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Slovak State in Basic Coordinates

Added by: S. Ščepán, 15.3.2019, 681 visit

The Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and the Holocaust Documentation Centre in cooperation with the Slovak National Museum – the Museum of Carpathian German Culture and the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University have organised a scientific conference named “Eighty Years After”. The conference took place on 14 March at the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava and among the topics were the formation, existence and the context of the Slovak State from 1939 to 1945.

The conference has offered an overview of the most important aspects of the functioning of the regime. Mr Adam Hudek, the Deputy Director of the Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, gave the opening speech in which he reminded us that there is probably no other period in the history of Slovakia that is researched more thoroughly. “The Slovak State is still a period that draws the attention of historians as well as the general public. But despite the superior knowledge we have about, for example, the crimes of the regime administered by Hlinka’s Slovak People’s Party, the rhetoric of its advocates stays the same,” he pointed out.

The Slovak State was formed shortly before the outbreak of the World War II as a direct consequence of the deterioration of the international political situation, domestic political development and severe pressure of Nazi Germany. Crippled by the loss of southern territories, taken by Hungary, and parts of Orava and Spiš region, taken by Poland, Slovakia declared independence on 14 March 1939. The Czech part of the republic became a part of the Nazi Third Reich as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

The series of presentations and subsequent discussions was commenced by Mr Ivan Kamenec from the Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, who talked about the stages of development and the specifics of the political regime in the Slovak State from 1939 to 1945. He talked about the course towards totalitarianism, about the open or sophisticated elimination of political parties and about the gradual internal disintegration of the regime after 1940. He reminded us of the three pillars the domestic totalitarianism was supposed to be based on – the Christian beliefs, the Estates and nationalism which began to grow into intolerance. Other presentations and following discussions mentioned the anti-Semitic policies and the Holocaust (Eduard Nižňanský, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University), the process of Aryanization and its impacts (Ján Hlavinka (Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences), Slovakia as a client state of national socialist Germany (Michal Schvarc, Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences) and other topics and context of the existence of Slovak State.

“The conference is a kind of a summary of the existing knowledge the historians have collected over the last thirty years upon researching the history of the Slovak State,” Michal Schvarc suggested one of the ambitions of the conference. Also notable were the topics of the existence of the Slovak State in the economic area of Nazi Germany (Ľudovít Hallon, Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences) and the history of the Slovak People’s Party (Michala Lônčiková, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University and Adam Hudek, Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences.)

Photo Stano Ščepán and Vladimír Šimíček

Attach file

PhDr. Ivan Kamenec, CSc. z Historického ústavu SAV.