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Wishing you a very blessed Easter!

Áldásos húsvéti ünnepeket kívánunk!

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Declarations of War, World War I
Declarations of War, World War I

What started out as a local punitive action, the original declaration of war on Serbia by the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy soon mushroomed into a global conflagration.  This was due mostly to the intricate web of alliances woven across Europe which even  reached to the Far East.  

The Central Powers, or Triple Alliance, consisted of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Germany and Italy.  They were faced by the Triple Entente, consisting of Great Britain, France and Russia.  These were the main participants.  But  numerous others also joined in.  I will try to untangle the various reasons why some of them entered what became World War I, and why such an array of countries was represented at the signing of the Treaty of Trianon at the end.

(Just a point of interest: the rulers of the three  main participants in the conflict were related by family ties!  German Kaiser Wilhelm II and King George V of England were first cousins; King George and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia were also first cousins; and Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas were third cousins!  Unfortunately, theirs exploded into much more than just a family squabble!)

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Erika Papp Faber

On the Way to the Trenches
On the Way to the Trenches

In this centennial year of the Treaty of Trianon, when we recall the outbreak of World War I, we might wonder what it was really like for the soldier on the battlefield. In a handwritten family publication which appeared in 1921, I have come across a description by a soldier who had been there. This piece is taken from the first and the last of a series of four about his military experience. He signed them only as “Paletta”.  It seems more than likely that this pseudonym was used by one of my Dad’s friends, Éliás Győző, who was also a talented painter.  The illustrations here are his own.

We had originally published this piece in 2014, when we commemorated the centennial of the outbreak of World War I.  

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Paletta (pseudonym for Éliás Győző)

Personal Memories of the Outbreak of World War I

Vajk Edit
Personal Memories of the Outbreak of World War I

In the early 1900s, my (EPF's) Grandfather, Vajk József, was Chief Engineer of the Vajdahunyad Iron Works in Transylvania, a position that was a government job.  My Aunt Edit Vajk, fourth of the five Vajk children, was 14 years old when World War I broke out.  Based on her diary, she had recorded in her memoirs how she and her family experienced that tumultuous event. 

Although we had published this article six years ago, on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war, it seems appropriate to revive it now, when we recall the events that led up to the Treaty of Trianon.

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Vajk Edit

Magyar Treasures: Aranybulla – the Golden Bull

Statue of King Endre II at Heroes' Square, Budapest
Magyar Treasures: Aranybulla – the Golden Bull

Signed seven years after the Magna Carta, the Aranybulla (Golden Bull, so named for the seals – called bulla in Latin – attached to it) was written in Latin, and was one of the first European documents constitutionally restricting the power of a monarch.  It became the basic charter of the country. 

N.B.  The King’s name can be interchangeably András or Endre. 

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Judit Vasmatics Paolini