Why did the Hungarian leaders of 1919 establish the Slovak Republic

Aug 2019
12
Hungary
#1
Hungarian Soviet Republic - Wikipedia

In late May, after the Entente military representative demanded more territorial concessions from Hungary, Kun attempted to "fulfill" his promise to adhere to Hungary's historical borders. The men of the Hungarian Red Army were recruited from the volunteers of the Budapest proletariat.[19] In June, the Hungarian Red Army invaded the eastern part of the newly-forming Czechoslovak state (today's Slovakia), the former so-called "Upper Hungary". The Hungarian Red Army achieved some military success early on: under the leadership of Colonel Aurél Stromfeld, it ousted Czech troops from the north, and planned to march against the Romanian army in the east. Despite promises for the restoration of the former borders of Hungary, the communists declared the establishment of the Slovak Soviet Republic in Prešov on 16 June 1919.[20] After the proclamation of the Slovak Soviet Republic, the Hungarian nationalists and patriots soon realized that the new communist government had no intentions to recapture the lost territories, only to spread communist ideology and establish other communist states in Europe, thus sacrificing Hungarian national interests.[21] The Hungarian patriots in the Red Army saw this as a betrayal, and their support for the government began to erode (the communists and their government supported the establishment of the Slovak Communist state, while the Hungarian patriots wanted to keep the reoccupied territories for Hungary). Despite a series of military victories against the Czechoslovak army, the Hungarian Red Army started to disintegrate due to tension between nationalists and communists during the establishment of the Slovak Soviet Republic. The concession eroded support of the communist government among professional military officers and nationalists in the Hungarian Red Army; even the chief of the general staff Aurél Stromfeld, resigned his post in protest.[22]
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,131
SoCal
#3
Because Communism was known for fighting against these so-called Greater nationalisms.
Yeah, one would think that Communists would ironically be huge supporters (at least nominally) of ethnic federalization since it would allow them to harness nationalism for their own purposes.

BTW, did this Slovak Soviet Republic include Hungarian-majority southern Slovakia or not?
 
Aug 2019
12
Hungary
#4
Yeah, one would think that Communists would ironically be huge supporters (at least nominally) of ethnic federalization since it would allow them to harness nationalism for their own purposes.

BTW, did this Slovak Soviet Republic include Hungarian-majority southern Slovakia or not?
It was a short lived state under forming, without exact borders yet.
 
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Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,851
Western Eurasia
#7
They didn't care about particular national aspirations or the territorial integrity of the old former Hungarian kingdom. They genuinely believed in world revolution, internationalism, proletars of the world unite etc. On its own I'm not sure this (making a puppet Slovak Soviet Republic) would be a big mistake, I mean there were already ideas floating around for some sort of federalization during the previous Károlyi gov too, this way trying to gain the support of the ethnic minorities (which was of course already too little too late in 1918/19 from the minorities' perspective...). and it wasn't the first or the last puppet statelet formed around this time.

The big mistake was the military evacuation from the north, the retreat itself, giving up the militarily liberated areas... that demoralized the Red Army, many of its members served there for patriotic reasons... but it made sense for the commie leadership, because all they wanted is international recognition and time to consolidate their power. Kun was fooled by the ambiguous 2nd Clemenceau notes, he thought he may be recognized as a party at the Paris peace conference etc if he obliges the demand to retreat.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,131
SoCal
#8
They didn't care about particular national aspirations or the territorial integrity of the old former Hungarian kingdom. They genuinely believed in world revolution, internationalism, proletars of the world unite etc. On its own I'm not sure this (making a puppet Slovak Soviet Republic) would be a big mistake, I mean there were already ideas floating around for some sort of federalization during the previous Károlyi gov too, this way trying to gain the support of the ethnic minorities (which was of course already too little too late in 1918/19 from the minorities' perspective...). and it wasn't the first or the last puppet statelet formed around this time.

The big mistake was the military evacuation from the north, the retreat itself, giving up the militarily liberated areas... that demoralized the Red Army, many of its members served there for patriotic reasons... but it made sense for the commie leadership, because all they wanted is international recognition and time to consolidate their power. Kun was fooled by the ambiguous 2nd Clemenceau notes, he thought he may be recognized as a party at the Paris peace conference etc if he obliges the demand to retreat.
If you set up a puppet government before withdrawing, though, then it's not really a withdrawal--is it?
 
Aug 2019
12
Hungary
#9
If you set up a puppet government before withdrawing, though, then it's not really a withdrawal--is it?
I don't see the Slovak Soviet Republic as a puppet state, just because a foreign army helped its creation. In this case Hungarian Soviet Republic was itself a puppet state, because the Kremlin give all political orders to the leaders via radio communication. (that's why the foreig minister Béla Kun was more important than the de-jure leader president Sándor Garbai.) The Slovak Soviet Republic was declared as an independent Republic, and its leaders were ethnic Slovaks. Of course during the Czechoslovak communism it was NOT seen as puppet state, but after the communism collapsed in 1990, it quickly transformed into a bad shameful memory, because the "Slovaks are not communist".
 
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Likes: Futurist
Aug 2019
12
Hungary
#10
They didn't care about particular national aspirations or the territorial integrity of the old former Hungarian kingdom. They genuinely believed in world revolution, internationalism, proletars of the world unite etc. On its own I'm not sure this (making a puppet Slovak Soviet Republic) would be a big mistake, I mean there were already ideas floating around for some sort of federalization during the previous Károlyi gov too, this way trying to gain the support of the ethnic minorities (which was of course already too little too late in 1918/19 from the minorities' perspective...). and it wasn't the first or the last puppet statelet formed around this time.

The big mistake was the military evacuation from the north, the retreat itself, giving up the militarily liberated areas... that demoralized the Red Army, many of its members served there for patriotic reasons... but it made sense for the commie leadership, because all they wanted is international recognition and time to consolidate their power. Kun was fooled by the ambiguous 2nd Clemenceau notes, he thought he may be recognized as a party at the Paris peace conference etc if he obliges the demand to retreat.
Sándor Garbai was the only ethnic Hungarian in the Hungarian Soviet Republic. No wonder that the real name of the state was not Hungarian, but "Republic of Councils in Hungary" . Similar to the communist party, which was named officially as "Party of Communists from Hungary" instead of Hungarian Communist party. . They simply did not considered themselves as Hungarians, because - at the time - the vast majority of their represented social class: the factory workers the "proletariat" hadn't ethnic Hungarian roots in Budapest yet, and the ethnic Hungarians were only a minority in the newly founded party