Trading with the Enemy – British-Hungarian Commercial Relations during WW2

Relations between two countries, whether diplomatic or commercial, can be fraught with difficulty at times; when these countries are at war with each other, these relations are even more fragile. British aid and intervention helped resuscitate Hungary in the inter-war period mainly due to a League of Nations loan. The  two countries enjoyed amicable relations in the same period, however, they ended up at opposing sides in the war. As a result, this fragile relationship was further weakened and complicated by the fact that the commercial side of things was regulated by the 1907 Hague Conventions and the UK Trading with the Enemy Act of 1939. The talk aims to explore the complexity and flexibility with which both parties handled their commercial ties in the war, and how this engagement could result in a re-flagged Hungarian ship with its Hungarian crew joining secret Allied convoys in running the gauntlet of Axis U-boats. 

Eva Norton was born in Hungary and educated first at ELTE University in Budapest then at Exeter College Oxford. She first joined the staff of the newly set-up Archives of Contemporary History as a historian and research analyst then the Institute of History at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She is married to an Englishman and lives in London. Currently, she divides her time between teaching and voluntary work in the Hungarian community in the UK. She is the Chairman of the British-Hungarian Fellowship, the oldest Hungarian cultural organization in the UK, and Co-Director and Trustee of the Guildford Hungarian Cultural Association.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016, 7pm
Hungarian Cultural Centre
10 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7NA

Booking is required. Please call 020 7240 8448 or email