Columnists clash over Hungarian-Polish friendship

Two columnists of conservative Hungarian opinion portal Mandiner entered a heated debate about the Hungarian-Polish friendship after one of them published an article attempting to “debunk the myth”.

editor: REMIX NEWS

Kristóf Trombitás – in the wake of of the celebrations of a century of Polish independence – wrote a critical article about the “unconditionally enthusiastic” tone of the reports about the anniversary, saying that while there were indeed times when Hungarians and Poles have supported one another and even fought side-by-side, there were also times when the two countries had been at odds.

He mentioned the fact that Polish troops invaded a northern Hungarian county at the end of World War I and that King Bolesław I the Brave (Bolesław I Wielki) took control of the northern part of Hungary shortly after the turn of the first millennium. Trombitás wrote that while the current Hungarian-Polish friendship is both a good thing and should be maintained, “there is no need to fabricate and perpetuate over generations of unfounded fantasies”.

Enter Miklós Mitrovics, another columnist of the same portal – incidentally, also a historian whose main area of research is Polish-Hungarian friendship – who responded in a long article, listing ten points in which his colleague was wrong.

Chief among these is Trombitás’s claim that a short rhyme often quoted in both countries, “Pole, Hungarian — two good friends, together they battle and drink their wine” (Polish: Polak, Węgier — dwa bratanki,/i do szabli, i do szklanki, Hungarian: Lengyel, magyar – két jó barát,/ Együtt harcol s issza borát,) is far from being as old as many claim but is a recent fabrication.

To this, Mitrovics points out that there is evidence that the rhyme was born in or around 1772, when Polish patriots attempting to reclaim their country from Russia took refuge in northern Hungary.



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