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secret committee of Bolshevist agents, whose avowed object it was to frustrate any attempt at consolidation. Here as elsewhere the Bolshevist program aimed at carrying the revolutionary movement into the lands of the Entente. Against this program of destruction Count Karolyi advocated a policy of conciliation and rapprochement with the Entente, hoping to gain their sympathy on account of his known democratic views and their material assistance in averting the famine that threatened the country in the Spring. It seemed to him that, in the success of this policy, lay his only chance of combating the disruptive influence of the Bolshevist propaganda and of saving what was left of his country from the final calamity of the Bolshevist State. Unfortunately for his hopes in this direction, the Belgrade armistice proved a most unsubstantial support upon which to lean. It caused great dissatisfaction among our allies, the Czechs, Rumanians, and Serbs, who demanded and obtained a drastic revision of its provisions.
But it is with the effect of this revision-involving, as it did, territorial encroachments from all sides on the political situation in Budapest that we are here concerned. It entirely frustrated the efforts of the Karolyi Government to introduce order into the prevailing chaos, since it destroyed the foundation on which these efforts were based. To build up any sort of stable Government on such a pile of ruins as the former Hapsburg monarchy now presents would be no light task at any time, but it becomes an impossibility when the ruins are being perpetually shifted about. Moreover, it rendered the economic situation in Hungary almost desperate in that it deprived the country of the large supplies stored in the districts evacuated. Finally, it greatly strengthened the hands of the Bolshevist elements who were working to stir up ill-feeling against the Entente.
CONDITIONS OF ANARCHY The Government had no means of maintaining its authority, and chose the course of doing nothing—for there was no army to speak of, and the police were not to be trusted. But a policy of laissez-faire is a dangerous expedient in a country on the verge of starvation, with an active body of Bolshevist secret agents best on completing the process of political and social disintegration resulting from the collapse of the old monarchy. There is a steady drift toward anarchy. In the economic sphere conditions of anarchy actually prevail. In all the large factories the workmen have turned out the Directors and appropriated everything to themselves. But they do not work them. To begin with, there is no coal to be obtained, and in any case it is simpler to qualify for the Government subsidy to the unemployed by ceasing whatever work one may be engaged on. In the sphere of politics, Count Karolyi's elevation to the Presidency of the republic was an ominous sign. The extremists had never concealed their intention of discarding him when they felt sure enough of their position. His elevation to the Presidency was evidently a compromise, as it rid the political machine of his immediate control while retaining temporarily his good offices as a diplomatic asset.
For the rest it is a picture of increasing disorder; of robberies, street assaults, continual strikes, and revolts. the conditions are represented as far worse than any during the war, the bread, for example, now being made entirely from maize flour. The last letter which reached the writer described the situation as rapidly reaching a climax, and mentioned that it was unsafe for any one to leave the house after dark. Hungary seems to be as far as ever from the end of her troubles.
Fall of Count Karolyi’s Government and Rise of a Soviet Regime Dominated by Bela Kun
(PERIOD ENDED APRIL 12, 1919]
HE Provisional Government of the
Hungarian Republic, of which
overturned on Friday, March 21, 1919, by the Communist revolutionary element at Budapest under Russian Bolshevist leadership. President Karolyi handed over the reins of power to the Soviet leaders without a struggle, ascribing his act to the Allies' treatment of Hungary after the armistice. The resignation of the Hungarian Government came after the French authorities then in Hungary had directed the Hungarian Government to withdraw its army forces to the Szegedin-Debreczen boundary, the Rumanians to hold the Aradszat-Marnement line and the French to occupy the territory in dispute.
Count Karolyi had preached the doctrine of Hungarian independence for years before the war. Shortly before the great conflict began he made a trip through the United States to enlist the support of men of Hungarian birth and descent in favor of political independence for Hungary. Then came the war and the Austrian débâcle. The prostration of Austria-Hungary before Italy produced such disorganization in the Government of Budapest that the Hapsburg authority melted away in Hungary as well as in Austria. Command of the soldiers and control of the Government officers fell naturally into the hands of Karolyi, the most prominent and ardent defender of the principle of inde pendence. The first revolution in Budapest occurred on Oct. 31, 1918, and the power of the new republic was definitely established by the dawn of the next day.
Both the bloodlessness and swiftness of the revolution which put Karolyi into power were explained by the fact that the National Council, originally a society in which the Karolyi party, the
Social Democrats, the bourgeoisie, and the radicals had organically united for common action, had developed through the peculiar course of events into the only organized power of the State; and the adherence of the military garrison of the city to the program of the National Council at the crucial moment turned the scales for revolution.
Count Karolyi headed the Government as Premier until Nov. 16, when a republic was officially declared, with Karolyi as President. Various dispatches subsequently received from the Rumanian capital told of the difficulties of the new republic. In November Hungary signed the contract with General Franchet d’Esperey fixing the conditions of the armistice and the line of demarkation, beyond which no belligerent army was to advance. Despite this agreement, the Rumanians and Serbs, the Hungarians declared, advanced considerably, while the Czechs occupied Slovakia and both parts of the Danube district. By this dismemberment Hungary lost the Banat region, which was her food storehouse, and the northern coal mines, which enabled her industries to live.
ELEMENTS OF INSTABILITY By the middle of January political chaos and the hunger of the populace had created the menace of Bolshevism, and had produced a critical situation throughout the country. A month later a Communist revolt broke out with such violence that the Karolyi Government was forced to declare martial law and use troops to retake parts of the city under control of the rebels. The leader of this uprising, Bela Kun, was at this time falsely reported to have been lynched by the people of Budapest.
the firmness and swift action of Karolyi balked the plans of the revolutionists—for the momentbut the sup
unity of the country. Military occupation is but a transitory condition and should not be applied to transform by force the occupation into a veritable annexation.
pressed agitation went on subterraneously, and steadily gained new power. To this agitation, combined with the seriousness of food conditions in Budapest and throughout Hungary generally, was added a new factor, which proved to be the immediate reef on which the Government of Karolyi was wrecked—the Hungarian protest against the boundaries set by the Allies between Hungary and her neighbors, Rumania, Serbia, and Czechoslovakia, and the announced intention of the Allies to subject Hungary to military occupation. PROTEST ON ARMISTICE TERMS
As early as Feb. 22, 1919, the Karolyi Government protested against the terms of the armistice, so far as they affected Hungary, in a long note addressed to Lieut. Col. Vix, head of the allied mission at Budapest. Its main issues may be summarized as follows:
Railway and food administration had remained with the civil authorities in Hungary during the war, and had not passed into the hands of the military. The allied proposal to deliver certain parts of the railway system into the possession of the Allies was contrary to the explicit provisions of the terms of the armistice. Yet the Hungarian Government affirmed its desire to accomplish faithfully the duties imposed upon it, and declared itself ready to submit to a control of the railway administration through the intermediary of the interallied commissions. The same disposition applied to the question of food supply, which, similarly, had never been administered by the military; all controversy, moreover, should be eliminated by Article 15 of the Belgrade armistice, which decreed clearly that an allied representative should be attached to the Hungarian Food Commissioner in order to safeguard the interests of the Allies. As to military occupation in general, the protest expressed itself as follows:
The Hungarian Government cannot refrain from declaring again that military occupation can have no other object than to assure the military superiority of the occupiers, but that the armistice treaty could in no way serve as basis for the application of measures tending to the dissolution of the economic and political
FALL OF KAROLYI GOVERNMENT
Thus, with the power of the Extremists growing, with the Hungarian Government finding no solution of the boundary disputes, and with allied military occupation an accomplished fact, only the pressure of new events was needed to precipitate a crisis. A combination of such events occurred. The first of these was an order issued by the Allies that the Hungarians withdraw to the Rumanian boundary fixed by the Rumanian treaty of 1916. Again, on March 22, came the announcement that allied troops had occupied the greater part of Hungary, with the exception of Budapest and the surrounding districts, in order to suppress plundering bands of Bolsheviki. On the same day the world was startled by learning that Karolyi had surrendered the reins of power to the Bolsheviki and that Hungary, like Russia, had undergone a second and more radical revolution.
Vienna dispatches declared that it was the establishment of the neutral zone on the Hungarian-Rumanian frontier, decided upon by the Peace Conference, which had precipitated the crisis. This zone was intended to make the Hungarians desist from attacking the Rumanians and to close the gap between Rumania and Poland. The Entente note defining this zone was dated March 19. The zone was fixed as a belt 140 miles long and forty miles wide, virtually shutting Hungary behind the Rivers Theiss, Szamos, and Maros, and including the towns of Grosswardein, Debreczen, and the entire country behind. The note required the withdrawal of the Hungarian troops behind the western boundary of the belt within ten days and authorized the Rumanians to advance to the eastern boundary. The civil government of the neutral zone was to be exercised by Hungarians, under allied control, but the important points would be occupied by allied troops.
Judged in the light of Karolyi's farewell manifesto, all three of the causes described were contributory. It was
AUSTRIA AND HUNGARY IN THEIR REDUCED FORM ARE REPRESENTED BY THE WHITE SECTION, AND THE SHADED PORTIONS INSIDE OF THE OUTER BLACK LINE ARE CLAIMED BY OTHER STATES. BOHEMIA, MORAVIA, AND AUSTRIAN SILESIA GO TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA. THE TRENTINO AND POSSIBLY THE TYROL MAY BE ASSIGNED TO ITALY, ALONG WITH ISTRIA.