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Northern Hungary (Felvidék, Slovakia)

(Felvidék, Slovakia)

Botos, László

After the Avar Empire dissolved, the Carpathian Basin had several temporary rulers. The Pan-Slavic historians created princes out of the Slav feudal lords, who temporarily took possession of territories in the Carpathian Basin. For example, they called the territory of the feudal lord called Samo, who ruled for twenty-one years, a "Slav empire", or they called the territory of Svatopluk, Zwentibold, an "empire" which existed for about twenty five years. There are no contemporary sources of information which mention the Slavs as having an empire. Only the Pan-Slavic historians talk about the "Slav Empire".

There are no sources which give both bad and good information about them as they do about the Huns. Colin McEvedy states: "Politically, all the Slavs were very backward. Their myriad chieftains lacked all sense of unity and they were therefore easily dominated by other races."[1] W.G. East says: "The economy of the Slavs was of a rudimentary type. Agriculture and trade had little place in their economy."[2]

According to Hugh Seton-Watson: "The Slavs, according to their nature were sly. They lived in the depths of the forests and the moors, avoiding strongholds: instead of waging war openly, they applied continuous robbing, harassing actions."[3] Jenõ M. Fehér says: "The Slavs’ role in the people’s migration was a very insignificant one. Their cultural level was low; their social organization was primitive and their ability to create a state was non-existent."[4] The Croats were fugitives who fled from the Turks and when they arrived in Hungary, Hungary had already been in existence as a state for seven hundred years. According to Kniezsa, the Slav people’s greatest political organization was that of the clan. They lived at the edge of the forests and the Steppes and this itself prevented them from forming a higher political organization.[5]

Ferenczy mentions that the Slavs became more significant at the time of the Avar rule and they can thank the Avars for teaching them how to form a state.[6] It is false information that the Magyars suppressed them and erased them. Sándor Nagy says that the theory that the Slavs were assimilated in large numbers by the Magyars is erroneous. They did not live in large numbers in the Carpathian Basin in the ninth century. Their numbers were insignificant at that time compared to the autochthonous ancient populace of Pannonia who were not Slavs.[7] The situation is the reverse here. The numbers of the Hungarians decreased after centuries of long continuous wars against the Tartars, the Turks and the Hapsburgs and the Slavs were later able to absorb them into their numbers. Therefore there was no Hungarian oppression against them.

The Wends were maybe the only group of Slavs which lived in a larger organized group in the territory of Western Hungary. They were the ones who pushed the Hungarians out of the territory of Õrség, in Vas county and Hetés, in Zala county. These Wend people became good Hungarian supporters because at the time of Trianon, they opposed the break from Hungary.

The Pan-Slavists advocate that the political border of the territory of Moravia was at the Rába River in Pannonia but Macartney questions this. He states: "We have no evidence that Pannonia was ever a part of Moravia."[8] Edward Gibbon was of the same opinion: "That ample and fertile land was loosely occupied by the Moravians."[9] These statements emphasize that, at the time of Árpád, not the Slovaks, but the Moravian Slavs lived in scattered settlements, without organization, in the western territories of the Carpathian Mountains. The existence of the Moravian Empire is still without proof. Even now, nobody knows the name or the location of the supposed capital. Now probably the Slavs could bring up the counter-accusation that the Hungarians do not know where the capital of Atilla was located. However, according to Dabas, the Empire of Atilla was four centuries earlier than the supposed Moravian Empire and recently, his capital has been found in the Pilis Mountains near Esztergom. The Moravian Empire was nothing more than a union of tribes. The Slav distortions are so reckless that they state that the Hungarians learned agriculture from them, when it is a well-known fact in the scientific world that "they lived miserably, from hand to mouth."[10]

When the Magyars arrived in the Carpathian Basin in the ninth century, they found very few Slavs. At that time, there was a Moravian-Slav state around the city of Nyitra, which had existed for sixty years. Prince Mojmir I. (A.D. 830-846) chased out Pribina, who found refuge with the Franks where he became a comes, the governor of a castle from 847 to 862.

The Czech historians claim that, when Árpád entered the Carpathian Basin in AD 896, there were Slavs living in a state of Moravia whose Prince was called Svatopluk. Árpád supposedly bought this territory from Svatopluk for a white horse, a saddle ornamented with gold and a golden bit. However it is documented that Prince Svatopluk died in A.D. 894, so how was it possible for Árpád to buy the Carpathian Basin from him in AD 896? We know that, when Árpád and the Homecoming Magyars entered the Carpathian Basin in A.D. 896, there was no state of Moravia in existence in the Carpathian Basin. The original sources write Svatopluk’s name as Zwentibold. This name was originally of German origin but it was Slavicized to Svatopluk or Sventopolk. The western chronicles write: "Zwentibold and Rastez had a camp north of the territory of the Margrave of Moravia and they attacked the German territories in Pannonia."[11] After the dissolution of the Avar Empire, Zwentibold managed to create a temporary Slav rule in the area. In A.D. 860, Zwentibold and his uncle, Rastez, made an alliance with the slaves of the salt-mines and they started to harass the German states in Upper Pannonia. King Ludwig II. sent his son, Ludwig, to settle one of these conflicts and he, himself, attacked Zwentibold. When he was captured, Zwentibold negotiated with Ludwig and betrayed his uncle, Rastez. Ludwig II. then called an assembly of the Franks, Bavarians, Saxons and Slavs who unanimously decreed that Zwentibold should be blinded and lose all his powers. This happened in A.D. 870 and, after that, Zwentibold disappeared from the history books. He died in A.D. 894.

The Czechs or Bohemians broke away from the Moravians and became serfs of the Franks. There was another attempt to reestablish the Moravian rule when they attacked Hungary but at the Battle of Bánhid, in A.D. 907, they were defeated and were never heard of again. "Nestor, (A.D. 1074-1114) a monk of Kiev, in his Chronicles, calls the populace of the Moravian state ‘Slavs’. Cosmas (1039-1125), a Czech writer, in his historic works, did not even mention the Slovaks among the Slav nations. The Register of Pozsony only talks of Slavs but not Slovaks but often mentions such names as Tót, Vend, Hungari-Slavoni, Slaven, and Wenden. The name ‘Slovak’ as the name of the present Slovak people, was first used by Antal Bernolák (1762-1813)."[12] The Slovak people was formed after the Magyar Homecoming in the northern part of Hungary (Felvidék) by the intermarriage of scattered Slav, Avar, German, Hun, Kun, Pecheneg and Hungarian people. The kings of the Árpád dynasty settled these people in the positions of border guards of the marchlands. The kings built castles on the marchlands, the ruins of which can still be seen. In the twelfth century the Árpád dynasty kings settled many Germans, Bavarians, Flemish, Saxons and Schwabs in these northern territories of Nyitra, Túróc, Trencsén, Liptó, and the territory of Szepesség. In the sixteenth century Wallachian shepherds migrated into the grazing lands of the Carpathians.

The first large-scale ethnic mixing took place after the Tartar invasion. The peoples living in these territories began to think about forming a nation in the sixteenth century. Among the Slovaks this feeling only surfaced in the eighteenth century. Initially, it was the Slovak priests and teachers who started the idea and later the lawyers took over the leadership of the movement. It was a dispute about the Slovak language which initiated the idea of forming a nation. At that time there was no distinct Slovak language.

Three "scientific" Slav theories developed concerning the Slovaks. None of them agreed..

  1. According to the accepted Slovak theory, the Slovak tribe was the first to break away from the northern Slav tribes and migrate to the south to Moravia, reaching the territories of the Rivers Enns and Lajta.
  2. The Czechs deny that the Slovaks were an independent nation. According to the Czechs, the Czechs and the Slavs together crossed the Oder and Vistula rivers. According to this theory, the Slovak language was just a dialect of the Czech language. In the Czech view, the Slovaks are Czechs or Hungarians, converted into Slovaks. According to the Czech historian, Frantisek Palacky, the Slovak separation from the Slavs was caused by the Homecoming Magyars. He says that this was the greatest Hungarian sin because they placed an obstacle in the way of the unification of the Northern and Southern Slavs, preventing the formation of a great Slav Empire.
  3. The Slovak people only accepts a part of these "scientific" Slav theories. According to the Skultéty theory, the Slovaks had already separated from the other Slav tribes in the ancient Slav homeland. Skultéty believes that in the first century A.D., they arrived as an independent tribe in the Danube territory. The border of the Slovak territory is the Danube from Lower Austria to Dévény, Komárom and Esztergom. This border goes to the foot of the Mátra and Bükk Mountains to Miskolc and east to the Rivers Tisza and Bodrog as far as the Polish border. Since the Slovaks have been known only since the ninth century, Kostya asks where they were hiding for eight centuries before that time. According to the theory of Safarik and Stur, Slav historians, the Slovaks believe themselves to be heirs to the Great Moravian Empire. "The Slovak people were the rulers of both shores of the Danube, from the territory where the Danube flows out of Austrian territory as far as the Black Sea, from the Tátra Mountain to Saloniki." (Kostya, p.12., ) The trouble is that neither Constantine Porphyrogenitus nor any of the Chronicles mention anything about this. This theory was propagated not only in Slovakia but among the Slovak emigrants also.

The historians and politicians of the past, who altered history and recorded it in a manner favorable to the Austrians, and the members of the ruling class, for their loyalty toward those in power in Hungary received rewards of money and position. This behavior was also rampant in the making of the laws. The trend was to identify the state with the nation and citizenship with national status. The government acknowledged that many national minorities were living in the territory of the state but it did not acknowledge the national independence of these minorities. This caused unrest among the minorities. The Hungarians have felt the anti-Hungarian attitude of the minorities since the time of Trianon. After World War II., the Soviets adopted this anti-Hungarian attitude. This is what the Hungarians experienced in Rumania, the recently dissolved Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, and the newly established Slovakia.

A state can survive only if it is based on a secure national awareness. If the national awareness is missing, it is usually because the youth has been taught a false version of their history. In Hungary, the propagation of untrue, derogatory historical "data" has caused apathy among the Hungarian people. At the same time, the Successor States have adopted the glorious Hungarian past and the Hungarian folk arts and have presented them to their nation as their own. They have attributed to the Hungarians the negative characteristics of their own people. For almost 200 years the adherents of the Pan-Slav ideology have constantly attacked the 1000 year-old presence of Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin. These unfair international attacks against the Hungarian nation are very offensive and very damaging. They are much more damaging and cause much sadness when they come from the pen of Hungarian historians. In the announcement of the Dictated Peace of Trianon, the loss of the Hungarian territory was not the greatest sorrow for the Hungarians but rather the demoralizing loss of national pride. There were Hungarian historians who did not mention in their writings the good qualities of the Hungarian people or simply diminished them. In the past there were Hungarian governments, supported by the Hapsburgs, who, for decades, subsidized historians teaching false historical theories, whose version of Hungarian history became adopted as the official history of Hungary which was taught in all the schools. Those historians whose independent research provided different theories were not allowed to teach at the universities or could not find a publisher for their works. The government supported "experts" competed against each other to destroy the Hungarian past. Those historians and scientists who refused to sell their soul fled the country and published their books abroad. The true history of Felvidék has not yet been written by an official Hungarian historian but numerous writings have been published in the Czech, Slovak, and German languages and, on the advice of Benes, in French. These writings all emphasized that Felvidék was a Slovak territory. The reason that Hungarian historians have not yet written the history of Felvidék is that it was not in the national interest to write about this subject in the Age of Absolutism (1867) or after World War II., in the age of the so-called Socialist People’s Democracy. In the Socialist Era, in Hungary, it was not even allowed to mention that Felvidék was at one time a Hungarian territory. The majority of the Hungarian historians were brought up in the spirit of the Austrian-German politics and many of them were originally of German origin.

According to the Hungarian beliefs, which oppose both the Czech and the Slovak views, the Slovak people was formed in Felvidék, (northern Hungary, now Slovakia) after the Magyar Homecoming. The majority of Hungarians do not doubt that the history they learned in school is true but the most recent archeological excavations have shed light on the antiquity of the Hungarian people. I am going to explain the Homecoming of the Árpád people into the Carpathian Basin. The so-called Finno-Ugric theory spread the belief that the Magyar Homecoming was caused by an attack from the Pechenegs which forced the Magyars to leave the territory in which they were living and caused them to migrate into the Carpathian Basin. This absurd theory has been proven to be untrue. We know now that Árpád and his people did not just stumble into the Carpathian Basin while fleeing from the Pechenegs but rather there was a well prepared military movement. Prince Álmos, the father of Árpád, prepared this Homecoming.

"The seven Magyar leaders came to the conclusion that only a unified leadership could achieve the enormous task of resettling into the Carpathian Basin. Therefore they made a blood union and elected Álmos to be their leader. They declared that the new leaders should be elected only from the descendants of Álmos. Anonymus described this blood-union, calling the new leader: ‘ducem et praeceptoram’. Álmos and his son, Árpád, were spiritual and political leaders at the same time.

"Álmos was the Magyar leader or Priest-King who prepared the Magyars’ return to their ancient homeland. He ordered them to manufacture all the tools and implements that they would need on a long journey and grow enough food for the journey. Only by being prepared could they undertake a successful migration. If they had not made adequate preparations, this undertaking would have been a disaster. . . . The migration of 400,000 people and an unbelievable number of animals required a great deal of planning. The preparation for this migration was described by Dunlop, Marquart and Macartney." (Botos, p. 107)

Researchers in archeology and anthropology have proven that the Avar people did not die out in the Carpathian Basin. They survived and were still there when the Magyar Homecoming took place. The richest archeological findings were excavated in the county of Szabolcs in Felvidék. These were strictly Avar remains, hand-made folk art and pottery. At the same time the geographical and settlement names in Felvidék are almost all Hungarian. We have some very convincing data to prove the Hungarian possession of Felvidék. "In the county of Zemplén, in 1958, now in Slovakia, archeologists discovered the grave of a Magyar prince from the time of the Magyars of Árpád. The head of the skeleton was cut off and placed at the right shoulder. The skeletal measurements were identical to the measurements of the body of Álmos. At the time of his burial, perfect silver replicas of the golden weapon of Álmos were placed in his grave. This was done so that the weapons which Álmos used, which were believed to have magical properties, could be used by Árpád, as the new priest-king. The only prince of the Magyars, at that time, was Álmos. Árpád and, later, King István I. (Saint István), inherited the original sword of Álmos, which is presently in a museum in Prague in the Czech Republic. The decoration on the sword found in the grave was identical to that on the sword of St. István. The decorations on the saddle-bag, the sacrificial goblet, the horse’s harness and the other objects from the grave, such as bracelets, necklaces and ankle bracelets made of gold and silver, ornaments for braiding, the quiver with seven arrows, leather clothing with silver decorations, were all identical to those of the Magyars of that period and all indicative of the high rank of the person buried in the grave. The appearance of the identical sword in this grave proves that this is the grave of Álmos. . . .

"In the vicinity of Szomotor, in the present land of Slovakia, where the grave of Álmos was found, the Magyars buried him and paid him their last respects. In Hungarian ‘szomorú tor’ means a sad feast or burial feast. ‘Szomorú’ in modern Hungarian means ‘sad’; ‘tor’ means a feast. Both words are still used today but the phrase ‘szomorútor’ has been replaced by ‘halotti tor’ which means ‘feast of the dead or burial feast’. ‘Szomorútor’ was mispronounced ‘szomotor’ by the Slavs. The earliest written Hungarian version of the word ‘szomorutor’ was found in 1803, in the writings of Szirmay, who writes: ‘Szomotor olim zomoru-tor pagus Hungaricus’.[13] It is evident that this was Magyar territory because the Magyars would not have buried their leader in foreign territory. This territory later became inhabited by Slavs and was given to Czechoslovakia in 1920 at the Treaty of Trianon." (Botos, p. 108-109)

The leaders of the Czechs, Slovaks and Serbs in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, were faithful subjects of the Hapsburgs. When they began to demand their freedom, they did not intend to break away from the Monarchy. Their only desire was autonomy under Austrian rule. In this desire they were divided into two movements. One was Pan-slavism, with the aid of the Russians, the other was the Austro-Slav movement. After the Compromise between the Austrians and Hungarians in 1867, the plan of the Austro-Slavs was to create the Austrian-Czech Compromise but this was not effected because there was opposition from Vienna. Edward Benes created the idea of a Czech-Slovak state. After the fall of the Russian Czar in 1917, this idea unified the two movements, the Pan-Slavs and the Austro-Slavs. Their goal was to unite the Northern and Southern Slavs by dividing up the territory of Hungary.

Unfortunately, the Western politicians, at the time of World War I., did not really know that the minority problems in the Carpathian Basin were ignited by the Pan-Slav movement. In the early part of the nineteenth century, the leaders of the Slovak and the Serb peoples in the Carpathian Basin, together with the leaders of the Czechs, regarded Czarist Russia as a supporter of the unification of the Slav peoples. This cause was advanced by the Russian-Turkish War (1877-78) and the Russian foreign policy. It looked as if the Slavs who were freed from Turkish rule would really receive independence with the aid of Russia. The Western leaders did not take into consideration something which was well known by other nations, that is that the Russians’ real goal was to expand as far as the Mediterranean Sea. They did not consider either that Russia was not a democratic state but was under a despotic, merciless rule where the slightest opposition met with deportation to Siberia. This despotic attitude was well-camouflaged with their politics of friendship toward the Slavs which animated the Czech, Slovak and Serb peoples with enthusiasm for Russia. (Kostya, p. 15)

The Slavs took advantage of the opportunity which the absolutism of Metternich provided for them. They developed anti-Hungarian, pro-Slav propaganda which was supported by the Germans. It became the fashion to disavow the Hungarian culture and language. Leipzig became one of the centers of the Pan-Slav literature. Sándor Rudnay, Archbishop of Esztergom, in 1830 stated in one of his sermons: "I am a Slav." This fanned the fire of Pan-Slavism. We have to notice that the movement to retain the use of the nationality languages was a camouflage to cover the spread of Pan-Slavism.

At the National Assembly of 1790-91, the Hungarians had demanded that the Hungarian language be adopted as the official language of the state instead of Latin or German. In the same year, the Croatian and Slavonian county nobility submitted a petition, under the title of Declarátió, against the adoption of the Hungarian language and they demanded the continuation of the Latin language as an administrative language. The Croatian and Slavonian aristocrats had already objected in 1681 that the Serbs who lived within the Empire were receiving special favors while the Croatians were not given the same advantages. One hundred and ten years later, they objected to the adoption of the Hungarian language as the administrative language in Hungary and wanted to keep the Latin language as administrative language. In their demand, they emphasized that the administrative language in the Empire was Latin and that the Hungarian aristocracy acted against the Constitution when they intended to introduce the Hungarian language as the official language. The Declarátió, already at that time, was supporting the idea of the Great Slav State. The reason for their objection to the Hungarian language as the administrative language was that they were afraid that, in time, the languages of the provinces would disappear. This proves that they were allowed to use their own language at that time. (Kostya, p. 18)

In 1790, for the first time, the Slovaks asked Metternich to establish a Slovak university. The request was not fulfilled because of the intervention of the Palatine Joseph yet, if it had been granted, the Slovak nationality problem would have taken a different direction. The Austrian government refused this request.

In 1844, when the Hungarian government at the National Assembly, officially announced the use of the Hungarian language as the administrative language of Hungary, the Croatian representatives spoke Latin in objection to this decision. During the decades of the struggle to adopt the Hungarian language as the administrative language, many objections surfaced which were published in the form of collections. The tone of these papers was not conciliatory, but rather antagonistic and they openly expressed anti-Hungarian hatred. It is interesting that most of them were published in Leipzig in the German language yet the centers of the activity were Prague and Zagreb. In these writings the influence of the Universities of Halle, Jena and Göttingen can be observed. In other words the Germans were supporting this goal of Pan-Slavism. Why? In the interest of a final weakening of the Hungarians so that they could fulfill their centuries-old goal of conquering Hungary. (Kostya, p. 20)

In 1848, the Slovak politicians, Stur, Hodzsa and Hurban submitted a nine-point memorandum to the Austrian government which was a very strong demand rather than a request. Most of these nine points could have been granted with a little negotiation because the last two points were exactly the same as those included in the twelve points of the 1848 Hungarian Freedom Fight. At the same time, in these nine points, there were such demands which were, at that time, impossible to grant. Some such demands were the determination of the borders of the ethnic territories and the use of the Slovak language in the National Assembly and in the National Guard. At that time it was impossible to grant these demands because a Slovak insurrection, organized by Hurban and supported by the Austrians, was put down by the Hungarians and many individual Slovak regiments. The leaders of the 1848 Hungarian Freedom Fight and the leaders of the Slovak insurrection could not come to an agreement.

The Austrian government gave a few concessions to the supporters of the Austro-Slavs. The Austro-Slav propagandists, Kollár and Kusmány received professorships at the University of Vienna. Kollár received permission to publish the newspaper Slovenské Noviny with the financial support of the Austrian state. After the death of Kollár in 1852, there was no-one to continue the Austro-Slav politics and, as a result, the Czech party came to the fore. In 1850, the Viennese Bach administration had come into power in Hungary. Historic Hungary was divided into five parts: Kronland Ungarn, Voivodina, Transylvania including the Partium, Croatia-Slavonia, and the Border Territories. The strictly Hungarian territories were again divided into five districts: Pest, Pozsony (now Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia), Sopron, Kassa (now Kosice, in Slovakia) and Nagyvárad (now Oradea in Rumania). We can see that these were all regarded as pure Hungarian territories. There was nothing to be done against despotism. (Kostya, p. 22-23)

After the Russian intervention, the 1848 Hungarian Freedom Fight failed and the Austrian despotism made it impossible to settle the minority problems. It was too big of a problem for Emperor Franz Joseph to solve at the same time as he was fighting to regain the former power of the Hapsburg Empire, restrain the demands of the Hungarian Freedom Fighters and maintain the German hegemony in Italy. At the same time the administration of Alexander Bach was the most flamboyant in Europe which exhausted the Empire financially. Hungary was overcome by the Centralists of Austria and the agents of the Czech federalists. The Czech political leaders were Russian Pan-Slavist supporters. These Czechs were the most faithful supporters of the Bach administration who were known as the "Bach hussars". In the October Constitution, the Emperor was forced in theory to give up absolutism and reestablish for the individual states within the Empire their historic rights to a feudal National Assembly. At the same time, he named an advisory group, representing the Empire, in whose hands the power rested. He gave them the task of settling public matters. This action caused the start of a very active age of Hungarian resistance. Up to that point, the nationalities within Hungary were fighting to maintain the status quo. After decades of being at a standstill, instigated by the Russians and Czechs, the minorities in Hungary started to become active. This era made the Slovaks forget the good relationship that they had had for centuries with the Hungarians and changed it for the worse. At the time of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, in 1867, the Hungarian politicians regarded Pan-Slavism to be an insignificant movement. At the same time the leaders of the minorities took it very seriously. The Slovaks demanded much more at Túrócszentmárton than the Serbs did at Karloca. They not only demanded territorial autonomy and equality of rights but also demanded that the Slovak language be the only official language in Felvidék.

These Pan-Slav nationalistic demands became a factor in the formation of the public opinion. The Hungarian aristocracy ignored the Pan-Slav idea as posing a danger to the Hungarian nation. The upper ten thousand did not serve the interest of the Hungarian nation but were the supporters of the Austrian Centralist rule over Hungary. While the official government body looked disinterestedly at the nationality demands, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, in May of 1867, the Russians arranged a Pan-Slav Congress, where 300 Czechs, Serbs and Croatians gathered. They were mainly teachers, professors, priests, bishops and politicians, all persons who had immediate connections with the people. This Pan-Slav assembly prepared the way for the First World War. (Kostya. p. 26)

After 1867 Hungary gave up the 1848 spirit of social-democratic peaceful reconciliation. Because of the establishment of the Dual Monarchy, the influence of the Austrian centralists and the German politics ruled Hungary. Around the time of the Compromise there was an expression of the demands of the Slovak leaders. The Túrócszentmárton Slovak Cultural Society, the Matica Slovenska, developed a Slovak grammar and created reading books for the parochial schools. It published the poems of Holly and Sládkovics. At that time it was hoped that the Hungarian and Slovak intelligentia, would become closer to each other but, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the passivity of the nineteenth century changed into a powerful national movement. In the Hungarian elections of 1905, during the administration of István Tisza, the Slovak National Party suffered serious losses but a year later they received seven seats in Parliament. The new representatives united with the Serbs and Rumanians in the Nationality Club and they expressed solidarity with the idea of Pan-Slavism. The Slovak National Party used for the first time the title of the "Slovenská Nádorná Ludova Strana". The hierarchy of the Catholic Church attacked its leader, Father Andrej Hlinka and the Bishop of Szepes suspended him from his position. Hlinka, the pastor of Rózsahegy, gave an anti-Hungarian speech on November 20, 1906, and he was arrested for instigation against the Hungarians. He was sentenced to a year in prison. This arrest caused dissatisfaction in the whole country and because of this, he was set free.

Conflict erupted between the two Slovak political groups. The group led by Hodzsa was expecting that Prague would solve the nationality problems. The Old-Slav group expected the same thing from Vienna. Milan Hodzsa organized a language- nationality movement. The Czechs and one part of the Slovaks supported Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s idea of a Tripartite Federation. From the Hungarian side, Gábor Ugron and Lajos Láng worked out a plan to create an Austro-Hungarian-Czech monarchy. On July 13, 1907, in Prague, another Pan-Slav Congress took place.

Father Andrej Hlinka, who was a Hungarian citizen, went on a tour to preach in Felvidék. His journey was supported by the church. The crowd which was waiting for the arrival of Hlinka, in Cernova, in November, 1907, aggressively challenged the Hungarian police who used their weapons and killed nine people. The later investigation, without doubt, showed that the incident was caused by the rebellious attitude of the crowd. The crowd was instigated by the Czech propaganda. This incident increased the hostility between the Slovaks and the Hungarians. Hlinka was arrested and imprisoned in Szeged. His letter to Hodzsa before he went to prison was published in the November 30, 1907 Slovak-American newspaper. With this act, the Pan-Slav propaganda against Hungary became world-wide. The Munich review, März, sharply attacked the Hungarian nationality politics. In August, 1908, another Pan-Slav Congress took place in Prague, where new leaders appeared. Professor Karel Kramar spread leaflets about the basics of Neo-Slavism. In the Congress, 80 Slovak, 35 Serb-Croats and 160 Polish teachers gathered together and Edward Benes came to the fore, with his study: Le Probleme Autrichien et la Question Tcheque. In this study, Benes recommended that Austria become a federal state, with autonomy for some of the minorities. Seton-Watson, with his book: The Racial Problems in Hungary, became the main source of anti-Hungarian propaganda. Several Slovak politicians, such as Hurban, Vajansky and Srobar, provided data for the book.

In the Hungarian House of Representatives, Milan Hodzsa denounced the Cernova incident of 1907. Count Gyula Andrássy placed the blame on those who instigated the crowd and those who attacked the Hungarian militia. In 1912, the clique of Túrócszentmárton again asked the Matica Slovenska permission to appear but their request remained unanswered. Because of the supposed and real offence, Srobar and Hlinka took over the leadership of the movement. The demonstrations, which lasted until the outbreak of the First World War, made for a closer cooperation between the realists of Masaryk and the socialists of Srobar. On May 14, 1914, the Czech politicians decided to destroy the Monarchy. (Kostya, p 29).


Source: Botos László: The Road to the Dictated Peace, Cleveland, 1999, Chapter 11.

[1] Dabas, Rezsõ, Burgenland álarc nélkül, Montreal. 1984. p. 102; McEvedy, C.: The Penguin Atlas of Medieval History, p.22

[2] Ibid. p. 102; East, W.G.: p. 81

[3] Ibid. p.102; Seton-Watson, Hugh: Eastern Europe between the Wars, p. 12

[4] Ibid. p. 102; Fehér M. Jenõ, Korai Avar kagánok,p. 187

[5] Ibid. p. 103; Laszló, Gyula, p. 103, quoted from Kniezsa

[6] Ibid. p. 103; Ferenczy, I.: A magyar föld népeinek története honfoglalásig, p. 119-120

[7] Ibid. p. 103; Nagy, Sándor: A magyar nép kialakulásanak története, p. 96

[8] Ibid. p.105; Macartney, C.A.: The Magyars in the Ninth Century, p.149

[9] Ibid. p.105; Gibbon: Volume V. p. 570

[10] Ibid. p.106; Davis, R.H.C.: History of Medieval Europe, p. 400

[11] Botos, László: The Homeland Reclaimed, Rochester, NY. Patko,1995. p. 9; Fekete, Zsigmond: Hól volt, hól nem volt, Pribina országa, Buenos Aires, 1978, p.78

[12] Kostya, Sándor: A Felvidék, Budapest, 1990 p. 9-10

[13] Botos: Op.Cit. p. 108-109; Zakar, Andras: Fordulópontok Történelmünkbõl, 1987, p. 67

Source: magtudin.org

Editor's note: Text reformatted to enhance readability. The law, adopted by Slovakia's parliament on June 30, 2009, and signed by President Ivan Gasparovic, declares the Slovak language to be the country's "language of public contact" and requires that it, and Slovak place names be used in all public affairs. Among other punitive measures, it calls for sanctioning improper use of the Slovak language or other violations of the law with fines of up to 5,000 EUR (7,000 USD). At the time of posing, a Petition to the European Union and the European Commission of Human Rights, demanding that this law be overruled, is underway (click here to sign petition).

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