2006-11-09 11:17, tibortothu:
Nem en irtam, az elotted levo hozzaszolas harmadik soraban szerepel a szerzo neve.
PS: a tobbi topikod kapcsan irtam itt:
Tetszik amit irtál. Valójában sokat gondolkoztam ezen a témán de azért hozzátettél néhány dolgot
Egy diplomamunka az angliai magyar emigransokrol - angolul. Sajnos, teljes forditasra nem tudok vallalkozni (megfelelo tudas hianyaban), de reszleteiben beszallok.*
Szerzoje Dinnyes Kamilla.
*Addig is elnezest az angolul nem erto MON tagoktol, de tema jellege miatt tettem fel megis.
ENGLAND AND THE IMMIGRATION
Movements and responses
In the present thesis I concentrate on one emigrant group: the Hungarians who in the course of history either voluntarily or under pressure left their homeland. First of all I try to clarify the definitions that came up: what is migration? How are the participants themselves named? What are the features of the given subject? I give a short summary of the reasons for emigrating during the history in the second part. Experts more or less agree that Hungarians left the country in more or less detached waves. The second part is to offer a short survey on the major waves. They found new homes all around the world therefore my attention is restricted to one receiving country, which is England. In the third part I try to shortly outline its function as a receiving country, then to say some words about the government’s and the society’s attitude and opinion about the continuous and nowadays ever perpetual tide of immigrants. The forth part covers the Hungarian organizations in England and the motives behind them as a result of relevant literature and personal data collection about organizations I managed to contact via internet.
Finally I draw the conclusions and give answers I found in connection with the hypotheses.
The controversies and earthshaking changes over history triggered significant shifts of nations to a smaller or larger extent. In the earlier centuries it was the attraction of the newly discovered continents such as America and Australia that needed to be filled with new ’residents’ and at the same time the expansion of the market economy had an effect on the migrating habits of people in the era. The two world wars and the collapse of the great and influential empires and as its consequence the change of borderlines and state forms had also a deep impact on human migration.
According to Endre Sík (1999:9, 12) people’s changing their residence, the motion within and between countries is an obvious and rather complex social and economical phenomena. At the same time masses moving between countries has both advantageous and disadvantageous effects and aftermaths concerning all the participants: the migrants, the country of origin and the receiving country too.
As the observation above indicates to give an overall summary in this topic is a very complicated task as the present topic is connected with numerous interdisciplinary areas. The question therefore can be approached from economical, social and even political and psychological points of view but the enormously extended subject-matter would require experts to sum it all up. This thesis for the reasons mentioned is not able and does not attempt to give a thoroughgoing analysis about the phenomena itself but rather aims to answer simpler questions with the help of relevant literature.
The decision itself- made by an individual- whether to leave the homeland alone or together with the whole family and to settle down in an absolutely unknown country for a longer period or even forever demands great responsibility. It is vital to handle the situation with special care to size up the alternative possibilities and to come to an ultimate decision: will the settling abroad will provide more advantages than staying? The love of one’s native land, the language, history and customs provide security and advantage in contrast with the unknown and is deeply committed to its citizen’s memory and influences the decision. Except for when the historical situation is different and the inhabitants are forced to leave. The break away from the well-known means a deep shock on the emigrants and for this the members are sometimes unable to assimilate into the strange land and to acquire its language and customs. They remain what they were born. Being an alien, someone ‘different’ as a minority encourages the members to look for those with similar background and seek for the company of each other and establish political, cultural organizations, and congregations in favour of togetherness. The use of the common language also provides them with shelter. I dare to say that this happens more or less when the inhabitants of the given country move to another. But if the joining fails to happen it must have a significant reason worth analyzing.
During the last years I managed to spend some time in England and while staying there I was surprised that I met hardly any Hungarians while I got in touch with several other nationalities. And even those few I met wanted to keep away from the other compatriots. Then I started to wonder whether the so called Hungarian disagreement did not change even in an alien country? At that time I did not take up the question but I try to give some explanations in the following thesis.
· I suppose no solidarity among Hungarian immigrants /refugees in England in general.
· Those who were persecuted for any reasons or forced to leave probably maintain their connections more.
· I think English need immigrants for economical reasons nonetheless they introduce several official or unofficial restrictions
To find answers I used written memories of emigrants, summaries in the topic , newspaper articles and contacted ex-emigrants in England for their opinion.
1.1 Definitions and participants of the process
Moving out from a country to another.
(Révai Nagylexikon 1912 XI. 718)
Immigration: Moving abroad to settle permanently
(Larousse Encyclopedia II.469)
‘The permanent change of residence by an individual or group; it excludes such movements as nomadism, migrant label, commuting, and tourism, all of which are transitory in nature.’ (Encyclopaedia Britannica Article 1912 XI. 718)
Migration: ‘In anthropology and sociology movement of population within and between countries.’ (Cambridge Encyclopedia 1992:934.)
‘Immigration is the act of coming to a foreign country to live. The act of leaving one’s country to settle in another is called emigration. Immigrants who flee their country because of persecution, war, or such disasters as famines or epidemics are known as refugees or displaced persons (DP’s.).’
(The World Book Encyclopedia 1992 X. 81)
Emigré or émigré: (emigrant) ‘a person forced to emigrate for political reasons’ ( Webster’s New Encyclopedic Dictionary 1993:328)
Refugee: ‘A person who is persecuted for political, religious, ethnic or legal reasons in his own country and therefore moves abroad.’
(Larousse Encyclopedia 1992 II. 893)
Refugee: ‘When people feel the need to seek refuge (protection) in other countries they are called refugees.’ (Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia)
Migratory: a migrant worker (World Book Dictionary 1993:1316)
Sojourner: Temporary immigrants who intend to make money and return home.
(World Book Dictionary 1993)
They are also called today labor migrant or guest worker.
As the huge variety of definitions show it is not as easy to define what these ideas really stand for. Sometimes they only summarize the gist in one or two sentences (Larousse Encyclopedia) other editors at the same time give full explanations (Britannica Encyclopedia) and others again list examples either of reasons or write about the main waves of immigration (The World Book). The explanation might be that categories are created mainly with the causes and conditions of leaving the homeland in focus. And of course the judgment of the reasons may vary according to political affiliation and social background and therefore it is rather subjective. But at the same time making the ideas of international migration clear in general at least is not only important for experts and researchers but also is in the interests of the governments as clear political goals and effective treatment of specific problems can only be drawn up in this way.
Reading several encyclopedias issued by different countries also supported my opinion that though the phenomenon exists and all books agree in the main features (moving among countries, in and out, political, economical aspects etc) no overall picture is given yet about migration. It is true that as a process international migration itself has not finished yet - and supposedly will not finish while human beings exist and living conditions are unequal all over the world - but many aspects and effects have already an exact form and on the basis of the knowledge we have already acquired bibliographies could provide unified definitions. Who knows why it is not done yet.
The main definitions also vary according to certain aspects: some consider poverty and economical reasons the main viewpoints others say migrants leave for political ‘disagreements’ or write from that point of view whether or not immigrants stay long in the receiving country or just for short while. But whether religious persecutions or poverty emigration really counts as a part of politics, and whether voluntary leaving exclusively goes to economical category is not decided yet.
All in all the picture is colorful but at the same there would be a need for unified writing.
One more thing to mention in connection with the definitions- mostly about migratory workers. Several synonyms were created during history thus the language reflects the attitudes of the host country towards the foreign laborers by implying an underlying meaning of the word. In the years of Great Depression for example, antipathy was confirmed towards foreign workers even in countries where this labor was still needed economically. Only the work force was in need but a person who might require political and social support was not wanted permanently. The ‘new name’ guest worker was given to them. While in less ‘hostile’ societies the name migrant worker showed an agreement with their longer stay.
The same differentiation refers to the refugee- asylum seeker word pair, where refugee is the more general word for people who have suffered from persecution and asylum seeker has the underlying meaning: the unwanted. The reason for that is local citizens feel sympathy and governments are willing to accept refugees, immigrants only in smaller amount while their attitude turns into refusal in case of huge masses.
1.2. Types of migration
According to the Concise Encyclopedia Article migrations maybe classed as internal or on the other hand international and as voluntary or forced. Many divisions relies upon this theory but further researchers found this terminology too narrow to cover the situation so added the time aspect according to which they speak about limited, restricted or temporary emigration (for example in the case of seasonal jobs) and permanent or continuous migration (out- in- migration).
Together with ‘area’ and ‘intentional’ aspects they also took the ‘size’ of the migrants into consideration. All these four major classes together with subclasses may give a reliable, overall picture though too much interwoven and very frequently different aspects prevail in the case of the each movement.
In the following I try to describe these groups so as to provide a more unambiguous classification of the Hungarian immigrants.
Aspects can not be clearly separated. Internal migration tends to be within the same country- most frequently from the poorer rural areas to bigger towns sometimes only one person, at other times whole families commute or move. This is usually a voluntary action and happens for economic opportunities- mostly in seeking for better housing or job (this is not our topic now). External can mean moving from one country to another or even to a continent which may also happen voluntarily. These migrants arrive from developing countries and move to the industrialized ones. But migration may be forced too- so the background of motivations is mixed. In both cases they might stay for shorter or longer periods (time aspect).
Most experts mention temporary workers/guest workers in this category and also immigrants who settle down. In forced migration we count people expelled for any reasons during wars or any politically unstable period. Also people who were transported as slaves or prisoners are in this group. ‘Intermediate between these two categories is the voluntary migrations of refugees fleeing war, famine or natural disasters’ (Encyclopedia Britannica Article)
From the ‘size aspect’ individual migration is not considered significant because it has always existed. Experts rather accounted for collective or mass migration. But demarcation lines are plastic here too. In statistics a single person is registered mostly individually although there is a link of the whole family who came together and settled together too.
Many Hungarian examples can be found among the above mentioned types in all the four aspects.
The first Hungarian migration on a larger scale was of the moving to America in the end 19th beginning of 20th century where the reason is no doubt economical, though even in Hungary, researchers and writers debate whether it happened due to the deep misery and poverty in Central Europe at that time or simply because of adventure and in hope of easy money.
Political refugees are the defeated leaders and soldiers of 1848/49 and of 1956 among several other waves. Ethnic refugees are mostly from our neighboring countries that were expelled after Trianon. Our history is abundant in voluntary migrants in any period for many reasons. Also the length of their stay varies as compatriots nowadays are allowed to return home since the rolling up of the Iron Curtain.
2 EMIGRATIONS FROM HUNGARY
It is a widely known saying that Hungarians can be found all over the world. Although it might be a characteristic feature of almost any European country- let alone speaking about the other continents- but in this case – considering Hungary -there is a little bit of difference. ’There are not too many countries where one in every three members of the state lives outside the borders’ (György Halász p.5)
Nowadays approximately 3.5 million Hungarians live around the borderlines in small ethnic groups and according to estimations, statistics and census the number of Hungarian citizens living in the Western part of Europe - with the exception of Austria – is approximately 260,000 to 270,000. (http://www.htmh.hu/jelentesek2004/nyugat2004.htm) At the present time some 25-30 thousand live in the territory of the United Kingdom and 5 thousand of them settled in London and its further zones but all the other bigger towns have a few Hungarians.
2.1 Main reasons for leaving
People forsake their homeland and move to another country for various reasons. Some emigrate to avoid starvation, some seek for adventure. Others want to escape unbearable family situations or on the contrary unite them. And many others did not choose to leave, but were forced to under pressure.
Numerous divisions are therefore created in different literatures in which the categories are described either in a comprehensive way covering many sub points related or roughed in by only mentioning one or two attributes about the background causes.
In the present thesis I attempt to list the cases in an easy to follow system which is based on a work of Ferenc Cseresnyés (1999) emphasising those categories that refer to the Hungarian case.
2.1.1 Political reasons
The disintegration of multinational and multicultural states was one of the causes of modern age migration. These kinds of states formed the central element of the international system since the 16th century. Such a state was the Turkish Empire, The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in the 19th century then the extended Western European Empires ( England, France Spain etc…) and until not long ago the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The disintegration of the empires fights during the formation of the new member-states for internal and external delimitation led to several wars within and between the states. (Ferenc Cseresnyés 1999:16) Wars were followed by political and religious persecutions, ethnic purges and the infringement of human rights. In the wider sense of the word they are the so called political refugees.
In the 20th century WW I and WW II also had an impact on almost every country in Europe. The conquerors of the wars redrew the map so as a result the number of political, ethnic- national and religious migrants and refugees grew to a great extent. Forced resettling of ethnic groups also outlined the period. The formation of new nation-states resulted in new ethnic minority groups which were not recognised individually but were tyrannized in most of the cases. Again many left their homeland.
Another significant political term was of the Cold War period that divided Europe. From the migration point of view this period was characterised by the coarse restrictions of travelling and migrating in the socialist countries. Restrictions implied not only movements from the East to the West but also crossing borders within the Soviet Union. Besides those few who managed to ‘escape’ after some revolution against the political system there was no significant migration. As communist countries were worried about citizens leaving for the West in larger numbers as a sign of their dissatisfaction they shut their borders while Western Countries left them open for these migrants also for political reasons. Since the winding up the so called Iron Curtain in 1989 the international situation has dramatically changed. Large scale migration from ex-socialist countries followed but their reasons were already not political, but economical.
The political system in Hungary resulted in several emigrant waves. Being the major ‘member-state’ of the Austro–Hungarian Monarchy led to several political conflicts during its existence among which the most well-known was the War of Independence in 1848/49 and the first political immigration to England. The World War eras yielded various political-ethnic conflicts together with the fall of the Monarchy. Our country lost enormous extensions of its territory whereupon Hungarian masses were deported close to the new borders forming ethnic minority groups that exist even today. The world-wide infamous revolution in 1956 while the communists were in office is another example of political persecution. Until 1989 also many individuals left due to the ‘restrictive’ political situation.
2.1.2 Economical reasons
‘The world instructed by acute inequality of economic, social and political conditions (…) generally speaking: at every level of skill an individual is better off working and living in a developed rather than in an underdeveloped country.’ (Zolberg p. 43 in Rainer, Heller, Zolberg, 1996)
One of the typical movements of populations is the labour migration, an almost imperceptible process for centuries. This process can not be reduced into a certain period as economy has its overall effects. In the 20th century the process grew stronger.
In our case it is obvious that Western countries are the target for their prosperous economical background. A modern economical system evolved and the way of industrial production developed there as early as in the 16th century. ‘Since the beginning of the European Industrial Revolution mobility is a characteristic feature of modern societies’ (Ferenc Cseresnyés, 1999:33). This economic system led to the so called ‘growing together’ of the continents. The reason is the division of labour among countries. This concept ended with certain countries growing poor where people first moved from rural areas to urban areas to look for a job then to the promising, economically strong Western countries.
The excessive lagging behind of Eastern countries in comparison with the Western spheres is an overall symptom during history and Hungarians are not exceptions either. Though the first emigrant waves from Hungary (in the 19th century) did not aim at Britain, but America, from the late 20th century there is a tendency for guest workers choosing England for its strong economy.
2.1.3 Personal causes
This category seems simple to draw as it is in connection with family ties, personal attachment, and many times emotions. But no one can state that it has no link with social background or economical situation.
Some people wish to escape because of unbearable family situations still others desire to be reunited with loved ones. To invite the entire family while staying in an other country as a temporary worker was a general way to help them to leave the less prosperous land and find them a better place to live.
The situation is a bit different when the citizen of the country marries and takes a foreigner home who therefore automatically gets the citizenship. As the saying goes ‘Love sees no borders’. But borders can not perceive love either. Many, who were denied access, use therefore the advantages of marrying someone never seen before only for the sake of citizenship. Such ‘love’ has even the value in cash in the international (black) market.
Another personal reason might be the fact: people migrate only because it is possible, no law bans it. Settling is another aspect, it is not always easy to get citizenship, but a temporary stay has no obstacles in most of the Western European countries. And the rules of the European Union even allow- with certain restrictions of course- the free labour movement
2.1.4 Latest tendencies
188.8.131.52 Environmental migration.
A new phenomenon was born at the end of the 20th century. As a consequence of the modern world economy the environment is being destroyed increasingly. The great extent of gas emission, overusage of the natural sources, high military expenses , the clearance of the forests and overfishing the seas produce the new type of migrant who simply seeks for clean water and unpoisoned soil to cultivate. Therefore people set out from the devastated land which once gave secure jobs and head for the relatively unused ones.
184.108.40.206 The effects of overpopulation
As a result of the improvement of hygienic conditions the population of the world started to grow rapidly. The death toll in poorer regions started to fall and birth rate rose. At the same time the population of the developed Western countries is reducing but the extent is not the same. Experts say that the total population is to reach as high as 8.5 milliard in 2025 from the current 6 milliard but only 1.4 milliard will live in the so called welfare states while the rest will struggle for their every day living in the poor regions – unless they decide to move…
220.127.116.11 Brain drain
Intellectual migration is a new type of the modern economic migration called ‘brain drain’. Although intellectuals are normally not from the poorest level of society therefore changing ‘home’ is not essential as they earn relatively well. It is rather a question of appreciation and more of chance in evolvement. This is a highly qualified work force whose migration at the same time weakens the development rate of the home country.
2.2 Hungarian waves of emigration
As early as one nation is ‘born’ starts to wander/ migrate to seek richer waters to fish and forests abundant in wild animals to hunt, but this is called nomadism. Then they seek for fertile fields to graze the herds and soil to cultivate. Hundreds of pages could be filled with the moving of the members of a single state throughout history but considering the limited extension of this work only the major waves are going to play an important role here. Only those periods are going to be in focus when Hungarians migrated in a considerably larger scale and/or when they headed for the United Kingdom although so as to sketch in the background of the movements, to explain some tendencies and provide a complete picture, the migration tendency to the US can not be omitted. For this reason the following terms will be touched upon:
· The Great Atlantic migration (turning of 19th/20th century)
· Political refugees of the War of independence in 1848/49
· Migrants for various reasons between and after the World Wars
· Migrants of the Revolution in 1956
· Free movements after changing the regime in 1989 together with the effects of joining the European Union
To be honest it is difficult to say that a certain wave is restricted to a certain period during history although sometimes there is a clear cause such as changing the regime, or passing a law which is disadvantageous from the view of certain groups of the state but when causes are personal or social or even economical it is hard to point to a particular date. Making such artificial categories of the whole process is inevitable so as to study relationships and togetherness among Hungarians in England later on in the thesis.
Experts of the topic (Kovács 1999, Lukács 1984, Kósa, 1957) score 3 or 4 waves excluding periods when Hungarians did not have any particular reason to leave or when – in spite of their intention they were not allowed to do so. The major waves are set up from a historical point of view and are therefore connected to an outstanding date or event of the time. It is worth mentioning that – though a lot of Hungarian citizens chose to travel and settle abroad and -like this in England -experts do not mention the present time after the 1989 changing the regime as a complete wave of migration. Partly because most of the books I found were written in or even before the communist era or just slightly after its end and therefore experts and researchers need some time to look at the process from a certain distance and write their concise works on it. So the present period is not finished yet therefore my division -based on this fact- treats movements after 1989 as incomplete.
2.2.1 How it all began?
The roots of Hungarians travelling to England go back to the middle Ages. About 1550 humanists arrived who had already heard much about the science that flourishes there and became anxious to ship across the Channel. ‘Some other Hungarian visitors were attracted by the rising political importance and the religious forms of England. (J.Kosa, 1954 vol. XIII 414)
According to a researcher of the case ‘The Acts of the Privy Council of England already records at least a score of Hungarians ( some of them by name) who came to England in the last quarter of the 16th century’ (Sárközi, 2000:3-4.) when Elizabeth I was on the throne. They asked for permits to collect money to ransom themselves together with their families from the grip of the Ottoman Turk.
2.2.2 ‘And staggered out to America 1.5 million of us’
(József, 1937 Hazám)
Even though not in the scope of our thesis it is worth mentioning that the first large scale Hungarian immigration movement registered in books was to the United States during the so called Great Atlantic Migration. ‘The heaviest immigration worldwide took place from the early 1800’s to the Great Depression- the economic hard times of the 1930’s. (The World Book 1993 X. 81)’
Between 1880 and 1910 some 17 million Europeans entered the New World. In the first decades Austro-Hungary takes the third place after Great Britain and Germany in sending citizens but stands in the first place in the last 40 years when, in 1910 almost 1 million members of different origins left the Monarchy.
Encyclopaedias and some concise works mention starvation and intolerable economical situations in the background whereas some of the contemporary authors like Jenő Hegyi (1902) accuse those agents who cheated with the promise of a lot of money.
He states that the Hungarian people adhere to their land strongly since the foundation of the state. Neither the Turkish rule nor the religious persecutions could expel them in a larger amount. On the contrary with the other European states Hungarian history remembers only a few political refugees. ‘This lasted until the last quarter of the 19th century. Then the tide has turned. In the 1970’s started the emigration. Not long after thousands were carried by steamships and by rail from all parts of the country to America’. (Hegyi, 1902:6 ) According to his book the following reasons can be mentioned: the economical system getting worse, and rising taxes. These are all true but it corresponds to the facts more that pretension grew faster than incomes. ‘And unsatisfied pretensions lead to wishes’ (Hegyi, 1902:6). So the development of transportation is an additional reason. The shipping associations won the mostly unsuspecting peasants, over enmeshing them by stratum, sex, religion in different ways. Agents of the companies go to make a speech in the villages, and recruiting notices hang everywhere. ‘And the uneducated peasants read all the promises amazed but believe since it is printed’ (Hegyi 1902: 9)
Between July 1901 and July 1902 more than 25 thousand immigrants went to America from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. But how many Hungarians were among them- no one could say as in Germany where registrations took place all members of the Monarchy was called ‘Österreicher’. Among those who could not make a profit out of the journey many returned later.
As written above Britain at that time was rather an emissive than a receiver country. during this period the immigration to Britain reached only 1%.
2.2.3. Migration of 1848/49
The first important vawe of Hungarian immigration to England was of the political refugees following the defeat of the Revolution and War of Independence. It consisted of mainly the expelled leaders such as Lajos Kossuth and soldiers of the war.
To describe the emigration of 1848/49 as a well-defined unit is actually a very difficult task. Not only because the historical period between 1849 and 1867 did not have its typical nature but campaigns of the migrants participating in this term are much more fragmented and mosaic-like. Also the story of the emigration involves more countries besides England (For example, Turkey, Italy, France, and America).
When the tragic end ensued, already several representatives of the revolution had been staying abroad, who –for obvious reasons- did not rush home. It was a relatively small group but their importance grew rapidly. They were both civilians and soldiers commissioned with diplomatic tasks either legally or illegally.
England seemed to be very important to win over to acknowledge the legal state of being of their case and to provide a supporting army for the planned new war. They obtained several excellent members of the society and politics who organized meetings and except for the extremely ‘conservative newspapers almost all the highly respected ones stood by the Hungarians. Their enormous impact for the public opinion led to the warm and benevolent reception of further groups of Hungarian emigrants representing the defeated revolution and nations hamstrung nations.’ (Lukács, 1984:40 )
To lay a bigger stress on the importance of their organising Kossuth joined in the fall of 1851 after being kept in Turkey as a refugee. His aim was also to gain followers to resume the revolution. He delivered a surprisingly successful series of speeches in Southampton, Winchester, and London- in the presence of almost 200 thousand people, then in Birmingham, which gave him great influence. Thousands of invitations and canvassing for signatures indicated what a deep impression he gave on the public and some officials. But the government together with Lord Palmerston, the Minister of Foreign Affairs at that time and official leaders of towns avoided personal contact with Kossuth and the celebrations and meetings were all organized by enthusiastic private individuals. The official policy of England was that although they showed sympathy the government acknowledged Hungary exclusively as part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
Kossuth, the leader of the emigration also did not plan to stay for long and shipped to America on 19th November 1851. Also many of the emigrants left for another country to settle.
The compromise in 1867 made the already unsuccessful emigration needless so most of those staying in England returned home.
At the same time- by the way- parallel with the Kossuth’s movement, emigration from Hungary as a social movement began right after the abolition of serfdom in the 1850’s. Great encouragement was given by that fairly large political emigration which had to leave after the unsuccessful revolution. Migrants who later formed colonies in Turkey, France and Britain showed for the first time that it is possible to settle in a strange land. They were eagerly followed by many others. Hungarian settlers in the mid 1850’s were around 150-200. ‘The total number of emigrants who left Hungary in the period from 1850 to 1920 is variously estimated as being between 2.5 million and 3 million.’ (Kósa1957:506.)
2.2.4 Between the two World Wars
A radical change in international migration followed when ‘After WW I the US shut the formerly open door and limited the number of immigrants annually admitted and set up a rigid quotas for various countries of origin.’ (Kósa, 1957:510) The low quota which figured 473 first and 685 members later stopped Hungarians moving to the US. This has drawn the attention of Hungarian emigrants to new target countries such as Canada and Latin-America and to Western European countries as well as to England.
It was only after WW I when the political exiles arrived to Britain. The explanation is that after the WW I a new Hungary emerged. The territory of the state was reduced. It became a national state which had no more national minorities in significant size as had the Austro-Hungarian-Monarchy. The new state form was the Regency from 1920 to 1944 whose attitude towards migration was that any people leaving is a net loss as at the same time they lose a tax payer and if it was a men a soldier of the country too. As a result of the Regency’s policy they withheld passports and permission to migrate. (It was needed at that time already). And on top of all that Hungary no more possessing a seaport made escape even more difficult. But restrictions did not affect all classes equally. Somebody from the upper class could obtain a permit through personal connections or even by bribery. ‘In the decade from 1921-1930 only 42,591 people were permitted to emigrate.- a low number indeed, when compared to the corresponding figures before 1914’ (Kósa, 1957:508) At the same time approximately 40.000 left illegally.
After WW I the revolutions, the territorial losses suffered, the White Terror and the economic crisis increased the number of those who considered emigration would solve their problem. The policy was not lenient towards citizens even at the time of the Depression and of the new Jewish persecutions after 1930. For them illegal emigration was the only hope left. Because of the restrictive policy there was no mass emigration of Jews. Only a small number managed to cross the borders but this tendency continued until the deportations began in 1941.
In the troubled years during and after WWII a new type of immigrant appeared. They were the so called forced immigrants. In contrast with the earlier voluntary emigrants political forces put them on the move and made them emigrants against their will.
After the peace dictat of Trianion Hungary lost two thirds of its territory and great numbers of ethnic groups were involved in the forced resettlements that followed.
In the years from 1941-1950 more than one million people were forced to leave Hungary in one way or an other (Kósa, 1957:512) The majority disappeared in concentration camps and in the consequences of the war and political turmoil. There were expelled ethnic minorities, relocated officials, called up soldiers, Nazis trying to escape impeachment and factory workers in great numbers as ‘Economic recovery after the WW II generated a great need for labour creating further population movements ‘(The World Book X. 86) A number of Hungarians were also interned on the Isle of Man at this time with other aliens.
After returns it could be estimated more than 12.000 who left permanently abroad as many refugees and deported persons in the Western territories decided to stay when news arrived of those Hungarians who were captured in the occupied Soviet parts and were dragged off to labour camps. Those who already stayed in England or chose it as a destination during this period was estimated around 7-8,000. Considering the great number of these foreigners staying in refugee camps of the western lands or in other continents in 1951 an Amendment of Declaration of Human Rights was issued to arrange the status of the refugees and providing rights for them. (Kovács 1999:45)
According to various estimations approximately 8-9 thousand migrated to Britain in this period
Later in 1950 the Iron Curtain rolled down on the western borders of Hungary. As already known the communist system principally banned any kind of emigration. Escape was almost impossible and only a small leakage existed.
2.2.5 Revolution of 1956
Fighting on the Nazi Germany’s side in the two wars did not create a good fame for Hungary and this was felt in the judgment of our emigrants too. But negative approach altered radically when‘(…) the revolution of 1956 though the borders opened for a short time, and within a few weeks a surging wave for escapees fled from the country.’ (Kósa, 1957:514) The Western World formulated its disappointment in connection with the squashing of the revolution against Communism, thus when in the aftermath of the sanctions approximately 200,000 left the country they turned their sympathy into helping the refugees. It was decided on political forums that how many expelled people should be accepted in which countries providing the status of refugee with all the advantages implied.
As there was no control at the western borders for several weeks many people rushed to Austria where a reception committee collected the names of those who wanted to leave. Of course they were not only affected by the vicissitudes of the revolution, many people set upon the journey who wanted to move the furthest possible from the communist Hungary. Long queues were waiting in front of the desks of governments though it often happened that they know nothing about the receiver country except for the name. In most of the cases the applicants were on the way to their new home. György Gömöri (2001) wrote his memories about the autumn of 1956: ‘The story of the journey started in Vienna that was literally overcrowded with Hungarians and police could not cope with the registrations and giving out the grey refugee cards to the newcomers. Many undergraduates were in the crowd as well as youngsters at the same age whose admittance to higher education was refused because of their ancestry or for political reasons.’ (Európai Utas 2001/4) Not long after borders were shut again and the severe policy allowed almost no contact with the western world.
According to the researches of Andor Kovács (2001) approximately 21 thousand Hungarians arrived to Great Britain at this time.
2.2.6. Movements after the change of the regime
Already after the end of the 1970’s the international policy of Hungary became more moderate. With the so called ‘tourist passport’ many were let across the western borders. Intellectuals and young people left as research workers among whom many did not return. They arranged their future abroad with the help of others already living abroad and applied for refugee status. Though they were of course not expelled or persecuted, according to the law only refugees could settle.
In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell and so did the communist regime. Borders were open, it was free to travel. Many people used the advantages of refugee status until the West had enough and made the conditions for application stricter. The importance of migrating for job and money into the well-off western countries rose. Many guest workers started to seek for jobs either legally or rather illegally from Hungary too.
Then 1 May 2004 came and with the EU accession our relationship with the west has changed. By degrees the same acquis communautaire refers to us just as to all the other members. And this implies the free moving and -with certain restrictions- the free movement of labour
3. IMMIGRATION IN ENGLAND
3.1 Historical overview
People have been coming to Britain from other countries for thousands of years. Some have stayed for only a short while, going back home or moving on. Others return to their roots but many of those who arrived have made homes here.
Those who settled down are called immigrants, refugees, sojourners (people that stay temporarily) and, more recently, asylum seekers and illegal migrants. Immigration has continued largely because of Britain's appeal as a place of security and opportunity.
There have often been difficult journeys to get here, leaving family and friends behind. Some of those who have settled come as refugees, driven from their homes by natural disasters, persecution or war. From time to time they may have encountered prejudice and discrimination but have gone on to settle and establish communities.
Over the centuries immigrants have influenced every aspect of life in Britain from clothes, food and language, to religion and politics. As early as the 1st century AD it was the Roman army who built Britain's road system.
Even 'English' is based on the languages spoken by Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavian Vikings and Norman French invaders, with words added from the languages of other immigrants.
There has always been a tendency for immigration to England during its more than 2000 year existence. In some centuries the rate was smaller, other times bigger depending on the backgrounds of both the issuing countries’ and England’s political and economical social background. In this thesis it is not necessary to list all the bigger waves and reasons. I would rather start with the most significant effect of the Industrial revolution.
3.1.1 The growth of industry
By the first half of the 19th century, the industrial revolution was in full swing, using raw materials from home and abroad. The need for a better transport system provided work for labourers from overseas. They were employed to build the roads, railways and canals that transported goods between the docks, the manufacturing centres and shops in towns and cities around the country. Migrants also began to move to the textile manufacturing regions of the north and the midlands.
There was no problem until slavery solved the hunger for labour. After the fall of big empires and abolition of slavery Western economies were again short of labourers so started to recruit cheap workers. The foreigners were expected to leave after certain years stay, but it did not happen as it was supposed to. After 1973 oil crisis, many developed countries stopped the recruitments, but as a result guest workers did not leave but brought their family too. Temporary migration turned out to be permanent.
Even after the pace of development of industry and empire had slowed, migrant workers and entrepreneurs saw a future in this country. There was a labour shortage after the end of the Second World War. European Voluntary Workers (EVW) and people forced to leave their homes and were displaced and recruited to fill the gaps. Later, the National Health Service and organisations like London Transport recruited men and women to build up their labour force.
3.1.2 The world wars
In spite of a tightening of entry controls, the outbreak of war in 1914 did not stop people 'moving here'. Members of the Empire travelled from all over the world to serve in the forces or on merchant ships during both World Wars At the end of each conflict, some stayed, some wanted to stay but were not welcomed and others returned later to make a contribution to the peace.
The end of the war created a new demand for labour throughout Western Europe. Britain was busy rebuilding, and workers from all over Europe and the Commonwealth were pouring in to help with the task.
Also in the mid-twentieth century Britain had to face an other major wave of immigrants as its previous colonies gained back their independence.
3.1.3 The present situation
The flow of refugees has been continuous since the end of the Second World War. Many of those who arrived in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s have become permanent communities. Well known is the example of Hungarian refugees arriving after the revolution against the Soviet oppression in 1956.
Over the centuries, people that have moved here have had a significant impact on most aspects of the English society. Places such as Spitalfields and Soho in London, the Leylands in Leeds and Red Bank in Manchester have come to be closely identified with immigrant settlement.
Spitalfields, in particular, has seen great changes in its migrant population over the years. At one time or another it has been known as 'Petty France', 'Little Jerusalem' and now 'Banglatown'. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the building on the corner of Fournier Street and Brick Lane in Spitalfields, which has been in its time a Huguenot church, an ultra-orthodox synagogue and now a mosque. The first Chinese restaurant was opened in London in 1901. Today, London's Chinatown has moved to Soho and is on Gerrard Street.
Immigrants from all over the world contribute to the arts, media, professions and politics of this country. Those who have moved here have played a central role in the lives of the people of this island since early history.
And the immigrant story has not finished. They keep coming even today. If not legally, they climb up to the top of trains, hang under international lorries. If found and refused entry at first time, they try it again using everything to enter the land of opportunities.
3.2 Immigration Rules
No state of the world – including the UK. -is isolated in its own existence but maintains hundreds of international connections with neighbouring and even further countries. It is mainly their essential interest to operate beyond their borders as the only way to join the international economical and financial life. It is their future development that depends on their foreign policy.
In this thesis it would be impossible to list all the Acts and Amendments made from time to time according to the actual historical, economical, political situation and immigration tendencies. There are of course specific cases depending from the newly arrived person’s country of origin, interstate agreements with the UK, social background etc. Instead of dwelling on all the laws in force this thesis puts an emphasis on only those major Acts issued that are the most characteristic features of the EU and may refer to the new member states.
The ultimate dilemma of the Union is that although it wants to be an open democracy assuring open border rights for the free move of citizens and an open market economy where capital, goods and labours are free to move, in the meanwhile it became obvious that not everyone can be accepted. For this reason the Maastricht Agreement in 1992 the term ‘EU citizenship’ was introduced. This excluded members of non-EU states with a different legal background.
The most significant points for members are summarized briefly the following.
· Integrating citizens of EU.
To create the same legal status experts work on the mutual acknowledgement of degrees and other sorts of certificates ‘Accordingly no member with the relevant skills and abilities holding a different passport can be excluded from applications or employment.’ (Cseresnyés, 1999:44)
Another field of integration is of integrating members into multicultural societies.
· With the fitting of Schengen Acquis in the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 the aim of EU was to provide its citizens a united European zone with no inner borders. This act at the same time must not influence the safety of the countries and citizens and will not contribute to the acceleration of illegal immigration. Therefore the entering of non-EU members became stricter and obligatory visa system was introduced.
· New refugee policy
In the Preabulum of 1992 ministers passed stricter law on those immigrants asking for political asylum. As not all the applications are established in these cases a faster course of action is made and the requirement is usually denied. When refugee status is given, the state provides shelter for a certain period of time –at least until the end of causes of persecution. ’The chances to get refugee status varies over the EU member states.’ (Cseresnyés 86) Some countries then provide social support and work permits but others refuse it.
· Free movement of workers in England
Not all the EU member states were willing to open their market for the 8 newly joined states. The UK was among those few who gave permission to the citizens to start work straight from 01/05/2004. Their persuasion is that being „flexible” is going to be beneficial from economical and social point of view and they consider the free labour market the key to successful economy. Therefore all those new members who are to enter the United Kingdom to take up a job are ensured to do it legally. In this way legal workers can meet their tax and insurance paying obligations, and are not forced to work in the black economy. But at the same time opening the labour market is not equal with gaining all the rights and social benefits.
The underlying principle of the requirements is that UK taxpayers should not have to subsidise people with tenuous links to the UK who have gone there simply to claim social benefits
After such a promising announcement no wonder that hundreds of new members set up for making a profit from the new „freedom”. Within no time after the accession celebration England was overflooded with freshly arrived- mostly unskilled but cheap labour force. But foreign policy – just as all political movement is pliable according the ruling party’s theory and aims. Many tendencies have effects on the official viewpoint- often controversial at the same time. The Act passed by the party in power gives a point of attaction. Many proposals have the same destiny before they are introduced.
Though the British government seems lenient towards the new legalized labour force and as proved above benefits from it, not only a year after the enlargement doubts emerged.
3.3 DEBATES OVER IMMIGRATION
And what do English citizens and politicians think about that vast amount of foreigners coming into the country year by year? One way to get to know their opinions is if we open the newspapers that reflects on the attitudes in a sensitive way. The following chapters are based on current BBC articles
3.3.1 Immigration figure rise
The United Kingdom is among the most popular destinations for visitors, migrant workers, asylum seekers etc recently. A lot of people imagine living here and apply for grants of settlements.
Fifty years ago, mass immigration started with small numbers from Europe and larger groups from the other continents. For years the annual settlement was fairly static the rise began in 1999 as the world has become more independent. One of the reasons people find it easier to move is the opening up the market of the European Union. Grants rose in the latest years. For e.g. by 2003 it rose by 20% over 2002. The majority came for family reasons –dependants who had the automatic right to settle. British citizens marrying people from abroad former asylum seekers and employees who had stable jobs in the UK were given grants of settlement. At the same time the number of people deported or left because of denied access decreased.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/09/02 15:48:26 GMT
Permission to stay
3.3.2. Tories planning migrant health checks
„Government figures suggest tuberculosis has increased by 25% over the past ten years. Nearly two thirds of people with TB are born abroad,”-said Michael Howard, Conservative leader
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4265461.stm). People arriving infected are likely to be a danger to public health and impose significant costs or demands on the National Health Service. These kinds of worries existed even before the enlargement now causes every day debates. Positive testing would mean visa applications being turned down as it is already in action in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Tories suggests also testing for HIV and hepatitis for over 16 year’s old coming for between 6 and 12 months or to settle permanently.
There is already some screening at the airports. Those people infected with TB were sent home to seek treatment before being allowed to enter the UK. Although experts are aware that TB is not simply imported, there is a rise in many sections of the UK-born population as well.
Lisa Power, head of policy at AIDS charity said (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4265461.stm) that the policy is rather prejudice-based for it only suggests testing of immigrants and asylum seekers outside the EU Like this it would be more likely to drive people with bad health conditions to fake tests while other gain entry by simple dint of their EU status.
3.3.3 EU immigration flood fear ‘wrong’
Europe expanded from 15 to 25 states on May 2004. Some groups were afraid that the number of people coming from ex-communist countries would overflow England looking for work. But fears of “’flood’ have not materialised- said Immigration Minister Des Browne and added that nationals of the enlarged EU have the right travel freely, take up a residence, study or even engage in economic activity in the UK.(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3813695.stm) Making employment legal resulted at the same time many illegal workers registering at the authorities making the control of foreign workers easier. The Immigration Minister also declared that the UK was benefiting from the labour market flexibility and foreign workers with the skills, qualifications and willingness helped to fill the gaps in sectors like hospitality, catering or agriculture.
3.3.4. Future prospects
Most MP’s agree that migrants are vital for the economy and society but some control is needed. New point system to be introduced to ensure people wanting to work in the UK: have the right skills. They also plan fixed fines for employers using illegal workers, put an end to automatic right for dependants of immigrants to settle, financial bonds for migrant workers in sectors open to abuse to guarantee they return home. The 5 year plan would also handle the case of asylum seekers in a different way by giving only temporary permission to stay while safety in their home country is reviewed. And they would provide more detention of failed asylum seekers. New fingerprint system is also among plans to be introduced for those applied for visas. New step would refer to temporary workers and holiday workers to fill only low skill vacancies. Tories would tighten the border controls by quotas on asylum. Different parties and public administrator organizations see the situation unlike, no basic agreement has been found yet. Which of the plans will be introduced mainly depends on the result of the elections in May. But one thing is sure. Immigration is going to play deciding role in the campaigns
Several authors dealt with this topic and they mostly agree in the major movements though- due to some subjective factors their opinion differs in some of the questions. To form a more or less united review in the following chapters information and data are mostly based on the books of Gyula Borbándi
(1996, 1999) on Hungarian emigration.
4.1 Situation before 1989
Information I found did not suggest that the emigration of this period was united. First of all the migration was scattered over several countries and migrants had to adapt the local political situation. This led to conflicting political concepts in several groups and divided the conception of leaders as well as the individuals how to gain supporters for their case. This lead for e.g. to the withdrawal of Hungarians in England and France too whereas union would have been common interest
The personality and attitudes of Kossuth also divided viewpoints of leaders as well as other Hungarians. Although emigrated and the war was over Kossuth insisted on his title Governor and all the rights included. He wanted free movement in his activities and the highest support possible but no approval for his deeds. As he said ‘The Nation chose me as Governor- thus I am going to dispose over their case without restrictions.’ (Lukács, 1984 74 )
Kossuth also allowed no one to intervene in the theoretical content of negotiations which he had already changed in order to gain extensive support from English aristocrats and of the society. Contradictions were obvious and despite winning supporters over this created confusions in the groups of emigrants.
Such attitudes lead to other leaders such as Teleki or Klapka and others to turn their back to Kossuth as could not tolerate his dictatorship.
I found one organization in this period: it was the Hungarian Propaganda Committee of London, an active group made regular meetings, shared duties, wrote articles for newspapers to support the new war of Independence.
4.1.2. The era of the two World Wars
Hungarians who came to England between 1918 and 1948 were not united. Those who emigrated or deported or exiled came from different social backgrounds age, profession, and ethnic origin and for different reasons. They formed heterogenic groups and most of them did not even know the others arriving at the same time. Settling in the same country for that huge amount of people was also impossible. The common language, the same nationality and the fact of being an alien made a slight connection among them. At the same time fugitives did not think of life long settling but waited for the collapse of the political system and their returning home. At the same time many of them had DP status (displaced persons) and were refused to return home.
Migrant organizations are already mentioned from the 1918/19 years in England. I did not find details about them but as Gyula Borbándi wrote, these considered themselves as representation of the democratic Hungary and were especially active during the war.
There was no agreement among those either who arrived between the 2 wars. The formerly arrived migrants were committed to such political trends which were usually opposed by the following wave. For e.g. not only nationalists escaped to the West but the majority came in fear of the incoming Soviet troops and communism. However the previous groups could not believe that communist turn- even supported by the western policy - could drive away others than devotees of Hitler or Szálasi. The opponents both adjudged each other by their politics, which lead to mutual hostility in general.
At the same time ‘when new the refugees arrived the older ones started to leave for home and finish their establishments.’ Borbándi 1996:14) Of course not all left and when refugees of ’56 started to organize their communities the debate came to be even more polarized. After the détente in 1947 their movements were influenced by the international enactment. The decising factor was written in the Amendment of 1951
This paragraph together with the rights of the refugee status banned every contact with the Hungarian government or any authorities otherwise repatriation follows. To deal with political issues was also forbidden for refugees, although many of them wished to beat down the actual communist power with the help of political activities in order to return home immediately. Consequently no significant community was formed for a while.
4.1.3 After ‘56
Although the background and motivation of refugees in 1956 was more or less the same no collaboration formed in this case either. The disdained fugitives of the war periods did not seek for their company ‘Those arrived in 1945 welcomed the ‘Youths of Revolution’ with mixed feelings’ (Kovács, 1999:52) While they had many hardships until getting the status of refugee with the relevant rights the ‘56 refugees were given status and home right after their arrival.
It led to another conflict among people of 56 that they were unable to formulate the morale of the revolution neither economical nor political concepts. Different life stories lead to different reasoning and made their community divided. Personal oppositions resulted in passive or no participation in communal life and this reduced the number of the assemblies. Although this was a characteristic feature of secular communities there was more togetherness on religious meetings- mainly on the protestant and catholic worshiping in Hungarian language. National holidays were commemorated commonly by secular and the sororities but the malcontents kept away from these too.
Except for the religious communities the movement was basically introduced by the homogenous groups of refugees ’56 in the 1960’s especially after their naturalization. They found that besides personal relationships there is a need for political and cultural exchange of views too and thus began their getting together clubs and associations in bigger towns. But as their sessions were irregular there was no venue to meet and as the associations did not keep connection within the same country they could not meet the requirements yet.
Later on the intention for Hungarian communities and connections became more obvious and organizing started.
It is worth mentioning the name of György Krassó, who launched out on his own enterprise the Hungarian October Press Service in 1986 London. He informed the western world press about the background of political decisions as well as maverick drives in Hungary. He also informed BBC and the Free Europe Radio station. Newspapers from this period are: ‘Népszava’ and the Irodalmi Újság (Borbándi, 1996:79.) and before 1989 the Szepsi Csombor Kör had an important role. While other Circles organized conferences they gave lectures for migrants living in London and its vicinity. Their other task was publishing books and also spreading them in the communist Hungary.
I found no evidence for centres of Hungarian organizations before 1989. They were mainly self-governed and separated on different political viewpoints. But the democratic changes in Hungary proved to be a motivating force in the life of Hungarian organizations in England.
4.2 Situation after the change of the regime in 1989
4.2.1 Duties and its changes
‘Hungarians has always been separated by ideological, social, generational and political conflicts but the overall feeling of anticommunism united them.’
(Borbándi, 1989:24 in Borbándi, 1999) Hungarian immigrants in England always kept a close watch on developments in their home country, especially since the beginning of the 1980s. Their social and cultural life as well as their political activities were for decades determined by the need to criticize the political system in Hungary. When dictatorship was over and gave place to democracy their function altered radically as Róbert Pátkai chairman of MAOSZ admitted:
‘The obligation of Hungarian emigration was that of the substitution of the non-existing opposition for decades. Now there is a freely elected, independent government commissioned by the parliament leading the country. With this our role as opposition is over’ Borbándi 1996:80 in Borbándi, 1999).
Many authors agree with this statement. But it does not mean that emigration itself should finish its existence. They only have to re-organize themselves to get prepared for new tasks. The democratic changes resulted in practical effects on the communal life. The tone from political role taking slowly switched over to the cultural activities. Borders were open and many visited their homeland and started to build up new connections with Hungary. Many of the previous leaders got involved in diplomacy, as well as in economical and financial institutions to serve the homeland as they did for decades already.
Their attention also extended to the problems and fate of the Hungarian national communities living in the Carpathian Basin. From the late 1980’s already in line with the new political trends following the change of political regime in Hungary, the emigrant community’s way of thinking shifted to a greater emphasis on ethnic affinity, the fostering of Hungarian culture, and the redefinition of ethnic identity.
The change in the role and requirements of emigrants issued in alteration of their name. Since the beginning of the 1980’s the term ‘western Hungarian’ started to be used more frequently and widespread. The reason as Gyula Borbándi put it is that with the more liberated atmosphere, with the broadening connections with the mother country the resistance to the home affairs went on to weaken and the possibilities of efficient political activities dropped. As a consequence the status of the migrant became overshadowed and being a western Hungarian got a stress. The appellations were used parallel. Those who exclusively spoke about emigrants wished to emphasise the political role and considered it more important than social and cultural tasks.
4.2.2 New relationship between emigrants and the motherland
Previously, after the WW II or at Rákosi’s takeover in 1947/48 political emigration all over the world had a kind of ‘emigrant identity’ which meant that they compared the foreign situation to that they left.‘ They call such ideals and norms to account from Hungarian society and public life that are already beyond due to that 40-50 years passed’ (Pomogáts, p.6, in Éger, 1995). But the majority withdrew from this identity and therefore was able to form home affairs. They developed a so called ‘dual identity’ which enabled them to remain loyal to the homeland while adapting themselves to the new situations abroad. No doubt that after the political turn they were in the position to represent Hungarian affairs in the world the most efficiently. They had the role to mediate between The Western world and Hungary. When 1989 came they saw it as fulfilment of their hopes and were looking forward to using their position to help the transformation. ‘But now they are shocked by the awkwardness in the motherland, refuse the fierce debates in politics, the irresponsibility and selfishness beyond economical deterioration disappoints them.’ (Pomogáts p. 10, in Éger, 1995). The lack of valid information from home in many cases contributes to this disappointment.
When Sándor Lezsák was asked to send word to emigrants he said ‘we are awaiting their coming home.’ (Borbándi, 1995: 67 in Borbándi, 1999)
They had of course the possibility to come back and settle as democracy does not set it back. But people who had already spent half of their life in the ‘new home’ can not and do not always want to move. Even those stayed who the loudest were urging the political changes from abroad. And as they stayed they are not recognized as equal members of the Hungarian society. The compensation for confiscated properties, punishing those responsible for the misuse of power and becoming legally 100% citizen, was not fulfilled. Anyone can remember the degrading poll of last year December about citizenship for all Hungarians abroad.
Although they stayed their wish to help the mother land and citizens remained. But in the first years neither of the participants had specific ideas what the tasks should be. There were of course economical requirements-as they have the financial background to promote the state , and businesses, finance the publishing and translating of works of high value and keep their language and national identity. But according to Borbándi as it has been obvious all the time and they committed everything to support these fields, the homeland should have other conceptions than economical. As they saw the reason why competents could not or did not want to formulate their viewpoint was due to the lack of awareness and helplessness. In principle they support the cooperation but no practical problem definition was made.
The knowledge and experience gained by the western Hungarians was without use. The first years –as they saw - were characterized by impatience about the pace of changes in Hungary and the unilateral recourse of their experiences. This resulted that they participated in smaller numbers in the reconstruction of the state than it was expected and slowly retreated. The changes they were awaiting for decades did not bring the fulfilment of emigrant dream. Now they have to accept that the most they can do has nothing to do with politics. Their task now is to commit everything to keep the spirit of being Hungarian in the following generations who have less and less ties with the homeland of their ancestors.
4.2.3 The end of the emigration
‘Since it seems obvious that the change of the regime in Hungary will not be followed by multitudinous homecomings it is sure that western Hungarians –as we call them- are going to last (…)and hundreds of thousands will exist abroad for long although less and less in number.’ (Borbándi 1992:27 in Borbándi, 1999)
The migrant political and intellectual life was a kind of consequence of our historical blow and national crises. And if –as we hope – crises like this will not happen again through history emigration will be left without new blood. Though the 2nd and 3rd generation can keep contact with the motherland of their parents they will never feel to be emigrant. But it will not result in the end of Hungarian people living abroad. Thanks for the favourable political conditions borders are open for them to visit or even settle with certain restrictions.
4.3 Present Hungarian organizations abroad
I dare to say that smaller gatherings and organizations were established during the history which existed for longer or shorter period. But as it is not in question of the thesis I would start with some of them from 1848 and give a longer ‘list’ of our present days gatherings. I have to add that still this list is going to be incomplete. I mention the major ones and detail those with whom I managed to keep contact by changing e-mails.
Apart from smaller changes institutions and organizations exist and carry on an other functions abroad. Parishes still have significant role in preserving the identity through generations. György Tüttő pastor leads the Hungarian Catholic Church and Róbert Pátkai is the chairman of Hungarian Evangelic Church of England too. ‘The literary, scientific and cultural life still prospers in England’ (Borbándi, 1996:83) In both fields countless Societies, Centres, Associations and KÖR function, help their fellow countrymen at home, educate the new generation by teaching them about our mother tong, history and traditions, maintains the Hungarian mind and stands by the all-time interest of the Hungarian communities.
To give an overall summary of the present organizations is easier if I started with the centres and go on with the smaller ones.
18.104.22.168 Worldwide Alliance of Hungarians
First of all we have to mention the Worldwide Alliance of Hungarians located in Budapest and as declared the aim was to gather Hungarians from the old country and those living in dispersion around the world as well as keep the language and culture. No alliance came to existence before ’89 for political reasons but then negotiations started and in May 1994 the W.A.H. appointed MAOSZ to National Council in Britain. (Borbándi 1996:81.o)
Different ecclesiastical and secular organizations - who kept only loose contact with each other for decades -formed a common representative body the National Federation of Hungarians in England in London, 11 July 1992. Fourteen organizations and independent individuals joined so their number reached up to 2000 members. The elected chairman is Róbert Pátkai evangelical bishop who at the same time edits their periodical, the Hungarian Mirror.
The National Federation of Hungarians in England (MAOSZ) is an international organization of politically independent establishments in the United Kingdom. ‘The Federation supports every Hungarian issue that serves the interest of all the communities and respects the conception of the revolution 1956, the national traditions and universal human franchises’ (www.nyeomszsz.org/eng/html) Their other aim is to preserve the Hungarian language and culture, support the common interests and help the cooperation among the fellow organizations and individual members. They commemorate on the significant national festivities and also try to keep contact with the other Hungarian establishments outside the homeland.
The Hungarian Mirror reports on all the important meetings or cultural events since 1993 in every 3 months. It advises on events and happenings related to Hungarians but not only from Britain or Hungary but also from other parts of the world.
They put emphasise on their political independence, which is – I think – an inevitable step if they want to maintain multiple relationships. Although they follow the home affairs in Hungary they resist every form of participating or to take sides in the debates.
To get more details of their existence or every day work I wrote to Róbert Pátkai and put up some questions in connection with the Federal. He did not reply – but it is true that I was warned he was a relatively old person who does not write e-mails all the time. In turn his opinion and information would have made the present thesis more realistic and comprehensible.
22.214.171.124 Hungarian Cultural Centre
‘It is important to have a visible Hungarian presence in such a dynamic and vibrant area’ (Katalin Bogyay, director of HCC)
The Centre is established by the Government of the Republic Hungary and governed by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. It operates in London and acts as an envoy of Hungarian culture, art and social sciences. It opened the doors in Covent Garden in 1999 and has become a cultural space where ideas, artists and thinkers can meet. From the very beginning the aim of HCC was to make Hungarian culture visible and available in Britain for not only country fellows but all nationalities interested. Among their cultural programs exhibitions, concerts and regular screenings their performance series is also very important to mention. the former ‘Hungarian in Focus’ series which has travelled up and down Britain between the summer of 2003 and November 2004 turned into a cultural festival called Magyar Magic.
’Magyar Magic - was a year-long celebration of Hungarian culture in the UK, under the joint patronage of Her Majesty the Queen and Dr Ferenc Mádl, President of the Republic of Hungary, to mark Hungary's entry into the European Union in May 2004.’ (www.hungary.org.uk)
The festival involved more than two thousand artists in thirteen cities and five hundred separate events. Besides a number of valuable works of Hungarian literature and art were launched in English translation. More than a million visitors discovered our national culture in both its traditional and its modern form showing its characteristic diversity.
The HCC also plays important role to support other smaller organizations when advertises their programs on a common booklet issued every 2 months. The wide range of cultural and other events, workshops or leisure programs can be seen clearly when one opens the booklet–together with the vivid communal life of the organizations England wide. Many times 5 or six choices stand under one day’s offer. Carnival Ball in Surrey, Meeting for Hungarian au-pairs in London, Hungarian Social Club in Rochdale and many more.
Education is also in focus as they have classes on Hungarian from beginner to advanced.
The following cultural and other organizations are without the intention to show complete list. Let me rather give a few examples of how the Hungarian organizations function nowadays when seemingly all support is given by the homeland and by other community centres.
126.96.36.199 Oxford Hungarian Society
Kati Evans was one of the founders whom I managed to get in touch with on the internet and who informed me about their life and role in the local Hungarian community.
The existence of the predecessor of the Society goes back to 1957after the refugees/ emigrants of ’56 arrived to Oxford- together with the already mentioned György Gömöri. In his article in Európai Utas (2001/4) also remembers those years. As he writes the social events of the first couple of years was that of the meetings of the Hungarian Club. He was the first secretary. They had their sessions in the ST Anthony’s and already in the Michaelmas term there was a political and cultural event among their other programs. The first anniversary was even reported in the local paper the Oxford Mail. The Club existed until the end of 1959.
In a couple of years wait within the help of Kati Evans the Oxford Hungarian Society took over its duties. The Society was established 15 years ago in 22 January 1978. Other founding members were Josef Sajer a Soros scholar at that time and Robert Evans, historian. It was in the semester 1986/87 when Hungarian students first arrived to Oxford for an academic year with the help of György Soros’ Foundation and the support of the English Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Katie Evans – who were so kind to send the description of the Society- brought Hungarian immigrants in Oxford and newly arrived students together and used her influence to establish the Society. Their first meetings were mainly representations of local English and Hungarian guests and included other cultural events. By 1991 these representations have already turned into Open University lectures and series of lectures were given on the history of English-Hungarian relationships, seminars on music, literature, poetry and even in political and social topics. Presentations of actual researchers and students were also in focus in many fields of interests. The Society maintains amity with former English Ambassadors from Budapest and with Hungarian Ambassadors in London who sometimes join the huge group of speakers.
The connection with London is important. Since the establishment of HCC the Oxford Society gets support to carry on its traditions, refresh its members and supply the programs.
And what is the Society like today? As Katie Evans declared the social life is vivid and the atmosphere is friendly. Though the Soros Foundation is over Hungarian students, researchers and au-pairs from many countries keep on coming, which provides new blood for the society and keeps it young. The meetings are hold mainly in English because of inquisitive foreigners. Their website on the internet gives up to date information on the current Hungarian situation as well as on TV and Radio programs.
As a sign of appreciation the Hungarian state awarded Katie Evans the state merit of Golden Cross in 1988.
188.8.131.52 The Hungarian Children and Parents Group
Their description was given to me From Ágnes Czérna, a language teacher and leader of activities in the Group
The group is a registered UK charity and operates in London since 1987. As they admit their aim is to maintain the Hungarian language and culture of those bilingual families that live in an English environment. They put emphasis on the education of children. The group is a kind of Hungarian Saturday School and Nursery. And run a nursery and several school classes for children, and teach Hungarian for adults as well on alternate Saturday afternoons. For children aged five or above, they offer Kodály Music lessons and Animation at the same venue. Alternatively the group arranges folk dance for children, distant learning for children who are outside of London, or home tuition where reasonable. They help in Hungarian grammar/ literature/ history subjects for children in case they want to continue their studies in Hungary. To make their free time activities more colourful they organize trips in and around London and weekend workshops in hostels for whole families.
The examples above however do not mean that all organizations are in the same state. Many must have hardships in existence. Among those who replied to my email was a group which had difficulties in arranging meetings due to the lack of interest and financial support. Although this group is in Scotland and no scope of our thesis I dare to say that private ventures might have the same destiny in smaller settlements. The woman who organizes the annual commemoration of 15 March 1848 was disappointed that although he tries to keep connection with around 80 Hungarian families people find excuses not to appear. She explained that the furthest they are from the Capitals and centres the harder the immigrant’s life is. In order to be accepted by the local community and get a good job they have to assimilate as much as possible. Therefore it is rather the newly arrived ones who join the meetings and the older ones avoid their community. Assimilation seems to be more important in smaller settlements. The government might provide equal chances to all its citizens but mentality of people can not be influenced once they feel someone an alien
5.1 The difficulties of the research
The aim itself to give a concise work on migration of Hungarians faces many difficulties from the beginning. The distinction between the migration types –for example expelled or voluntarily left, returned or settled down- and according to the different categories about which separate book might have been written made my idea impossible to achieve: to give a full picture of the movement in the main points and to talk about each types and phenomena in sub points. One of the major problems turned to be the statistics themselves: in the WWI. Even where there were more or less reliable surveys and summary of the scores Hungary as a country of origin was not found. Statistics count Austria and Hungary as one unit, one country though the ethnic distribution of people was not equal from region to region. As it was known:the Austro-Hungarian-Monarchy had several ethnic minorities as well besides the Hungarian and Austrian residents and to take them all as members of only one ‘country’ can not result precise figures.
The next problem emerged when the monarchy disintegrated as a consequence as the defeat in the WWI. The geographical borderlines were drawn on the base of political and of power concepts and were not paying attention to the domicile of different nationalities incorporated by the previous Austrian frontiers. Even the forced and often brutal repatriate did not solve the ‘problem’ and many Hungarians were left in minority groups around the newly created small Hungary. And since they lived in a foreign country statistics administered their case as Slovakians, Romanians, Serbs and so on –making the result of the statistics unreliable again. Unfortunately this thesis also excluded them as- from the so called ‘second wave’- their history was of foreign countries’. And taking the other seven countries’ history into account is impossible within the size of this work.
Although describing the Hungarian migration from a historical point of view seemed facilitating at first but considering the various system of aspects and reasons of researchers and writers led to an even more fragmented picture. No overall summary was written in this topic and while certain migration periods play an important role at one author (for e.g. political migration of Kossuth in 1848/49, Horthy’s take over in 1948). Many times the time frames shift thus including or excluding minor movements.
Making the orientation in the labyrinth of emigrant history even harder no concise work was published –as far as I know- exactly in this topic. Authors wrote hundreds of book in general and on the relocation of people but they were mostly interested in the main target countries. Mostly interested in the main target countries such as Germany, Switzerland and especially the USA but England was somehow neglected in those books available for me. Mostly smaller articles or hints were published as part of another topic but no complete study.
As proof of these observation above many researchers and writers mentioned one or the other as impending factors. Julianna Puskás had the same opinion about the not clear separation of the two categories: the country of origin and the ethnic affiliation. (in Migration Studies II.) As well as Andor Kovács who raised the problem that after the Amendment of the Declaration of Human Rights western governments rewrote the place of birth to that before 1938 and registered thousands of Hungarian refugees as other nationality. (Kovács, 1999: 46) They are not exceptions among all the authors who had similar difficulties. Even György Gömöri who left for England in 1956 and wrote many articles about Hungarians in England confessed that as far as he knows there has been no comprehensive book written about the Anglo-Hungarians.
5 2 Conclusion
As the research showed numerous Hungarian organization and establishment exist and functions in England but the man in the street in Hungary does not know about them. They only heard a lot about those emigrated to the U.S.A. What led us think that team spirit is typical only among Hungarians in America and not a feature in the rest of the western countries? Dead true that media is full of their gatherings and news. They seem to be the noisiest but as we do not know the overall situation it can be attributed to the fault of glittery media.
Reading through innumerable remarks and forums about the topic (utazas.com, TV2) whether Hungarians are belonging together abroad- many comments was made on both side. As it is a widely known fact that Hungarians like complaining the negative opinions were more frequent. I dare to say according to my studies that togetherness exists. Several societies proved us that it is possible to gather people with the same interest for the public weal. But how about togetherness in general? As I saw it while abroad and read the opinion of others who had tried it say: when already ‘work’ is in question the best do if you avoid your own fellow countrymen. I can not decide which group is closer to reality and what is the truth in general. Everyone has their own right in particular situations. But what is important for us: there are plenty of organizations in England and from 1992 there is even a centre to unite them. And once cultural events are organized, schools and kindergartens to teach the language there must be a need for it by Hungarians. Also those competents who replied my questions state that interpersonal connection is getting better recently among Hungarians in England. Zoltán Mánfai said: ‘Formerly envyness and fear caused by the.regime characterized the mind of emigrants. But as I see connections are improving.’
It is however a misfortune that due to the lack of the personal contact I could not provide a more comprehensive picture about their role in the everyday life of Hungarian migrants and their role in preserving their national features.
Hungarian emigrants –from whatever aspects we are trying to examine- have never been united from that point of view that everyone agreed in everything. To some extent we can take it as natural. But democracy is to show to what extent whether it is possible to have different opinions and to defend them. Authors pointed on it that Hungarian emigration -or as we call it today western Hungarians- has always been diverse. But differences were rather based on altering viewpoints and the means they used to reach their goals but never on the fact when did one leave the homeland.
Being more dependent on one another when dispelled from the motherland? To some extent the answer I found to this hypothesis was: not necessarily. The mutual and common background – let it be social, historical or religious- provides always more possibility to find contact when needed. But accordingly to authors like L. Lukács or A. Kovács they all mention some sort of the dissension whenever talking about Hungarian immigrants( ideological crisis , differing opinions and goals, envyness etc)
It seems for me that politics is one of the reasons that disagreements lead to disaffection and sometimes to total isolation even when an overall and common goal was in focus( see Kossuth immigration) But it is probably an other Hungarian trait that when politics in question there is no agreement. Viewpoints divide participants and usually both of the counterparts hold their ground.
And finally –as chapter three shows - western societies are aging and the smaller amount of the new generation is not able to support its older members and they can not provide all the income to cover the expenses. Fewer amounts of workers can not fill all the vacancies so as to contribute to smooth functioning of economy and will not fulfil the needs. And also recent tendency that many kinds of jobs are considered to be undervalued and therefore local citizens tend to take other jobs. For all these reasons I dare to say that society is in high need for foreign workers. But ‘the tether and obligations of foreign workers (…) are unsettled. The extant regulation is basically defensive and relies on the law enforcement and lacks the assets of the economic planning.’ (Sík, 1999:19.o)
Newspaper articles confess that it was rather a fictious fear that after the accession of Middle Eastern European states Hungarian and Slovakian employees would overwhelm the labour market. As a consequence 12 among 15 of the former members opposed the free labour movement. But fears did not turn to be reasonable. According to the data the British Government published in this year February all together 130,000 people of all the newly joined countries asked for work permit. And 40% of them has already been working on the black market and only wanted to legalize their activities. (http://www.mfor.hu/cikkek/cikk.php?article=18557) According tom Peter de Rooij, head of European Employment and Training Foundation it is rather the Western part that will be dependant of middle and Eastern European employees due to their demographic situation (http://www.mfor.hu/cikkek/cikk.php?ter=6&article=13360)
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