceau decided George Lloyd in few keep to the old borders of a and minutes Bohemia and Moravia. the context of the new Czechoslovakia a speedy Czech-German bound be difficult because to to settlement was achieve of these events at its birth. While many Germans felt nervous and disgruntled, Czechs most Czechoslovak their new state as a national entity to which citizens of saw German descent would need to prove their loyalty: Czech fears seemed justified since most German politicians at first refused to cooperate with to petition the League of Nations - an the regime and began ('disloyally') by body However, late 1920s their the the outside maltreatment. - about German in 1926 parties relationship seemed more stable: several entered least Sudeten Germans the the the government, and on surface at seemed Perhaps if therefore to their this situation environment. more reconciled had continued, it might have ended in long-term stability? Yet one hesitates to suggest this too forcefully, as the underlying tensions in the relationship The inter-war period in fact witnessed an had not really disappeared. 11 German Czech If the this of areas. pre-war penetration of acceleration low like German by birth the natural phenomena was still partly caused boost from it Czech artificial stimuli migration patterns, now gained a rate or like the Czech land reform: for example, the land reform was theoretically German damage landowners but itwas bound impartially, the to carried out The Czech it is this. that many officials actively encouraged clear most and feel in Germans threatened to their social continued result was that the decline: by demographic had they their positions and property and also home Historians to and abroad. expound at quite reasonable grievances like J. W. Br端gel have carefully listed the equal opportunities open to the Sudeten Germans. 12 But these could not immediately wipe away German fears about their loss of position and privilege. In the Sudeten regions the directing into its energy cultural population, although gradually calmer, was in 1930s into the could activity, a whole range of cultural societies which For for harnessed be real stability the political purposes. easily united and kind how of autonomy much autonomy and what crucial question remained: dabbled Czechs The Germans the occasionally with plans receive? would Second World devolution; in War Bene for administrative the and even for future. But the these to schemes as a possible solution would return full territorial autonomy: the the plans always stopped short of any on whole Within

II See Czech-German `The language border the on struggle my own study: English Historical Review, Vol. cix No. 433, September 1994, pp. 914-51.

12 j. W. Br端gel, Tschechenund Deutsche 1918-1938 (Munich




for that had clear dangers unless the Germans were fully loyal to Czechoslovakia. Rather, some leading Czechs expected that with time the Germans would slowly be integrated into a Czechoslovak society and like the Welsh (a favourite example of Bene§) - they would feel an ethnic but `national' Czechoslovak loyalty; in the long term they might even be also a fully assimilated. Presidents Masaryk and Benes realised, however, that this process would fifty Instead had for in Germany 1933 Hitler's they ten: need years. only Pan-German began the the table to encourage solution on placed again and Sudeten separatism. Among the Sudeten Germans there were enough had the men above or militants all radicals who grown ethnic up amid First World War tensions and belligerent the environment of - who were battle for Ironically, it to the resume now prepared autonomy. was perhaps Czechs have it, in the this that point precisely at should granted order to take the wind out of the sails of Sudeten Nazis. In the elections of 1935 Konrad Henlein's Sudetendeutsche Partei, financed by Hitler, won 66% of the German vote, a clear sign that Sudeten unity was increasing and had to be dealtwith by the Czechs before it turned overwhelmingly in Hitler's direction. The latest research13 suggests that Konrad Henlein, the Sudeten leader, British Foreign Office (as imagined) indeed the something of a moderate was Sudeten German by identity to the protect securing who wished above all territorial autonomy in Czechoslovakia. But he was always liable to be pulled in a Nazi direction by some of his extremist followers; and it was the Nazi tinge to his movement which coloured Czech perceptions and prejudices. The Czechs were certainly prepared to deal with those German leaders who himself Henlein's but Henlein despite movement, not with stood outside his electoral support; nor were Czech concessions - promising Czech-German Only in to take the the control of situation. equality - sufficiently radical Anglo-French did Bene§ finally President 1938, under pressure, summer of late: Sudeten but by it territorial this time too to grant autonomy, was agree Henlein had fully thrown in his lot with Hitler and now expected Sudeten Third Reich. Czechoslovakia, but the within autonomy not within For the Sudeten Germans, as we have seen, this Pan-German solution had had Germany herself been been if But it only an option. practical always in favour Sudeten One to and willing exploit grievances. way to avoid was 13 See Andreas Luh, Der Deutsche Turnverband in der ersten Tschechoslowakischen especially, Republik. Vom völkischen Vereinsbetrieb zur volkspolitischen Bewegung (Munich 1988), for a new Henlein. This Sudeten in The by Ronald Smelser the matches picture provided view of 1975) problem 1933-38. Volkstumspolitik and the formulation of Nazi foreign policy (Folkestone J. is W. Brügel, Czechoslovakia before The German Munich. to a contrast and minority problem British 1973). appeasement policy (Cambridge and


this threat was for the Sudetens to be given adequate' security - territorial Czechoslovak framework. But the this autonomy within was virtually impossible to imagine in the circumstances of inter-war Czechoslovakia, Czech last felt free to assert their rights against the nationalists at where German Czechs Indeed, the minority. privileged were still in the process Czechoslovak imposing (albeit the a of solution on region with some Pan-German to the minorities) concessions when solution raised its head in Bosnia And, Czech Sudeten today, there as again. were enough and both sides to exacerbate the paranoia and prevent any timely radicals on Czech-Sudeten The dimension compromise. struggle was also given an extra because President Beneg and many in the West portrayed it as a basic struggle dictatorship Czechoslovakia democracy (allegedly against of -'democratic' Sudeten Germans in league the the on western model) against with Nazi Germany; this in turn meant for Bene the preservation of the post-war 14The destroy in face it. Hitler's international the system of efforts to problem for the Czechs was that neither the British or French governments really Sudeten issue itself, In Benes's Foreign the terms the of perspective. shared Office had generally come to sympathise with Sudeten German grievances Czech in international terms the of wider obstinacy; and was exasperated at been behind for had British the the whole-heartedly years never context, For these reasons, among others, it was quite Versailles settlement. in 1938 incline Chamberlain Neville Panto that would a understandable `Czechoslovak he German solution the termed misleadingly of what problem'. It was in the final phase of the Sudeten question - the 1940s when war again Czech German it the that and solutions extreme were most radicalised Bohemia-Moravia link in Protectorate Nazi to the of was policy advanced. (blatant land by forced German territory reform movement of population up in the opposite direction); the Czechs would be killed or assimilated. It was his from in Bene§, Britain, behaviour in that exile partly response to this began to advocate the mass expulsion of the Sudeten Germans. While 15 Volksgrenze, Bene§ Henlein the the new of eternity was proclaimed borders: Czech determined the clash of the territorial the to restore old Pan-German and Czech solutions seemed set to continue and adopt more idea devolution had initially Bene the toyed of with extreme characteristics. Czechoslovakia, in post-war for the Germans creating nationally homogeneous cantons on the Swiss model. But these plans were soon shelved home Czech far from the resistance at who wanted a more under pressure Reinhard Heydrich's the more so after reign of terror: radical solution, all 14 See for (London later Benei's Demokracie dnes 1942). example, work: a zitra 15 J W. Brßgel, Tschechen 1974), p. 212. und Deutsche 1939-1946 (Munich


it seemed unlikely after this and after the Nazi atrocity of Lidice that the Czechs and Germans could ever live peacefully together again. In any case, Beneg had always thought Sudeten Nazis and collaborators of expelling (about a million on his calculation) his ideas democratic ; of compromise with Germans also turned sour when he realised that they still wished for some From 1942 Bene§ increasingly hoped that therefore, territorial autonomy. Germans be in Sudeten to the as possible many could as removed order solve Czechoslovakia for finally become once and all: problem would a national French the than the British model. He secured Allied support state, more on for his transfer plans and began to put them into operation his on return 1946 about 1,500,000 Germans had been to Prague in May 1945. By October 750,000 in Germany American Soviet to the the to zone and moved zone; daily, Rude Prävo, there had been a in the words of the Czech communist 16 `thorough from lands'. the and radical cleansing of enemy minority our

The expulsions have occasionally been likened in their ferocity to the Holocaust. 17Undoubtedly the two cannot be compared. But it was a drastic German had been in Bohemia terminate to settlement which present way 500 for From 1848 for hundred Moravia over years. a and years the pendulum had swung back and forward between German and Czech control. Both in their recent memories and traditions to allow too entrenched sides were for any real compromise; the vivid historical memories would only fade if the region experienced a very long period of stability. In conclusion, one it destroyed the the that the that only advantage of expulsion was can say Sudeten for if the the of memory problem: compared to the not reality in Eastern Europe in 1990s, the the rest of revival of minority problems longer is features issue Sudeten the no one which so prominently undoubtedly international the agenda. on

16 RudMP'rävo, 25 October 1946. The standard work on the expulsion is now Tomas Stanek, Odsun Nemcü z Ceskoslovenska 1945-1947 (Prague 1991). 17 See for example the extreme Gordon, Die Bene.-Denkschriften. Die view of Helmut Tschechoslowakei und das Deutsche Reich 1918/19 (Berg 1990).





Ian Roberts

the past 150 years Hungary has twice attracted the attention of the first The during 1848 1849 the world. occasion was years and when Hungary, leadership Lajos Kossuth, the of under made an unsuccessful attempt to from Habsburg Empire become independent the withdraw and an country. The second was in October 1956 when Hungary, under the leadership of Imre Nagy, tried, again unsuccessfully, to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact become like its Austria. and country, a neutral neighbour During

At the present time the Hungarians inhabit a relatively small flat country in the middle of Europe which they call Magyarorsz채g, the country of the Magyars. Hungary occupies an area of about 36,000 square miles and has fifth live 10 in the capital a population million, of which one of roughly Budapest. However, pre-World War I Hungary was far larger in size and population and as a result there are another 5 million ethnic Hungarians (half the present population) living outside present-day Hungary. Of these 5 million about 3.5 million live in the neighbouring Slovakia, countries of the Ukraine, Romania (Transylvania has the largest Hungarian minority), Serbia and Croatia. Owing to a large-scale Hungarian emigration especially 1.5 the the there at end of nineteenth century, million persons are now about largest Hungarian living the of origins numbers are to abroad, of which be found in the United States, Canada and Israel. The purpose of my talk today is to show you how this situation has arisen has in Hungarian important nationalism played and why such an role affairs. Before I deal with the revolution of 1848 I must give you a brief sketch of the events in early Hungarian historywhich have helped to shape the national consciousness. Early Hungarian History The Magyars moved into the great plain through which the river Danube beginning flow Tisza the at of the ninth century AD. At that time they and loose than a grouping of nomadic tribes whose original home were no more is believed to have been near the Ural mountains. The territory they occupied had been by through the the various area which settled cut a great swathe Slavonic peoples whom we know today as Slovaks, Ukrainians (sometimes known as Ruthenes), Serbs and Croats. Unlike the Bulgars, who also moved


into Europe from Asia, the Magyars did not adopt the language of the Slavs Instead they they continued to use their own nonsettled. among whom language which is related to Finnish and Estonian in its Indo-European but has in structure, virtually no similarities vocabulary, except grammatical basic `blood' `hand'. few words such as and a the Magyars caused havoc by their raids into Western Europe, but defeat Augsburg in 955 AD by Holy Roman Emperor, the near after a severe Otto the Great, they began to lead a more settled existence. Eventually one Prince Geza, his be baptised Catholic to allowed son as a of their rulers, by a German bishop. This was Istv채n (Stephen) who succeeded his father from Pope Sylvester III in in 997 AD. He was able to obtain recognition Rome as King and tradition has it that he was sent a crown and apostolic AD he On Christmas Day 1000 King Pope. by the of was crowned cross Hungary in Esztergom, a town to the north of Budapest and 20 August, St. Stephen's Day, has always been a national holiday in Hungary, except The St Stephen became Hungarian Communism. a crown of of course, under inspired feeling Hungarians that they the the with national symbol which Christianity invaders in Europe's the struggle against outposts of were one of became Protestant, Hungarians from the East. After the Reformation many has Hungary Transylvania Protestantism Eastern in and always and especially in Hungary with nationalism. been closely identified Initially

During the Middle Ages Hungary was a powerful kingdom which included Croatia, Transylvania, Carpatho-Ukraine Slovakia, as well as the territory of linked Croatia, in Century. been had the twelfth although conquered which its institutions. The Hungary, to own retain several of to was allowed King Andras II feudal in 1222 Hungarian and system of government was Golden higher Bull, the the to provisions nobility a grant compelled was One Magna Carta. those of the most of our own of which were not unlike freedom from by important taxation the nobility was privileges secured without consent. However, the mediaeval Kingdom of Hungary came to an end in 1526 when Suleiman the Magnificent of Turkey defeated the Hungarians who lost their king at the battle of Mohacs in southern Hungary. The outcome of this defeat and the death of the king was the division of the Hungarian kingdom between the Habsburgs and the Turks after a period of further fighting. The Emperor Ferdinand received part of Slovakia, Croatia and Western Hungary, while Suleiman occupied the remainder of the country, although The Turkish Transylvania he permitted to become semi-autonomous. Hungary last 150 the to to after and came an end of was years occupation


Turkish failure to capture Vienna in 1683. By the Treaty of Karloca (made between the Turks and the Habsburgs in 1699) Hungary became a separate kingdom within the Habsburg Empire. Both Hungary and Transylvania had their own rulers called Palatines, appointed by the Emperor and they were One Vienna. by in of the consequences special chancelleries administered influx Serbs Turks from in Hungary the the of was an southern of expulsion of Hungary who were anxious to escape from Turkish rule with the result that inhabiting Hungary. different to the nationalities one more race was added Hungarians throughout the the Habsburgs and eighteenth century were always uneasy and there was more than one revolt in By Pozsony Hungarian Diet that time, the and compromise. which sat (the modern Bratislava) consisted of two separate chambers, an Upper House of the higher nobility and a Lower House of the lesser nobility, the delegates from fifty the the assemblies of membership of which consisted of Since divided for into Hungarywas which administrative purposes. counties Latin had been used for the proceedings of the the counter-reformation Diet and when the Habsburgs tried to introduce German as the official language of the Empire, this move was met with resistance from the Hungarians. Croatia had its own Diet which sent delegates to the Hungarian Diet while the membership of the Transylvanian Diet included Hungarians, German settlers and Szeklers, a Magyar speaking race who were akin to the Magyars themselves. The Romanians in Transylvania, as well as the Slovaks, Serbs and Ukrainians had no political rights. Relations

The Revolt


1848-1849 of

Wars was ruled Empire which emerged from the Napoleonic The Habsburg determined Francis, who with the aid of Metternich, by the Emperor was his However, to to suppress any attempt change absolutist system of rule. Diet as he needed in 1825 Francis was compelled to summon the Hungarian by during had further Hungary taxation. prospered to raise a sum of money it It Wars, Empire. Habsburg Napoleonic the the the as was granary of was The industry. magnates country an underdeveloped with no essentially from income living in Vienna large their their the time part of on spent a half huge estates, while the lesser nobility, there were about of whom a in lived law in the absence of a circumstances of primogeniture million The different little from the those of peasants. rest of the which were often day `misera in jargon Latin plebs the the the of called were population The (the tax-paying country was ripe commoners). miserable contribuens' ideas about for reform and it was not long before two persons, with different be on the scene. the ways reforms out, appeared carried should


The first of these was Count Istvän Szechenyi, a magnate who had travelled in Europe been widely and much impressed by what he had seen, especially in the Britain of the Industrial Revolution. In 1830 he published a book Hitel (Credit) called which was critical of the existing state of Hungarian society, especially the privileges of the nobility and their exemption from tax. However, Szechenyi believed that reform should be carried out gradually in cooperation in Vienna, despite the fact that the with the authorities Habsburg Government, with the aid of a secret police and censorship, was doing its utmost to prevent the spread of liberal doctrines within the Empire. Szechenyi's ideas about gradual reform were in complete contrast with those put forward by his rival, Lajos Kossuth, who was a Protestant member from Slovakia. lesser A lawyer by he the training, of nobility was able to in Lower House he Diet idea the the the a seat of secure where conceived its of compiling an unofficial record of proceedings. At a later date Kossuth in the the country assemblies accounts of proceedings compiled similar by the authorities in Vienna. which were regarded with considerable suspicion As a result, Kossuth was arrested and imprisoned in May 1837. Three years later he was set free and in 1841 he became the editor of a radical newspaper Pesti Hirlap (Pest Newspaper). However, he was eventually able to return to the Diet and succeeded in 1844 in securing the abolition of the use of Latin in the Dietand its replacement by Magyar which had been undergoing he forward In 1847 further linguistic for put proposals a regeneration. by leader liberal faction in the Diet, the the of reform which were supported Ferenc Deäk a person who was destined to play a leading role in Hungary in the second half of the nineteenth century. Like Kossuth, he was a member lesser the nobility, and the owner of a small estate. of in Paris broke out in February 1848, and subsequently When revolution in Vienna on 13 March, Kossuth immediately submitted a draft address to the Crown which contained renewed proposals for reform with special have its Government. for Hungary After to the own need emphasis on delegation from both houses by House, Upper Diet the the a acceptance of travelled from Bratislava to Vienna. At the same time on 15 March (now holidays) demonstration Hungary's in there a of national was another Budapest by students and radicals in which the poet Sändor Petöfi (a Slovak had been Petrovics) The played a prominent part. whose original name demonstrators' programme of `Twelve Points' contained demands for reform Crown. in Kossuth's to those to the contained similar address


his had Ferdinand Emperor advisers the and already been local for demands They the the to population to reform. of yield compelled from delegation demands the of the were equally swift to yield to the headed by liberal Diet and appointed Hungarian government new a a De채k Kossuth Szechenyi, Lajos Batthy채ny. Count and were among magnate, latter becoming in the the the ministers a very successful new government, Minister of Finance. Defence and finance were to be dealt with by the for foreign affairs was not clearly defined. but responsibility Hungarians, Subject to the approval of the Transylvanian Diet, Transylvania was to be left Hungarywas The Croatian Hungary. relationship with open. united with On 11 April, the `April Laws', as this event is known in Hungarian history, force. into came In Vienna

in Hungary were for the Magyars, the other nationalities Unfortunately had just in Vienna follow The their to appointed example. government swift in Imperial Croatia, Colonel Josip Jellacic, for the an officer a new ruler Army who was violently anti-Magyar and in favour of the union of all the Southern Slavs. His reaction to the passing of the April Laws was to break In May Slovaks, Government. Hungarian the the new off relations with Rumanians in Transylvania, and Serbs all held congresses demanding equal Habsburg languages the the their within own use of national rights and Empire. The Serbs, who were supported by the Croats and the Serbs in the Principality of Serbia in the Ottoman Empire, proclaimed the creation of Vojvodina. Because in the the south called of a new autonomous province this, the Hungarian relationship with the Serbs grew steadily worse and by had broken out between the two nationalities. the middle of July fighting demands Batthy채ny the to tried reconcile this period vainly Empire. The Hungary the the new status of within of the nationalities with Vienna Government had troubles elsewhere, especially in Italy where it was Slavonic Congress in Prague Piedmont in a where and a war with engaged for Imperial Reinforcements in June. held the army were needed and was attitude the Government was therefore prepared to adopt a conciliatory Ruler Croatia dismissed AccordinglyJellacic Hungarians. as of was towards the in June. However, Kossuth had no intention of being equally conciliatory he in Serbs fighting the south made a with the and after the outbreak of Government Hungarian Diet 11 July, in the to the on calling on speech Austrian defend Hungary, to the than 200,000 accede rather men to raise Imperial Army. for for the reinforcement request government's Throughout


Fortunately for the government, the Imperial forces led by Field Marshal Windischgraetz were successful in restoring order in Prague and in Italy the King of Piedmont surrendered to Field Marshal Radetzky at the end As July. the tide now appeared to be turning in its favour, the Austrian of Government decided to change its attitude towards Hungary and reinstate Jellacic as ruler of Croatia at the beginning of September. On the 11th of that month he led an army into southern Hungary. Batthyäny resigned in Kossuth protest and was appointed head of a Committee of National Defence. A peace envoy sent by the Palatine of Hungary to negotiate with Jellatic lynched by in Budapest. There was now open war between Hungary a mob was in Vienna. and the government The Hungarians were lucky enough to have found a brilliant leader for their in form General Artur Görgey, former in the the army own of a officer Imperial Army. He soon defeated Jellarxic's army which was compelled to In October Windischgraetz had to suppress another revolt in Vienna retreat. in December, and only after the abdication of the Emperor Ferdinand and the accession to the throne of his 18 year old nephew Franz Joseph, were the Austrians able to turn their attention once again to the rebellious Magyars. In mid-December Windischgraetz led another army into Hungary which reached Budapest within a fortnight. The Committee

National led Defence by Kossuth abandoned Budapest of and withdrew to Debrecen in Eastern Hungary. Batthyäny was arrested, Deäk withdrew to his country estate and Szechenyi was to end his days in lunatic It that the Hungarian revolt a asylum. appeared to Windischgraetz was over and on 4 March 1849 the Austrian Government promulgated a for Habsburg Empire, in which Hungary was the new constitution entire to be one ofseveral crownlands. The Hungarian constitution was still retained, but the nationalities were to enjoy equal rights and the use of their own languages. Kossuth's response was to dethrone the Habsburgs and declare Hungary's independence held in Diet Protestant the the at a session of Church at Debrecen on 14 April. He himself became provisional head of State with the title of `Kormänyzö' which is usually translated as governor. In fact, the revolt was far from over and a revitalised Hungarian army under Görgey was able to mount a new offensive and recapture Budapest. In Transylvania, a Polish volunteer, General Bem, who had fought against the Russians during the Polish revolt of 1830, defeated the Imperial army. Renewed fighting in Italy and the possibility of a Hungarian attack on Vienna Franz Joseph the to appeal to the Russian Emperor Nicholas young caused I for help. Because of his fear that the revolt in Hungary might spread Austrian Galicia to Russian Poland, the Tsar agreed to intervene. through


Towards the end of June 1849 massive Russian forces entered Slovakia and Transylvania, at the same time as two Imperial armies led by, General Haynau in Hungary. In Jellatic the the and south of west resumed offensive and driven Hungarians into lasted the only eight weeks were a campaign which the Southeast corner of Hungary. Serious disagreements had arisen between Kossuth and G6rgey about the conduct of operations and it had become Hungary's Britain France to that support neither nor were prepared apparent On 11 August Kossuth handed over his powers to bid for independence. G6rgey and fled to Turkey. Two days later GÜrgey surrendered the bulk Hungarian forces, Commander Russian Field the to the the army of of Marshal Paskevich at Vilägos (the modern $iria) not far from- Arad in Transylvania, rather than to Haynau, the Austrian commander. The Era of the Dual Monarchy, 1867-1918 A disconcerted Austrian Government insisted that the Russians should hand for in Austrian eyes, they were rebels their prisoners punishment, since, over To fury broken loyalty Emperor. Nicholas had their the the to of oath of who I, who was chivalrous about the treatment of prisoners-of-war, the Austrians Hungarian Transylvania Arad in the thirteen of executed army's generals at former Kossuth Batthyäny, Prime Minister October. 6 the was was shot, on hanged in effigy, while G6rgey, as a result of special pleading by Nicholas I, was sent into exile in Klagenfurt in Carinthia. Many other former Imperial NCOs Army officers were executed or imprisoned, while and other ranks in The Empire. the on military service execution other parts of were sent `Martyrs Arad' known is historical to every thirteen the of an event of Hungarian schoolchild. Hungarians treatment the of caused so much adverse Austrian decided introduce that the to government a comment abroad by headed German Alexander His Bach. an official named civilian regime Magyars Hungary in the the ruled and other nationalities speaking staff Slovaks, The Croats, Ukrainians, Serbs Romanians, impartiality. and with strict Kossuth, Magyar had the totally uncompromising rejected nationalism of who had all helped the Austrian and Russian armies to restore order in Hungary. To their dismay, they discovered that they were to receive no reward for increase Emperor loyalty this to their the to and naturally only served their feelings of discontent. Haynau's


But the suppression of the Hungarian revolt did not mean that the troubles Piedmont Its Empire Habsburg next war was again with were over. of the After III. Napoleon by France joined the a of which on this occasion was defeat at Solferino in 1849 and the ensuing loss of Lombardy, Franz Joseph


have thathewould to come to some newagreementwith the Magyars, realised Empire if the Habsburg to was to survive. De채k, who had been opposed Habsburgs, began discussions Emperor the the dethronement the of now with in Hungary's A brief Bismarck's a change about status. second war with Prussia and Italy in 1866 also resulted in defeat. The loss of Austria's leading Germanic Confederation in the role as well as Lombardy, served to accelerate known Magyars. Final the to the process of reconciliation with agreement, history as the Ausgleich or Compromise, 1867. By its in terms was reached independence in internal Hungary was granted complete affairs and three for defence, finance and foreign affairs. ministers were appointed common Government formed Gyula Count Andr채ssy, A separate Hungarian was under his former Kossuth had Emperor the of made peace with a supporter who Dedk in his On 29 March 1867 the Hungarian negotiations. and assisted 8 Joseph his June Franz the and on and accepted compromise parliament Queen King Hungary in Elizabeth Budapest. A and of wife were crowned formally had been A Transylvania Hungary. reunited with separate year earlier Croatia linked which remained with compromise was negotiated with by the Prime Hungary. Although theoretically equal, its ruler was nominated No Slovaks Minister Hungary. the special arrangements were made with of Romanians in Transylvania. For the remainder Ukrainians, the nor with or Empire be Habsburg by its Germans to the was ruled existence and of Nationality Magyars. In 1868 the Hungarian Lawwhich government passed a be in Hungary to that there was no other nation except stated unequivocally belong it In Magyar this to to the nation, order was essential to speak nation. language the Magyar language which was to be the official to of Hungary be used in parliament, the administration, courts and the universities. However, to the use of the languages there was no objection of the other level. local at a nationalities

Law were In the years that followed, the provisions of the Nationality increasingly ignored and it became more and more difficult to teach and By twentieth to publish newspapers in the languages of the nationalities. impose decision Magyar the to a name on every place century standards, in Hungary and the suggestion that non-Magyar government officials should Magyarize their surnames seem arrogant rather than cruel. But it was inevitable that such actions led to an increase in anti-Magyar activities by insistent had that they the other nationalities as much right to who were be treated as nations as the Magyars themselves. One of the consequences followed import depression 1890s the the the of of which agricultural of Europe to and the ensuing emigration of non-Magyar speakers overseas grain to the United States and elsewhere, was that the grievances of the nationalities in Hungary became much more widely known outside the Habsburg Empire.


There was, of course, a Magyar defence for their policy. This was that the insistence be Hungary Government that and centralised on must of There to was also a genuine progress. nationality rights was an obstacle feeling of anxiety about the anti-Hungarian activities of neighbouring states, had been Serbia Kingdom Romania the created after and which of such as the Crimean War. Relations with Russia had been adversely affected by Austria's refusal to support Russia during the Crimean War, and increasing Pan-Slav propaganda by the Slavs within the Dual Monarchy, especially the Czechs, only served to increase the general fear of Russia. There can be no doubt that Hungary prospered during the Dual Monarchy Germans Jews in Magyar to particular, many and and were content adopt learn language the and regard themselves as Magyars. With surnames and the aid of foreign capital, railways were built and roads improved. The first steps were taken to create industry in the country and Budapest became Vienna in its buildings. 1896 In to the rival a city size and elegance of the country to celebrate grandiose celebrations took place throughout Hungarian foundation by Prince Arp채d in 896 AD. the of state


But economic prosperity did not bring with it a solution to the political Dual Monarchy, `prisonthe to the of which as problems was often referred house of nations'. During the earlyyears of the twentieth Century the elderly FranzJoseph struggled to maintain a balance between the conflicting interests Although had Magyars decreed the the that all nationalities. various of Croatia in be should railway officials able to speak Magyar, the Emperor, be Magyar language to to used as allow a of command along with refused German in the Imperial army. It was no secret that Franz Joseph's heir, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, had his own views about restructuring the Dual Southern Monarchy either by creating a new component the made up of Slavs or by setting up a federation Not of the different nationalities. filled ideas Magyars fears the with surprisingly, such about their survival Germans Slavs. the more numerous among and as a nation The assassination of Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo on 28 June 1914, deeply Prime Tisza, Minister Istv채n did Count Hungary, the of not shocked who be that this used as a reason to settle accounts with event should consider Serbia. Nevertheless, he had no choice but to acquiesce in the decision to issue an ultimatum to Serbia, which led to the involvement of the other European powers in the ensuing crises and the outbreak of the First World War. Thus Hungary found itself a reluctant ally of Germany fighting Britain, France and Russia. Kossuth's prophecy made to De채k at the time of the lead Germany Ausgleich that involvement to the would ultimately with be destruction Hungary to to prove all too accurate. was of


On 21 November 1916 FranzJoseph died and the Archduke Karl was crowned Käroly IV Hungary King in Budapest. But he and Tisza could not agree of as for reform and Tisza therefore resigned. on proposals Kärolyi and Bela Kun 1918-1919 By the autumn of 1918 it was clear that Germany and its allies would lose the war and on 16 October Hungary decided to dissolve its union with Austria. On 31 October Count Mihaly Kärolyi became Prime Minister of included Social Democrats and Radicals. a new coalition government which The Emperor Karl handed over power to Kärolyi and Hungary was declared Hungary hope Kärolyi Republic. that to survive without realised could not a social and political reform, as well as concessions to the nationalities and began to make plans accordingly. But it was too late. Croatia had already decided to unite with the Serbs and Slovenes. The Romanians in Transylvania Romania, had decided to join the Kingdom Slovaks the of while and Ukrainians were eventually persuaded to join with the Czechs and form the new state of Czechoslovakia. The frontiers proposed for the new states Romanian for Serbian it feasible troops to occupy parts of southern and made Czech forces Slovakia. On Hungary, 20 March occupied while and eastern 1919 Kärolyi resigned after being ordered by the representative of the allies in Central Europe to evacuate part of central Hungary which was destined to become part of Romania. After Karolyi's resignation, the Social Democrats joined forces with the Radicals, who transformed themselves into the Hungarian Communist Party, became Bela Kun Hungary Hungarian leadership the the now of and under Soviet Republic. Kun was a Hungarian Jew, who after being taken prisoner He by the Russians on the East Front, took part in the Russian revolution. him Hungary Lenin, to the sent of who with the task confidence gained Communist it into state. a of transforming Kun's rule lasted exactly 133 days. The reign of terror initiated by one of his ministers, his failure to secure Russian aid in Hungary's conflicts with its new neighbours, and his decision to nationalise land rather than distribute On 4 his it to the peasants rapidly led to disillusionment policies. with August 1919 he fled to Vienna and two days later Romanian troops entered Budapest where they remained until mid-November. On 16 November, two days after their departure, a small national army Budapest. had been formed in Szeged in Hungary entered southern which Its leader was Admiral Miklos Horthy, a former admiral in the Imperial navy. it The army was anti-Communist in was not and anti-Semitic outlook and initiate to another reign of terror which was worse than that of the slow



In due course a coalition government was formed from rightSmall Landowners Party. It decided the wing nationalist groups and was to call Hungary a kingdom, but there was some doubt about who should be king. After making two unsuccessful attempts to regain the throne of Hungary, the ex-Emperor Karl went into exile in Madeira. In his place Horthy was elected Regent and thus Hungary again became a kingdom had done king, just it without a as under Kossuth. Horthy's Hungary, 1919-1945 Now that order had been restored in Hungary, the Allies were ready to negotiate a peace treaty. It was eventually signed in the Trianon at Versailles 14 1920 its June harsh. deprived Hungary terms on and were extremely was its two thirds of of roughly pre-war territory and more than one-half of its including 3 In addition, pre-war population, million ethnic Hungarians. Hungary was required to pay a large sum in reparations and its armed forces internal to a small were reduced peace-keeping force of 35,000. The Hungary of Admiral Horthy was once described to me by a Hungarian friend as an operetta country, a picturesque survival from the late nineteenth Century Habsburg Empire. Its policies at home and abroad were governed by two main considerations, the desire to recover the lost territories and The first fear found in `nem, the a of communism. slogan nem, expression (no, difference between the no, never) printed on maps which showed soha' the Hungary of the Dual Monarchy and Trianon Hungary. In Great Britain Lord Rothermere espoused the Hungarian cause and launched a campaign little Internally, in Hungary's favour in the DailyMailwhich success. metwith but the franchise the country had a conservative form of government, limited in districts. No open with voting remained country attempt was land The to a much needed out carry reform. communist party was made declared illegal and its members imprisoned. It was characteristic that in Soviet 1940 in exchange for some communist the prisoners government Hungary flags to the to return of the Hungarian army which had agreed been captured by the Russians as the surrender of Vilagรถs in 1849. Czechoslovakia, Romania The creation of the `Little Entente' of and Yugoslavia in the inter-war years helped to propel Hungary in the direction first of Fascist Italy and subsequently Nazi Germany, both of whom seemed likely to be sympathetic to Hungary's claims for the recovery of the lost territories. After the Nazi take-over of Austria and Czechoslovakia during the years 1938 and 1939, Hungary was able to recover some of its former territories by the awards made by the Germans in 1940 and 1941. These



Slovakia, Carpatho-Ukraine, half Transylvania parts of about of Yugoslavia. The Hungarian Prime Minister Count Pal Teleki and part of becoming increasingly dismayed by the course of events which could was only lead to Hungary allying itself for a second time with Germany and on 2 April 1941 he committed suicide. His successor, Laszlo Bardossy, readily from to the Hungarian General Staff to follow the example pressure yielded Romania, of which wished to recover Bessarabia, in joining Hitler's attack Soviet Union in June 1941. As Teleki had anticipated, Britain and the on the United States both declared war on Hungary in December. Hungary's disastrous.

in the war against the Soviet Union participation proved to be In January 1943 the Hungarian heavy losses in army suffered battle Voronezh. Horthy had been dubious the at men and equipment of Germany's but to the that Britain ability about win war, was confident and States would Eastern Europe the United to be taken over by not allow Communist he In March 1942 therefore governments. appointed a new Prime Minister, Miklos K채llay, whowas authorised to begin secret negotiations Allies. The Germans found the the soon out about these negotiations, with that Hungary of which was a secret agreement outcome would surrender Allied forces its frontiers. The when unconditionally reached consequence German in Hungary March 1944 and the setting up occupation of was a one of whose first acts, was to begin the deportation of a new government, half Jews had been to the death-camps then of a million who until not harmed. In October 1944 Romania to the Soviet Union surrendered and Soviet forces entered Eastern Hungary. Horthy concluded an armistice with by Germans the Russians and after its announcement, the was seized and forced to abdicate. The Hungarian Nazi Party (the Arrow Cross Party) under Sz채lasi Ferenc Hungary the leadership now took over the government. of battlefield German Hungarian forces into turned a as and carried out was a slow and prolonged army.


into Austria

in the face of the advancing


On 23 December 1944 a provisional government was set up in Debrecen Soviet broadly left-wing It in auspices. was composition and announced under included land a reform and a certain a programme of social change, which Two its of nationalisation. of ministers were members of the measure Communist had from Hungary to outlawed party, who returned previously Moscow along with other communist emigres in the wake of the Soviet army. In April 1945 this provisional government moved to Budapest and set about the task of dealing with the widespread devastation and economic chaos by heavy fighting February during final In the the the caused months of war. 1947 Hungary signed a peace treaty with the Allies by which it abandoned


all its war-time territorial gains and reverted the Treaty of Trianon of 1920.

to the frontiers

laid down by

Hungary Although Hungary

Second War World the after fact the new government that real power in the was a coalition, during the immediate post-war years lay in the hands of the Soviet Communists the military administration clearly gave a considerable advantage.

The first elections held in November 1945 were genuinely free. However, itwas not long before the well-known `salami tactics' of pressure and blackmail indulged in by the communists with the support of the Russians enabled them to gain important posts, such as the Ministry of the Interior with its control of the police. In June 1948 the Social Democrats were forced to Communists form the to merge with a single so called Workers' Party and in the elections of May 1949 the Communist take-over was consolidated when the electorate was presented with a single list of candidates. Although the Prime Minister was still a member of a non-Communist party, the Smallholders, real power was nowvested in the new leader of the Communist Soviet Räkosi, Mätyas a party, protege who was one of the Communists handed over to the Soviet Union in 1940. In the aftermath of Tito's break followed, Stalin, there now with as elsewhere in Eastern Europe, a struggle between the national communists who had spent the war years in Hungary Muscovites had Soviet In the the so-called and who returned with army. October 1949 the Hungarian national Communist Läszlö Rajk, was executed he in having been foreign trial which was accused of after a a agent since before the Second World War who had conspired with Tito to overthrow Communist the Hungarian regime. Räkosi's government Meanwhile, had begun the transformation of the People's Republic of Hungary into a Communist state modelled on the Soviet Union. In an attack on the churches which still controlled many of Hungary's schools, the Roman Catholic church refused to agree to the demands As the on control over education. government's a result, in December 1948 its head, Cardinal Mindszenty, was put on trial and life imprisonment. In December 1949 an ambitious Five Year to condemned Plan was introduced, the aim of which was to transform Hungary into an lack industrial face despite its In the of resources. country, of stubborn from the peasants, agriculture resistance was collectivised. However, in June 1953 the death of Stalin led to the loss of influence in Moscow by Räkosi who was replaced by Imre Nagy. Like Bela Kun, Nagy had been taken prisoner by the Russians during the First World War and


had returned to Hungary with the Soviet army. A patriotic Hungarian at heart, he embarked on a'New Course', the aim ofwhich was to allow Hungary lines develop to along more suited to its resources and traditions. His efforts in his dismissal to introduce a different kind of communism resulted and fall from Communist 1955 in the the the party spring of after expulsion Soviet Union. Once but in Räkosi Malenkov the control, again resumed of Stalin, decided he Khrushchev in July 1956, after his denunciation that of had to be dismissed. Räkosi's replacement was another Stalinist, Ernö Gerö, he had intention following it the that the outset no clear at of who made `New Course' of Nagy. But Hungary was following with interest events in Poland European East countries, especially and the assumption of other had been Gomulka by a national communist. also who power On 6 October 1956, the anniversary of the execution of the thirteen Arad Laszlo This Gerö Rajk. in 1849, to ceremony a reburial of agreed martyrs October, 23 day has by followed a since a student protest on which was become another of Hungary's national holidays. The students demanded demands freedom for Hungary, the recalling made political and national by Petöfi in 1848, as well as laying a wreath on the statue of General Bem. Gerö's attempt to quell a further demonstration two days later by allowing members of the secret police to shoot at an unarmed crowd only served had begun. Hungarian A the revolt now second to make situation worse. have been Unfortunately, the timing of this revolt could not more ill-chosen, by Britain, France it the and unsuccessful attempt made as coincided with Israel to overturn the Nasser regime in Egypt after the nationalisation of forces from its initial As Canal. Suez the withdrawal of a result, after the Budapest the Soviet Union had no hesitation in launching a massive counterimpassioned Despite November. beginning to appeal an the of attack at Gerö, Hungary had Nagy, Imre by Nations United that replaced who the forthcoming. Western be aid was recognised as a neutral country, no should At the same time as the Soviet attack began, Janos Kädär, a national Rajk Laszlo been imprisoned had Communist and along with who By formation of a new government. subsequently released, announced the been had 1956 the end of restored and almost a quarter of a million order Hungarians had fled to the West. On 22 November Imre Nagy, who had been promised a safe conduct to Yugoslavia, was kidnapped by the Russians He Budapest. in Embassy Yugoslav left he tried and the subsequently was as 1958. in June in Romania executed its but in time his government At first Kädär was unpopular, own made in became, Soviet Union Hungary the the words of and with compromise

However labour-camp'. Budapest `the in joke, barracks the the a merriest forced in May did Kddär to resign economy was not prosper and ultimately 1988. Nevertheless over the years, his regime had become increasingly liberal 15 1989 151st March Hungarians to the the celebrate and on were able On 16 demonstration 1848. June 1989 PetÜfi Imre the anniversary of of Nagy was rehabilitated August 1989 In the Hungarian and reburied. decided to open its frontiers with Austria, thus allowing East government Germans who wished to escape to West Germany to reach that country difficulty. It decision lead this to to the without was which was ultimately Europe. Eastern end of the Soviet domination of Conclusion Since the collapse of communism, Hungary has sought to create a new order, both internally and externally. One of the results of the end of Soviet domination in Eastern Europe has been a resurgence of old national have Inevitably, deep historical has Hungary had animosities which roots. itself with the problems Hungarian in the to concern of minorities Slovakia Romania, Geza Serbia. neighbouring countries, especially and Jeszenszky, who has recently been replaced as Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, has admitted that these problems occupied much of his time when he was in office. It remains his hope that the entry of the East European European into Union bring the them to an end. states may I should like to be able to share this optimistic view of the future course but I 1000 During to the past must confess of events, a certain scepticism. has Hungarian been force in the affairs of nationalism years an enduring described by late `sick Professor Seton-Watson Hugh the the a region as heart of Europe'. In the light of the evidence presented to you in my talk today, I think you will agree that a nation of individualists like the Hungarians identity. their abandon will not easily sense of national

wo :





Two attempts in have ended in first in peoples, In recent years,

this century to build a Yugoslavia -a state of the South Slavs bloodshed and national conflict among the South Slav the Second World War, and now in Croatia and Bosnia. the Yugoslav federation has frequently been dismissed as intellectuals and statesmen, and an aberration, in artificial, a construct of fact South Slavs have in for that the the coexisted more spite of one state than half of this century; while the logic of the nation-state, the single has been acclaimed as the natural solution political expression of each nation, to South Slav political aspirations. I would suggest that this approach is not history in helpful (after is the this understanding of region all, what very `natural' about the idea of a nation-state in the ethnic complexity of the Balkans? ). Instead, it is more useful to ask what interests have been served by one solution or another, and what forces have strengthened or weakened their appeal. both the persistent attempts to build a Yugoslav In order to understand failure, it is look its Yugoslav to the necessary not only at repeated state, and idea (or ideas, for Yugoslavism could have a range of meanings), but also historical ideas Yugoslav the the experiences and national of separate at Croats, have had decisive Serbs the the the and who roles peoples, above all in shaping and breaking the forms that Yugoslavia has taken. The Yugoslav idea has often extended to all the South Slav peoples, including the Bulgarians, and (more often) the Slovenes, and sometimes even the nonSlav peoples of the region, but its essence has always had to do with the Croats, Serbs between the nuclei around which potential the and relations Yugoslavias would coalesce. and actual 1918, the Yugoslav idea was most closely associated with the Croats, by (by Venice, foreign domination found the themselves threatened who Ottomans, the Habsburgs, the Hungarians) and divided among themselves by dialect and regional feeling). In spite of a strong state (administratively, by Habsburg based independence their tradition, on medieval and nurtured division to their vulnerability they sought a solution and constitutionalism by looking towards a wider Slavic context. This would give them mighty Slavic Croat differences in a common allies, and would submerge costly identity. Such arguments had shaped Croatian national concepts from the for Croats Slavic had looked kindred to powers sixteenth century, when Until


aid against the Turks. These ideas also played a significant role in the Croat National Revival, which was stimulated by the fear nineteenth-century Croat Magyarisation, but did initially of reaction. The stress a which not Croats were too weak and too divided to rely solely on their own powers against their Magyar rivals. Instead, they turned again to the South Slavs. The national awakeners of the 1830s and 40s, influenced by Romantic ideas about the importance of language in defining nation, hoped that a common `Illyrian' language for the Croats and Serbs, and then for the Slovenes and Bulgars, would promote a common South Slav consciousness which could the increasing threat of Magyar assimilation aid the Croats in withstanding Though they put their trust in South Slav and Habsburg centralisation. did Illyrianists deny historic identity the the solidarity, state or cultural not of the individual nations which were to make up the Illyrian people. This is illustrated in the choice of the Illyrian name, which was to serve as a kind of national surname. As Ljudevit Gaj, their main ideologue, wrote in 1839: `The Serb will never be a Croat or a Slovene, and these two are not, and be Serbs; is not to abolish the individual never can our intention names, but only to unite them under a collective name. ' Illyrism looked to the other South Slavs, but for recognisably Croat purposes, bound defend inextricably Croat it in in to the since was efforts rights up Habsburg It also did much to strengthen Croat unity by Monarchy. differences in Illyrian their submerging an whole, so that they could see themselves as Illyrian Croats, rather than as Dalmatians, Slavonians, Istrians, Among South Slavs, the and so on. other who were not threatened in the by Magyars ideawas Habsburgs, Illyrian the the same way and not so popular, hardening (especially among rather provoking a of separate nationalisms the Serbs and Slovenes). Its failure also engendered an exclusive Croatian by Ante Startevic, that rejected the nationalism, elaborated especially framework South Slav linguistic the emphasis on of and ethnic unity as denationalising the Croats, reverting instead to a defence of Croatian historic from Illyrism But ideas territorial the revived political and rights. of were the 1860s in Croatia as `Yugoslavism' - shaped by Croatia's continued Monarchy. in Dual The the to assimilation resistance and centralisation integration focused form Yugoslavism the this cultural on of proponents of independence basis for South Slavs, intended, form the to the of eventually, future But and a political union. a necessary part of this process was the Croatia, in the that order to make it was strengthening of political entity Habsburg Yugoslav. federation, in future or whether an equal member any Their particular dilemmas inclined many Croats to Yugoslav solutions. But in have for Yugoslavia their recipes produced melting pots, which would not


be pureed into the one soup; but rather all national components would bowls, in ingredients identity. And for the which salad retained a separate the Croats, the bowl was usually the Habsburg Monarchy. In the nineteenth have these solutions would usually century resulted in a new trialist system, in which the united Habsburg South Slavs would participate equally along ' Austrians Hungarians. and with the The exception was the variant of Yugoslavism which arose in Croatia in the before First World War, which preached the doctrine of narodna the period jedinstvo (national oneness), claiming that the Serbs and Croats (and often Slovenes and even occasionally Bulgars) were one and the same nation under several names. Such Yugoslavs did want to go into the melting pot The Habsburg to and come out as something new. proponents of national looked oneness more and more towards independent and democratic Serbia (especially after the Balkan wars), arguing that a new state based on a new hybrid Yugoslav nation should rise on the ruins of the Habsburg Monarchy Ottoman Empire on the basis of the natural right of nations to selfand determination. But what the character of this state would be was unclear: in the course of the First World War would show that Serbs negotiations Croats have different ideas about what a Yugoslav state should and could very look like. Illyrian and Yugoslav calls for South Slav unity, and the prospect of a new, Yugoslav, state usually elicited little positive response from the Serbs, who faced in the with the same problems were not as the Croats. Though they too were divided among alien empires, nineteenth century they were by idea, and furthermore 1815 already united a strong national they since had been able to look towards a gradually Serbian state. Indeed, expanding in Serbia, often viewed the Illyrian idea and its later the Serbs, especially denationalise Serbs, Catholicise to the them. variants as an attempt or even The Serbian identity was too well-established, and the struggle to maintain independence Serbian for idea too the all-encompassing, of and extend be Accordingly, Yugoslav to nineteenth and very attractive. alternative a ideologies Serbs the national among were primarily early twentieth-century for the other South Slavs, who But they did have implications Serbocentric. into Serbian (This to the assimilation nation. open were considered by South the of apparent willingness other was strengthened perception in favour of a broader Yugoslavism. Slavs to give up their separate identities

1 On Croat national ideologies, see Mirjana Gross, `Croatian national-integrational ideIllyrism Yugoslavia', Austrian from History Yearbook to the the end creation of of ologies 15-16 (1979-80), pp. 3-33.


If they could become Yugoslavs, or so this line of reasoning went, how much Serbs. ) This become for be it to them assimilationist approach easier should `Yugoslavism', be diversity to ethnic called any more than pancannot really it did be But firmly Croatian nationalism identified to can. come with the first Yugoslavia, both Yugoslav idea after the founding the of among the non-Serbs who were on the receiving end of this sort of assimilation, and Serbs Yugoslav idea themselves, the the among as a means of who saw Serbian state interests by uniting all the scattered members of achieving the Serbian nation in one state entity. Assimilation Serbian South Slavs into the the of other nation was made by in Serb. it be Initially the understanding to possible a shift meant of what a Serbianness had been strongly identified Orthodoxy. But in the with by nineteenth century this religious definition applying was modified Romantic ideas of language and nation to the complicated linguistic patterns of the Balkans. While the Illyrians thought that a common language could South Slav Serbian ideologists create national solidarity, national claimed This linguistic that common language was proof of common nationhood. definition Serbian identity, nationhood of meant a secularisation of now but on the use of a Slavic dialect which was predicated not on Orthodoxy shared by Croats, Bosnian Muslims and Serbs. (The differences among Catholic Croats, Bosnian Muslims and Orthodox Serbs were seen as an `accident of history' and therefore reversible, regardless of the subjective feelings of those concerned. ) Gradually Serbian nationalism came to espouse basic Serbs (usually defined the certain goals: the unification of all linguistically, and thus including most of the Croats and also in theory the Bosnian Muslims); the eventual destruction of the Ottoman and Habsburg Serbian South Slavs the the the unification empires; and of crown under in a revived Serbian empire. The gradual expansion of the Serbian state from 1815 through the Balkan wars was guided by these principles, which Serbia Piedmont Balkans. What in the the this as cast of meant practice for the newly acquired territories was not just incorporation into the Serbian but more concretely, the extension over these provinces of the nation-state, Serbian dynasty, of the Serbian bureaucracy, and the political and economic hegemony of the centre. Thus the two main communities that entered into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes after the First World War were not just divided by historical experience, by religion, by alphabet, by cultural tradition and by held different but ideas two they also and crucially, very social structure; Slav (South Yugoslavia equality and reciprocity among the meant of what


Croats, or an expanded 2 political mentalities.



had different they and very

The Serbs had become

used to regarding centralism and assimilation as Croats state expansion; to these tested the consolidating while a way of had they everything struggled against under the patterns represented Habsburgs. The conflicts caused by these differing ideologies and experiences in First become World during War the the course of the manifest would between future different the state the representatives over of negotiations Serbian While Nikola Pagic base the statesman to constituencies. wished keep intact Serbian institutions that system would centralised a on a new state (dynasty, army, administrative system), justifying this by Serbia's wartime Committee (representing Yugoslav South Slavs, Habsburg the the sacrifices, Croats) by dominated based to committed was an entirely and new entity, and equality of the Yugoslav peoples, and on national self-determination internal decision organisation through mutual agreement on reaching a (and not right of conquest). In the event the Yugoslav state was created by the force of circumstance, with a National Council of representatives Slavs South Serbia Habsburg proclaiming the unification and with of (and begging for military aid both against Italian advances Montenegro There little jacqueries) was to the attempt shape negotiate over and peasant . in As before this that created way. the treaties the was a result, well state of Trianon, Yugoslav by St Germain Yugoslavs, the a and was state, created of in existence. Who really wanted this particular state, though, is another question. No into knew incorporated the masses of the new people what newly one really Austria-Hungary if had been have from they the of ruins would chosen state Croatian for but popular the the support subsequent nationalism asked, Party Peasant doctrine for Croatian suggests that the of enthusiasm of the limited had been intellectual `national to the that was oneness' elite Committee. Yugoslav Other including the on constituencies, represented Macedonians, Kosovo incorporated Albanians the and the of previously into Serbia, had little voice. In Serbia there had initially been resistance Yugoslavia it (and implied the new and synthesis this was one to the term for Croats `Kingdom Serbs, the the of choice name the and of of reasons Slovenes' in 1919). Serbia had fought as an independent state on the side had further justified in leading the postand the role a of victorious allies, losses. Why Serbs be by its war should put on an equal enormous war state footing with the defeated former Habsburg subjects? But in contrast to the 2 For the Serbs Croats, National The Banac, ideologies No the the and of see national Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics (Ithaca, NY 1984). He argues that it was the doomed first failure. Yugoslavia between that the to visions these opposing clash


Serbs the members of quickly accepted the other nations most ordinary Serbs in had the new entity, which one state, achieved goal of unifying all favoured Serbian and which was organised on a centralised model which dominance. Even the forcible imposition of official `Yugoslavism' in 1929 by Serbs be King Alexander's dictatorship the under accepted could of Serbia, at least: after all, Serbia had already become accustomed to the `one implied by Alexander's circumstances nation, one state, new slogan of king' dynasty. in King Serbian But the the one any case, was scion of a - and Alexander's unitary Yugoslavia was barely distinguishable from a Great Serbia. Such a Yugoslavia could never be accepted by the other nations, though Slovenes) (particularly Muslims Bosnian the and participated some among in power in return for concessions and privileges. The Croats were hostile, believing themselves to have escaped the centralism of Vienna and Budapest fall Macedonians Albanians Belgrade; the to and control of were only under Even Serbs democratic Serbs in the the parties and even more resistant. Alexander's Yugoslavia joined Serbia to this the system. resistance outside interlargely by hostile force by in held the environment of and place was There little Europe. was certainly sign of the separate peoples merging war together in a single Yugoslav nation. The failure of unitary Yugoslavism 1939, been least in have to with the creation conceded, at partly, seemed Although Croatian Yugoslavia. this of an autonomous administration with Greater Croatia within Yugoslavia failed to satisfy the Croats, infuriated the Serbs and aggrieved all the other non-Serbs, this could have been the first German But Yugoslav federation. the towards attack on a restructured step Yugoslavia in 1941, its capitulation, and partition put an end occupation to any hope of negotiating any such arrangement. The divide-and-rule policies of the occupying powers encouraged national by during But the war years. these conflicts were shaped a reaction conflict dissatisfaction Yugoslavism. Thus, for with the example, against unitary Yugoslavia inter-war initial conditioned popular responses to the realities of Macedonia The Bulgarian the of was at country. partition of occupation into first cheered by those who had never been reconciled to incorporation Yugoslavia as `South Serbia', though this sense of liberation was soon dispelled by the experience of Bulgarian rule. Similarly, with the long history of Croat dissatisfaction with a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia in mind, it is possible to Croatia `independent' Croats see why many greeted the establishment of an Croats in (in fact a German-Italian the which as a state condominium) finally had control over their own destiny. Here too, however, many were by disgusted Ustaa lack disheartened by the of any real autonomy, and soon Serbs Yugoslavia, Throughout Serbs. the partitioned atrocities against the


forced bloody for to their pre-war predominance, their pay a price were by tolerated, the policies of the when not actually encouraged, persecution occupying powers. It was these Serbs who rose in self-defence, providing the nucleus for both Partisans ofJosip the Chetniks of Drala Mihailovic and the communist-led Broz Tito. The Chetniks, the army of the Yugoslav government in exile, kingdom dominated Yugoslav by Greater to restore a centralised aimed a Serbia, which would include all the territories inhabited by Serbs (including Bosnia and Hercegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Srem, Backa and Banat). Some Chetnik ideologues even proposed that members of all other nations be `cleansed' from these lands. 3 Once again, this Yugoslavia, though it satisfied Serbian aspirations to unite in the one state, was unlikely to appeal to any but Serbs. It would not have been surprising if, after the experience of Serbdominated unitary Yugoslavism in the inter-war period, and in view of this Yugoslav of such a programme, most recent recension any version of Yugoslavism should have been completely discredited among the rest of the South Slavs. The partisans, however, aimed to resurrect Yugoslavia as a socialist federation liberation Yugoslavia the that of stressing nations, was at the same of equal in Yugoslavia, liberation the the time of each of separate nations of and Macedonians Montenegrins the and as separate recognising addition ideology `brotherhood This the of was and unity', rather than peoples. `national oneness', implying the creation of a very different sort ofYugoslavia, federally, based on national equality, organised and reflecting a new one Partisans The federal Yugoslav the programme won of socio-political order. the support of most non-Serbs, while their active military engagement Axis. These first fighting Serbs the the priority as who saw attracted those in Partisans the to that the the prevail were able main reasons were two of had idea from Yugoslavia the of what war and civil war, while resurrecting Yugoslav bankruptcy the the regime. wreck of previous after seemed complete brutal `brotherhood and unity', along with sometimes slogan of it `reactionary' possible nationalism, made suppression of manifestations of for Tito's victorious regime to reunite the Yugoslav peoples in one state, in spite of the bloody ethnic conflicts of the war years -a considerable 4 Second Yugoslavia But the the creation of a second after achievement.


3 For a discussion of Chetnik national ideology, see Jozo Tomasevich, The Chetniks: War 1975). in Yugoslavia (Stanford, California Revolution and 4 See Paul Shoup, Communism and the Yugoslav National Question (New York 1968) for an introduction to the regime's approach to the national question.

World War on the Soviet model of a socialist federation did not solve the national question. Although the semblance of a federation was created, with in (except, initially, for theory each republic state a national representing Bosnia-Hercegovina), held by the the party at centre, all real power was leadership. The democratic processes that might have permitted national (and other) conflicts to be aired and resolved were missing. And the new Yugoslavia failed to live up to its promises of either national or social equality for all, ensuring that conflict over the shape of the state would re-emerge. And it did, quite quickly. National tensions did not suddenly emerge from historical deep-freeze in the 1980s with the death of Tito and the challenge a to socialism in Eastern Europe and Yugoslavia. National sentiments had not been repressed; rather national identities and national rights had been built into the foundations of the state. In consequence there was a tendency to in express conflict national terms; and in a form which betrayed the same conflicting political understandings and expectations, and recycled the same fears that had bedevilled the first Yugoslavia. And the reasons grievances and basically Yugoslavia faced the the the problem of same: new were still desires Serbs Serb for the that a state with the reconciling would unite all interests and aspirations of the non-Serb nations, who were suspicious of Serbian predominance. The post-war history of Yugoslavia was a long process of finding a formula 5 Over these time a system that would satisfy mutually contradictory needs. of nations and a requirement of parity representation of consensual politics interests the the with aim of was constructed, protecting of the smaller dominance Serbian (as the nations and preventing resurgence of political `weak Serbia The formula the numerically strongest nation). = strong but holds an element of Yugoslavia' is a caricature of these arrangements, (the truth. Any return to unitaryYugoslavism smaller nations was abandoned inevitably saw it as masking Serbian hegemony) and the multinational, federal in the late 1960s: separate national character of Yugoslavia was reaffirmed (the Bosnian Muslims rights were strengthened were recognised, the rights Macedonians, Montenegrins Albanians the of and were elaborated), and devolved balance But the to the time, more power was at same a republics. nationalism was sought. It was thought necessary to restrain republican Croatian (as in it federal the threatened the when structure and party control Spring of 1970-71). The balancing act was to have been consolidated by 1974, the confederal constitution of which affirmed the national equality But but besides the the of republics, party control. also reinforced result, decision-making, feelings in that general paralysis was all national were 5 For this period see S. Ramet, (Bloomington Indiana 1992).



and Federalism

in Yugoslavia,


The basic building the communist enshrinement the aggrieved. of nation as had a whole series of disruptive consequences, block of the federation 6 in instability. First a context of growing especially economic of all, each federal independent the acted units more and of more as an nation-state, defending its interests (defined `national'), own primarily as competing Political the other republics. conflict and economic debate were against in And it demonstrate terms. to that national was always possible expressed the nations were unequal within the federation (because of differences in development, for At the same time, suspicions towards example). economic (because heritage interthe the nations were easily mobilised other of of war and wartime conflicts, which were all the more powerful for having been treated as taboo topics for so long). It became less and less apparent just held federation it Soviet the that together, particularly the was what once threat receded. Under the circumstances, each nation within Yugoslavia was able to portray itself as uniquely exploited and disadvantaged, but it was among the Serbs that this resentmentwas most effectively and publicly mobilised. The growth in Kosovo in Serbian Albanian national sentiment particular stimulated a of backlash against the form the Yugoslav federation had taken. The Serbs had been discriminated in Titoist they that systematically against charged Yugoslavia. They could not accept the status of a minority within Kosovo (in the cradle of medieval Serbia and within the boundaries of `their' own feared for in Croatia Bosniathe their status of minorities and republic), Hercegovina, and could not, finally, accept that in a Yugoslav state in which Serbs were numerically predominant and, it was claimed, for which they had made the greatest sacrifices, they could not play the leading role. From Slobodan Milosevic used these sentiments to arouse mass the mid-1980s in Serbia, Serbia, to autonomy within abolish provincial popular nationalism (all federation in the name of putting the the to party subvert and and Yugoslavism on a new, fairer, footing). 7 One reaction to thiswas predictable: beliefs of the non-Serbs that Yugoslavia was it confirmed the long-standing but for Serbian be best it hegemony, it to a screen and go would nothing leading (eventually declarations independence to the of of the various alone But Serbs, the more novel was who reaction among many successor states). best Yugoslavia longer in the to the conclusion that was no also came slowly interests of the Serbs. Yugoslavia had failed to unite all the Serbs and advance idea; had interests, the the they traditionally their main reason supported 6 This context is treated in detail as the background to Yugoslav political disintegration in Susan Woodward, Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution after the Cold War (Washington 1995). 7 Branka Magag traces this process in The Destruction Break-Up, Tracking Yugoslavia: the of 1993). 1980-1992 (London


perhaps it was now time to think instead about a Greater Serbia. These led inexorably to war, because the achievement of such a Serbia attitudes depended on the redrawing of republican boundaries, a goal which would be pursued through armed confrontation rather than negotiation. In the course of wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina the Yugoslav idea have to seems perished, at least for the time being, a victim of its inability to reconcile common interestswith the conflicting aspirations of its members. It has left behind a series of tragedies, both personal and political, above all as a consequence of the violence with which it has perished. One of the greatest of the political tragedies, perhaps, is that the rejection of the Yugoslav idea and the passionate independence that has of national pursuit have None the the characterised wars not solved national problem. of the successor states, with the possible exception of Slovenia, can claim to be homogenous. The ethnic mixture that is Bosnia-Hercegovina (a nationally Yugoslavia in miniature) shows most vividly the need for the Yugoslav peoples to find some way of living together; but even the so-called nation-states that have succeeded Yugoslavia contain substantial minorities (about thirty Serbia Montenegro, for the percent of population of and example, are nonSerbs). And of course, the dissolution of Yugoslavia has left bereft those believed for be Yugoslavs. themselves, to who whatever reason, To go back to the problem I posed at the beginning of this paper: Yugoslavia was not an artificial creation, imposed from without. Rather it arose out of a specific Balkan context. Yugoslavism has a long history among the South Slavs, taking a variety of different forms, depending on the interests fears its This become flexibility and of promoters. could a source of very because different Yugoslav the the conflict, of very peoples expectations which brought to their union. And the individual Yugoslav the of nationalisms have held be themselves to than any peoples proven much more strongly of the ideologues of Yugoslavism (in its various guises) believed or hoped. The Yugoslav idea has been most successful and strongest as a defensive mechanism; when outside forces have pushed the Yugoslav peoples into But it has been the failure of this union to satisfy or each others' arms. led destruction differing has to the twice reconcile national aspirations which faces Yugoslavia. Yet the taking the shape of nation-state alternative now by The dominated a single constitutive nation, same problem. successor states because of the realities of Balkan ethnic diversity, contain the same destructive in form the potential of substantial minorities with their own aspirations homogeneous is logic to truly the create unless cleansing used of ethnic for being have idea but The Yugoslav the time nation-states. perished may is still very much alive, suggesting that further the Yugoslav problem `Yugoslavisms' may yet arise.










In geographic terms Macedonia covers the valley of the Vardar and the Morava. To it is bounded by Shar the the the of river reaches north upper hills Skopje, by to the the to the the ridges and north of mountains and east Rhodope The border follows Aegean Rila the the and mountains. southern of Salonika Olympus to the then the and south west of and coast range and the Pindus mountains, whilst in the west the boundary is formed by lakes Ohrid and Prespa and the Vardar watershed. The geographic boundary * divisions. is by no means coterminous with present-day political is found Albanians, The ethnic composition The the of area complicated. by but in Macedonia, the solely no means more western confines of mostly descendants Illyrians; Greeks, have long the the too, ancient of roots are in the area and claim descent from the ancient Achaeans. The Vlachs, or Kutzo-Vlachs, speak a latin language and in the pastwere mostly transhumant is fanciful, but improbable, the their more origin obscure, one of shepherds; legions descendants Pompey's that they are of suggesting explanations defeated in the battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. The Slavs, who form the largest in the the sixth and seventh centuries, moving population, arrived portion of into the Balkan peninsula from the north-east. In the fourteenth century bringing large Turkish Ottoman influx the the a of armies overran area late Turks, however, the arrivals, the so-called were such settlers; not all Vardar Turks having arrived as far back as the tenth century. In the last Jewish decade of the fifteenth settlers numbers of century significant had Spain, Sicily Portugal They been from and and expelled appeared. Spanish-based Second World War Until Ladino, language. the the a spoke Jews formed the largest proportion of the population of Salonika. In addition there were, and are, also smaller groups to these main ethnic communities Egipcani Gypsies, Ohrid in the the the some of whom areaso-called such as descended from Romany in 1990s be the the to early main not claimed tribes but from Egyptian clans.


for Greek However, the sake the on subject sensitivities of nomenclature. am aware of Yugoslav l Former `Macedonia' `The term the to will use mean of convenience and concision When Macedonia'. Greek `Aegean Macedonia Republic term that mentioning or of Macedonia' will be used; generally that part of Macedonia which is now in Bulgaria will be termed `Pirin Macedonia. ' I apologise for any offence caused to my Greek, Bulgarian Macedonian readers. or


As elsewhere in Eastern Europe, and especially the Balkans, religion is as be important It identifier would easy and a cultural as ethnic origin. convenient to assume that ethnic and religious divisions are coterminous. Christians, It is the case that most Greeks, Vlachs and Slavs are Orthodox that the majority of Jews remained faithful to Judaism, and the Albanians, Turks and Gypsies are predominantly Muslim. But the exceptions are as interesting and important as the rules. There are Christian as well as Muslim Gypsies and Albanians; the Orthodox Christians have been bitterly divided Slavs Muslim Greeks, there one group against another; and are some and American the so-called pomaks, especially in Pirin Macedonia. and other Protestant missionaries had been active in the Balkans in the nineteenth century and a number of families had converted to them; one such later Georgi Dimitrov, Bulgarian leader the communist and one-time produced Comintern. There Uniates. were also a small number of secretary general of Orthodox These communities the retained rite, allowed the lower ranks but in to their the marry and conducted services priesthood of vernacular, they recognised the Pope as the head of the Church and accepted the filioque the clause. In Transylvania and western Ukraine western use of from dated the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and usually uniatism had its origin in a desire to secure the protection of a major Catholic power Habsburg Ottoman Russian domination. France the or empire against or In the Balkans uniatism arrived later. Some villages became uniate in the 1860s when the Russians were opposing Bulgarian efforts to establish their Orthodox branch the of own church; more turned to uniatism after the defeat of Bulgaria in the second Balkan war in 1913, though most such disappeared in Gagauze few There decades. communities succeeding were Christian Turks in Macedonia, but in Salonika there were, at the turn or This 20,000 Jews. Islamicised Dounme, the an estimated of century, or had its in the seventeenth-century origin sect peculiar self-proclaimed Messiah Sabatai Sevi of Syria; when the Ottoman authorities `suggested' by miraculously he prove his authenticity from himself the arrows saving imperial he demurred impalement being the or archers of offered and, Islam, followers devoted latter. His to the understandably conversion chose did likewise. The different

ethnic and religious groups lived in separate villages or in Ottoman (quarters) in The empire was not separate mahale urban areas. favour it discriminated in Muslims if and gave of culturally aggressive and Islamic law primacy over all others it seldom attempted mass conversions. More importantly, it left other recognised religious groups, or millets, to The their administer own affairs. millets could regulate not only religious issues, but also education, family law, property rights and disputes between families. A millet's governing authority would be responsible to the Sublime


Porte for the payment of taxes, the provision of conscripts if and when for law In Ottoman the the and preservation of and order. effect, required, jurisdiction in than the same territorial more one area. system allowed This arrangement worked reasonably well until the late nineteenth century being by than rather religious affiliation was stressed a number when ethnic disputes Macedonia. Greeks, The to the growing over of parties Ottoman the system and made religious allegiance understandably, adapted identity; by Orthodox Christians this method all with ethnic coterminous Greek. Equally favoured be Bulgarians the understandably, accounted could language as the true litmus test for national identity, because the Slav dialects Bulgarian. had Macedonia In dialects in these to parts were near spoken Serbian Bulgarian, Serbian in as and some common with as much language factor, but therefore a accepted as vital at the same propagandists dialects in Macedonian `Bulgar' insisted the that time word meant no more than `one who earns his living by agricultural labour'. This line of argument language be the to that used as absurd conclusion could came eventually long as anyone describing themselves as a `Bulgar' was not taken to be Bulgarian. A further difficulty was that many families and villages were belonged, Therefore, if to they they might group asked which multi-lingual. hear; believed interviewer to the to they their wanted tailor answer what in in later years when a number of different guerrilla units operated headmen Macedonia tactic this was a frequently adopted with village declaring their flock to be Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish, Serb or Albanian in dominant insurgents the that at point was according to which group of local mountains. All this meant that ethnic statistics of the area are virtually useless. In the first decade of this century one observer drew up a table of how various in Macedonia: had the main ethnic groups enumerated authors


Turks & Albanians

634,017 Delyani (Greek) 777,000 Sullagos (Greek) 393,612 Brankov (Bulg) (Bulg) 1,100,000 Zolotovich 397,000 Gopcevic (Serb) 800,000 Veselinovic (Serb)



652,795 659,000 147,097 270,000 201,140

332,162 371,000 501,110 1,100,000



1 Source: Chedo Mijatovitch, `The Balkan Problems: The Macedonian The Fortnightly Review, September Solution', its 1907. for tions


Serbs 150,000 2,048,320 1,800,0001 Question;


The nearest we can approach to accurate statistics are those provided by in 1904, although these figures cover the official Ottoman administration much of what is now Albania and Serbia. For the groups listed above the Ottoman figures are: Muslims Exarchists Patriarchists Serbs


1,508,507 896,497 307,000 100,7172

The complexities did not become apparent until the birth of the `Macedonian Question' in its modern guise in the 1870s. This came about because of breakdown a of relations within one milletand not through a conflict between Christian a community and the Ottoman authorities. The disturbers of the peace were the Bulgarians. The Ottoman conquest of the Balkans had meant the disappearance of a Bulgarian separate church, though a residual authority survived until the 1760s in Ohrid. The suppression of the Patriarchate of Ohrid was the most instance notable of a general eighteenth century process: the hellenisation Orthodox the of church in the Balkans. By the end of the century most bishops, and even some village priests in Bulgarian and Serbian as well as Greek communities, were Greeks. The bishops were also increasingly corrupt. Most of them had to be. Ecclesiastical office, including the very highest, was purchased, and what one official paid for his post he recouped from those below him until the burden percolated down to the lowest level: the village or town-community whose individuals paid tithes and other church dues. From the 1780s the Ottoman empire also suffered recurrent instability life which made even more insecure, and frequently more expensive, for In many areas problems arose less from the general mass of its population. the heavy hand of Constantinople than from its absence; in Serbia the collapse of central power led to the revolt of 1804 which in turn led to the Serbia. In the 1820s the Greek eventual emergence of an autonomous kingdom was also born, but here the influence of western ideas was much more powerful. By the late 1820s political stability had been more or less restored. Many Bulgarians began to voice their dissatisfaction with the corruption of their bishops, and it was a relatively small step from this to complaining that these bishops were Greeks rather than Bulgarians. The demand for the bishops Greek led by Bulgarian than the 1850s for appointment rather of 2 Source: Fikret Adanir, Die makedonische Frage: Ihre Entstehung und Entwicklung Vol. 20, Wiesbaden 1979, p. 10. Frankfurter Historische Abhandlungen,


bis 1908,

for a separate Bulgarian Orthodox the demand the community within Church. This the Greek Patriarchate in Constantinople did So too resisted. from the 1770s, to protect Russia. St. Petersburg's treaty rights, acquired Christians interpreted the Orthodox were as meaning protection of those Christians Patriarch; to the allegiance who owed were a separate Bulgarian leverage Russia's in to the Ottoman emerge church empire and the Balkans diminished. be might

however, Russian diplomacy was defeated and in After long negotiations, 1870 a separate Bulgarian church was created. Its head, the Exarch, was to sit in Constantinople, and though the Patriarch remained supreme in doctrine, internal the to the exarchate was regulate all affairs matters of include in it. This to themselves those communities which chose was to of become the critical issue. The Sublime Porte, always happy to allow its in to their spend energies struggles with each other rather subject people than with the Ottoman authorities, did not define the extent of the exarchate but allowed Orthodox communities to vote for which religious community join. furious This to they wished sparked a contest between the patriarchist for (Greek) and the exarchist (Bulgarian) the allegiance of the churches Balkans in in Macedonia. Orthodox the communities and above all The great eastern crisis of 1875-78 saw the creation of a new Bulgarian state. San Stefano This was first defined in March 1878 in the preliminary peace of between Russia and the Ottoman empire who had gone to war in 1877. The new Bulgarian state was huge and was to include all of Macedonia. fearing that the new state would be nothing Britain and Austria-Hungary, insisted huge influence in Balkans, Russian the than outpost of upon a more Berlin boundaries. By treaty the the the terms of of new a total redrawing of (July 1878) Bulgaria was greatly reduced in size and according to article 23 Macedonia was returned to the Sultan's rule with a promise that its be reformed. would administration The events of 1875-8 had three major effects on Macedonia and the first In Bulgarian Macedonian that the assumptions problem. place, in by had been Bulgarian Macedonia an confirmed ethnic right was Secondly, international and more agreement, albeit an ephemeral one. importantly, the contest for the religious allegiance of the Orthodox longer between Macedonia ecclesiastical one of was no communities between it the states which aligned with was potentially one also authorities; had formed Thirdly, Serbs became involved. Macedonia the those authorities. Serbian fourteenth heartland the the great of century, the of the empire had been if in Skopje, it determined the that and was capital of which Greece be fall it Ottoman humpty-dumpty to and should was not going


Serbia began its to the assert cultural alone who picked up pieces. its in Macedonia. presence and claims upon Bulgaria

The Macedonian problem was clearly delineated by 1880. There were five in be the possible ways which solved: problem could 1. the incumbent that its inhabitants

degree to the area such a political authority could reform live in peace, prosperity and political contentment; could

2. the international full take or partial responsibility community could Macedonia and impose a solution; 3.

the area could


it could


the indigenous

be annexed

be partitioned population


by one state;

by the surrounding


impose their own solution. could generate and

Ottoman Up to 1912 the incumbent the empire, and political power was for most of Macedonia thereafter it was the Serbian or the Yugoslav state; Europe, 1914 i. international the concert of the was e. the community until Germany, France, Italy Russia. Britain, Austria-Hungary, and great powers, Between the two world wars the international community was represented by the League of Nations, and from 1944 to 1989 by the two world powerblocks. Of these five possible methods the fifth - an internally generated 1991, influence the the second method whilst reform -was not applied until important. international the the community most of - was, and remains, The first reform by the incumbent power - was imposed at the end of the Second World War, whilst the fourth - partition - was applied in 1912-13. The third - annexation by one state - was applied, with some qualifications, in both World Wars. In the 1880s, however, the Macedonian question remained one of cultural The its to objective was persuade a village community and council contest. to join, or remain in one of the three contending churches: Greek, Bulgarian Serbian. To Society St. Serbs their the the promote of cause or established Sava in 1880, whilst in 1884 the Macedonian Benevolent Society was founded in Sofia to promote the Bulgarian cause in the same way. The Greeks already had substantial presence in the form of the many patriarchist churches in became much more assertive after the the area but Greek propaganda failure to secure the union of Greece and Crete in 1897 with the officially disbanded Greek nationalist society, Ethniki Eteria, playing a shadowy but in Villages Greek the effective role coordination were campaign. of the


inducements join The to the one of competing churches. offered various provision of a priest or teacher would relieve the village of the financial having his burden for to pay of salary. Another means establishing in found fund to a village was or a school or reading room; predominance in likely favour to the educated patriarchist schools were more children likewise Serbian Bulgarian church and with or schools. patriarchist Sometimes villagers were offered free clothes, books or scholarships as an inducement, and on occasions chance played its part: in a village near Resen in western Macedonia the beauty of its cantor's voice attracted many to the local Bulgarian church; the cantor's son achieved much wider fame as the Christoff. Boris opera star hardening in Macedonia By the mid-1890s the struggle was and armed This in because bands, or cheti, were making the was part an appearance. first in in Anatolia Armenians the mid-1890s, massacres of and appalling Ottoman fears itself, had Constantinople in that the then prompted empire in from bands The first to and operated were recruited collapse. was about By the end of the 1890s the advocates of armed action had grown Bulgaria. in number and strength and had, for example, established a powerful position in fraternity Macedonia. The teaching the most school exarchist within famous of the armed groups was that which, after 1906, was to be known Organisation, Revolutionary Internal Macedonian IMRO, the although as Bulgarian Macedonianits name in 1893 when originally the created was The organisation, its Organisation. Revolutionary Adrianople as eventual fifth Macedonian leaned implies, the the towards method of solving name IMRO ideal internally the that saw solution generated solution. of an problem, Balkan federation, Macedonia preferably a socialist within a as an autonomous far from its days, however, in IMRO, early on ends united even was one. or means.

In opposition to the 1893 organisation of the absorption of proponents into Bulgaria set up their own body in 1895. The so-called Macedonia Supreme Committee had close links with the Bulgarian army and, at times, Macedonia bands Its his Bulgarian entered government. prince and the local influence in intention the which of setting up spheres of with the Christians would be `persuaded' to align with the Bulgarian cause. It was Serbian Greek later, lesser before long to though extent, units, and a not in fashion. In the members of parlance similar popular acting were ones known literally `committee-men'. became bands as comitadji, these By the turn of the century the Supreme Committee had managed to infiltrate IMRO's leadership. Band activity was increasing noticeably, often to the distress of exarchist officials who wanted a slower and more peaceful road Public forward in Bulgaria favoured bulgarianisation. opinion a to generally


Macedonia, in his Prince Ferdinand policy and and ministers and senior blind turned officers eyes to thefts of weapons and temporary absences by Macedonian It the activists amongst officer corps. seemed to many that solution three, the annexation of Macedonia by one power, was about to be applied by Bulgaria. first the But the Bulgarians overplayed their hand. They overestimated impose local to the to willingness of solutions, and great powers states allow backing the the comitadji enjoyed amongst the second strength of popular first Macedonian Christian peasantry. Both miscalculations revealed were in 1902 and tragically emphasised in 1903. In the early autumn of 1902 the Supreme Committee engineered a'rising' failure. hopeless Itwas Gorna Djumaya (present-day Blagoevgrad). around a Few local peasants responded to the call to arms and the Turks suppressed the revolt easily. Steps towards the imposition of a solution by method two both intervened Austria-Hungary Russia to order then were also taken. and improve draw the to to to an end scheme cheta activity and up a reform Salonika, (provinces) in Ottoman of the three administration vilayets Monastir (present-day Bitolj), and Usk端b (present-day Skopje); these three Macedonia, to the time provinces were generally accounted at constitute though the Usk端b vilayetextended beyond the western and northern borders of geographic Macedonia. The involvement of the great powers was unwelcome to all three contending in local conditions made a successful Balkan states because any improvement likely. less rising even In 1903 IMRO, heavily influenced by Supreme Committee infiltrators, agreed in however, Before the that took summer. to stage another rising a place, including committed a number of placing a outrages, gang of anarchists in Salonika harbour. No lives were lost but the bomb on a ferryboat because they were the only ones on the were apprehended perpetrators did list by fare take the the not who advantage of refund offered passenger A kinds, of arrests of wave activists of all not merely anarchists, company. devastating Macedonia, IMRO infrastructure the considerable swept over its leadership cadres. When the rising did had built up, and decimating take place, on 2 August, St. Elijah's Day or `Ilinden' in Slavonic, IMRO was ill-equipped Ilinden failed lamentably the and rising as as the one woefully in Gorna Djumaya a year before. The first The failure of the Ilinden rising had profound effects. was that the involvement of the great powers was extended because now all of them,


German the the of pro-Ottoman exception empire, agreed to take part with in the application of the reforms already agreed by Austria-Hungary and Russia, and further agreed to allow international supervision of the Ottoman Macedonia. in The forces by Austria-Hungary reforms agreed and police boundaries within Russia had also included a provision that administrative Macedonia should be redrawn `with a view to a more regular grouping of This was intended to diminish clashes between the different nationalities'. in it but it had bands, this two adverse effects. was successful, also and rival In the first place it encouraged dominant groups in some areas to exercise leave; is to ethnic cleansing new only pressure on minority communities in its name. Secondly, the agreement between the great powers created the impression that the great powers were condoning the creation of virtual for These in influence turn, the states, nation states. surrounding spheres of for future into influence areas soon translated such putative spheres of by been Solution four, had unwittingly encouraged partition, annexation. by intervention the great powers. two, the application of solution failure Ilinden A further important the the of rising was consequence of by Balkan if three, state, were ever to come annexation one that method Balkan likely, indeed had Bulgaria the the only most always seemed about impossible. The After Ilinden that the task. was state capable of completing Balkan the their and great powers guard more on even states were other fact but that the the was significant more even were more watchful, by Adventurism itself. in Bulgaria lost the Macedonian popularity cause failed had from Bulgarian backing the state, comitadji, even with unofficial Bulgaria in future in the that could assert which only way and that meant its interests in the Macedonian question was through its army. Re-equipping its force became a priority for Bulgaria after 1903, but it was an expensive Bulgarian to tax-payers realise.. soon were as process The Young Turk In July 1908 the Macedonian problem was transformed. Army Third discontented began the officers of amongst revolution, which in Macedonia, brought to power a regime which promised reform, civil It introduction liberties and the seemed system. of a proper parliamentary in broken, had dawn the the area welcomed communities all and a new increased Wonderment little when short of euphoria. new government with itbecame plain that the Young Turks actually meant what they had promised The Ottoman their abandoned great powers parliament. an and convoked it longer that one solution seemed necessary; as no schemes reform had incumbent by to the pass. come political power reconstruction -


The ideologues amongst the Young Turks, however, were followers of the Committee of Union and Progress. Progress most Macedonians welcomed but it in institutions unity when was manifest such as the new parliament, different Young Turks What the that was a proposition. was worse was Ottoman Ottoman sense of envisaged unity within an state, with a new, Were to such a notion nationality emerging replace previous allegiances. to take deep root the door would close in the face of any Balkan state wishing to expand into Macedonia. It was the previously docile Albanians who did most to prevent this notion taking deep root. The Muslim Albanians had long been loyal subjects of Ottoman the the Sultan and had provided many prominent servants of Christians, in basically Catholics the the the state; particularly north, remained loyal because the state impinged so little on their traditional way of life with The blood feud its central feature of the highly regulated blood-feud. depended on the possession of weapons and this the Young Turks found incompatible with those notions of progress and modernity to which they Nor in Constantinople the were so closely wedded. new authorities could tolerate the immunity from taxation and conscription which had also been by enjoyed generations of Albanians. Constantinople's bring to efforts modernity and conformity into the Albanian lands produced a counter reaction of increasing intensity. The first outbursts 1909 by had become 1912 they occurred as early as and so widespread and so furious that they spilled over into central Macedonia and brought about the fall of the Young Turk government. The Albanians were not the only activists disturbing the Macedonian peace. Increasing frustration with Young Turk rule had encouraged the comitadji, leading them to believe that they might find some support amongst the Macedonians in 1911 145 be in the to and an estimated cheti were said increasing forced The disorder Balkan the region. states to reconsider their had been External internal tried positions. abandoned, reform and reform had been tried and had failed, in which case perhaps the Balkan states themselves should attempt to impose the third method of solving the problem fear if by The impulse the that towards action was sharpened partition. initiative be by did the unofficial the seized might governments not act Albanian Furthermore, the revolt recast the equation. elements, the comitadji. it independent If the Albanians set up an autonomous political unit or Austriadomination fall it believed, the of soon under would, was generally Hungary and/or Italy, and in 1911 Italy had gone to war with the Ottoman Albanians Even if disputes Africa. in the only north empire over territorial likelihood in Europe Ottoman destabilising in the the possessions succeeded


be drawn in the that to re-establish great powers would was still of equilibrium.

form some

Albania or a destabilised Macedonia would make Either an independent it much more difficult, if not impossible, for the Balkan states to expand. Late in 1911 and early 1912, therefore, there were great scurryings in the By February 1912 had Balkan diplomatic world. what previously seemed had become impossible Russia's blessing Bulgaria a reality: with virtually concluded

an alliance.

The Russians were persuaded, or persuaded themselves, that the alliance defensive Austro-Hungarian to mechanism contain expansionist was a but few illusion. The Serbo-Bulgarian treaty contained this shared ambitions, for Macedonia `contested the there partition of even and was a provisions fate be by the two contracting could not agreed parties and zone' whose be left Russian By therefore the spring the to arbitration. which would for had increased degree Greece drawn to that action such a was pressures into the alliance system, but such was the haste that there was not even an divide to any spoils which might come the allies' way. attempt following latest in Macedonia In August 1912 the deteriorating the situation foreign Albanian revolt brought a proposal from the Austro-Hungarian Balkan for It had Macedonia. the the was what states reform of minister feared: the beginning of a possible great power protectorate, the final solution by Macedonian method two, and therefore an end to all question of the hope of its solution by method four: partition. As soon as the requisite Balkan be logistic arrangements the states went to war. could made Montenegro, whose association with the other allies was so late and so hurried that the agreements were verbal rather than written, used one of an endless 8 October. begin hostilities Within frontier incursions ten to on of series days the other allies had declared war and, to the amazement of the world, by November the once mighty Ottoman empire had been almost chased in fortresses forces Sultan's The Europe. the remained ofJanina and out of defending Chatalja lines Constantinople. behind It Adrianople, the and be by Macedonian to the that question was, after all, settled method seemed four. At AustroAt this point, however, the great powers again intervened. independent insisted Albanian Hungarian they that an state prompting from follow from territorial the redefinitions which would must emerge That defeats. in for Ottoman turn that the territory the meant available distribution amongst the victors was diminished, and more particularly that Serbia would be denied the access to the Adriatic coast which it for long


but Serbs The demanded in Macedonia coveted. a redrawing compensation lines Serbia Bulgaria both the to of and could not of partition satisfactory be achieved. In the summer of 1913 the Bulgarians launched a preventive The have Greek Serbian their move may strike against allies. erstwhile and been a gesture to force the Greeks and Serbs to the negotiating table, but if so it went disastrously wrong. The Romanians and the Ottoman empire joined the fight against Bulgaria which was defenceless. In August 1913 the Bulgarians signed the treaty of Bucharest. Macedonia had in effect been Greeks Vardar The large the took southern partitioned. valley, a section of including Salonika, and parts of western Thrace; Serbia was left- with the Morava. Bulgaria's Vardar the the major part of gains were valley and upper limited to a portion of Thrace which it was soon to lose, and a small portion Macedonia in Pirin the of eastern range. The treaty of Bucharest contained many injustices but its basic lines of division have remained ever since, except in times of European war. The intervention had in 1913 the two, of great powers, solution precipitated the apparent solution of the Macedonian problem by method four: partition Balkan the states. amongst The settlement of 1913 inevitably left Bulgaria dissatisfied and ready in best times of international the to upheaval align with whomever offered Macedonia. September 1915, In prospect of regaining after massive advances into Russia by the central powers and the failure of the allied adventure Serbia. in Gallipoli, Bulgaria joined Germany and Austria in dismembering Bulgaria was given Vardar Macedonia, only to lose it again at the end of in Macedonia the war in 1918. The territorial settlement at the end of the First World War did little to alter the 1913 boundaries apart from depriving Bulgaria of its possessions in Thrace and of three small enclaves on its boundary, being in Kingdom included these the enclaves new of western the Serbs, Croats or Slovenes, or, as it was called after 1929, Yugoslavia. If Macedonian boundaries had changed little as a result of the First World The War the nature of the Macedonian question was totally transformed. longer do to what with the area when the existing system problem was no be but 1913 the maintained. rather whether partition of could collapsed, For once in Macedonia's history the answer seemed as simple as the question. The forces in favour of maintaining the divisions of 1913/1918 were strong. Nations, by League The international the of community, represented now 1920s kept in the a close eye on south-eastern and was active and efficient


One of the League's most notable achievements was to contain Greek-Bulgarian in 1925. had IMRO base in tension established a serious Petrich in Pirin Macedonia and after 1923 the Bulgarian government made After the to the restrain activities of organisation. no effort yet another incursion into Greek territory by IMRO units the Greek government lost in protest. The its patience and occupied a strip of Bulgarian territory League's swift response prevented armed clashes and hastened the granting for Macedonian loan in the the thousands sustenance of of refugees of a Bulgaria.


The Yugoslav government was also much in favour of preserving the partition Macedonia. It 1913 to and acted strongly control refused to recognise of Macedonians Macedonians, insisted the the existence of as an ethnic group; Serbians in Belgrade, the central authorities were and Macedonia was `southern Serbia'. All Orthodox churches in Macedonia were placed under language became Serbian Serbian the the patriarchate, of education and itwas and, alleged, even names on existing gravestones were administration, (For Serbian Petrov, them to example, endings. give names such as changed Bulgarian had Macedonian had have to them, to ring a or were said which `ic' Serbian to them to produce obviously added the suffix names such as distinct Petrovic). The refusal to recognise the Macedonians as a ethnic Yugoslav Minority that the that the government could meant claim group Protection Treaty which it had signed did not apply to the Macedonians. After 1929 all regions of Yugoslavia were subjected to. rigid centralisation Serbia, including in that of were abolished an attempt and all regional names, And identity. Yugoslav at all times, both before and national to create a new fierce in Yugoslav 1929, their the police were persecution of anyone after Macedonian for Bulgarian separatism or signs of support who might show Macedonia. Vardar claims on A third force in favour of retaining the partition was Greece which did not had it in 1913. There the territory gained were wish to relinquish any of demographic Macedonia. in important the structure ofAegean changes also In November 1919 Greece and Bulgaria signed a population exchange 1923 52,000 Bulgarians happened Little when some were until agreement. forced out of Aegean Macedonia and Thrace. Somewhere in the region development Bulgaria, but by far left important Greeks 25,000 the most of from Asia Aegean Macedonia 638,000 Greeks Minor. in of was the settlement At the same time the Turkish population of Aegean Macedonia was moved Greek followed huge This Minor. Asia the exchange of populations military to defeat in Asia Minor and it turned Aegean Macedonia into a bastion of hellenism, albeit one which had pro-leftist sympathies. Aegean Macedonia it had been, be `the the to mixed ethnically area settlement of and ceased


the Asia Minor refugees enormously strengthened Greece's hold on Greek Macedonia, and made the old idea of a greater united Macedonia stretching down to the Aegean seem, in the inter-war period, no more than an outworn fantasy'. 3 Whilst the forces in favour of maintaining the status quo were strong, those In Bulgaria the radical Agrarian wanting its destruction were weak. Stamboliiski (1919-23) had no interest in government of Aleksand端r territorial expansion and sought cooperation with Bulgaria's neighbours; in so far as it had a policy for the area Stamboliiski's regime wanted an autonomous Macedonia within a Balkan or even an East European agrarian From 1923, Stamboliiski confederation. when was overthrown and murdered in a coup bloody even by Bulgarian standards, until 1934 the government in Sofia gave considerable help to the Macedonia organisations but even this did not really endanger the status quo because those organisations themselves were weak. There were a number of Macedonian groups. Attempts to unite them in the early 1920s had failed and thereafter the separate factions pursued murderous vendettas against each other. The largest and most influential faction that organisation was of IMRO under the leadership, after 1928, Ivan Its base Mihailov. in and around Petrick was a no-go area for the of Bulgarian authorities and in it IMRO levied its own taxes and imposed its law form Yet IMRO less formidable own and order. than it of even was It seemed. was still not totally united either as to its ends or the means of Unlike its pre-1903 model it had little organisational them. achieving infrastructure in Vardar Macedonia where its occasional and usually violent had it in fact IMRO was hardly more than a exactions made unpopular; terrorist organisation. In addition to this, it had slipped towards gangsterism had links international the traffic in drugs. These and compromising with weaknesses were revealed in 1934 when, following another coup in Sofia, the Bulgarian government decided to eliminate the Mihailovists in Petrich. The army was moved in, IMRO seemed to dissolve, and with its terrorist dispersed its lack became groups of organisational underpinning obvious. It disappeared almost entirely from the political scene. Of the other groups opposed to the status quo the communists had flirted Macedonians in 1924 had derived little benefit from the exercise. the with and Thereafter, the Comintern Macedonia but the advocated creation of a new it whatever way argued this case it caused suspicions amongst the comrades Yugoslavia, of and even more so those of Greece, that the official party line 3 Elizabeth Barker, Macedonia; Its place in Balkan Power Politics (Royal Institute national Affairs, London and New York 1950), p. 32.




fascists, The hand, had longer the too on other pro-Bulgarian. a was Macedonian Mussolini the groups. welcomed any chance association with he leadership in Belgrade therefore gave support to the and to embarrass King When Alexander both Croatian and Macedonian extremists. of Yugoslavia was murdered in Marseilles in October 1934, the deed was done by a Macedonian who had been trained with Croatian, Italian and Hungarian help. However, despite his secret help to the terrorists Mussolini was in no in Balkans into the territorial the to threaten status quo until well position because half 1930s, Hitler had already the then the second and of only in Rhineland, in Austria finally the the post-war settlement and undermined in Czechoslovakia. In the Second World War Bulgaria again assumed control of most of Vardar Macedonia, through parts of the extreme west of the area were placed Germans did The Italian Bulgarians the administration. not allow under full sovereignty over the area they occupied. This placed but few restrictions freedom but important in it Bulgaria's that of action, one was enabled on had Bulgaria Jews Nazis that to the argue no power over of the occupied the deported death Poland Jews therefore to the those were camps of area; itself Bulgaria Jews the of survived. whilst determined The Bulgarians to reverse the serbianising policies carried were Six 1913. hundred brought Macedonia in trained teachers since were out had into the region from Bulgaria, teachers to spend one year and and all in built `liberated The Bulgarians four the territories'. months also priests in Skopje first library the a new and museum and opened university a new King Boris III University. Many in Vardar Macedonia, time that the called at Serbia itself fled Serbs found to these policies or, and unbearable either 1943, join the to the of partisan movement. spring welling after especially because demographic Further of of the persecution changes came about Greeks drove because Bulgarians Jews the thousands of out of the and Thrace. Greeks increased Pressure Aegean Macedonia the and western on by it instigated rising - some say agents after an attempted was considerably September but Macedonia in 1941, Aegean in provocateurs not even the Bulgarian ferocity the occupation could radically alter the ethnic of Greek Macedonia. the section of of composition

The fate of Macedonia after the Second World War was decided according international both the the two and, of community action method to for The internally five reasons generated solution. an method unusually, in half Balkans in developments in found be the the of second this are to 1943 September 1944. February from War, World Second to the


The dominating element in the areawhen fighting ceased in the late summer 1944 Yugoslav, the of was guerrilla army under the communist-dominated leadership ofJosip Broz Tito. The Macedonian communists had not always been associated with their Yugoslav comrades. When the Bulgarians occupied Vardar Macedonia in April 1941 the local communist regional organisation, leadership the under of Sharlo-Shatorov, accepted the notion of `one state, one party', and joined up with the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP). In June 1941 Tito disbanded the Macedonian regional organisation, and, because he had already begun operations against the Germans, Moscow backed him rather than the BCP. A new leader was appointed and he too began hostilities, in his case against the Bulgarians, but he was soon captured and resistance activity subsided. It revived when yet another leader was known usually by his nom de this time Svetozar-Vukmanovic, nominated, Tempo. guerre, Tempo's appointment in February 1943 was a real turning point in because Macedonian beginning it the affairs marked of the evolution of local faction a well-organised and popular enough to have some say in determining the future of the area. In September 1943 the surrender of Italy helped Tempo and his forces in that they inherited most of the weapons laid down by the Italians in western Macedonia. They were also helped by decline in the morale of the Bulgarian troops in Macedonia, an accelerating a number of whom went over to the partisans, especially in the spring and 1944. summer of In November 1943 the second congress of the Anti-Fascist Council for the Liberation Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) Jajce in Bosnia. It of met at outlined the Yugoslavia new which was to be created at the end of the war. That new Yugoslavia was to be a federation of six units, one of which was to be Macedonia. On 2 August (Ilinden) 1944 an assembly in Skopje proclaimed the Macedonian People's Republic. 4 Thiswas the first time since the collapse Alexander Great's the of empire that Macedonia had been recognised as distinct, a single political entity, and that would scarcely have been possible had notTempo proved hisworth to the Macedonians and, more importantly, to Tito and the leaders of the Yugoslav communist movement. A Macedonian state had been created but there were still two unresolved issues. First, the frontiers of the new state, albeit part of a federation, had been defined; be it had to not and second, asked whether there was a Macedonian nation as well as a Macedonian state. 4 The title because fascinatingly Republic be National Macedonian translated could also as but frustratingly, the slavword `Narodna' can mean either `popular/people's' or `national'.


The question Macedonians given no hint

for determination by the of the frontiers was a matter had The Jajce declaration and the international community. become that the Macedonia which would part a constituent federation be Vardar of the new Yugoslav than would anything other Macedonia. International in direction, least the conditions pointed same at far Aegean Macedonia Greece, to the as as was concerned. according `agreements' October 1944 between Churchill Stalin, percentage of and Britain, it could be the British sphere of influence. was to remain within Greek territory assumed, would not be willing to see the alienation of against The nature of the Greek government the will of the Greek government. itself between the communists was, of course, as civil war and the unclear If the royalists were to win neither they nor their British royalists developed. backers would tolerate But nor could the cession of Aegean Macedonia. the Greek Communists themselves advocate such a policy, even though from Macedonia: have Slav Aegean to them condoned many of were speakers been have Greek territory the cession of almost suicidal. Tito, who would had Greek to accept this, whatever pressure the the communists, supported him inside Yugoslavia for Macedonian the might put upon communists Aegean Vardar Macedonia, and and such pressure was of reunification be Greece had for Macedonian to claims national on sacrificed exerted. Greece, in Tito Macedonia's the communist and never pushed cause claims he force for Slovenian the pressed, as example, case over with the same Istria. Carinthia and

If the rejoining ofAegean with Vardar Macedonia was to be postponed until, dare one say it, the Greek kalends, the issue of Pirin Macedonia was much The Macedonians for the assumed moment reunification was more open. 9 September Bulgaria 1944 In Fatherland Front on a government ripe. domination BCP formed joined the the the allied war of was and under The Germany. lacking new administration, self-confidence especially against dealing had fough long hard with victorious partisans t who when and against the Germans, could not accept so damaging a blow to its domestic prestige Bulgarian but it did territory, the alienation of as not reject the principle Macedonian in reunification, the meantime agreed to take eventual of and in Pirin steps to promote greater cultural and administrative the autonomy It introduce to also agreed area. measures to increase Macedonian national consciousness. For much of the next two years both Bulgaria Yugoslavia and were internal with questions preoccupied of reconstruction, reform and but in Bled in Slovenia August 1947 in the negotiations revolution, at Macedonian issue was again discussed. As part of a general Yugoslav-Bulgarian frontier but regulations agreement abolished and there was a were all


commitment once again to an eventual reunification of Pirin and Vardar Macedonia. The Bulgarians, however, insisted that despite Yugoslav wishes reunification of the two Macedonias could only come after and not before In the meantime between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. the a federation Bulgarians would further promote the teaching of the Macedonian language Macedonian history in Pirin. To this end ninety-three teachers were and of imported from Vardar into Pirin Macedonia and a Macedonian printing house was founded in the latter. For a number of Bulgarian communists these concessions caused some concern. When Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union fell out in 1948 and Yugoslavia was expelled from the Cominform these fears were allayed. Bulgaria aligned resolutely with the Soviet Union and all talk of Macedonian teachers were required to pack reunification was ended; the ninety-three their bags and leave within twenty-four hours. A series of restrictions on into Bulgaria the expression of Macedonian nationality were introduced and the census of 1965 was the last before the fall of communism in which Bulgarian citizens could describe themselves as of Macedonian ethnicity. No subsequent Bulgarian government has ever recognised the existence Macedonian of a nation. The question of Macedonian frontiers seems to have been settled in 1948 drawn in 1913 1918. internal The the those reaffirmation with of and Aegean consolidation of and Pirin Macedonia meant the suppression of the attempts to express a sense of Macedonian nationality; meanwhile consolidation ofVardar Macedonia meant the creation and then the assertion in that that region. In this way the second of the two of sense of nationality Second World War, the the posed at questions end of whether there was Macedonian a nation, was also settled. The Skopje government after 1944 always insisted that a Macedonian nation Macedonian had Balkan and a sense of nationhood emerged with other in the nineteenth nationalisms century, but had been overshadowed by that there were some members of the Macedonian them. It is undeniable intelligentsia who regarded themselves as Macedonian even at the turn of the century, but they were few in number and they had little impact on By 1944 there was still neither an accepted the remainder of the population. literary language nor an agreed alphabet. To make good these deficiencies the Skopje party and government authorities chose a south-western Macedonian dialect as the official literary language, no doubt because it both A distant from Serbian. Bulgarian grammar was and was the most first 1950 in in 1951, the volume of a with and an orthography published following a decade later. two-volume dictionary


This was the creation of a literary language by artificial means, but such a policy is not unique to Macedonia, as the Israeli and Pakistani parallels What is remarkable in Macedonia is not that the official language prove. was created from on high but that it received such an enthusiastic reception and that it spread so rapidly. By the early 1960s there were many Macedonian officials, especially of the younger generation, who could not or would not Serbo-Croat. In 1968, when Yugoslavia was being rocked by Albanian speak Croat then and nationalist demands the Macedonians were given their own This autocephalous church. seemed to many to complete the evolution has towards national maturity, though no other Orthodox yet church recognised the Macedonian. From 1948 to 1989 Vardar Macedonia benefited from its membership of the Yugoslav federation. It stood to gain much from the established Titoist investment the redistribution system which promoted of resources and income from the well-endowed less developed to the northern republics in And federation the the ones south. membership of enabled the Serbian Macedonian to their to authorities cooperate with counterparts Albanians the restiveness amongst who were growing contain mounting in Macedonia in Kosovo Serbia. the numerous and region more of more and This comfortable position was undermined from the mid-I 970s by continuing devolution in the Yugoslav federation which lessened the flow of investment funds and foreign capital from the rich north to the poor south. Even destructive influence Milogevic Serbia in in however, the the of was greater, late 1980s. The Serbian law allowing its original owners to reclaim land law immediately Second World War, during the a after and confiscated designed to encourage Serbs to repossess property in Kosovo taken by Macedonians; Albanians, frightened there was no knowing where such a law could lead in Macedonia. Then came the attempted use of force against Slovenia and Croatia in 1991. The Macedonians could not condone a federation held together by naked force, nor could they agree to remain in such in one that consisted of only Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro; Macedonians be by Serbs. For the these reasons, and would swamped a unit degree declared Macedonia for independence a with of reluctance, perhaps in November 1991. For the first time in modern history an attempt had been made to solve the Macedonian problem by the unqualified application five, method of an internally generated solution. Macedonia could not, it from the tremendous goes without saying, remain immune changes it in 1991 The international thereafter. surrounding and community was in Macedonia, both destructively form Greek in. the soon reengaged of in United deployment the the new state, and constructively sniping at of Nations troops along the borders before a real crisis had occurred.


forum international has and will question returned to the If for for diplomatists those to come. years provide work and worry from immediate diplomatists be their time should ever able to spare historian's indulge hope I to read this they will a preoccupations It is, of course, a truism concentration on the past rather than the present. but if a knowledge in have the to say that all present problems their roots past, ignorance the to these present problems, of past cannot guarantee a solution be drawn from it is less likely if do And to of any conclusions can even so. Macedonia's history over the last troubled century and a quarter they are perhaps that of the five possible solutions to the problem, the one which has, so far, provided the longest period of stability and posed least threat internally fifth: is to the international that the generated solution. of an order, It is also hard to resist the further conclusion, that method two, intervention by the great powers, is seldom of itself likely to produce a viable answer. These lessons, sadly, apply to the entire Balkan peninsula and seem as depressingly relevant in the 1990s as they were in the 1900s. The Macedonian




Professor Norman Davies

School of Slavonic and East European University of London

Dr Mark



of Dundee

Commonwealth and


Mr Ian Roberts


Dr Wendy Bracewell

School of Slavonic and East European University of London

Dr Richard


St. Edmund






of Oxford

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Nationality and Nationalism in East-Central Europe since the 18th Century