Know Your Beautiful New Homeland or Hungarian Internees in Ilava, Luhačovice and Theresienstadt in 1919

This study deals with one of the hitherto unprocessed episodes of the 1919 coup d’état, the internments by order of Vavro Šrobár, the then minister for the administration of Slovakia. The internment of persons deemed to be a threat to the internal order of the state became a standard practice in the countries of both belligerent parties during the First World War. In Slovakia, which was annexed to the newly proclaimed Czechoslovakia, internments took place in three major waves. During the weeks of the occupation of the former territories of northern Hungary, the Czechoslovak army arrested revered (mostly Hungarian-speaking or Israelite) citizens selected from each municipality, and interned them as hostages in Moravian camps. Under the martial law declared at the end of March, not only the leaders of the labour movement, but also the civil representatives of the Hungarian community´s public life were deported to Ilava, at the command of Šrobár. The third phase of internments took place in the weeks of the war between Czechoslovakia and Hungary in the early summer of 1919, when about two and a half thousand people were deported to Theresienstadt, in most cases without justification. This study presents the causes, course, and debates that accompanied the second and third waves of internments.