Slovak National Uprising – Information Post 1

So here is the beginning of my new project focusing on the Slovak National Uprising. I try to tell myself everytime that I write that I should write my introduction last, but today I am writing in a more relaxed manner. You can check out my daily post here (if you are seeing this message that means that I haven’t published it yet), and you can find out about the adventures I went through today.

“A man can be destroyed, but not defeated” – Ernest Hemingway 

This quote was at the Slovak National Uprising museum/monument (SNP), and it really stuck out to me. The risks and the sacrifices that the Slovaks took in the uprising against Nazi Germany were great, and in the end after much suffering they finally were freed from the oppressive rule. 

A replica of what the Slovak rebels would have stayed in.

To understand the results of an issue, you first must understand its roots. 

The first world war spurred a massive change in the powers governing over Europe. Many states which had been ruled by monarchies for centuries had crumbled, leading way to a new era of democracy. However, the results of the Paris Peace Conference caused anger and frustration to grow in countries such as the defeated Germany. This disruption in the peace in the newly reformed Germany caused the rise for the National Socialist movement. Once the national socialist won the German election in 1932, reevaluation of the terms issued in the Versailles Peace Treaty became one of the larges issues they set out to address. Once Adolf Hitler became chancellor in 1933, the rapid growth of the National Socialist grew exponentially, and caused nationalism in the country to rise. 

Because of the ever changing environment of the first world war, the Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved. From the rubbles of this broken nation, out came a new state: the Czechoslovak Republic. The Czechoslovak Republic was officially declared on October 28th, 1918, with its first president being Tomáš Masaryk. This newly independent nation had the recognition of many allied powers, such as the United States, Great Britain, and France.

From the beginning however, the Czechoslovakian government struggled with many serious internal and foreign political problems. Even though the Czechoslovak Republic maintained democratic order, its government was not able to settle many national issues. The constitutional position and rights of the Slovakian people was a topic hotly debated but never settled. Because of this, and the unwillingness of the Czech and Slovak politicians caused the rise of the Slovak movement towards autonomy. This movement, the Slovak People’s Party, had some democratic say in the government, which was starkly contrasted by the neighboring countries forms of dictatorship which prevailed in the region. 

A propaganda poster for the Slovak People’s Party, also known as Hlinka’s Slovak People’s Party. If I am translating it correctly, the poster is trying to get people to join the Hilinka Guard, the Slovak People’s Party militia. 

The Slovak People’s Party, operated in opposition, however it was not destructive and claimed its loyalty to the Czechoslovakian government. The party however, was forever changed when the Czech regions of Czechoslovakia lost land to Germany due to the Munich Agreement. As a result of this, the Slovak People’s Party declared the Autonomy of Slovakia, which was accepted by the Czechoslovakian government in Prague. However, it was not long before more land was lost in the Czechoslovak Republic, as a direct result of the First Vienna Award. As a result of this, the Slovak part of the Czechoslovak Republic lost parts of southern Slovakia, leaving the capital city Bratislava, completely exposed. 

Czechoslovak korunas

Note: I am doing some research on the Slovak-Hungarian Little War (will explain further in), and I had no idea how destructive Hitler was to the Czechoslovakian Empire. 

That’s all I am going to go through today. It has taken me some time to translate and really comprehend this information myself, although I hope it does get easier in the future. Here is yesterday’s post where i explain what I am doing with this project, and my plans for it. Anyway, thanks for reading!

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