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|Signed||30 August 1940|
|Location||Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Germany|
|Signatories|| Joachim von Ribbentrop |
|Parties|| Germany |
The Second Vienna Award, also known as the Vienna Diktat,was the second of two territorial disputes that were arbitrated by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. On 30 August 1940, they assigned the territory of Northern Transylvania, including all of Maramureș and part of Crișana, from Romania to Hungary.
After World War I, the multiethnic Kingdom of Hungary was divided by the 1920 Treaty of Trianon to form several new nation-states, but Hungary claimed that the new state borders did not follow the real ethnic boundaries. The new nation-state of Hungary was about a third the size of prewar Hungary, and millions of ethnic Magyars were left outside the new Hungarian borders. Many historically-important areas of Hungary were assigned to other countries, and the distribution of natural resources was uneven as well. The various non-Magyar populations of the old kingdom generally saw the treaty as justice for the historically-marginalized nationalities, but Hungarians considered the treaty to have been deeply unjust, a national humiliation and a real tragedy.
The treaty and its consequences dominated Hungarian public life and political culture in the interwar period. Moreover, the Hungarian government swung more and more to the right. Eventually, under Regent Miklós Horthy, Hungary established close relations with Benito Mussolini's Italy and Adolf Hitler's Germany.
The alliance with Nazi Germany allowed Hungary to regain southern Czechoslovakia in the First Vienna Award of 1938 and Subcarpathia in 1939. However, neither that nor the subsequent military conquest of Carpathian Ruthenia in 1939 satisfied Hungarian political ambitions. The awards allocated only a fraction of the territories lost by the Treaty of Trianon, and the loss that the Hungarians resented the most was that of Transylvania, which had been ceded to Romania.
At the end of June 1940, the Romanian government gave in to a Soviet ultimatum and allowed Moscow to take over both Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, which had been incorporated into Romania after World War I, as well as the Hertza region. Though the territorial loss was dreadful from its perspective, the Romanian government preferred it to a military conflict, which it knew it could not win, with the USSR. However, the Hungarian government interpreted the fact that Romania permanently gave up some areas as an admission that it was no longer insisting on keeping its national territory intact under pressure. The Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina thus inspired Budapest to escalate its efforts to resolve "the question of Transylvania". Hungary hoped to gain as much of Transylvania as possible, but the Romanians would have none of that and submitted only a small region for consideration. Eventually, Hungarian-Romanian negotiations fell through entirely.
As a result, Romania and Hungary were "browbeaten" into accepting Axis arbitration.
Meanwhile, the Romanian government had acceded to Italy's request for territorial cessions to Bulgaria, another German-aligned neighbor. On 7 September, under the Treaty of Craiova, the "Cadrilater" (southern Dobruja) was ceded by Romania to Bulgaria.
On 1 July 1940, Romania repudiated the Anglo-French guarantee of 13 April 1939, which had become worthless as a result of France's collapse. The next day, King Carol II addressed a letter to Hitler to suggest for Germany to send a military mission to Romania and to renew the alliance of 1883. Germany used Romania's new desperation to force a revision of the territorial settlement produced by the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 in favour of Germany's old allies, Hungary and Bulgaria. In an exchange of letters between Carol and Hitler (5–15 July), the former insisted for no territorial exchange to occur without a population exchange, and the latter conditioned German goodwill towards Romania on Romania's having good relations with Hungary and Bulgaria.The Romanian foreign minister was Mihail Manoilescu; the German minister plenipotentiary in Bucharest was Wilhelm Fabricius.
In accordance with German wishes, Romania began negotiations with Hungary at Turnu Severin on 16 August. 69,000 km2 (27,000 sq mi) of territory with 3,803,000 inhabitants, almost two thirds of whom were Romanian. Talks were broken off on 24 August. The German and Italian governments then proposed an arbitration, which was characterised in the minutes of the Romanian Crown Council of 29 August as "communications with an ultimative character made by the German and Italian governments". The Romanians accepted, and Foreign Ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop of Germany and Galeazzo Ciano of Italy met on 30 August 1940 at the Belvedere Palace, in Vienna. They reduced the Hungarian demands to 43,492 km2 (16,792 sq mi), with a population of 2,667,007. The treaty was signed by Hungarian Foreign Minister István Csáky and Romanian Foreign Minister Mihail Manoilescu. A Romanian crown council met overnight on 30–31 August to accept the arbitration. At the meeting, Iuliu Maniu demanded for Carol to abdicate and for the Romanian army to resist the Hungarian takeover of northern Transylvania. His demands were pragmatically rejected.The initial Hungarian claim was
Population statistics in Northern Transylvania and the changes following the award are presented in detail in the next section. The rest of Transylvania, known as Southern Transylvania, with 2,274,600 Romanians and 363,200 Hungarians, remained part of the Kingdom of Romania.
The territory in question covered an area of 43,104 square kilometres (16,643 sq mi), or 43,492 km2 (16,792 sq mi) (depending on the source). The 1930 Romanian census registered for the region a population of 2,393,300. In 1941, the Hungarian authorities conducted a new census, which registered a total population of 2,578,100. Both censuses asked language and nationality separately. The results of both censuses are summarized in this table:
|1930 Romanian census||1941 Hungarian census||1940 Romanian|
As Árpád E. Varga wrote, "the census conducted in 1930 met international statistical requirements in every respect. In order to establish nationality, the compilers devised a complex criterion system, unique at the time, which covered citizenship, nationality, native language (i.e. the language spoken in the family) and religion".
Apart from natural population growth, the differences between the censuses were caused by other complex reasons, like migration, the assimilation of Jews and bilingual speakers. According to Hungarian registrations, 100,000 Hungarian refugees had arrived in Hungary from South Transylvania by January 1941. Most of them sought refuge in the north, and almost as many persons arrived from Hungary in the redeemed territories as those who moved to the Trianon Hungarian territory from South Transylvania.
As a result of the migrations, the number of North Transylvanian Hungarians increased by almost 100,000. To compensate, many Romanians were obliged to leave North Transylvania. Some 100,000 had left by February 1941, according to the incomplete registration of North Transylvanian refugees that was carried out by the Romanian government. Also, a fall in the total population suggests that a further 40,000 to 50,000 Romanians moved from North Transylvania to South Transylvania, including refugees who were omitted from the official registration for various reasons.
Hungarian gains by assimilation were balanced by losses for other groups of native speakers, such as Jews. The shift of languages was most typical among bilingual Romanians and Hungarians. On the other hand, in Máramaros and Szatmár Counties, dozens of settlements had many people who had declared themselves as Romanian but now identified themselves as Hungarian, despite not speaking any Hungarian even in 1910.
|Redeem of Northern Transylvania|
|Romania|| Hungary |
|Commanders and leaders|
|Unknown|| Miklós Horthy |
|Unknown|| First Army |
|Casualties and losses|
4 killed (presumably)
Several tanks damaged
The historian Keith Hitchins summarised the situation created by the award in his book "Rumania: 1866-1947 (Oxford History of Modern Europe), Oxford University Press, 1994":
Romania had 14 days to evacuate concerned territories and assign them to Hungary. The Hungarian troops stepped across the Trianon borders on 5 September. The Regent of Hungary, Miklós Horthy, also attended in the entry. The troops reached the pre-Trianon border, completing the recovering process, on 13 September.
Generally, the ethnic Hungarian population welcomed the troops and regarded the separation from Romania as a liberation. The large ethnic Romanian community that found itself under the Hungarian occupation had nothing to celebrate, as it considered the Second Vienna Award the return to the long time of Hungarian rule. Upon entering the awarded territory, the Hungarian Army committed massacres against the Romanian population, including the following:
The exact number of casualties is disputed among some historians, but the existence of such events cannot be disputed.
The retreat of the Romanian Army was also not free from incidents, mostly damages to infrastructure and destruction of public documents.
The Carol II fortified line (Romanian : Linia fortificată Carol al II-lea) had been built in the late 1930s at the order of King Carol II for the purpose of defending Romania's western border. Stretching across 300 kilometres (190 mi), the line itself was not continuous but protected only the most likely routes towards inner Transylvania. It consisted of 320 casemates: 80 built in 1938, 180 built in 1939 and the rest built in the first half of 1940. There was a distance of about 400 m between each casemate, all of which were made of reinforced concrete, of varying sizes but all armed with machine guns. The artillery was placed between the casemates themselves. In front of the casemates, there were rows of barbed wire, mine fields and one large antitank ditch, in some places filled with water. The firing from the casemates was calculated to be very dense and crossed to cause as many losses as possible to the enemy infantry. The role of the fortified line was not to stop incoming attacks but to delay them, inflict as many losses as possible and give time for the bulk of the Romanian Army to be mobilized.
After the Award, the entire line fell in the area allotted to Hungary. The Romanian troops evacuated as much equipment as possible, but the dug-in telephone lines could not be recovered and so were eventually used by the Hungarian Army. The Hungarians also salvaged as much metal as possible, which eventually amounted to a huge amount. After all useful equipment and materiel had been salvaged, the casemates were blown up by the Hungarians to prevent them from being used again.
The Second Vienna Award was voided by the Allied Commission through the Armistice Agreement with Romania (12 September 1944), whose Article 19 stipulated the following:
That came after King Michael's Coup of 23 August 1944, when Romania changed sides and joined the Allies. Thereafter, the Romanian Army fought Nazi Germany and its allies, first in Romania and later in German-occupied Hungary and Slovakia, such as during the Budapest Offensive, the Siege of Budapest, the Bratislava–Brno Offensive, and the Prague Offensive. After the Battle of Carei on 25 October 1944, all the territory of Northern Transylvania was under the control of Romanian and Soviet troops. The Soviet Union kept administrative control until 9 March 1945, when Northern Transylvania reverted to Romania.
The 1947 Paris Peace Treaties reaffirmed the borders between Romania and Hungary, as they had been originally defined in the Treaty of Trianon, 27 years earlier.
The Treaty of Trianon was prepared at the Paris Peace Conference and was signed in the Grand Trianon Palace in Versailles on 4 June 1920. It formally ended World War I between most of the Allies of World War I and the Kingdom of Hungary. French diplomats played the major role in designing the treaty, with a mind to establishing French-led coalition of the newly formed nations. It regulated the status of the independent Hungarian state and defined its borders generally within the ceasefire lines established in November–December 1918 and left Hungary as a landlocked state that included 93,073 square kilometres (35,936 sq mi), 28% of the 325,411 square kilometres (125,642 sq mi) that had constituted the pre-war Kingdom of Hungary. The truncated Kingdom had a population of 7.6 million, 36% compared to the pre-war kingdom's population of 20.9 million. Though the areas that were allocated to neighbouring countries had a majority of non-Hungarians, in them lived 3.3 million Hungarians – 31% – who were now in a minority status. The treaty limited Hungary's army to 35,000 officers and men, and the Austro-Hungarian Navy ceased to exist. These decisions and their consequences have been the cause of deep resentment in Hungary ever since.
Sălaj County is a county (județ) of Romania, located in the north-west of the country, in the historical regions of Crișana and Transylvania. It is bordered to the north by Satu Mare and Maramureș counties, to the west and south-west by Bihor County, and to the south-east by Cluj County. Zalău is the county seat as well as its largest city.
Satu Mare County is a county (județ) of Romania, on the border with Hungary and Ukraine. The capital city is Satu Mare. Besides Romanians, Satu Mare County features a significant ethnic minority of Hungarians (34.5%).
Following the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, the Kingdom of Romania under King Carol II officially adopted a position of neutrality. However, the rapidly changing situation in Europe during 1940, as well as domestic political upheaval, undermined this stance. Fascist political forces such as the Iron Guard rose in popularity and power, urging an alliance with Nazi Germany and its allies. As the military fortunes of Romania's two main guarantors of territorial integrity—France and Britain—crumbled in the Fall of France, the government of Romania turned to Germany in hopes of a similar guarantee, unaware that the then dominant European power had already granted its consent to Soviet territorial claims in a secret protocol of 1939's Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed from the Middle Ages into the 20th century. The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christian kingdom upon the coronation of the first king Stephen I at Esztergom around the year 1000; his family led the monarchy for 300 years. By the 12th century, the kingdom became a European middle power within the Western world.
Northern Transylvania was the region of the Kingdom of Romania that during World War II, as a consequence of the August 1940 territorial agreement known as the Second Vienna Award, became part of the Kingdom of Hungary. With an area of 43,104 km2 (16,643 sq mi), the population was largely composed of both ethnic Romanians and Hungarians.
Hungarian irredentism or Greater Hungary are irredentist and revisionist political ideas concerning redemption of territories of the historical Kingdom of Hungary. The idea is associated with Hungarian revisionism, targeting at least to regain control over Hungarian-populated areas in Hungary's neighbouring countries. Hungarian historians did not use the term Greater Hungary, because the "Historic Hungary" is the established term for the Kingdom of Hungary before 1920.
Atid is a commune in Harghita County, Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania.
The Treznea massacre occurred in the village of Treznea, Sălaj in north-western Transylvania on 9 September 1940, when Romania ceded Northern Transylvania to Hungary after the Second Vienna Award.
The events of the Ip massacre escalated in the early hours of 14 September 1940, in Ipp,, Northern Transylvania. After two Hungarian soldiers died there in an accidental explosion, rumors spread that they had been killed by Romanians. After another incident the Royal Hungarian Army, influenced by the rumor, indiscriminately massacred around 150 ethnic Romanians in the nearby locations and surrounding areas.
Transylvania is a historical region in central and northwestern Romania. It was part of the Dacian Kingdom, Roman Dacia, the Hunnic Empire, the Kingdom of the Gepids, the Avar Khaganate and the 9th century First Bulgarian Empire. During the late 9th century, western Transylvania was reached by the Hungarian conquerors and later it became part of the Kingdom of Hungary, formed in 1000.
Lueta is a commune in Harghita County, Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania, and is composed of two villages:
Mugeni is a commune in Harghita County, Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania.
Săcel is a commune in Harghita County, Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania.
Corunca is a commune in Mureș County, Romania. It lies in the heart of Transylvania.
Hungarian-Romanian relations are foreign relations between Hungary and Romania. Relations between the two nations date back to the Middle Ages, including Wallachia and Moldavia. Modern diplomatic relations between the two states are dating to the creation of Romania.
Someș County is one of the historic counties of Transylvania, Romania. The county seat was Dej.
Trei Scaune County is one of the historical counties of the Kingdom of Romania, in the historical region of Transylvania. The county seat was Sfântu Gheorghe.
The Nușfalău massacre occurred in the village of Szilágynagyfalu in Northern Transylvania. It happened on 8 September 1940, when a Hungarian soldier with the support of some natives tortured and killed eleven people of Romanian ethnicity from a nearby village, who were passing through the area.
The territorial evolution of Romania includes all the changes in the country's borders from its formation to the present day. The precedents of Romania as an independent state can be traced back to the 14th century, when the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia were founded. Wallachia during its history lost several portions of its territory, either to the Ottomans or the Habsburgs. However, this land would be later essentially recovered in its entirety. Moldavia, on the other hand, suffered great territorial losses. In 1775, the Habsburgs invaded Bukovina and annexed it, and in 1812, the Russian Empire took control of Bessarabia. Both territories were later exposed to powerful colonization policies. The principalities declared unification in 1859 as the Principality of Romania. This new state sought independence from the Ottoman Empire's vassalage, and in 1878, it fought a war against it alongside Russia. However, the latter would annex Southern Bessarabia, which was recovered decades before. Romania received Northern Dobruja as compensation, and would wage a war for the southern part against Bulgaria in 1913.
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