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  • “Houd moed: Kijk naar Nederland. / Kijk naar zijn vorstin! Je bent niet langer wees.”: Het “Hongaarse raam” in het Nederlandse koninklijke paleis

    “Do not lose heart: Look at The Netherlands. / Look at its queen! You are no longer
    orphaned.”: The Hungarian window in the Dutch royal palace During a festive gathering on 21 December 1923 in the Dutch Royal Palace of Noordeinde in The Hague, a small group of delegates from the Hungarian-Dutch Society from Hungary presented a stained-glass window as a gift to Queen Wilhelmina for the 25th anniversary of her ascension to the Dutch throne. The magnificent stained-glass window in Art Nouveaustyle (202 x137 cm) made by Miksa Róth and Sándor Nagy, with an unconventional representation of the queen was given to her as a token of gratitude for the relief project arranged for children after the First World War. According to the information of the National League of Child Protection, between 1920 and 1930 28,563 Hungarian children from impoverished families were taken to the Netherlands for a holiday with Dutch foster parents. The window is kept today on the first floor of the west wing of the Palace, but the event and its significance is largely forgotten in the historiography of Hungarian ‒ Dutch relations. In this article, the pieces of the puzzle concerning the artistic object itself, the historical circumstances of the gift-giving, the intermediaries and the symbolic message are assembled, to reveal the working and complexity of cultural transfer. It is argued that the metaphor of Queen Wilhelmina, as the mother of the Hungarians, articulated on different levels of symbolic representation and communication can be seen not only as a sign of gratitude. This image should also be understood as an unspoken wish that the apolitical objectives of the relief actions would also indirectly support a political agenda, and that the personal and institutional contacts would lead to greater understanding of the Hungarian efforts to moderate the excessive punishment under which the country was suffering as result of the Treaty of Trianon.

  • Nicholas Roosevelt in A Front Row Seat: Hungary in the 1930s As Reflected in the Memoirs of an American Diplomat

    As Nicholas Roosevelt put it in the foreword of his memoirs a “combination of circum­stances gave [him] the front row seat at numerous important […] events in Europe during the interwar period,” which made it possible for him to “study history in the making” both as a journalist working for acknowledged dailies of the time, such as The New York Times and The New York Herald Tribune, and as a diplomat who served at various European posts in Europe including Hungary between 1930 and 1933. Due to both of these positions Hungarians considered Roosevelt a highly influential person, who could possibly air and expose Hungary’s situation in the international community after World War I, and help further the revision of the Treaty of Trianon. Drawing on his memoirs, diplomatic exchanges, as well as a selection of his newspaper and magazine articles, the essay proposes to reflect on how Roosevelt viewed Hungary, and whether his various forms of written narratives could have any effect and exert any influence in this regard.

  • „De Stefanuskroon niet Habsburgsch”: Alternatieven voor de oplossing van de Hongaarse ‘koningskwestie’ en de Nederlandse pers, 1919–1921

    Following the election of Miklós Horthy as Regent and the dethronement of Charles IV, a special public law situation developed in Hungary, during which the state form of the country remained, in fact, but no one had become authorized to occupy the Hungarian royal throne. The fact that a kingdom existed without a monarch in the heart of contemporary Europe served as an almost constant topic for the political and gossip columns of the domestic and international press, and also earned itself a prominent place among the conversation topics in the rather extensive network of European aristocracy. The importance of the Hungarian problem in the post-‘Great War’ period was also indicated by the lively interest taken by the diplomatic corps of some countries of the continent. Of course, many organizations and individuals tried to win their own ideas in the chaotic situation after the Trianon Treaty and get the Hungarian crown for their candidate or for themselves. This study attempts to introduce the Dutch press narratives in connection with the Hungarian ‘royal question’ between 1919 and 1921. During these years because of the fragile post-war Hungarian internal political situation this problem was at its most acute, and when most of the „candidates” and self-candidates for the Hungarian throne emerged. The paper also looks at the background to some of the motivations behind the candidates and how the news was spread in the international press of the time. The issue raised is of particular interest for the Hungarian-Dutch relations for two reasons. On one hand, there was a fundamental mutual sympathy between the two countries during this period. On the other hand, both countries were monarchies at the time, the public perception of a monarchical state about the predicament of another country with a similar form of government can tell us a lot about the public opinion of the time.