Atlas of Central EuropeSzent István Társulat
ANTECEDENTS The area of the Carpathian Basin had been politically administered by a single Hungary for over seven centuries after the establishment of the Hungarian dom. The country was disrupted into three parts during the Ottoman expansion then two of its parts were united. The large area became one political unit again e middle of the 19th century but the nation was split into five parts in 1920 of the lands separated from the core area became independent states but they annexed to territories lying outside the Carpathian Basin. This partition affected 23.4 million people ... 300 thousand of them became ci.s of Austria 3.5 million of Czechoslovakia 5.3 million of Romania and 4.1 million of Yugoslavia which also included Croatia and Slavonia with 2.6 million Hungary remained a country of 93 thousand kmz with 7.6 million inhabitants comprised less than two thirds of all the Hungarians. PREPARATIONS Reportrpt from the memories of Professor Ronai: Teleki requested me to appear before him by 7 o clock in the morning on 1 1941 ... He suggested that we walk out to Bastya setany because we could c there freely. The promenade was empty in the chilly and foggy spring morning. s an excellent place for private conversation ... He turned to me.quote the content of what he said: Probably we will be unable to stay away from the war. If the Germans overrun slaviathe Russians will likely intervene: the war will soon escalate on a global and then the Germans may lose. But whatever the situation will bewe have to ire now for the next peace negotiations...lere we must not make a mistake against our working classnationalities or ibours. It is decisive in the preparations that we and others should not only be .ned about our mattersour thoughts should not be limited to the Carpathian i onlybut we must consider the whole region of Eastern Central Europe ...He aim is that we have the most reliable knowledge about all the matters and )f this area ... we have to be able to give a complete overview of the whole buffer where we live just as the Institute of Political Sciences has been doing it in the lecade and a half.could not stop putting him the question why he was speaking about myself. until then he directed us and we carried out what he wished ...quote "You have been doing that for enough time to take the direction into your land." We were somewhat puzzled ... as we accompanied him back to the Sandorr; thereat the entrance of the palacehe said good-bye ...Wo days later we realized that what we had heard was his will to us."THE ATLASThe approximately 1.5 million kmz region was studied in detail and the settlements were shown at village level. In the 1930s 125 million people lived on this territorywhich included Saxony on the NWthe Ukraine to Kiev in the NE and Poland to Brest-Litovsk and Lodz. It also comprised Austria toTrolItaly to the Abruzzi and to Foggia in the south as well as the Balkan Peninsula with Serbia to Skopjeto Albaniathe Greek and Turkish border and Adrianople. The represented area completely covered the area of Roumania and Bulgaria and the Carpathian Basin with Hungary and Czechoslovakia.Geographically this is the middle of Europe. Away from the seasthree large structural elements that build the continent come together here: the ancient East European shieldthe remains of the old West European mountain rangesand the young mountain chains. The impact areas of the wet climate of the Westthe dry continental climate of the East and the Mediterranean climate of the South also meet here. just like the three large families of languages of the continent that neighbour here with some minor ones between.Between the two world wars there were 12 states in the region and 16 official languages were spoken. Official publications appeared in all these languagesbut large groups of people spoke at least twice as many and had their own newspapers and books. The publicationsmaps and statistics were printed in five scripts: GothicLatinCyrillicTurkish and Hebrew.The information in the Atlas was based on national official statistical data and it reflected the situation between 1930 and 1940.The Atlas was published in Hungarian and English and contained 171 colour maps (the Hungarian edition had only 139) and 367 pages of textwhich provided the reader with a comprehensive description of the geologygeographypopulationnationalitiesreligionsagricultureminingtrading and transportation in the region.The maps in the Atlas were complemented with brief explanations and statistics as well as with a precise list of information sources. The maps contained 3 860 000 statistical datafor which the compilers not only had to obtain and process the official statistical publications of ten countries (they did not collect data from Albania and Turkey)but also had to work with gazetteers and detailed maps showing even villages. They had to prepare maps of unified scale and projection from all these sources.The Atlas was completed in less than five years; its last colour sheet came off the press on 15 March 1945in Balatonfuredwhere the Institute was displaced ... just in timebecause the Russian troops appeared there on 25 March.The Atlas contains mere statistics and maps; all its data are based on scientific research and can be verified by official state publications. What is missing is not supported by statistics: the sufferings of people can not be mapped ...