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Irredentism

Irredentism — a movement to annex from a neighboring state territory inhabited by a minority which is of the same nationality as the state supporting the annexation. The term is connected with late-nineteenth-century Italy, which hoped to annex Italian-inhabited lands (Italia irredenta) ruled at the time by Austria-Hungary, including southern Tyrol, Istria, etc. In the 1920s and 1930s countries such as Germany and Hungary, which had lost territories as a result of the post-World War I peace treaties, had strong irredentist movements directed at neighboring states.

In Hungary, the irredentist, or revisionist movement was inspired by the slogan nem, nem soha (No, no never), that is, a refusal to accept the boundaries outlined in the *Treaty of Trianon. The revisionists focussed in particular on Hungary’s so-called Felvidek region, the country’s prewar “Highlands” that included Slovakia and *Subcarpathian Rus’. The Hungarian government maintained relations with Rusyn political activists, including Ivan *Kurtiak, Andrii *Brodii, Shtefan *Fentsyk, and Iosyf *Kamins’kyi, who had become disillusioned with Czechoslovakia’s failure to provide the *autonomy it had promised to Subcarpathian Rus’. The Hungarian Revisionist League/Magyar revizios liga (est. 1927) supported Hungarian publicists, who called for the “return” of Subcarpathian Rus’ and, therefore, the creation of a common border with Hungary’s ally, Poland. Among the most prolific of these publicists was Laszlo Balogh-Beery who published under his own name as well as under the pseudonym, Albert Bereghy.

Bibliography: Albert Bereghy, Ruthen kerdes es az integritas (Budapest, 1933); Laszlo Balogh-Beery, A magyar-lengyel kozos hatar es a ruthen terulet (Budapest, 1936); Lorant Tilkovszky, Revizio es nemzetisegpolitika Magyarorszagon, 1938-1941 (Budapest, 1967); Jorg K. Hoensch, Der ungarische Revisionismus und die Zerschlagung der Tschechoslowakei (Tubingen, 1967); M.M. Vegesh, V.I. Hyria, and I.F. Korol’, Uhors’ka iredenta na Zakarpatti mizh dvoma svitovymy viinamy, 1918-1939 rr. (Uzhhorod, 1998).

Paul Robert Magocsi

Ivan Pop

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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