Michal Šte­fan­ský: For­eign Pol­i­cy Con­nec­tions of the Sit­u­a­tion of the Hun­gar­i­an Minor­i­ty Liv­ing in Slo­va­kia between 1945–1949

The joint accom­pa­ni­ments of ideas in rela­tion with Cen­tral Europe after the Sec­ond World War were the opin­ions and con­cep­tions in rela­tion with the estab­lish­ment of coun­tries with­out nation­al, i.e. nation­al­i­ty minori­ties.

The idea of estab­lish­ing nation­al coun­tries was born at the end of 1939 at the Bri­tish Min­istry of For­eign Affairs. Edvard Beneš dur­ing the Dis­cus­sions at the Bri­tish Min­istry in March 1940, to which he was always invit­ed, called a utopi­a, but start­ing from 1942 he pro­vid­ed depor­ta­tion with full ener­gy.
We have to take into con­sid­er­a­tion that fact that Czecho­slo­va­kia could not be able to pro­vide pop­u­la­tion exchange with Hun­ga­ry with­out the help of Great Pow­er­s, main­ly with­out the sup­port of the Sovi­et Union. The three Great Pow­ers at the con­fer­ence in Pots­dam agreed on the depor­ta­tion of the Ger­man minor­i­ty from Czecho­slo­va­ki­a, Poland, and Hun­ga­ry. The records of the con­fer­ence did not con­tain instruc­tions in rela­tion with the Hun­gar­i­an minor­i­ty.
The con­fer­ence in Pots­dam served as a good basis for the Pres­i­dent Beneš to issue sev­er­al decrees. Con­sid­er­ing the sit­u­a­tion of the Hun­gar­i­an minor­i­ty the decree No. 1945/33 issued on 2nd August, the decree on the arrange­ment of cit­i­zen­ship of Ger­man and Hun­gar­i­an nation­al­i­ty peo­ple, the decree No. 1945/71 effec­tive from Sep­tem­ber 19, that was on work­ing obli­ga­tion of peo­ple who lost their Czechoslo­vak cit­i­zen­ship, were of spe­cial impor­tance.
Depor­ta­tion to Hun­ga­ry could not be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion, since the Great Pow­ers did not sup­port it. Czecho­slo­va­kia in this sit­u­a­tion tried to find the way out by pro­vid­ing the pop­u­la­tion exchange The agree­ment on pop­u­la­tion exchange on a par­i­ty basis was signed on Feb­ru­ary 27. 1946. In con­sid­er­a­tion of depor­ta­tion of peo­ple beyond the frame of the exchange, Czecho­slo­va­kia had hopes in the deci­sion of the peace con­fer­ence in Pa­ris, and main­ly from the sup­port of the Sovi­et Union.
The pop­u­la­tion exchange did not bring Czecho­slo­va­kia the antic­i­pat­ed result­s. The agree­ment made on July 28, 1948 was car­ried out in the fol­low­ing months in form of deci­sions made by the Czechoslo­vak author­i­ties and the Par­lia­men­t.
From the sys­tem changes that began in 1989 sev­er­al issues have been aris­ing in rela­tion with the sit­u­a­tion of the Hun­gar­i­an minor­i­ty between 1945–1948. These are main­ly con­nect­ed to the can­cel­ing of the decrees of the Pres­i­dent Beneš and con­tem­po­rary orders of the Slo­vak Nation­al Com­mit­tee.
Sources kept in the Sovi­et archives relat­ing this issue became acces­si­ble after the sys­tem changes. Undoubt­ed­ly, these make the pic­ture that arose from the pre­vi­ous research made only on the basis of the li­mi­ted domes­tic doc­u­ments mo­re plas­tic.