Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"Hungarian Propaganda War"


Mr. Jim Fulton


Last Friday, 24th January, members of Lanarkshire Philatelic Society viewed a truly fascinating display at their meeting.

The subject was "Hungarian Propaganda War" and was presented by our member, Jim Fulton from Coatbridge.

He began from the end of the First World War when the Emperor of  the Austro-Hungarian Empire was forced to abdicate and, under the Treaty of Trianon, signed in 1920, the Empire was divided with parts going to Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Stamps and postcards displayed the Hungarian Royal Family, and the many Hungarian stamps that were overprinted by the countries receiving the parts of the Empire. Also, in 1920, stamps overprinted by Austria were further overprinted with a skull and crossbones by a group of rebels!

Hungary began its "propaganda war" with a series of postcards showing a pessimistic people pleading with the West to help them regain their lost country. This tactic did not work so another series of propaganda postcards were issued - this time depicting gloom and misery. 4 "Mourning Statues" erected in "Freedom Square" in Budapest symbolise lost territories of Hungary - also of the "Statue of Hungarian Grief", this unveiled by Lord Rothermere of Britain who was severely anti-Trianon. The flag of Hungary is shown in many postcards at half mast - this to remain until the country is restored to its pre-Trianon days. 

Then a change of attitude!  Another series of postcards - this time showing optimism using the mantra "I believe in the resurrection of Hungary". Some of these cards show the Cross with a map of Hungary imposed upon it - and all have the flag of Hungary at half mast. Postcards too of Admiral Miklós Horthy who, in 1919, took control of the Hungarian Government.

In 1931 a Lockheed-Sirius plane flew trans-atlantic from Newfoundland to Hungary with the words "Justice for Hungary" painted on its side. This flight helped to publicise the injustices of the Treaty of Trianon. Postcards showed the plane, its slogan and its pilots. This was a successful venture and in 1938, at Hitler’s invitation Admiral Horthy made a State Visit to Germany. In September 1938, by the Munich Agreement, part of South Slovakia was returned to Hungary. Stamps were issued to celebrate. Many  postcards were, also, issued for this and for the celebrations at the return of part of Carpartha-Ukraine in 1938; Transylvania in 1940; Croatia and Serbia in 1941; and, in 1944, the remainder of Slovakia was returned.

There was a display of stamps and postcards of St Stephen - the patron saint of Hungary and the display ended with a further display of stamps issued by Hungary through the war years.

Our treasurer, David Haig, led Members in giving thanks for a truly fabulous display.

Our next meeting in the Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is on Friday, 7th February at 7:30pm when members look forward to welcoming Mr. Alan Blakeley with his displays "Newfoundland" and "Insurance".   

Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc is very welcome to attend.