International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
Education of Ethnic Minorities in Hungary between the Two World Wars


Minority education in Hungary developed controversially during this era. The laws and government decrees ensured relatively broad opportunities to minority education (free foundation and selection of schools) but in practice, a number of obstacles made mother tongue education difficult. In the 1920-ies, and 1930-ies, there were three types of minority schools in Hungary. In one of them, teaching was performed in the language of the minority, and Hungarian was an obligatory foreign language. In the second type, they taught in both languages: literature and science was taught in the language of the minority, while history and civics in Hungarian. In the third type, (in settlements with Hungarians in majority) education was provided in Hungarian, but the minority’s language and folks knowledge was an obligatory subject. The leaders of the settlement, the education authority, and the representatives of the parents decided on the used language of education. However, several factors made the operation of the theoretically flexible system difficult. There were not enough native teachers to teach children in their mother tongue, modern student books, and educational resource. Hungarian political circles urging the revision of the peace treaty, especially the ones working at the lower levels of public administration rolled obstacles in the way of minority education, in this way they tried to make the minorities’ assimilation faster.