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The Land of Peace? The 1921 Borderland Conflict of Burgenland in the International Context

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The Hungarian Republic, which emerged from of the ashes of Austria-Hungary, experienced two revolutions between October 1918 and April 1919. However, neither the democratic regime nor the more radical Soviet Republic born in these revolutions was able to solve the country's most pressing economic and social problems. The collapse of the Soviet Republic at the end of July 1919, in turn, was followed by a rapid rise in extra-legal violence. Freikorps units ( szabadcsapatok ) and civic guards ( polgárőrségek ), aided by the members of the local police, set up kangaroo courts, organized summary executions, and ignited pogroms in the central and western parts of the country.
Article
The end of the First World War and the long transformation from the Great War to the consequent borderland conflicts came into the centre of academic interest in the last few years. Many studies have been expanding the horizon of the research to the Central and Eastern European states and their borderland struggles of 1918–1920. One of these ‘pygmies’ wars was the so called Kärntner Abwehrkampf, fought between the South Slavic and Austrian forces for the southern parts of Carinthia. Although the hostilities played a pivotal role in the German and Austrian right-wing paramilitary mythologies in the interwar period, the history of the war is still relatively underresearched. This article investigates one particular aspect of the conflict, namely the way how Austrian soldiers were remobilized in the province during the first phase of the struggle. The study aims to challenge the existing, often oversimplified explanations about the servicemen’s social background and their motivation to serve in the army. In order to provide a complex picture about the recruitment, the paper presents the three most important narrative traditions on the war and contrasts their claims with the statistical analyses of the soldiers’ enlistment records. The study intends to prove that the political explanations of the memoire literature(s) about the people motivation to fight are largely – although not entirely – misleading. Moreover, the analyses provide a new understanding about the recruitment through pointing out the unique characteristics how people were mobilized during the conflict.
For details on these negotiations, see György Litván, A Twentieth-Century Prophet
For details on these negotiations, see György Litván, A Twentieth-Century Prophet. Oszkár Jászi, 1875-1957. Budapest 2006.
Die verzweifelte Republik
  • Walter Rauscher
Walter Rauscher, Die verzweifelte Republik. Österreich 1918-1922. Wien 2017, 49-50.
1243. 1.d. 47. melléklet. Szombathelyi katonai parancsnokság helyzetnaplója
  • Hl Ii
HL II. 1243. 1.d. 47. melléklet. Szombathelyi katonai parancsnokság helyzetnaplója, 1921.10.04.
A határban a halál kaszál
  • Prónay
Prónay, A határban a halál kaszál, 272.
Politikai és szépirodalmi időszaki lap
  • Lajtabánság
Lajtabánság. Politikai és szépirodalmi időszaki lap, 10 November 1921, p. 1.
War Land on the Eastern Front
  • Liulevicius
Liulevicius, War Land on the Eastern Front, 231.
War in Peace. Paramilitary Violence in Europe after the Great War
  • Julia Eichenberg
Julia Eichenberg, Soldiers to Civilians, Civilians to Soldiers. Poland and Ireland after the First World War, in: Gerwarth / Horne (Eds.), War in Peace. Paramilitary Violence in Europe after the Great War, 184-99, 192-3.
The Vanquished, 71; Liulevicius, War Land on the Eastern Front
  • Gerwarth
Gerwarth, The Vanquished, 71; Liulevicius, War Land on the Eastern Front, 233-5.
Similarly, the constitution of Fiume used historical argumentation and tried to legitimise the state in this context, see Nancy R. Cirillo, D'Annunzio's Poem of Aggression. The Constitution of the Regency at Fiume
Similarly, the constitution of Fiume used historical argumentation and tried to legitimise the state in this context, see Nancy R. Cirillo, D'Annunzio's Poem of Aggression. The Constitution of the Regency at Fiume, The European Legacy 2 (1997), No. 7, 1185-1207, 1196. 110 For more on the concept, see Tom Priestly, On the Development of the Windischentheorie, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 24 (1997), No. 124, 75-98.
Annunzio's Poem of Aggression, 1190
  • D Cirillo
Cirillo, D'Annunzio's Poem of Aggression, 1190, 1194.
The First Duce. See for example the case of the Slavic tugboat captains in the diary of Lajos Egan, the last Hungarian vice-governor of Fiume, see Ágnes Ordasi
  • Ledeen
Ledeen, The First Duce. See for example the case of the Slavic tugboat captains in the diary of Lajos Egan, the last Hungarian vice-governor of Fiume, see Ágnes Ordasi (Ed.), Egan Lajos naplója. Impériumváltások Fiumében a kormányzóhelyettes szemével (1918-1920). Budapest 2019, 251-2.