Interwar relations between Hungary and the Soviet Union did not determine the subsequent fate of Europe. In fact, the two countries failed to maintain diplomatic contact for most of the period. Yet an examination of Hungarian-Soviet relations from the end of the First World War to the beginning of the Second World War provides some important revelations. Hungary, which emerged from the First World War as a vulnerable losing power, and Soviet Russia, recovering from severe economic and social upheaval, proceeded down divergent paths during the interwar period. Hungary achieved some of its revisionist objectives between the years of 1938 and 1940, yet the country was not among those who determined the direction of Europe's political developments. The Soviet Union managed to regain its Great Power status, albeit in altered form, and, beginning with the intensification of political tensions within Europe during the 1930s, its authority increased steadily, placing the USSR beside Germany as one of the continent's supreme military powers.
Moscow increasingly focused its attention toward central Europe during this time, treating some neighboring countries as belonging to its sphere of interest. Did Soviet leaders regard Hungary as part of this domain as well? Attila Kolontari attempts to answer this question while expanding our understanding of these events.
Attila Kolontari is assistant professor at the University of Kaposvar, Hungary. His research concerns Hungarian-Soviet relations, Soviet foreign policy between the two World Wars, and the history of white Russian emigration in Hungary.