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IN 1938, the world's major powers left the young Czechoslovak Republic at the mercy of Hitler's Germany. This allowed Hungary to reclaim the parts of southern Slovakia it had lost after the First World War.
On November 6, 1938, the Hungarian Army entered the Slovak border town of Komárno in grand style. This postcard shows Regent Miklós Horthy proudly riding a white horse. Horthy was known for taking many titles, including "admiral" even though Hungary doesn't have a coast.
After a short existence as a military dictatorship, the annexed land was divided and adjoined to neighbouring Hungarian administrative regions. Policemen, officers, and teachers from Hungary began seeking employment there. This made people in the occupied land uncomfortable, including nationalists who had long lobbied for joining Hungary. The influx also had financial repercussions that the Hungarian system, which was significantly less developed than that in Czechoslovakia, couldn't bear. As a result, workers lost the right to unemployment benefits and had shorter holidays and longer working hours.
All this nationalism was aimed at creating "Greater Hungary", but the onset of the Second World War put an end to that plan.
By Branislav Chovan
10. Sep 2007 at 0:00