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New Database on Trianon Refugees Published

Péter Cseresnyés 2019.06.04.

A new database containing the names, residence, occupation, and place of arrival of more than 15,000 Hungarian refugees who arrived in Hungary between 1918 and 1928 has been published. These refugees had to leave their homes after a large part of Hungary’s land was transferred to neighboring countries after the Treaty of Trianon was signed.

A database containing more than 15,000 names was published by Trianon 100 Research Group in collaboration with the database compiler, István Dékány, author of the book titled Trianon Orphans (Trianoni Árvák), published by Noran Libro. It contains not only the names of refugees arriving in Hungary between 1918 and 1928 but also their former residence, occupation and place of arrival in Hungary. While these 15,000 names of family heads are only a fraction of Trianon refugees it is still an important stepping stone in getting to know the historical past, according to a statement by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA).

Pioneer Flight of ‘Justice for Hungary’ Drew Attention to Unfairness of Trianon Treaty

The unique list was compiled by the author and the researchers with the help of documents found in the National Archives of Hungary, the local press, and the newspaper Erdélyi Hírek (Transylvanian News) which had documented the arrival of the refugees between 1920-1921.

The 400-420,000 refugees were mostly accommodated in mass-shelters, barracks, schools, and from the 1920s onwards, new housing estates were built in Budapest, and also in rural cities. These people were usually referred to by the term “wagon habitants”  but only a fraction of them, about 12-14 percent,  lived in wagons set aside on the tracks of the organizing stations and railway stations.

The Treaty of Trianon: Railroading Hungary

The group in the database has not been subjected to a comprehensive social history assessment, but according to the documents available most of them were public, county or city officials who had to leave those areas of Hungary which had been transferred to the neighboring countries.

Official statistics show about 350,000 refugees, of whom nearly 60 percent have moved from Transylvania and Eastern Hungary to post-Trianon Hungary.

With the help of the names available and the increasing number of online databases, many family stories can be extracted from the data; for example, archaeology professor Gyula László and his family appear in the database, Tamás Emőd, poet, and even Zalán Csanády, who was a judge of Székelyudvarhely and father of György Csanády, the renowned writer of the Székely Anthem.

The database can be accessed by clicking here.

In the featured photo: protest against the Trianon Treaty on St Gellért Square in 1929. Photo via Fortepan.