The "Rongyos Gárda
" (Scrubby or Ragged Guards) were a non-regular paramilitary
unit in Hungary
, active in 1921 then reestablished in 1938.
The Treaty of Trianon
which concluded the First World War
, awarded a stretch of land with mixed Hungarian
and ethnic German
population to Austria
. However during August 1921 when Austrian police and customs officers attempted to occupy the area, their efforts were thwarted by armed resistors organised by the Rongyos Gárda. The Guards were a militia
of Hungarian volunteers, many of them former soldiers of the anti-communist detachments that fought alongside Nicholas Horthys
National Army. They were led by captain Pál Prónay. The name Scrubby Guards reflected the fact that they were a non-governmental force.
The Guards' primary goal was to reduce the land loss after the 1920 Treaty of Trianon
. First they proclaimed a new country between Austria
and Hungary, the Lajtabánság
, supposedly ruled by their commander, Pál Prónay
. At the same time they launched a series of attacks to oust the Austrian forces that entered the area. After the clashes, Sopron's
status as part of Hungary (along with that of the surrounding eight villages) was decided by a local plebiscite
held on December 14, 1921, with 65% voting for Hungary. Since then Sopron has been called Civitas Fidelissima
("The Most Loyal Town", ), and the anniversary of the plebiscite is a city holiday.
The Guards were reorganised in 1938 on the eve of... Read More