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Hungary's Hunger

Exploring the origins of Greater Hungary

'Yes, they are taking away the Hungarian language! They want there to be no Hungarians. Transcarpathia has always suffered. Always!' says Olga Beregszasz from the village of Beregovo in Ukraine’s Transcarpathia. Like many ethnic Hungarians, Olga is upset about the state of her minority community in Ukraine’s westernmost region. Once part of Greater Hungary, Transcarpathia was ceded by Budapest as a result of the peace agreement that ended the first world war. At that time, Hungary lost two-thirds of their territory and millions of its compatriots, who now inhabit modern Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Transcarpathia is home to some 150,000 Hungarians. Recently, they have been disturbed by Kiev’s education law that would deprive Ukraine’s ethnic minorities to study in their mother tongues. In the wake of the conflict in Ukraine, many have fled to Hungary to avoid military service in the Ukrainian army. So voices calling for returning Greater Hungary have become more vocal. The documentary explores Hungary’s stance on its diaspora communities and why it matters amid heightened tensions in Europe. Hungarian activists explain why Budapest’s policy is common sense and not pro-Russian, as many in Europe describe it.