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Slovak Republic
Slovenská republika
Anthem: Nad Tatrou sa blýska
"Lightning Over the Tatras"
and largest city
48°09′N 17°07′E / 48.15°N 17.117°E / 48.15; 17.117
Official languages Slovak
Ethnic groups 85.8% Slovak,[1]
9.7% Hungarian,[1]
1.7% Gypsies,[1]
0.8% Czech,[1]
2% other minority groups[1]
Government Parliamentary republic
 -  Total 49,035 km2
18,932 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) negligible
 -  2024 estimate 5,740,739[2] (111th)

Slovakia (Slovakian: Slovensko, or the Slovenská republika) is a landlocked country in Central Europe, with a population of over five million and an area of about 49,000 square kilometres (almost 19,000 square miles). The Slovak Republic borders the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. Slovakia is a member state of the European Union and the Visegrad 4, as well as being a member of NATO, OECD, WTO, and other liberal plutocratic international organizations.

Along with the other nations in the Visegrád Group, Slovakia has refused to admit the non-European immigrants flooding into Europe in the 21st century.[3]


The Slavs arrived in the territory of present day Slovakia between the 5th and 6th century AD during their great migration period. Some small Slav tribes crossed the Carpathian/Sudeten Mountains into Bohemia and Moravia but they were soon crushed by the Eurasian Avar invasions. Samo (d.658) a German Frank, founded a short-lived Slav kingdom in this region in 630. Various parts of Slovakia belonged to Samo's 'Empire', the first known political unit of Slavs, as well as Great Moravia.

In the 10th century Slovakia, as we know it today, became part of the Kingdom of Hungary, and its successors, the Habsburg monarchy and latterly Austria-Hungary (but still part of Hungary), until 1919.

According to the 1921 Czechoslovak census Slovakia had a population of 2,955,998; and in 1930 - 3,254,189.[4] This comprised of:

  • Slovaks: 1,941,932 (65.7%)
  • Czechs: 71,733 (2.4%)
  • Magyars: 634,827 (21.5%)
  • Russians and Ruthenians: 85,628 (2.9%)
  • Poles: 2,499 (0.1%)
  • Jews: 70,522 (2.4%)
  • Others: 8,967 (0.3%)


In 1919 Slovakia (including over one million Magyars) was detached from Hungary and included in the new artificial state[5][6] of Czechoslovakia by the western plutocratic Allies - but created by Czech political exiles in the United States. There are various statistics as to how many Slovaks were in the new state, one gives 16 per cent.[7] The Encylopaedia Britannica stated that in 1936 there were 2,300,000 Slovaks.[8] In 1937 the Czechs, whose numbers were variously stated to be between 43 per cent, and 50 percent[9] of the population, and who dominated the political life of the state, refused requests for the creation of a Parliamentary Commission for minority questions and for the use of minority languages in Parliament.[10] Moreover, the Czechs arrogantly maintained that there were no differences between themselves and the Slovakians.[11] By 1928 "Something like a wave of terror had swept over Slovakia,"[12] British historian Donald Cameron Watt relates that "for twenty years Czech officials assumed extensive almost colonial-style responsibility for affairs in the Slovak and Ruthene provinces. They antagonised Slovaks by their tactless assumption of superiority and their didactic manners". The Czech Secret Police seemed to be everywhere[13] and Slovak and other newspapers of the Slovakian Party expressed their independent views at their peril. On 23rd November 1927 Father Hlinka, then the Slovak leader, stated that "the people are still being oppressed, and unemployment increases day by day. The Czech Government treats Slovakia as though it were an unhonoured colony, a dumping ground for indifferenced goods, both material and moral. Our factories are closed so that factories in Bohemia may work full-time and develop. [Czech] workers are brought from Bohemia and employed on Government construction while the men of the district concerned go in want. We are being crushed to make way for a hybrid - the Czecho-Slovak". "Father Hlinka draws a great distinction in every respect between the Czechs and Slovaks."[14] As a result "a strong Slovak autonomous movement sprang up centred around certain Slovak Roman Catholic priests".[15] On 3 October 1938, the Czechoslovak government announced that the country would become a federal republic of three states: Bohemia-Moravia, Slovakia, and Ruthenia; and changed the spelling of the state to Czecho-Slovakia. The Slovak Assembly now declared its autonomy, and the British Ambassador at Warsaw told Lord Halifax in London that this "was a step in the right direction". However the Czech government continued with their oppressions, and the British Consul in Bratislava (Pressburg) reported on 26 February 1939 that the financial position of the Slovak Government was growing rapidly worse as the Czechs were withholding financial support. In Warsaw on March 6th the Polish Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Arciszewski, told the British Ambassador in Warsaw that Poland did not wish to interfere with the Slovak movement for independence but that if Slovakia became independent they would sympathise.


Monsignor Jozef Tiso

On March 10th the President of the Czecho-Slovak Republic, Emil Hácha, dismissed the autonomous Slovakian government for "treachery". The Czechs entrusted the government of the province to their M. Sivak, previously Minister for Public Instruction and decided to take "important police measures in Slovakia". In addition the Czech military were sent in under a Prague General and assumed "unlimited control". There had been minor violence as a result and the situation was tense. Martial Law was declared in Bratislava, and on March 11th Monsignor Tiso addressed an appeal for help to the German Government, travelling by train to Berlin where intense meetings were held with the German Government.[16]

The Slovak Diet met and unanimously voted for and declared their independence on 14 March 1939[17], becoming the Slovak Republic, an independent state under their leader, Roman Catholic priest Monsignor Jozef Tiso, who was the first Prime Minister (from 14 March until 26 October 1939). Dr. Vojtech Ruka became Deputy Prime Minister (from Oct 26, Prime Minister), Dr. Ferdinand Ďurčanský, Minister for Home & Foreign Affairs (only until the end of July 1940), and M. Sindor, Minister of the Interior.[18]

Slovakia was formally recognised by Poland, Polish Foreign Minister Beck expressing his complete satisfaction[19], Italy, and Germany, with de facto recognition by Great Britain and France.

Having no military, as such, and with Czech threats and Hungarian millitary incursions, Slovakia requested a protection agreement with Germany. This was, however, protested by Poland.[20]. Slovakia then negotiated with Germany to be afforded Protectorate status, with a 25 year treaty to that effect, signed & dated in Vienna 18th & Berlin 23rd March.[21][22] The Slovakian Government also agreed and signed a Protocol on 'economic and financial co-operation between the German Reich and the State of Slovakia' the same day.,ref>German Documents, 1956, p.44-5.</ref>

The French Ambassador in Berlin, writing to Georges Bonnet, France's Minister for Foreign Affairs the same day, declared that Slovakia's independence has "broken up the framework of the Czecho-Slovak federal State".[23]

On 1 October 1939 Tiso became the official President of the Slovak People's Party, and on October 26 he became President of Slovakia.

Foreign Office diplomat and World War I veteran, Manfred, Baron von Killinger[24], became German Ambassador to the Slovak Republic in 1940. In January 1941 he was posted to Bucharest and was replaced in Slovakia by another diplomat, Hanns Elard Ludin, who was later handed over by the Americans after WWII to the Czech communists who hanged him. Killinger, still present in Bucharest, committed suicide on 2 September 1944 in his office in order to avoid capture by the Red Army.

World War II

USAAF bomb Bratislava in 1944.

Although Slovakia was officially neutral, in August 1944 a Czech General along with British and Soviet parachutists flown in from England attempted to get units of the small Slovakian Defence Forces to rise up against the Slovakian government. This rebellion was eventually crushed.[25]

Also in 1944, the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) bombed Bratislava despite Slovakia being a neutral state.


The Soviet Union refused to recognize Slovakia's independence and arbitrarily reconstituted the pre-1938 Czechoslovakia and borders under a puppet government.

When the Red Army conquered the last parts of western Slovakia in April 1945, Msgn. Tiso fled first to Austria, then to a Capuchin monastery in Altötting, Bavaria. In June 1945, he was arrested by the Americans, who refused to recognise the traditional sanctuary rights of religious houses, something they would not comprehend coming from the Wild West, and extradited him to the new communist Czechoslovakia in October 1945. On 15 April 1947, the Czechoslovak National Court (Národný súd), the bench a combination of Czech fanatics and communists, gave him the usual show trial, found him guilty of many (but not all) of the trumped up allegations against him, and sentenced him to death for "state treason, betrayal of the anti-fascist partisan insurrection, and collaboration with Nazism". Vojtech Tuka, who had suffered a stroke and was wheelchair-bound was also extradited from Allied-occupied Austria to the Czech communists. Both were executed by hanging on 20 August 1946. It seems doubtful that this new 1945 puppet-State had any jurisdiction over these people. Importantly, as Slovakia had been independent from March 1939, it is difficult to see that the Czechs had any jurisdiction whatsoever under international law.

Following the end of World War II the Soviet Union had occupied the region and abolished the Slovak republic, subsequently resurrecting the former Czechoslovakia as one of their communist client states in the Eastern Bloc.

Independence again

Slovakia only became independent again on 1 January 1993, following the collapse of communism and her separation, once again, from the hybrid Czechoslovakia.[26]

National Theatre, Bratislava.


The largest city is its capital, Bratislava (German: Pressburg; Slovakian: Presborok; Hungarian: Pozsony), the political, cultural and economic centre of Slovakia. In 1905 it had a population of 61,500 inhabitants (of whom 32,600 were Germans/Austrians). By 2016 the population had grown to 424,428. In the Old Town (Altstadt) the Town Hall (Rathaus) dates from 1288. The Franciscan Church was founded in 1272 and the Landhaus or Diet, where Hungarian Diets were held from 1802 to 1848, today a court of justice, was erected in 1783. The Gothic cathedral of St. Martin, where once Kings of Hungary were crowned, was begun in 1204, completed in 1445, and restored in 1861-80, and also after 1945.

The State Theatre was built by Austrian architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. Before 1945, a bust of the composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel, who was born at Pressburg in 1778, sculptored by Tilgner, stood in front of the theatre.[27] Pressburg flourished during the 18th-century reign of Queen Maria Theresa,[28] becoming the largest and most important town in Hungary. On the south bank of the river Danube, on the former Coronation Hill, stood a magnificent equestrian monument to the Empress Maria Theresa (1897) by the sculptor János Fadrusz. It was destroyed by Czech fanatics in 1921. An identical replica is currently planned by a Slovak sculptress.[29] Beyond Pressburg are the vine-clad slopes of the Little Carpathian Mountains.

21st century

In 2017, Bratislava was ranked as the third richest region of the European Union by GDP (PPP) per capita (after Hamburg and Luxembourg City). GDP at purchasing power parity is about three times higher than in other Slovak regions.[30][31] Bratislava receives around 1 million tourists every year.[32]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Slovakia: Ethnicity of the Population Section. Government of Slovakia (2010). Retrieved on 5 Oct. 2010.
  4. Schieder, Professor Theodor, et al, editors, The Expulsion of the German Population from Czechoslovakia, Federal Ministry for Expellees, Refugees and War Victims, Bonn, West Germany, 1960, Band IV, 1 and IV, 2, p.133.
  5. The Tragedy of Trianon by Sir Robert Donald, G.B.E., LL.B., London, 1928, pps: 25-6, 57-8.
  6. The Origins of the Second World War by A. J. P. Taylor, F.B.A., London, 1961, p.201.
  7. The War of the World by Niall Ferguson, London, 2006, p.164, ISBN-13: 978-0-713-99708-8
  8. Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of the Year 1938, London, 1938, p.188.
  9. Ferguson, 2006.
  10. Britannica 1938, p.188.
  11. Europe into the Abyss edited by Dr. Alex Forbath, "Czechoslovakia in the Present International Crisis" by Rudolf Prochaska, editor of Narodnich Listu, Prague, pps:673-753.
  12. Donald, 1928, p.28.
  13. Donald, 1928, many mentions.
  14. Donald, 1928, p.176-7.
  15. Cameron Watt
  16. The French Yellow Book (1938-1939), published by the French Government, English-language edition, Hutchinson & Co., London, 1939, p.61-7.
  17. French Yellow Book, p.73.
  18. Woodward, Prof. E. L., Butler, Rohan, Lambert, Margaret, editors, Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919-1939, Her Majesty's Stationary Office, London, 1951, p.246.
  19. Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945, by a large editorial board, series D,, Her Majesty's Stationary Office, London, 1956, p.6.
  20. German Documents, 1956, p.12-13
  21. Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945, by an editorial board, Dept., of State, Washington, U.S.A., 1951, Series D, vol.iv, p.250.
  22. The full 'Treaty of Protection' can be found in German Documents 1956, p.42-3.
  23. French Yellow Book p.73-4.
  24. He served as Germany's Consul-General in San Francisco between 1936 and 1939.
  25. Mollo, Andrew, with an introduction by Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper, A Pictorial History of the SS 1923-1945, Purnell Book Services Ltd.,. Abingdon, Oxfordshire, U.K., 1970, p.164.
  27. Austria-Hungary by Karl Baedeker, Leipzig, 1905, p.322-4.
  28. Weinberger, Jill Knight (November 19, 2000). Rediscovering Old Bratislava. The New York Times.
  30. Bratislava je tretí najbohatší región únie. Ako je možné, že predbehla Londýn či Paríž?.
  31. Bratislava – capital city of Slovakia versus other regions of Slovak Republic (April 29, 2013).
  32. a.s, Petit Press (2016-12-06). Bratislava reports increase in visitors (en).
  • How War Came by Donald Cameron Watt, London, 1989. ISBN 0-434-84216-8
  • Documents on British Foreign policy 1919-1939 edited by Professor E. L Woodward, M.A., F.B.A., Rohan Butler, M.A., and Margaret Lambert, PhD, Third Series, vol.iii (1950), 1938-9 and vol.iv (1951), 1939.