Courtesy Reuters

Hungary in the German Orbit

GERMANY'S annexation of Austria made Hungary a neighbor of the Reich. The Munich settlement has made all the Eastern neighbors of Germany her dependents.

Hungarian history from the Middle Ages consisted of a struggle against German supremacy represented by the Hapsburgs, Emperors first of Germany, then of Austria. Hungary dreaded them as the foes of her independence, yet again and again called on them for help against a more imminent danger, the Turks. In 1867 Hungary attained equal rights with Austria inside the Dual Monarchy, and from then on antagonism toward Germany lessened. Beginning with 1918 it disappeared, for Germany was no longer a neighbor and the small Austrian Republic was no longer a competitor. For assistance against the new foes surrounding her -- the Slav states and Rumania -- Hungary could appeal only to distant Italy. With the historic events of the year 1938 all that has changed; Hungarian history assumes again the pattern of the previous three centuries.

It was not merely Germany, it was Nazi Germany, which became Hungary's neighbor on March 12, 1938. How does it affect a small state suddenly to find on her borders a great state in which the display of military power and the doctrine of expansion and race consciousness constitute the daily food of the masses? The student of history and sociology may discern four lines of effect. They will be analyzed here as they apply to Hungary, though the author believes that they also apply to other countries like Jugoslavia and even to states not directly contiguous to Germany, such as Rumania and Bulgaria.

The four effects are: (1) a dangerous growth both of Nazi propaganda from Germany and of the indigenous Nazi movement; (2) official endeavors to gain German friendship by acknowledging that the country belongs, politically and economically, in the German orbit; (3) the adoption of various points in the Nazi German program, in order to take the wind out of the sails of German propaganda; and (4) an attempt by the ruling class to oppose the German

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