These days both Poland and Hungary protest against refugees from Middle East and Africa to be settled in Europe. Although I can see some points in this opposition, quite different than popular news spread, it is worth to mention that refugees moved between these two countries in the past. They were not Muslims, they were mostly Christians. The story of Polish-Hungarian, or Hungarian-Polish migrations began most probably yet in 10th century, and ended up during 2nd World War, where in 1939-1941 thousands of Polish soldiers and politicians were firstly allowed to run to Hungary, fleeing from German and Soviet occupation, then interned, and then most of them fled to France and Great Britain, with at least passive acceptance, if not sympathy of Hungarian government.

One family, two nations

I cannot be sure, what impact below story has had on sympathy of Hungarian officials for Polish refugees. But apart from that, everything posted here is a fact. My assumption, that family affairs may have impacted decisions of Hungarian government is just a feeling, and wishful thinking. After all – these are my ancestors and relatives.

In 1711 Hungarian uprising of Rakoczi against Habsburgs has fallen. Rakoczi himself, his most involved followers, their families, or at least part of them moved to Saxony and Poland, looking for protection from August 2nd – Saxonian and  Polish king. Unfortunately for them, king himself presentd no sympathy for Hungarian uprisers, rather looking for Habsburgs to join  alliance against Russia and Sweden. However – Rakoczi, and his people spend some time in Poland due to hospitality of Polish nobles. Among them was Michaly Csaky – general of Rakoczi’s army (linked article in Hungarian only) from great Hungarian family, related to Rakoczis’, Bathorys’ (hrough the marriage of Demeter/Dymitr Csaky with Sophie Bathory – sister of Stephen Bathory – King of Poland and Prince of Transylvania), Weselenyis’ and other greatest Hungrian nobles. After some time all of them returned to Hungary to fight again with Austrian Habsburgs in 1716-1718. Michaly from 1739 spent his life imprisoned along with Rakoczi in Turkish Rodostó till his death in 1757.

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Castle in Spisz, owned by Csakys’ till 1945 and Coat of Arms – Hungarian (left) and Polish (right)

And there is a gap there, how did it happened, that from 1730’s In Poland there lived captain of saxon army (Saxony and Poland up till 1733 had the same king – August 2nd The strong – Franciszek Feliks Csaky, or, in Polish – Czaki de Kerestszegh. It seems that he is the son of mentioned above Michaly, moreover, that in noble patent, approving Polish coat of arms for him and his family – the coat approved in 1767 is like to like to Hungarian Csakys’ one. his father’s name mentioned is Michaly, and the nationality of the family is proven to be Hungarian. F.F. Czaki was not the regular G.I.Joes’ captain – he was a cartographer – in times, where you couldn’t google anything, this guy was creating maps – for the army, for the government, he was planning building of canals, documenting cities growth etc.

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Map of Spisz/Orawa by F.F.Czaki

The same had been done by 3 of 5 of his children – 3 sons were cartographers and architects. Farther descendants developed quite well in various areas: Anicet Czaki published in 1830s architecture book covering model structures for rural buildings, there were few actors/actresses, journalists, there were another uprisers as well – in both 1830 and 1863. Meantime – Hungarian part of family also developed, this time serving, not fighting Habsburgs. They were catholic bishops, officers, politicians (including Minister of Religion and Education – Albin Csaky), and artists. In Poland Czakis lived in Warsaw and Kujavian district (Wloclawek, Ciechocinek, Lipno), in Hungary they lived mostly in Orava (up till 1918 it was Hungarian, and Csaky family kept it up till 1945) and Transylvania areas. Have they been contacting? Hungarian Csaky de Körösszeg et Adorján and Polish Czaki de Kerestszegh?  I have no direct proof either confirming or denying this. But this is where our story begins…

War times

Prior to World War 1st, In Autro-Hungarian Galicja Jozef Pilsudski started to build future Polish army. Well, it was not the army as we imagine today, but there were paramilitary organizations, teaching about importance of independent Poland, patriotism etc. plus military training. One of leaders of this movement was also Tytus Wincenty Czaki (link in Polish only). From 1905 close to Pilsudski’s inner circle, journalist, led building Strzelec organization in Zakopane. In 1914, when the war begun, and Pilsudski led the Polish Legion, Czaki was already the lieutenant in 1st Infantry Regiment of Legions. In 1915 he was wounded, but already promoted to the captain. We all know, how the war ended. For Poland it was beginning of struggle – we won independence, but needed to defend our borders against Soviet Russia.

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Officers of Polish Legion. Tytus Czaki first from the left, Jozef Pilsudski – third from the left

Tytus Czaki stays close to Pilsudski and his closest officers – Sosnkowski, Slawoj-Skladkowski and others. Only the Hungary of all surrounding countries supports Poland – willing to transport ammunition and weapons to fight Soviets. Ministry of Foreign Affairs is led by Imre Csaky – son of mentioned previously Albin. Well, well, well… One Csaky leading foreign affairs of Hungary, another – close to Polish leader. And Hungary is the only country supporting Poland… Surprising, isn’t it? Of course – supporting Poland was reasonable move. But still, the only country doing so was Hungary. Although I do not have direct proof, I assume personal relations of Imre and Tytus might have had something to do with that. Especially considering fact that in 1939 situation was nearly the same…

Even after death of Jozef Pilsudski in 1935, Tytus Wincenty Czaki stays close to former Pilsudski officers. In 1930s  he is living mostly in Warsaw and Ciechocinek, being political activist and journalist, from time to time taking some public role (major of Brzesc at Bug river, and Wloclawek). Once the war begun in September – Hungary again, was one of two our neighbors, that did not take any action against Poland, although they were invited to take the part in by Germany. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary – Istvan Csaky refuses participation in war against Poland. He had officially stated that Hungarians would have never foirgive its government if it would declare any action against Poland. Moreover, The Hungary (and to be true – Romania as well) intern thousands of Polish soldiers, accompanied by politicians – many of them transferred after few weeks or months to France and Great Britain – supporting Polish armies in the West. Again – no direct proof that Istvan and Tytus were in touch. However again we observe coincidence – on Csaky at Hungarian government, another close to Polish leaders, and surprising sympathy (once compared to other neighbors) of Hungary for Poland.

No happy ends

World War 2nd did, what centuries prior to it couldn’t. It almost destroyed the Csaky and Czaki families. At least their importance for politics. Of course there are descendants of Csakys and Czakis. I am one of them – my grandgrandgrandmother maiden’s name was Czaki – she was cousin to Tytus. Her son – my grandgrandfather – Edward – lived with his family during World War 2nd in Warsaw 1-2km away from Tytus’ place. And most probably less than 1km form the place where Tytus daughter died.

He had grown great child – Hanna Czaki (article in Polish). She was in scouts movement, after the war begun the whole family was taking part in resistance against Germans – in their flat in Warsaw there were conspiratorial University lectures (as officially Universities were closed), Tytus and Hanna were into underground structures. Hanna was mentioned by Wladyslaw Bartoszewski – future politician and minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland- she was taking care of him after his release from Auschwitz. In January 1944 she was arrested. The same day Gestapo arrested her parents, aunt and few friends in their flat. All tortured, and all were killed by Germans in January-February 1944. Today – only the small street in Zoliborz, Warsaw reminds of Hanna.

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Hanna Czaki and her street in today’s Warsaw

Istvan Csaky dies in 1941, prior to Hungary taking part in war against Soviet Russia. Imre Csaky died in 1961 in Canary Island – on his way to exile in Venezuela.

We would, most probably never discover the truth, how family relations of Czakis and Csakys influenced foreign affairs between Poland and Hungary.

P.S. Also my grandgrandfather – cousin of Hanna Czaki died in German Concentration Camp. Luckily his wife and son – my grandfather – survived.