Trianon or the “Traumatic Turn” in Hungarian Historiography Cover Image

Trianon, avagy „traumatikus fordulat” a magyar történetírásban
Trianon or the “Traumatic Turn” in Hungarian Historiography

Author(s): Éva Kovács
Subject(s): History
Published by: KORALL Társadalomtörténeti Egyesület
Keywords: history;

Summary/Abstract: The study examines the escalation of the Trianon trauma, a concept that has been neglected in scholarship on the discourse on public history and politics of memory in the last few decades. The author first explores how trauma has by now become one of the most definitive concepts in Hungarian historiography due to the influence of Western trends. This is followed by an examination of the relationship between politics of memory regarding the Treaty of Trianon and the Holocaust. In the second part of the study, Kovács attempts to trace how the social anomie resulting from the enormous losses suffered in the First World War was channelled into the cult of Trianon. The study suggests that this cult sublimated not only the loss of territory, but all the grief and suffering caused by the war. Since ethnocentrism and anti-Semitism has comprised an inherent part of the cult from the beginning, the historiography and collective memory of the Treaty of Trianon is inseparable from the history of Hungarian nationalism and the Holocaust. However, the “traumatic turn” is, in fact, no less than an attempt to separate the two. The author argues that if the current trauma concept allows the Treaty of Trianon prevail over the memory of Holocaust in Hungarian collective memory, it may revive interwar sentiments of revenge and methodological nationalism, which will, in turn, further impede the understanding of social and political historical processes.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 59
  • Page Range: 82-107
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: Hungarian