historyEastern_Europe Czecho-Slovakia Slovakia   

 

 

SLOVAK NATIONAL UPRISING

By Hasnain Alibhai

 


In 1938, Jozef Tiso, a catholic priest and an activist of the Slovak Rural Party, became the Prime Minister of the autonomous Slovak Republic, then still a part of Czechoslovakia. On March 14, 1939, Tiso proclaimed a fully independent Slovak state. He then became President. Under him, Slovakia became a 'satellite' for the Third Reich, and followed Germany in introducing the Nuremberg Anti-Jewish Laws. So Tiso declared the death penalty for over 6,000 Jews. These actions resulted in dissent among part of the Slovak people. So to liquidate this anti-Fascist resistance and to strengthen Tiso, Germany invaded Slovakia.

  In response to this invasion, a national uprising broke out on August 29, 1944. However, due to bad leadership and incomplete military preparations (disarming of the East Slovak Army and a switch over to a Partisan style of fighting), by the Slovaks, the Germans gained control of all major communications.

 

  The uprising consisted of 60,000 Slovak Army personnel, 8000 resistance fighters, and tens of thousands of Soviet troops. At the end, 85,000 Soviets, 65000 Czechoslovakians and 52000 German troops lay dead.

 The uprising complicated Hitler's plans regarding protection of the Carpathian Mountains, forced the Nazis to divert sizable military units and disturbed the communications systems on the front. Due to the unrest created by the uprising, resistance movements sprang up in neighboring countries. All in all, the Slovak state was allied with Hitler, although some Slovaks felt otherwise.

 

SOURCES:

Nexis;Europe; Czechoslovakia,1940 and Slovak National Uprising and Historical Events

Nexis, arcnws, Slovakia, and 1939, and Slovak National Uprising,

The Warsaw Voice, Jan 12 , 1992.

 

 

 

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